July

Stuff sacks – to stuff or not to stuff?

This is a topic that usually divides the room. The ‘old guard’ will probably say, no need just line the rucksack with a decent quality bin liner and bingo, all of the troubles of wet gear are gone!

But hold on to that thought for just a moment, what if you are one of the current breeds of outdoor swimmers? Where do you put your stuff after your dip in order not to get everything else in the rucksack damp too?

Where do you locate those smelly wet socks when you have changed them after the unfortunate ‘bog hopping’ incident?

For me, I am a big fan. Their versatility is the key point that makes them an essential item for even the smallest of days out. In addition to that, the ability to optimise the available space in your rucksack with a range of differing sized compressed articles is a definite plus point.

So let me give you a few examples of how we choose to use these great little items:

  1. Toilet time – there can be nothing worse than being caught short when you are out in the wilds. That urge is not going away, and you therefore will need to be nice and clean after the business is done. Keeping your ‘bog roll’ or Kleenex tissue pack dry is a must.
  2. Spare socks, hat, and gloves – if any of these items get battered by the weather, there is certainly nothing more rewarding than sticking on a fresh, dry pair of socks. The psychological lift that you get from this is priceless. (Add in a small container of Johnsons baby powder, now we are really in business)!
  3. Foods sachets, drinks sachets, sugar etc – Nothing worse than when you break out the flask for your warm brew and the sugar sachet is a complete mushy mess!
  4. Torch and spare batteries – self-explanatory this one, water and batteries are not best bed fellows.
  5. First aid kit – I have two, the standard sort of stuff, plasters, bandages, etc, and then in my other one I have my separate ‘ catastrophic bleed’ kit, which hopefully I will never need to use!
  6. Dry Food – name it, you can stick it in here, granted it might not protect your sandwich as well as a small Tupperware container, but in terms of utilisation of space, it gets the vote!
  7. Note pad and possibly your phone – assuming you don’t need it for immediate use, like pictures or MRT call outs!
  8. Wild swimmers – when you have had your dip, if you have no external pocket on the rucksack that is fit for function, a decent sized stuff sack will keep all your other gear nice and dry for the rest of your outing!
  9. Personally, having colour coded sacks for different items is a handy way to locate stuff in your rucksack quickly and easily.
  10. Lastly, and this one is for the die-hard fraternity, if you really must line your rucksack with something, a 60l version will do a much better job that your Aldi bin liner!

So, there are just a few ideas to consider when you are organising your next little wander off out into one of our beautiful national parks, but before I close this session down, I must just give you my overview of an example of these that I recently got to trial.

Ultimate performance – Stuff sacks

I was recently ‘gifted’ a set of three from ‘the Spike Girls’ who manage the trade marketing effort , in order to give an honest appraisal of them.

First impressions are these are a well-constructed sack made from Nylon and PU (for the geeks amongst you the ratio is 80% Nylon, 20% PU).

The Rip stop Nylon looks and feels robust, and with double stitched and taped seams, these rascals should be just about ‘bomb’ proof.

They come in three sizes small, medium, and large with the respective capacities being, 2 litres, 4 litres and 8 litres.

They have a roll top closure which will enable you to roll them down to the appropriate size, subject to their contents, and with the easy clip buckle, once rolled down this should keep all your contents nice and toasty.

Lightweight, compact, and waterproof, these are a must even if only for your butties!

Happy travels

Martin & Chris