Pack Smaller

I’ve been stuck in the house for over a week with the flu and getting cabin fever so I decided to sort through my gear. Then I got to thinking, maybe I could post a tip and feel useful today.

I am always striving for less gear in my pack and todays writing is not about using less or getting lighter gear, but compressing existing gear into a smaller space. I am using in this example my favorite winter bivi–the Black Diamond Big Wall Hooped Bivi.

As with all tents & bivi’s this one comes with a very durable manufacturers stuff sack and packs approximately 6″ x 5″ x 14″ (see black bag in photo). I tend to collect stuff bags and have an extensive collection of lightweight sil nylon bags. It is just a matter of seeing how small the bivi will compress and then exchange the manufactures bag for a smaller one. Here I have reduced the volume to 4.5″ x 12″ (see orange bag). There are two benefits to this exchange of bags; first the volume of space taken up in the pack is reduced and second, an once or two is shaved from my pack weight in that the sil nylon bag is much lighter than the original bag.


One final tip. Do not throw out the original bag. It should always be used to store your shelter upon return from the mountains, after it has been cleaned and dried properly. The larger bag will prolong the life of your product when used for storage.


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