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‘How’ do you organize your backpack?

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aniastepien

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
How to ‘organise’ the backpack!

I would love to know ‘how’ people organise their backpacks. Example with dry packs? Colour coding? Attaching things to backpack.

I know ‘what’ we need to take. I have that pretty well sorted.

Just - how you packed. Where you put what, in what bag/system, or where you attached what etc.

Photos extra points!
I have a 36L Osprey Kyte.
Thankyou!!
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
aniastephen,

Welcome to the forum!

Everyone develops their own system for packing. Please read this post and look at this post to see what worked for me. My kit list/tips is from the viewpoint of another woman who often walked in late autumn/winter. Perhaps you might find it useful for your planning.

Carpe diem!
 
Last edited:

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Well, everything you put in your pack has a weight attached to it, so I always keep that in mind. The more organizational containers - the more weight you have. Better to keep weight down as much as you can. But I do like an organized bag.

So - my bag has the main compartment, a front pocket, a pocket on the inside of the like and a pocket on the outside of the lid.

I use 1 packing cube to put all my clean clothes and bedding (but not the sleeping bag) in. I like the cube because I can pull it out of my bag and open it like a suitcase for easier visual access to my stuff. But once clothes are dirty - I just leave them at the bottom of my pack until they are clean again. If I wash my clothes daily they stay in the cube - but if I skip a day of wash the dirty clothes go to the bottom of the pack. My sleeping bag liner will go in the cube after use if I wake at an hour that I can repack my bag without waking others - but more likely it ends up in the top of my pack if I leave early in the AM.

Then I have a ziplock baggie for my toiletries. Simple, lightweight, and clear and sized correctly to go through airport security.


Then I have small mesh ziplocks that I use to organize: 1 for electronic cords etc, 1 for first aid supplies, 1 for my passport/credential, 1 for my money. They are sized just right for what will go in them and very light yet durable since they are mesh instead of a ziplock baggie. I keep my money/credentials in a fanny pack that I wear at all times (even when I sleep). My other mesh bags will go in my interior lid pocket.

Sleeping bag goes directly into my bag - either in compression sack if I have time to put it away when other pilgrims are awake - or I just quietly shove it in my pack if others are sleeping.

Down puffy - it is loose inside my pack for easy access.

Rain jacket and pack cover - in the front exterior pocket for easy access and so it doesn't get the contents in my pack wet.

Outer lid pocket - I put anything I might need DURING the day.

Water bottle goes in a side pocket.

I do tend to color code those mesh zipper bags - but it is still pretty obvious as to what is in each.

Outside of bag - I try to avoid hanging stuff on the outside. I find that the sound of items bouncing against my pack as I walk annoy me! I might have a tiny LED light (like the kind you put on a keychain) attached to a strap. I do use the pole straps for poles/umbrella (should I take the umbrella again). I do carry safety pins in case I need to dry damp clothes attached to my bag.
 

John Holland

Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
The main thing to remember is to NOT use plastic bags. They annoy the hell out of anyone trying to sleep because of people rustling about in them. I have never needed or understood the use of dry packs/bags or any sort of bag apart for three small ziplock bags: one for toiletries, one for electronics such as chargers/batteries and one for first aid stuff. My passport, money go into my money belt. My backpack is a waterproof Aarn (New Zealand made). I keep daily money in a pocket.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Everyone is different! I load my pack so that things I will need sooner are closer to the top.Here's my method: Crocs go in the bottom layer of pack. Next up: one large cube for clean clothes. Third tier in pack: laundry kit ("clothesline" and a dozen plastic clothespins), toiletries bag, electronics sack, one-pound down sleeping bag. Top layer: rain gear, food sack and first aid kit. Every sack is a different color, and I minimize the use of zippers. I use a water bladder, and carry a 1-liter water bottle in a side pocket. It's easy to refill a bottle during the day, but difficult for the bladder as I have to empty the pack first. In the other side pocket I carry a 1m x 2m length of kite-weight Tyvek as a ground sheet for my midday naps, and the pack rain cover. In the "brain"/top pocket I have sunglasses, guidebook, sunscreen, Kleenex (aka TP), lip balm, today's lunch. And I take my Kindle out of its case, put it in a freezer-weight ziplock instead, and slip it in between other bags so it will be padded.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
😎 I will start by saying that I am a proponent of Gobi Gear like Theresa Brendon on Post #5 here. I have used an Osprey Kestrel for two Camino attempts but will use a Gobi Gear Freedom Pack for the next one. I have also used a Hobo Roll for keeping smaller things in one place, (now called a SegSac).

When looking at the Free Spirit 30L Pack, you will see that, "organizing contents," is exactly why this pack was made. Plus, at a squeaky, little 30L, a clothes horse is doomed.


Organization, price and weight are why Gobi Gear is becoming so popular.

Enjoy!!!

PS: I just looked at Youtube and found a great little video on this pack;

 
Last edited:

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Interesting question. Had to think a bit and realized that I have a minimal system.

My pack has one inside pocket against my back and in it I put my meds that last Camino were put into the tiny pill bags inside of a quart zip-lock bag. Toiletries are in another zip lock bag, which includes a bar of soap in a zip lock that functions as soap, shampoo and laundry soap. If I am using a guide, it also goes into this pocket. The page for the day I rip out and carry in my pocket. Usually resting at the bottom of my pack is a zip-lock with first aid kit, sewing kit, extra rubber pole tips and other miscellaneous stuff.

I do laundry every day by hand, so I don’t carry much in the way of clothing. I carry an extra pair of socks and underwear at the bottom of the pack, and depending on the weather maybe an extra shirt. Otherwise, I have the clothes I am wearing and the laundry set of clothing that hopefully is dry so it can go into my pack before I head to bed. I carry a pair of teva sandals that I put in a plastic bag and put in my pack when I head to bed.

I use a sleeping bag that has a stuff sack that it goes in. At night I put my shirt, socks and fleece into the stuff sack as a sort of pillow. In the morning, they come out and go on and the sleeping bag gets crammed into the sack and into the top of my pack. I carry my wallet, credential, pocket knife and money in the pockets of my pants. At night, the pants go in the bottom of my sleeping bag.

Beside the sleeping bag is usually a cloth bag of whatever assorted food stuff I am carrying, maybe some cheese, chorizo, chocolate and maybe an energy bar or two so it is at the top and accessible during the day. I have a pocket on the outside of my pack to carry my poncho and my water bottle clips onto a strap.

I am a minimalist at heart so well suited for the Camino. I have also found that a little time spent organizing and packing up before bed makes it much easier to get up and out in the morning. I can tell by touch everything in my pack, so I don‘t need a light if I am up before dawn and want to hit the trail. I am also less likely to leave something behind in the morning rush.

I look forward to seeing how others pack.
 

pierrenaples

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 Sep-Oct Camino Frances
I have an Osprey Kestrel 48l, larger than I need but I take it on other trips and it meets my needs. My Wife has the same but a 38l.

We pack the same way, fain gear in the top outer lid pocket including poncho, shell jacket, gloves, spare pair of socks and towel. In the inner lid we put a ziplock quart size with headlamp, chargers, cables, cords, spare batteries, power bank, coins, blister kit and band aid.

In bottom of the pack we keep a large black trash bag with the pack cover, the bag is for protection from or killing bedbugs if they are foun. You just put the back pack inside and put in the sun, the heat kills them. We also store some paracord for clothes line, and a small spray bottle of permethrin just in case.

We carry all ids, passports and cash with us in fanny packs along with a small flashlight, and lighter (I rap with a few feet of duct tape), but other important documents we store in the H20 water bladder pocket inside a gallon size ziplock bag.

Inside the main compartment of the pack I keep all clean clothes in a dry sac, in a quart size ziplock I keep the change of clothes for that day s I don’t have to search for it before showering. I keep toiletries in a small mesh bag so easy to get to and hang in shower.

Inside to lower compartment on the pack is shower shoes, sleeping bag/ or blanket and spare shoes.

Inside the outer pocket we keep dirty clothes in gallon size ziplock, and a daily snacks in another.

the hip belt pockets hold cellphone on one side and earphone, rosary, small snacks, a small notepad and pencil for taking notes, writing down numbers, email addresses…

Both sides of belt we keep smart waterfall bottles to refill.

The Osprey Kestrel has a long narrow zippered outer pocket that I use to store fanny pack, gloves, and a small packable backpack for shopping or if we have to send our packs ahead to store rain gear spare socks, water and snacks for those occasion.

I keep credit/atm cards current ID and larger euro bills in a small plastic pouch hanging around my neck from a cord inside my shirt, a billfold with smaller bills, with expired credit/atm card and old ID in my pocket to toss if we get robbed… Safety First.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I resisted packing solutions until starting my Camino last year, when I bought a multipack of Granite Gear Air Zippditty bags. I’m now a convert! The weight of them is minimal, probably less than or equal to a freezer bag/ziplock. Unlike ziplocks, they slide easily out of a backpack—they’re silky, a very quiet fabric—don’t tear, and have strong zips which are also water resistant. Plus I loved how each bag was easy to spot in a dark backpack, because of the cheerful colours. It made unpacking and repacking very easy. In the photo I’ve attached, they’re lined up on my bed at the Palo Avellano in Zubiri, where I’d just arrived and commenced gushing about them. I try not to be materialistic, but they were just lovely, cheerful things that made life easier.

This time, I’m also taking an Exped ultralight blue (large) dry bag, because I’m taking a down jacket, just in case of cooler evenings, O’Cebreiro, etc, want quick access to it, and want it to be safe from rain.

I try to pack items I’ll need to access quickly either in the outside pockets or near the top. However, I’ve found that it’s even more important that I get the pack fitting perfectly, and the way I pack makes a big difference to this. Some days are what I call ‘bad backpack days’, when I start walking then realise that the weight isn’t distributed evenly, or the pack is digging into my lower back. Often, for me, this means repacking so nothing too heavy is at the bottom but, instead, the lumbar area is where much of the weight and bulk is, close to my back. I think this is about getting to know what’s comfortable for you specifically.
 

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K_Lynn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I had different coloured stuff sacks and used a Sharpie marker to label them (shower, clothes, rain, etc). The labeling was not needed after the first week as by then I had figured out which bag contained what. I had one small stuff sack that I kept in the pocket at the back of my pack for things I might need/want while walking (ibuprophen, ibuprophen gel, nuts, cheese).
For packing my bag, sleeping bag and clothes towards the bottom, and always kept my rain gear at the top so I could access it quickly if needed.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
How to ‘organise’ the backpack!

I would love to know ‘how’ people organise their backpacks. Example with dry packs? Colour coding? Attaching things to backpack.

I know ‘what’ we need to take. I have that pretty well sorted.

Just - how you packed. Where you put what, in what bag/system, or where you attached what etc.

Photos extra points!
I have a 36L Osprey Kyte.
Thankyou!!
I use ziplock bags of varying sizes. Clothes go in a ziplock bag, each day's set in its own bag. (I wear one and carry two, instead of carrying one - a discussion in itself). There's another ziplock bag with a fleece. And a little ziplock bag with first aid, one with toiletries, one with documents, one with electronics (charger, etc.) My towel came with its own mesh carrying bag. My sleeping bag/liner comes in its own compression sack. I think that covers most of what's in my backpack. Oh, and my personal sello floats around loose near the top. I find that ziplock bags don't make the same crinkly sound as grocery store plastic bags, but I don't mess with them in the morning anyways.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
I have 10 ultralight ditty system...I know when I put my 10 bags in I've got everything because I know I put everything away immediately after use in the correct bag. They are all different sizes depending on need:

(1) largest bag/clothing ( two sleeveless tops, one long sleeve sun shirt, two bottoms, rip skirt, merino 1/4 zip),

( 5) smaller bags for 1) sleep items ( pillow case, silk liner, earplugs, toothbrush/paste tabs,micro flashlight ), 2) undies/bras/socks/bandanas, 3) shower bag ( solid shampoo/conditioner /and soap, hairbrush, deodorant, travel towel, small linen muslin facecloth, S hook ) 4) laundry bag ( line, clothespins, tiny sewing kit, laundry bar chunk, tiny packets Tide, diaper pins ) 5) misc bag( one shoelace, extra pole tips, a few tea bags, a few salt packets, COVID masks, baggies, spork, titanium cup) ,

(4) really small ditty bags for 1) electronic plugs, cords, adapter 2) footcare kit :compeed glide sticks, bandages, needle/thread/gauze, alcohol wipes, bacitracin, anti fungal packet, KT Tape, thin white peds, nail clipper, leukotape 3) medications/inhalers 4) face care, sunscreen stick, lip balm, moisturizer, tweezer, sample mascara

I have a bottom zipper on my pack for rainfly and rain poncho, travel down blanket and windbreaker goes loosely on bottom of pack, clothing bag in middle with two smaller bags on each side, one smaller bag and the 4 really small ones on top ...all in main bag.
The very top of the pack in sep compartment is reserved for guidebook , sunglasses and food.
Birkenstocks in front of pack, poles to sides...total pack weighing in at 13 lbs ( without food/water )

I do have a small fanny pack in front for passport, credential, phone, glasses, tissue, wallet.

It's worked so far...Camino #8 in two weeks!
 

Bumpa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I have 10 ultralight ditty system...I know when I put my 10 bags in I've got everything because I know I put everything away immediately after use in the correct bag. They are all different sizes depending on need:

(1) largest bag/clothing ( two sleeveless tops, one long sleeve sun shirt, two bottoms, rip skirt, merino 1/4 zip),

( 5) smaller bags for 1) sleep items ( pillow case, silk liner, earplugs, toothbrush/paste tabs,micro flashlight ), 2) undies/bras/socks/bandanas, 3) shower bag ( solid shampoo/conditioner /and soap, hairbrush, deodorant, travel towel, small linen muslin facecloth, S hook ) 4) laundry bag ( line, clothespins, tiny sewing kit, laundry bar chunk, tiny packets Tide, diaper pins ) 5) misc bag( one shoelace, extra pole tips, a few tea bags, a few salt packets, COVID masks, baggies, spork, titanium cup) ,

(4) really small ditty bags for 1) electronic plugs, cords, adapter 2) footcare kit :compeed glide sticks, bandages, needle/thread/gauze, alcohol wipes, bacitracin, anti fungal packet, KT Tape, thin white peds, nail clipper, leukotape 3) medications/inhalers 4) face care, sunscreen stick, lip balm, moisturizer, tweezer, sample mascara

I have a bottom zipper on my pack for rainfly and rain poncho, travel down blanket and windbreaker goes loosely on bottom of pack, clothing bag in middle with two smaller bags on each side, one smaller bag and the 4 really small ones on top ...all in main bag.
The very top of the pack in sep compartment is reserved for guidebook , sunglasses and food.
Birkenstocks in front of pack, poles to sides...total pack weighing in at 13 lbs ( without food/water )

I do have a small fanny pack in front for passport, credential, phone, glasses, tissue, wallet.

It's worked so far...Camino #8 in two weeks!
I organize the stuff I carry in Eagle Creek mesh/cloth bags. I find that it helps to colour code them. First aid in a red bag, wash/toiletries in a blue bag and a black bag for any cords or chargers. The bag with my clothes is larger than the others and so any colour will do.
 
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances (2022)
How to ‘organise’ the backpack!

I would love to know ‘how’ people organise their backpacks. Example with dry packs? Colour coding? Attaching things to backpack.

I know ‘what’ we need to take. I have that pretty well sorted.

Just - how you packed. Where you put what, in what bag/system, or where you attached what etc.

Photos extra points!
I have a 36L Osprey Kyte.
Thankyou!!
Sleeping system in bottom compartment in a waterproof roll top bag. All other things are in 4 different coloured waterproof roll top bags. Occasional use stuff in the bottom, then wash/toiletries, then electronics, then clothes in a large 15l roll top bag. Then waterproofs under the top flap. I have a rucksack with both top and front access so I can get to the bottom stuff quickly if needed.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I abide by the philosophy that if you are carrying so many things in your pack to walk the Camino (not applicable to an actual backpacking hike) that the things need to be organized and inventoried of sorts, than you are probably carrying too much and perhaps need to reevaluate what you plan on bringing.
That being said all I do is put all my socks and underwear in one small nylon drawstring sack, my shirts and shorts/pants in another, my vitamins sunscreen etc in another and so on. Since my pack never weighs more than 12-15 pounds no need for any specific order of how they're arranged in the pack for weight distribution. I just drop them in it. They're all within sight when I open the pack. Certainly if it hasn't been raining or cold, my rain jacket and my fleece will stay at the bottom just naturally the 3-4 nylon sacks on top. Of course I have a toiletry bag, a zippered nylon one. Since that gets used everyday it's on top as well. My guidebook, headlamp, sunscreen and sunhat as well as my rubber shower sandals ride in outside pack compartments.
 

Micacct

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Everyone is different! I load my pack so that things I will need sooner are closer to the top.Here's my method: Crocs go in the bottom layer of pack. Next up: one large cube for clean clothes. Third tier in pack: laundry kit ("clothesline" and a dozen plastic clothespins), toiletries bag, electronics sack, one-pound down sleeping bag. Top layer: rain gear, food sack and first aid kit. Every sack is a different color, and I minimize the use of zippers. I use a water bladder, and carry a 1-liter water bottle in a side pocket. It's easy to refill a bottle during the day, but difficult for the bladder as I have to empty the pack first. In the other side pocket I carry a 1m x 2m length of kite-weight Tyvek as a ground sheet for my midday naps, and the pack rain cover. In the "brain"/top pocket I have sunglasses, guidebook, sunscreen, Kleenex (aka TP), lip balm, today's lunch. And I take my Kindle out of its case, put it in a freezer-weight ziplock instead, and slip it in between other bags so it will be padded.
I am in the planning stage since I will be having knee surgery next month. What is your sleeping bag that weights 1 lb? I've been looking for lightweight options.
Thanks
Michele
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19

legless

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March-April 2022.
Pack has an inner and outer pocket in the lid - inner pocket for first aid kit and emergency toilet paper etc, outer pocket for snacks.

All daily access/ valuables are in a small pouch bag that has a cross body strap and attaches to the hip belt.

Inside the pack I have 3 main bags - a dry sack (that I had intended to line the whole pack with but didn't) with clean clothes, a pillowcase containing dirty clothes and a canvas bag with "albergue stuff". Everything else is somewhere in the main compartment with sandals and waterproofs/ sun hat depending on weather on top for easy access.

Albergue bag contains the stuff I need in albergue - so sleep wear, chargers and cables, ball for rolling feet, supermarket carrier bag to keep stuff dry in shower, head torch, towel. On arrival in albergue (or when I go. to bed) I put everything I may need in this bag - next day's clothes, wash bag, stuff sack from sleeping bag and it lives at the end of my bunk. I then just need to grab this whole bag in the morning, noise free, to go to the bathroom and get dressed. I think I learnt this tip on on the forum.

I did meet people who had fantastic packing cube systems but i'm never that organised and it wouldn't work for me and to be honest, in a 40 litre pack you can't lose anything!
 
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Past OR future Camino
April 2013, September 2013, April 2014, April 2015
😎 I will start by saying that I am a proponent of Gobi Gear like Theresa Brendon on Post #5 here. I have used an Osprey Kestrel for two Camino attempts but will use a Gobi Gear Freedom Pack for the next one. I have also used a Hobo Roll for keeping smaller things in one place, (now called a SegSac).

When looking at the Free Spirit 30L Pack, you will see that, "organizing contents," is exactly why this pack was made. Plus, at a squeaky, little 30L, a clothes horse is doomed.


Organization, price and weight are why Gobi Gear is becoming so popular.

Enjoy!!!

PS: I just looked at Youtube and found a great little video on this pack;

Michelle... very interested in your comment that you will use the gobi freedom pack for next camino.... is it sturdy enough to use as your main pack, or are you taking it as an additional day pack? thanks. jo
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Michelle... very interested in your comment that you will use the gobi freedom pack for next camino.... is it sturdy enough to use as your main pack, or are you taking it as an additional day pack? thanks. jo
The Free Spirit 30L pack is now my, "Go To pack." I have acquired a couple of small, "add-on," pouches to cover valuables and an iPad. Using a poncho for rain, I do not need a separate pack cover.

And, because it is so small, there is never a problem as a carry-on. I can even fit my walking poles inside.
 

CreationRamblers

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Awaiting our first Camino!
How to ‘organise’ the backpack!

I would love to know ‘how’ people organise their backpacks. Example with dry packs? Colour coding? Attaching things to backpack.

I know ‘what’ we need to take. I have that pretty well sorted.

Just - how you packed. Where you put what, in what bag/system, or where you attached what etc.

Photos extra points!
I have a 36L Osprey Kyte.
Thankyou!!
we used these packing cubes, worked wonderfully! 20220504_104849.jpg
 
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