I had a friend growing up who, when we went to summer camp, would show up with all of his clothing for the week carefully folded and contained in separate, labeled Ziploc bags. We were at that merciless age of adolescence during which something like this was worthy of ridicule — caring too much about anything was decidedly uncool — and he was routinely gibed every morning as we prepped for each day. But year over year he stuck to his system, and I know why: packing organizers make life out of a suitcase so much easier.
In multi-day backpacking trips and full-on expeditions, separating different items into individual containers is essential for not only for knowing where particular things are in a pinch but also for keeping clothing dry; organizers aren’t a matter of debate, they’re necessary. The consequences during casual trips are less dire but the benefits are the same: everything is easy to find, space inside luggage is maximized and clean clothing can be kept separate from the dirty.
One of our favorite collections of packing organizers, Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cubes, comes in a variety of sizes for varying needs and is ultralight so as not to take up any additional space inside a bag. Currently, a three-piece set is on sale at Amazon for 26-percent off.
Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.
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