Camping “go-bag”

My not-so-secret secret to getting outside regularly involves two precepts:

  • Get organized – If everything is in its place, you pack much more efficiently, and you have more outdoor time.


The means except for quilts, our backpacks are mainly packed, the daypacks are all set to “grab and go,” and we stage our truck for quick camping trips on the fly. We organize our food for quick packing as well.

Joan and I often leave on a Friday, camp out, and then go backpacking the rest of the weekend.

A quick night sleeping in the back of the truck is esp convenient. PCO Joan.

Part of these quick trips always has some warm clothes basics. A duffle bag that’s always packed and thrown into my flyers kit bag. I don’t have to think about what to pack, and I know I’ll have it available.  Be it on quick camping trips or road trips, I’m warm and have the appropriate clothing at a dispersed site somewhere in a remote area.

And if backpacking the day after, I don’t have to unpack and repack my backpack to get at the clothing already there. We can get to the trail earlier in the morning.


And what’s in this duffle? 

Firstly – 

In the Abajos. PCO Joan.

In a stuff sack –

PCO Joan West.

Additionally, I also throw in my 200-wt “beater fleece” with a fleece beanie and a pair of liner gloves in a pocket.  I also pack my “beater down parka.”

I always have a Red Ledge Rainjacket oversized to fit over a down coat (I use it for snow-based winter backpackingand full-zip Red Ledge rain pants.

With these items, I find I’m warm well into late fall for camping, road trips, and the night before a backpacking trip.

For deep winter, I’ll sub in some surplus Primaloft pants, possibly some boiled wool mittens,  and the appropriately insulated boots.

A simple duffle bag always packed lets me spend less of my time bank funds for packing and enjoy the outdoors more easily.

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Colorado Jones
2 years ago

“The means except for quilts, our backpacks are mainly packed.” Just out of curiosity, where exactly do you put your quilts in the packs? Most backpackers put their sleep systems at the bottom of the pack, since they’re not needed until arriving at the campsite, and typically leave things like rain gear or, sometimes, the shelter at the top of the pack for quick and easy access. But in your case, that organizational system would require UNPACKING the packs in order to put the quilts in last minute. Just curious, mainly because I’m looking to pre-stage and pre-pack as much… Read more »

Colorado Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Mags

Makes total sense! And confirms my thinking on how to proceed. Thanks a million, Paul! Look forward to seeing the pics from your 5-day trip.