I'm a beginner to hiking. Last time, I had trouble easily accessing my stuff. Putting things inside the pack was also taking nearly an hour of my time.

The problem is that I have to empty the backpack at night and bring out everything to access something at the bottom. In the morning, I have to put everything back in the bag.

There are some things which won't be used frequently, like my clothes. I have to fold them every time.

The solution I see, is to use some small plastic bags like in this video.

What is the name of those bags and where can I buy them?

  • The bags are drybags. e.g. cotswoldoutdoor.com/… You should be able to get them at most outdoor shops.
    – nivag
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 10:04
  • It's been a year since asked, but I have to know why you feel the need to fold your clothes and to tell you to leave the kitchen sink at home if it takes you an hour to pack. :)
    – topshot
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 20:45

3 Answers 3


These bags are called stuff sacks, dry sack or compression sack. Often a smaller stuff stack containing the odds and ends is called a ditty bag. You can buy them at any backpacking outfitter. Some backpacking gear such as a tent or sleeping bags will often come with an included stuff sack.

Compression bags are use to reduce the volume of some items such as sleeping bags.

Dry sacks typically have a roll top closure and are water proof. Dry sacks used for kayaking are typically made of stronger material but are heavier.

Stuff sack is the general term.

Ultra light stuff sacks are usually made of sil-nylon or "ultra sil", cuben fiber or eVent.

  • I also find that the little drawstring bags that seem to come with just about every product I buy nowadays make excellent "ditty bags".
    – alexw
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 22:06
  • +1, In India, we usually call it a stuff pack, I just came to know that the smalled ones are called ditty bags, I didn;t know of the term, and though Cuben Fiber made are so ultra-light I have very rarely seen one used in here, may be due to to the cost? I think, sil-nylon are quite cheaper than cuben fiber-made.
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 16:26
  • Cuben fiber bags are costly and not durable in my personal experience.
    – ppl
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 16:47

Assuming that you have the right kind of a backpack according to your requirements.

First, you need to separate things that you need frequently and things you'll need less often. The way I camp/trek and plan things, I am okay to pack everything all over again in the morning.

Generally, it is best suited to pack lighter items in the bottom of the pack and heavier stuff toward the top, the idea is to keep heavier stuff closer to your back and not on bum. This keeps your center of gravity relatively high. Center of gravity plays a very important role in balancing your body when in motion. Higher Center of gravity tends to make it easy to haul the backpack easily while your performance with balance is hampered. Women naturally have a lower center of gravity, so the women I know and trek with, they pack heavier stuff at the bottom, that further increases their stability.

Remember, The lower your center of gravity is , the easier it is to keep yourself balanced, pack feels heavier. The higher your center of gravity is, the easier it is to haul the pack but chances are more to dwell/tip off or go off-balance.

  • If your pack doesn't have a separate space for sleeping bag, keep it at the bottom, usually you'll only need it after you are done for the day. So extra Clothing and your sleeping bag can go lower sections of the backpack.
  • Heavier items like water bottles, tins, food and fuel up against the pack’s back panel, and not in the front. If you place the heavy items on the outer sections of the backpack, you will experience that the pack constantly putting you off-balance, leaning back.
  • Importantly, keep the Headlamp, Flashlight, Medical Kit (Um, wait, you do carry these, right?) always handy, i.e. upper most sections of the pack.
  • Unimportant things like Jellys, Bars you can keep in the top outer section of the pack.
  • A well-folded Garbage pack can find its place in the side-pouches if there are any.

So, order of packing:

  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Extra Clothes
  3. Food (Heavy meal)
  4. eat-on-the-go Food for next day (Lighter)
  5. Liquid items (Water, juices, fuel bottles/can)
  6. Hydration pack (closer to the back)
  7. eat-on-the-go food for today (Lighter)
  8. Electronic equipment like portable chargers, camera lenses
  9. Medical Kit, Headlamp, Flashlight.
  10. Rain Cover
  • Downvote? Care to Explain?
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 4:51
  • 1
    @WedaPashi Because it doesn't answer the question What is the name of those bags and where can I buy some?. Instead it goes on a rant about how to pack your backpack.. :)
    – ppl
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 13:51
  • 1
    @ppl: I respect your opinion. I felt OP is facing with a bitter concern than a purchase advice which would be fairly easy to receive from number of people and blogs. Questions abt product recommendations are offtopic here as we all know. I deliberately answered it the way it appears right now to address .."The problem is that I have to empty the backpack at night and bring out everything to access something which is at the bottom. Then again, in the morning put everything in the bag." which I think is more worrying question than "What is the name of those bags and where can I buy some?"
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 14:19
  • 1
    .. So I'll keep my answer which rants about how to pack a backpack, eventually on a question which is closed off as a Duplicate question. No harm.
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    @WedaPashi I agree that it does answer an other important aspect of the question. In fact I think it would make lot of sense to add this answer to the duplicated question. I don't disagree with the content but rather I think there's a more appropriate location for this good answer. I seldom down vote and usually only after at least a few +1 have been cast. :-)
    – ppl
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 15:29

Those are stuff-sacks, and they're usually fabric. The general principle for loading a pack is to put things you'll need during the day on top, and things you won't need until night on the bottom. Regardless, if it takes an hour to do that, you're overthinking it.

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