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  1. #1
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    What do you do with your gear when backpacking?

    Ok, my winter camping success with the Clark North American has convinced me that this is my new pick for backpacking when I solo hike any season. I've always kept my gear in my tent with me to keep out little critters, like spiders. I can't stand spiders. Aside from my profound dislike of spiders, rain and such can do a number on your gear if left outside. What do you backpackers do with your backpack and other gear when heading in for the night? My boots or sandals (I'm starting to ditch the boots and just wear sandals when hiking less than 5 days) can go in the pockets underneath. The backpack though, should be kept dry and protected.

    I was thinking that I could actually hang the backpack from one of the ends of the hammock, keeping it under the rainfly and fairly safe. What do you guys do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ashman's Avatar
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    Hang the hammock high enough to store the pack underneath, spread rain gear over it for extra rain protection

  3. #3
    New Member BIG-E's Avatar
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    Hey, nice to see someone else from Roc. I generally put my pack in a large plastic bag. I place this as close to the center of my tarp, under the hammock.
    yis,
    Erin

  4. #4
    Senior Member photomankc's Avatar
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    Under the hammock, in a heavy duty trash bag, folded under and rock on top. The nice part of the Clark is that I can put all the frequently used gear in the pockets so I don't need the pack again till breaking camp.

  5. #5
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    I went ultralight solo hiking back in college and on the 2nd night in (of 5 or 6), my backpack was stolen. Actually, to be fair... it was traded. I took a very small bivy style tent and left my pack outside next to it. In the night, someone took it and most of my gear. In it's place, was a broken external frame Kelty with only one shoulder strap and no belt. Nice. Cooking gear, gone. Pack gone, knife attached to the shoulder straps gone, food that was inside, gone. My 'New' Kelty (one of my favorite brands BTW) was mostly empty. It had an empty can of Dinty Moore beef stew in it, which became my new cookpot. It also had a decent light weight poncho (not as good as the one in my pack, but it was servicable). This 'trade' gave me an excellent opportunity to hone my survival skills over the next few days (aka scavenging). It did make my hike much lighter, as I ditched the frame of the Kelty and modified it into an ergonomically poor slingbag. No gear, no stove, no cookware, makes for light hiking. I kept going as I was pretty far in already. BUT... I'd rather not do that again, and the experience has left me with an uncanny dislike of having my gear not with me, or at least attached to something to make it at least a little difficult to take.

  6. #6
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bristolview View Post
    ...something to make it at least a little difficult to take.
    I've got a long, thin, black string with clips-on bells that I can put up as a perimeter, so an approach will be announced. Cowboys used to do something like that...
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Gordzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bristolview View Post
    Actually, to be fair... it was traded. I took a very small bivy style tent and left my pack outside next to it. In the night, someone took it and most of my gear. In it's place, was a broken external frame Kelty with only one shoulder strap and no belt.

    That is freakin low.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I hang everything from the hammock suspension. My heaviest pack weighs about 3 lbs. You can also make a gear hammock ala Just Jeff, or buy one at Jacks R Better. You could use the pack as another layer of insulation around the feet.

    I would be so tweaked off if someone walked away with my gear - I have worried at times about my bear can. Another reason to get away from the trail and go stealth.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Yep - the only times I've had problems with critters is at established camps...like the ponies at Mt Rogers. Haven't had a real problem with people yet, but the only time I've been concerned about it was around established camps. I usually do some combination of these three:

    - Use the gear hammock. I usually clip all four corners to the hammock suspension line...foot end if in HH, head end if a top loader. If you clip it to the ridgeline of a no-net hammock, you can slide it to you while you're in the hammock and slide it back out of the hammock when you're done. Hrm...I just thought about this. In winter, I'm gonna put my muddy boots in it so I can hang them inside the hammock sock and keep them from freezing overnight.
    - Clip the pack to the suspension line. I usually leave my food in there so there's a bit of weight in it, so I put it on the head end to keep my hammock with the head slightly lower than the feet.
    - I use a contractor bag as a pack liner. I'll often put everything in the bag, twist it closed and lay it under me on the ground. Saw a salamander crawling on there in the middle of the night on the Foothills Trail.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  10. #10
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    I was surprised more than anything. I was in college at the time, and my gear was stuff that I had acquired over years as a kid hiking. I couldn't afford to replace the lost gear, as I just didn't have the money, that was the hardest thing. Set me back from hiking for a few years since I didn't have decent gear anymore. This stuff isn't cheap.

    Lori, I may do something like your idea. I don't really need a perimeter, but I might put a line with bells and such on my pack. Put some of my gear in the pockets of the hammock, other pieces back in the pack and shut it up tight with a wrap of line with jingles on it. And yes, this is a reason to go stealth over the camps along the trail. I often do that now, and the hammock helps me do that. I don't have a Clark NA yet, but I do have an old lawson that I used for years. It's really pretty poor, but it works. It allows me to string up between anywhere, so I often keep clear of the camp spots and pick by own, usually out of view from the trail (over a hill, etc). Having a decent Topo map is essential for this type of camping.

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