Packing Efficiently….

Bulitt

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So, none of these are new ideas but since we are talking about it, here are a couple of things that might help somebody.

For years, I used to spend way too much time thinking about ….and trying to find stuff I needed for a trip and then always packed it in different places, on my bike etc. In short…..wasted a lot of time in and out of camp and always took too much stuff or left something home I really needed. So now, …..I just use a excel spreadsheet checklist of everything I need and nothing I don’t depending on the vehicle I am taking.

This is my “bike list” (VFR1200X) and I also have another list when I take my Goldwing and Bushtec trailer or my truck which has more and bigger stuff like cots, etc. So no more sorting through gear trying to decide what to take.

Lighter is better, less is more….when loaded on my bike so my checklist is below. The list on the left is grouped by gear category and the list on the right is where it goes on the bike…..every time. Now I can load my bike literally in minutes (not hours) and as long as everything has a check mark I know I have everything and know exactly where it is when needed.

I am packing right now for a trip next week, so I thought I would share. Everything fits in the panniers and dry bag you see, and a 20ltr top box you don’t.

One other thing that really speeds up my pack up when breaking camp. I always discard or repurpose the “too tight” bags my tent, quilts, and sleep pads come in and get larger bags they will fit into easier. Bags in the camping dept. at Walmart are cheap. No point fighting to fit my pad back into a too tight bag.

I just posted this on another forum, so I thought I would add it here for you guys too…

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Janus

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A trick my much-more-organized wife taught me is to laminate lists like that and use dry erase markers on it to check things off as you get ready.

It's a lot harder to forget to pack things that way
 

dduelin

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Nice and efficient. One thing I do differently is keep the dry bag for dry stuff. It's the last thing brought into the tent and the first thing tossed out of it when striking camp. In the dry bag is bedding, a change of clothes, and my ditty bag with MSR stove, coffee stuff, and a bag of oatmeal or grits. When I arrive and it happens to be raining I'm assured of sleeping dry and a hot meal that night and cup of coffee in the morning. If it's raining when I strike the tent only dry stuff enters the dry bag and my bedding stays dry for that evening. The tent/fly is alway wet from dew even if it isn't raining in the morning. The dry bag can lie outside on the ground while the tent is put up and taken down.
 
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Bulitt

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Nice and efficient. One thing I do differently is keep the dry bag for dry stuff. It's the last thing brought into the tent and the first thing tossed out of it when striking camp. In the dry bag is bedding, a change of clothes, and my ditty bag with MSR stove, coffee stuff, and a bag of oatmeal or grits. When I arrive and it happens to be raining I'm assured of sleeping dry and a hot meal that night and cup of coffee in the morning. If it's raining when I strike the tent only dry stuff enters the dry bag and my bedding stays dry for that evening. The tent/fly is alway wet from dew even if it isn't raining in the morning. The dry bag can lie outside on the ground while the tent is put up and taken down.
Agreed. I put my tent which is in the picture in its own dry bag in the top of my big dry bag. If it is wet, it gets strapped onto the outside. Everything else in my dry bag goes into the tent, just like you said. As soon as I empty my dry bag into my tent, my riding suit goes into the dry bag and stays under the vestibule outside the tent. This saves me space in my small tent And keeps my gear dry.

If it is a hard rain when I get to camp….at my age I usually just move on to a cheap motel for the night.
 

dduelin

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Agreed. I put my tent which is in the picture in its own dry bag in the top of my big dry bag. If it is wet, it gets strapped onto the outside. Everything else in my dry bag goes into the tent, just like you said. As soon as I empty my dry bag into my tent, my riding suit goes into the dry bag and stays under the vestibule outside the tent. This saves me space in my small tent And keeps my gear dry.

If it is a hard rain when I get to camp….at my age I usually just move on to a cheap motel for the night.
Honestly I'm more into credit card camping at this time in my life. Most of the time anymore I reserve a cabin for at least the last night of a multi-day stay. I hate taking down and packing wet stuff in the dark.
 

lowrider

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I do the same system as Dave except I do a hammock and usually a 12' x 12' tarp and if necessary the hammock tarp if needed....never rains in the desert...right? I sleep better if I'm off the ground. Oat meal and grits with some dried fruit or a single serving of Spam or whatever can be dinner or breakfast in bad weather. Motel always works for a day of riding in cold wet weather.
 

the Ferret

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I havent camped in a few years now. Between difficulty of getting down on the ground and back up again, and the twice a night bathroom visits, it's just too hard, so I'm a motel camper now.

One thing I do is roll and pack all my gear in individually marked zip lock bags. Makes organization and packing a snap, and ensures nothing is left in the motel room.
 

Bulitt

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I am curious as to why you pack a pee bottle? If you are in a place that affords enough privacy to pee in a bottle, why not just pee on the ground?
Well,…..that is a question I wasn’t expecting. But since you asked, ….the short answer is, I don’t want to have to get out of my tent at night.

The long answer is, I am 63 and most nights I have to go more than once and I don’t move as well as I used to. Leaving the tent in the middle of the night likely requires getting my feel wet from dew and tracking leaves, and dirt, etc back into my tent and then my sleeping bag. In addition, I can’t tell you how many times some thing has flown or crawled into my tent when I was getting in or out of it in the dark. Easier to just avoid letting the spiders, moths and mosquitos in. Finally, most of my camping is at a populated camp ground or rally site with other tents in close proximity. I could keep going but, you get the idea…..

Much easier, to use a tightly sealed bottle in the privacy of my tent, not have to get dressed, keep my feet dry and sleeping bag clean and discretely empty it in the morning somewhere outside the tent.

Most of the guys I camp with and around do something similar to the above…..
 

mtnbiker1185

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Well,…..that is a question I wasn’t expecting. But since you asked, ….the short answer is, I don’t want to have to get out of my tent at night.

The long answer is, I am 63 and most nights I have to go more than once and I don’t move as well as I used to. Leaving the tent in the middle of the night likely requires getting my feel wet from dew and tracking leaves, and dirt, etc back into my tent and then my sleeping bag. In addition, I can’t tell you how many times some thing has flown or crawled into my tent when I was getting in or out of it in the dark. Easier to just avoid letting the spiders, moths and mosquitos in. Finally, most of my camping is at a populated camp ground or rally site with other tents in close proximity. I could keep going but, you get the idea…..

Much easier, to use a tightly sealed bottle in the privacy of my tent, not have to get dressed, keep my feet dry and sleeping bag clean and discretely empty it in the morning somewhere outside the tent.

Most of the guys I camp with and around do something similar to the above…..
Got it...after I asked the question I thought that might be your answer.

We would do the same thing in Afghanistan out of sheer laziness of not wanting to walk to the head hahahaha.
 
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