Packing for lightweight backpacking can be challenging. Some people put a lot of work into making their own sleeping gear and shelters. Other people don’t mind splurging on the newest and coolest gear (hey, who doesn’t love new gear toys?). One cheap and easy way to lighten and organize is to make extensive use of zip lock bags. This might be my favorite camping tip.
Foods: it’s easy put foods into zip locks. The baggies keep the food dry and organized. I often group a meal together into a single large bag which makes it easy to pull out a whole meal/snack all at once. The bag then also serves as its own trash container. I even put ground coffee into the little half-height snack bags. A couple of quick searches can lead you to some tasty zip lock bag recipes.
Clothes: dry, dry, dry! Keep your socks and undies dry. Stuff the dirty clothes back into bags so the dirty clothes don’t gunk up the clean clothes. Squeeze all the air out and the bag helps keep your clothes more compact. But, really, I’m all about the dry stuff.
Gear: Zip locks are an easy tool to use to keep things together when they belong together. For example, your little toothbrush and toothpaste belong together in a bag. Keep them clean and separate from everything else. T.P.? Darn right, it’s in its own zip lock. Sunglasses? Bag ’em up.
PS. I know they’re not the most environmentally friendly, but I’ve always gotten my own silly satisfaction from squeezing all the air out of the baggies.