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#162896 - 02/27/12 08:58 PM Cant fit my gear into my pack :(
pcolaheadbussa Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 2
Hi guys, I moved from Florida to Las Vegas a little over a year ago. I love having mountains and red rock national park so close! I have been doing day hikes very regularly since being out here and have been wanting to get more serious with it lately so I started collecting backpacking gear. I have the Atmos 50l backpack. After much research I thought that 50l would be plenty for a 1 or 2 night trip with all new, fairly light gear. Unfortunatly my tent and sleeping bag seems to take up about 3/4 of my space! I have a kelty down 20 degee bag thats fairly small and the rei passage 2 tent. Not the smallest out there but not a large tent either. I have it stuffed into the bag it came with very tight but its still taking up way to much room. My question is, is there some other way i should be stuffing it/folding it? Can i somehow strap it onto the top of the pack? Or do i just need a larger pack?

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#162899 - 02/27/12 09:24 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
As you have figured out, small is a really relative term. So are "light" and "heavy."

I note that the packed size of the tent according to REI is 7.5 x 22" and the packed size of the sleeping bag is hard to guess at but looking at the Kelty Cosmic 20 degree, I see that it is a 8 x 13" packed size.

This is part of why you will see in some of the threads the advice to get the pack last... depending on your perspective the gear is too large or the pack is too small, so either you replace one, or the other... Internal frame packs are typically going to be easier to wear with all the gear inside, putting lots of items on the front and sides of the pack puts weight further from your back, which means you don't have it sitting on the hip belt where it belongs. You could try strapping the tent under the lid or down the sides - fly on one side, tent on the other would help balance it out.

It is possible, FYI, to have smaller and lighter gear than you can find at REI. Tents like those available from Lightheart Gear, Tarptent, Six Moon Designs, Mountain Laurel Designs, and other cottage gear makers can work very well for backpackers without the weight and bulk. You do have choices when you eventually upgrade. One of my lighter combos is a Tarptent (24 oz) and a down quilt (20-25 degree, 22 oz). I started with a Kelty tent that weighed as much as your Passage, and a bag that was about the same weight and bulk as the Kelty Cosmic - only I'm sure the Kelty bag is warmer than the bag I had!

If you can't get all your gear in the pack you have, you might (if you got it at REI like the tent) possibly exchange it for a pack that works with your gear.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#162900 - 02/27/12 09:26 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1488
Loc: Napa, CA
Don't get a larger pack until you really try to make this one work. We use a 55 liter pack for trips up to eight days...

One option would be to tie either the bag or the tent horizontally underneath the backpack...or if you prefer, on top of it.

But once you get your tent and bag in there...how much other stuff do you need to bring for an overnight trip? a little food and a stove, and you are good to go!
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#162903 - 02/27/12 09:48 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: balzaccom]
Tye Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Texas
I've got the same Kelty 20*, and other junk. I have a pack a little smaller than yours. One option is to just stuff the Kelty in the bottom of the pack without the supplied sack. This allows it fill in all the space at the bottom. When in it's supplied sack, there is a lot of unused space down there.

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#162905 - 02/27/12 10:11 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
Try packing the pieces of the tent individually rather than all together in the stuff sack. My tent always seemed to take up more space in its bag than when I packed it and the fly separately. You can wrap the tent or fly around other stuff and better fill all the available space.

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#162906 - 02/27/12 10:36 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: palameto]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2618
Loc: California
Packing the tent loose inside is not a good idea. Fine if it never rains or you never get dew or the floor never gets dirty. If the weather is that good why even bother with a tent? If you pack a wet tent loose in the bag you will get everything wet and filfthy. It is a good idea to split the tent into 1) poles and pegs (they can go lashed to the side outside the pack), 2) fly, and 3) tent body. You may want to also put the fly on the outside in a long narrow stuff sack. I just put poles in the outside pocket rubber banded togther. But you want to protect the fly from getting tears, so it should be in a bag. The body of the tent can go inside the pack. Also, once you remove the poles, you may be able to use a shorter bag for tent and fly that will pack much better.

Consider getting a compression bag for the sleeping bag. I also use a compression sack for my clothing. Get light weight compression sacks- REI makes some very light ones, as does Granite Gear.

I think your pack has enough square inches in volume. You just need to utilize the space better. You may have to purchase some different sized stuff sacks that nest together better than what you currently have.

On the other hand, by the time you do all that, you may be better off getting either a smaller tent or sleeping bag. Where are you going to backpack? Do you really need a full blown tent? What about a tarp or hammock?

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#162909 - 02/27/12 11:54 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3925
Loc: Bend, Oregon
YO

Hey Redrocks has a lot of potential but no water. Go out there for long and you'll need to carry a LOT MORE than the mentioned tent and sleeping bag. You might even want (Oh please forgive me) an ALICE pack.


First off I am an advocate of LARGE packs. The stuff sacks and compression required to force gear into a small pack just to look cool is kinda wasted on me. confused And as you get new gear your needs will change and as some else said, this is why we say buy your pack last, but then no one wants to hear that. frown

As Wandering Daisy ponted out - its not a good thing to have your tent spread around in your pack when it comes up a storm. Better is to have the tent strapped to the outside of your pack on one side so you can remove the tent to set it up without having to open the pack in a rain. Put your sleeping bag and clothes in your pack and hang something on the side oposite the tent to balance it, like food, or your rolled up airmattress.

Of course others will tell you to ditch the tent, and everybody needs a selection of sleeping bags. Well heck a selection of packs is cool too - that way you can take one that your gear fits in. Once we ran into an injured friend in Yosemite and we split his gear into our packs - good thing we both have HUGE packs. They also make leg bivy sacks.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162912 - 02/28/12 12:44 AM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: Jimshaw]
pcolaheadbussa Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 2
wow thanks for all the quick advice guys. I am gonna just play with all the different suggestions and try to figure out what works best. I do have a question though to the ones suggesting straping the tent on the side, how would that actually work, anyone got pictures or anything? Its just so bulky i cant see that working out...As far as where i will be camping, i plan to go all over. Being originally from florida, i am stoked to be in the west coast. Alot of time i am sure will be spent on the closest mt here, mt charlston. But i plan to make many trips to oregan, colorado, california, bc canada, etc, as much as i can. I only work 4 days a week so i have plenty of time. As far as getting new gear, i would like to figure out how to make what i got work first if possible. Cant take the sleeping bag back but may get a little summer bag as well..and the tent could be smaller for just me but i plan to take my lil bro out some as well.

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#162917 - 02/28/12 09:37 AM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1488
Loc: Napa, CA
Please note I suggested strapping the bag or tent on the top or bottom of the pack, not on the side. And I also noted that we use a pack this small with everything inside...!
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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#162918 - 02/28/12 10:05 AM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
DoobyDoobyDoo Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/21/11
Posts: 9
Ive got the passage 2 tent.

What works for me is this:

my pack has a "water bottle" holder on both side of the pack. I stuff the tent into this mesh pocket and secure it with the compression straps that cross the side of my pack. The packed tent fits perfectly into a 1 liter water bottle holder. Just make sure you secure it to the side.

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#162926 - 02/28/12 11:51 AM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2618
Loc: California
Jim and I are of opposite opinions on compression sacks. We are also probably opposite ends of the size spectrum (although I have never personally met Jim!). Jim is tall enough that large men's sizes fit him. The pack size that I am supposed to use, based on my height, is woman's small to extra-small. NO WAY can I find a womans x-small pack that allowes me to pack stuff losely inside, particularly when I also backpack where bear cannisters are required. I have been forced to utilize compression sacks, and it has nothing to do with lookiing "cool". I agree that compression sacks are a bit hard on down sleeping bags, I do not cinch them up to the maximum- just enough to fit.

To assist in strapping stuff to the outside of your pack, you may want to sew a few little loops on the stuff sack so the pack straps stay in place. If you strap on the side, be sure to carefully balance the other side with equal weight. Side strapping is the most secure. If you strap on the bottom be sure it does not bounce around and hit your butt every step you take. If you strap on top, be sure it is snug forward- not dangling off the back. If you do any bushwhaking or walking in tall wet grass, anything on the outside of your pack will get beat up and wet. I really do not like to strap gear to the outside of my pack. I strapped a Thermarest to the outside of my pack once, and ended up sleeping on a flat piece of nylon.

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#162936 - 02/28/12 12:42 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6018
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
People who have packs with lids (I don't) usually carry their tents on top of their packs under the lid, horizontally. Strap that lid down tight to keep it there.

I would never want my tent inside my pack. In the first place, it's more than likely going to be wet (if not from rain, from dew). If it's inside my pack, I want it on top and outside a waterproof pack liner. It's also a good idea to be able to get the tent out and set it up without getting the other contents of your pack wet. It's often going to be raining either when you make camp or when you pack up in the morning!

I've always kept my tent (lightweight single-wall) in one of the outside side pockets of my pack. However, having recently acquired a cuben fiber tent ($$$!), I will probably change this, go back to using a waterproof pack liner instead of dry bags, and pack the tent at the top of my pack outside the pack liner, where it will be more protected. I will be doing some experimenting this spring.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#162939 - 02/28/12 12:46 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1488
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
People who have packs with lids (I don't) usually carry their tents on top of their packs under the lid, horizontally. Strap that lid down tight to keep it there.

It's also a good idea to be able to get the tent out and set it up without getting the other contents of your pack wet. It's often going to be raining either when you make camp or when you pack up in the morning!



Amen. Ours goes on top, and easy to get at. But in the Sierra, we don't get as much moisture, so it's not quite as big an issue here...
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#162941 - 02/28/12 12:55 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3806
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I'm going to second the advice to try putting your sleeping bag loosely in something bigger than the compression sack in came in, and start by placing that in the bottom of your pack. Same thing with your clothes and tent, put them each loosely in their own bag and put them on top of your sleeping bag. Garbage bags work good, just make sure air can escape.

At that point your pack is going to be looking pretty full. Start cramming everything else around, in between, and on top of them. Use all your other gear to compress your bag, tent, and clothes. This is the first trick I learned for taking advantage of that pack.

Place the things you be getting at the most near the top of the pack and in the external pockets. On that Osprey pack those external pockets are very stretchy and they will hold a lot of stuff. Filling them up is the other key to using that pack.

I'm using an Osprey Talon 44 and a Kelty 20 down bag. When I first tried packing it I had the Kelty bag and tent in compression sacks and didn't take full advantage of the external pockets, and I didn't get all my stuff in it either. I can get a 3 nighter into it now.

You tent is probably bigger than my homemade tent, but so is your pack, so I think with a little practice you can make it work, and when you get it nailed down you'll probably have some room to spare. I did.
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"You want to go where?"



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#162945 - 02/28/12 01:09 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: billstephenson]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Your sleeping bag should fit in the bottom and take up about 1/3 of your pack volume. That is normal. The tent can be strapped outside. I like to separate the poles from the rest and strap the poles on one side, and the rest either on top under the flap, or on the side.
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#162946 - 02/28/12 01:09 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: OregonMouse]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3806
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I would never want my tent inside my pack. In the first place, it's more than likely going to be wet (if not from rain, from dew). If it's inside my pack, I want it on top and outside a waterproof pack liner. It's also a good idea to be able to get the tent out and set it up without getting the other contents of your pack wet. It's often going to be raining either when you make camp or when you pack up in the morning!


Yeah... that's absolutely true for the NW coastal areas, and the higher mountains that make their own weather, but there are a lot of places where that's not as much of an issue. I would think Red Rock Canyon near Vegas is one of them.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#162947 - 02/28/12 01:12 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: balzaccom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Like anything else, it depends. External frames and having all kinds of things hanging on the sides works if you are not pushing through branches all the time, if you keep it balanced.

OP hasn't listed out the rest of the gear - I would suggest doing that, too. I bet you there are a lot of other things that could be packed differently. If you are trying to jam tightly packed stuff sacks into a space and leaving voids between them - not using the space efficiently. I dislike compression sacks for that reason. Large blocks of gear don't pack in as well as loose items that mold against each other.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#162965 - 02/28/12 05:57 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: pcolaheadbussa]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Here are two questions that may insult your intelligence, but that's not my intent (I've had several DOH! moments when a buddy asked me similar things.)

1. Is there a divider between the top-loading compartment and the sleeping bag access compartment? If so, taking it loose to convert to a single compartment pack might give you more usable room. (I haven't seen the new Atmos 50's; the old ones didn't have this.)

2. Are you using the exterior zippered pockets on the back of the pack to best advantage? I used to keep my whole tent, including the poles, in those pockets when I used an Atmos 50; I now sometimes put my tent in the similar zippered side pockets on the Kestrel 48 I'm using now.


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#193814 - 02/23/16 07:47 PM Re: Cant fit my gear into my pack :( [Re: billstephenson]
hikingdoe Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/16
Posts: 15
Loc: Illinois
Homemade tent? I would like to see that

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