I have always wanted to do some backcountry camping. The main obstacle has been to find a good lightweight tent. One day,  I had stopped into Atmosphere to get some items for our ultra comfort otentik camping at two jack, when I impulse purchased a north face rock 22. Since we’ve returned I’ve been acquiring additional odds and ends I’ll need and researching some hike in sites.


First lets make a check list of what I’ll need…

I bought this North Face Akila years ago. Turns out, this is a women’s pack! That might explain why it’s just a fraction on the small side? I’ve made efforts to pack light and plan only a wknd trip, so this should suffice. Looks like Tamara is going to get a new pack!

Large zip lock bags
For storing clothing to ensure everything stays dry.

Food Storage Containers
Not planning on having any leftovers and I’m going to eat freeze dried food. The site has bear bins for storage of scented items and food.

Sleeping Bag
Mountain Hardware. Lightweight. I’ll need to also sleep in something warm.

Sleeping Pad
I’m going to go without on this trip. I saw one on DX dot com I may buy in the future.

Food/Cooking Stove
Picked up an MSR pocket rocket and some light weight pots I can cook in and eat out of. Also bought 1 Mountain House Grilled Chicken and Mashed Potatoes for dinner and 1 Mountain House eggs and bacon for breakfast. I’ll also bring some extra food in the form of gels and energy bars in case of an emergency.

First aid kit
Water Bottle and Camelback
Extra Clothing
Rain Gear
Candle and water proof matches

Now, will all this fit in my backpack? Let’s lay it out!

Doesn’t look like much, lets start loading!

I’m going to load the items I will need least at the bottom and heaviest items closest to my back.

First In

Empty camelback into the hydration compartment. Not sure if this is a good idea? It may be difficult to fill when the pack is loaded? Tent poles and hatchet loaded parallel closest to my back.

Second In

Freeze dried food. Will not be required until after camp is setup, so it can go to the bottom layed flat. Next is the footprint on top of the food to provide some protection. Then the rain fly gets loaded parallel with the sleeping bag jammed in the bottom horizontally now between the tent poles and the rain fly on top of the food and footprint.

Roughly half full now. Hmmm.

Third In

Tent on top of the sleeping bag. I had setup the tent in my basement to make sure I had everything. Then rolled it up tighter to ensure it takes up less space.

Things are getting tight. With two bulky item remaining and some bits and pieces.

Fourth In

Down vest, rolled up and compressed as much as I can. The mountains are cold at night so this is essential. Rain poncho on top.

Cramming things in now. Not looking to bad…

Fifth In

Stove, gas and pot.

Remaining essentials that need to be accessible are in theback pocket. Map and first aid, along with tent pegs, cutlery, matches and fire starters. Bear spray and compass will ride in pant pockets.

This bag is crammed so tight I could barely get my headlamp into the side pockets. Not to mention, I haven’t loaded in spare clothes yet. Diagnosis is I think I can make this work for a first time one nighter, but I will need a larger pack.

Now lets weight it in. Currently at 22 lbs. This is without water. I think I will take some walks this week with it and see how it feels. I’ve had the pack for years, but I’ve never really hiked with it.

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