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Stuff bag labels



I keep a lot of gear segregated in various compression bags, stuff bags and small ditty bags.

Not just breakfast/lunch/dinner/stove & cookware in the barrel, but also water filters, rain gear, various tarps (in loosely opened compression bags so they can breathe in storage but be compacted in situ), hammocks and other small gear.

Add to that bunches of stuff bags in the traveling truck bed– tailgate screen, tarp that attaches to the roof racks, sliding window screen, book/lantern/reading glasses bag and other stuff-bagged creature comforts de jour; a sheet and pillowcase for warm weather, a winter bag on off-season trips, along with a 30/50F flip bag for the tweens. Sometimes all three. Maybe a stuffed-bag wool blanket.

Too many damn stuff bags, and I couldn’t remember what was in each opaque sack even if I wasn’t colorblind. The one thing I know I can extract from a barrel mess or from truck’s stash of questionable contents stuff bags is the drawstring cord. I can find that.

A simply printed label on the end of that cord, sandwiched between two pieces of clear tape and hole punched, is amazingly effective in instantly identifying various stuff bags.

That tag weighs nothing and takes up no space. But I can grab the drawstring label from some stuff bag pile, read it and select the right one, without pulling out and inspecting the contents of stuff bag X and finding, eh, damn, nope, that’s not the one, maybe stuff bag Y….

When selecting gear there was often family confusion about which tent or tarp was which, especially when the wife or sons were doing trips on their own, so labeling the bags helped with family packing. Or at least has helped by me not having to identify the contents of each tent and stuff bag as they came randomly off the shelf and into their hands.

I need all the help I can get just packing for myself, especially on multi-purpose trips and changing seasons. Yeah, give me a descriptive drawstring tag.

Soon to be appearing on every piece of gear that is stored a specific stuff bag.


Good idea. I have been using white duct tape and a sharpie.The tape edges come up after a while and the sharpie fades.I will give your method a try.Good organization is one of those things that is not much fun and easy to neglect, for me at least, but it has a direct impact on enjoyment out there.
Sep 13, 2013
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Long Island, NY
LOL, I was just dealing with this. I think I have to set a date with my stuff sacks and label maker.

Thanks for the great idea.