Personal Effects

We all have a ton of personal items that we want to take with us on a trip like this.  Applying some organization to these items will help you overall.  We generally recommend the approach of having three personal item bags on a trip like this.  One for your clothing, one for your toiletries and another that is more mobile for personal items.

Clothing Bag:

duffelbagThis will somewhat obviously contain all of your clothes.  It will also feature things like shoes, sandals and possibly a pair of comfy camp shoes.  If possible, use it to store your shower towel and any other items that are considered clothing related.

Most travelers would probably prefer to keep their clothing bag stored in the tent itself, but if you have limited space in your tent, you might want to keep a change of clothes in the tent for the morning.  Having a dedicated clothing bag makes it easy to get access to just your clothing.  On our trips, this is usually the fourth most accessible item in the vehicle, just behind the food, our personal effects backpack and our information resources storage.

We do recommend having separate laundry bags, if possible, in order to keep your clean clothes clean and absent any odd smells you might have picked up along the way.  When doing laundry, you simply need to bring your two bags, the laundry bag and clothing bag, and you’re set for a trip to the laundromat.

Personal Effects Bag:

backpackThis bag will typically be a backpack for best results, typically a day pack style will be more than adequate.  It should have all your personal effects like your camera, binoculars, a water bottle, cell phone, first aid kit and other items that you’ll want to have continual access to whether you’re in camp or afar.

The reason to keep these items separate is this can be your “go to” bag for when you want to take in a hike or visit somewhere and it easily fits into most recreational types of activities you’d want to do on this trip.  It can also be good to conceal your wallet or purse, which can further secure your valuables, and will encourage you to keep this on your person almost the entire time.  Having all these items together will not only help your organization overall, but it’s a very flexible method that can also be used on the go with minimal fuss.

In many cases, you might want to augment this bag with pieces from other areas.  For example, you might want to toss your rain gear in the bag if things are looking a bit threatening out.  Or maybe a fresh set of clothes if you’re venturing out for a shower.  Or a lunch and some snacks for a long day out into Denali National Park.

Having all these items in one place will give you one place to go when you’re on the go.

Toiletries Bag:

toothbrushLastly, separate out your personal toiletries into a separate bag, which can ease efforts like showering where you’ll need these items without wanting to take a large kit with you.  You might think it logical to keep toiletries in your personal effects bag, but remember, you probably don’t need or want to carry your toothbrush and toothpaste on a trek into Denali.

It’s very handy to have a separate bag for toiletries, mostly because you’ll be using them at least twice a day.  Sometimes shower adventures can get a bit interesting (like a stream side dip) and having a small, concise bag makes sure you have access to these important items when you need them.

If you need medication, you might want to weigh whether this is the appropriate bag or your day time adventure bag is the right place.  Depending on your needs, this could blend the line between a personal effects bag and a toiletries bag.

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