Are Stuff Sacks Really Useful?

Eagle Creek Stuff SacksThere are a lot of campers or backpackers who will tell you that stuff sacks are useless. They believe that stuff sacks are a ploy thought up by the outdoor gear industry to siphon every last penny they can out of unsuspecting consumers. They figure, your backpack or your duffel bag can hold all of your gear and belongings just fine, so why do you need to put all that stuff into sacks, only to put those sacks into your bag?

They’ve got a point. The logic isn’t flawed (although the suggestion that stuff sacks are some type of scheme is a little far-fetched). It’s true that stuff sacks add extra weight and force you to keep up with extra items, and it might seem redundant or unnecessary to put a sack into a sack into a sack. However stuff sacks are not exactly useless. In fact, stuff sacks can be incredibly useful, and provide added convenience to your packing that can make your trip more enjoyable.

It can often be difficult to try and find exactly what you’re looking for if your pack is just one large pit of stuff. This is especially true when trying to find gear in the dark. Without organization, you don’t know precisely where a specific item is, and it takes longer to find that item. If you’ve ever had to pull out your sleeping bag, all of your clothes, and your cookset just to find a pair of socks, you know just how inconvenient this can be.

Some might say that proper packing eliminates the need for stuff sacks, but this isn’t necessarily true. After you’ve been on the trail for a few days, nothing is where it started in your pack, and while you could take 15 minutes every morning reorganizing and repacking your belongings, stuff sacks eliminate the need to do that.

Stuff sacks provide organization. You can group your clothes together, and your kitchen equipment, and then your toiletries. This limits the amount of clutter in your pack and makes it easier for you to quickly find what you’re looking for. Stuff sacks are incredibly useful, especially if your pack does not have different separations or compartments.

Ultimately, you don’t need a stuff sack, but they are useful. Some people can get by just fine without them, however for others, stuff sacks provide order and organization that can make camping or hiking easier and more enjoyable.

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