I keep an Ultra-Sil Stuff Sack near the top of my pack filled with our family backpacking frequently used essential items. This bag holds various items that are not necessarily categorized with each other except for the fact we use them often. It is full of the little items I want to keep track of, have easily accessible and I don’t want to be without. I call it the junk drawer for backpacking! Here’s what’s in our “junk drawer” sack-
Family Backpacking Frequently Used Essential Items:
1. SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Handheld UV Water Purifier and Extra Batteries
2. Headlamp with extra batteries
4. Small Nalgene Wide Mouth Round Container wrapped with duct tape and filled with matches and a strike.
5. 100 foot length of Parachute Cord Camping Rope (used to hang food and as a clothesline)
6. A ziplock bag with a couple of clothespins, safety pins and rubber bands
7. Phone Charger
8. Small Notebook and Pen
This little bag holds all the odds and ends I may need throughout the day so I can find them quickly. It also helps keep my pack organized. When backpacking, it is essential that everything has a place and there is a place for everything so having all the little items stored together is a must. Our family backpacking frequently used essential items bag is one we dig into often.
I also meant to say THANK YOU for taking the time to write all these posts about family backpacking. It’s been really interesting to read each one, and inspiring! I love your blog and can’t wait to read about this summer’s adventures. I also have the goal of visiting all of the national parks with my family, and would love to camp in each one, starting with Acadia (next week! Researching it was how I found your blog a while back!) and either Yellowstone or Zion next year. Someday we’ll backpack, but my youngest so far is 2 right now, so it’s a bit daunting to think about. How old were your kids when you started? (I think I asked this question on another post but forgot to “subscribe” and can’t find it now.)
You are so welcome! I hope you have a wonderful time in Acadia! It is such a magical place. Our youngest were 7 when we first backpacked any real distance. We did take a couple of trips where we hiked a mile or two in when they were younger, but not long hikes. Before that we car camped quite a bit. Have fun planning your adventures!
Great idea to assign these a place even if they don’t “belong” together! So, obviously this all adds up to a lot of stuff with six people– multiple tents, sleeping bags and pads, cooking gear, food, hygiene, safety, clothing… how do you keep track of where each stuff sack is? Does each family member always carry the same stuff on every hike?
They don’t carry the same things each hike, but we do make sure that everyone is aware of what they are carrying each trip so it is easy to find things.