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Backpacking 101: In Camp

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Ed. Note: We're fortunate to count the intrepid and creative hiking phenom, Sage Clegg, as one of our Trail Tales members. Somehow she's managed to parlay her passion for the outdoors into more than a lifestyle. Here she shares tips for setting up and breaking down camp while backpacking. Follow her adventures at or find her on Facebook. (While you're there, hop over to our Facebook page and Like us for good measure!)

Hello from Bend! In this short video, shot on the Oregon Desert Trail, I'll teach you my tricks for packing a backpack and setting up camp. To be honest, these are skills best learned by doing. But sometimes watching someone else do it can teach you a few new tips.

You should know that as I watched myself in this footage, I was reminded that there is no such thing as a perfect system. It seems to me that every day I shove stuff in my backpack a little differently. The basics are still always the same though.

5 Packing Fundamentals:

1) Stuff I don’t need during the day goes down in the bottom

2) Heavy things stay close to my back

3) Accessible stuff goes near the top or in the side pockets

4) Waterproof things like rain gear and groundsheets can help fill in the voids to make a solid, easy to carry, compressed load.

5) Things I want to keep dry live in waterproof bags. Pack liners are another great option for keeping dry things dry.

What about the gear?

These some of my favorite pieces of gear in this video

At the heart of everything we do are the folks who make the magic happen. A group of likeminded footwear-industry vets who left our big-brand jobs back in 2007 intent on doing business a better way. 

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