My Ditty Bag

A few months ago I came across a video that Jason Klass did on his “Sundries Kit” and I immediately liked the idea, so I made one myself. Except, I have labeled mine a “Ditty Bag” but really, who cares what it’s called as long as it works, and for me, this works. Basically it is a catch-all bag, or a junk-bag. It carries many of my smaller 10 Essential items along with some other small items that can easily become lost in my pack if care is not taken. So, check out my video and let me know what you think…

UPDATE: August 2012

About a year ago, I did a video/write up on my “Ditty Bag,” however, since then, it (like many other things inside my pack, including my pack), has changed. In the first video, the entire packaged weight was just over 16 oz! Since then I have cut back on things that I may not have “needed” as well as repackaged some of the items I did need, but was in bulk. In doing these simple things, I managed to drop 1/2 of that weight! Now, I have my fully featured Ditty Bag which now weighs in at under 8 oz…

As seen in the video above, I have also started carrying things a bit differently than before too. In my prior video, I pretty much threw everything inside the bigger (Ditty) bag. Now though, I am a bit more organized, which IMO also makes it a bit simpler. I now divide (most) everything up into 2 different, smaller, 3×5 Loksaks. In one I keep First-Aid items and in the other is my repair items as well as some extras such as batteries.

For the most part, many of the items in the Ditty Bag are actually permanent items that always go with me, but there are some items that vary. Depending on time of trip, length of trip, number of people who is going with me as well as “weight-class” of trip, some items may be more or less, and some may even be there sometimes, and sometimes not… Basically, each trip has a different set of needs, so rather than having one default Ditty Bag, I take the time to match the items in my Ditty Bag to the trip.

Here is a breakdown of the items that were in the Ditty Bag during the video:

  1. ZPacks Cuben Fiber Mini Stuff Sack (Ditty Bag)
  2. 2″ Ace Wrap
  3. Cleaning Supplies
    1.  Small Bottle of Germ-X (rebottled)
    2. Tiny Bottle of Bleach
    3. Tiny Bottle of Dr Bronner’s (rebottled)
    4. 1 Tube of Carmex Lip Balm
  4. Loksak #1 (Repair Kit)
    1. Mini Bic Lighter
    2. Single-Use Krazy Glue
    3. 4-Small Zip Ties
    4. ZPacks Miny-D Carabiner
    5. 1-Energizer L91 Ultimate Lithium Battery (For Headlamp)
    6. 1-Extra Camera Battery
    7. 1-Extra SD Card for Camera
    8. 5-REI StormProof matches with Striker
    9. **I should have had some wax soaked fire starters in with the matches…***
    10. Sewing Kit (Needle, Thread & Safety Pins)
    11. A few feet of Duct Tape rolled around a piece of cardboard
    12. Gossamer Gear Red “O” Ring for LT4’s
    13. ZPacks Single-Sided Cuben Fiber Tape
  5. Loksak #2 (FAK)
    1. LiteTrail UL Ear Plugs
    2. Tiny Ziploc with Vitamin I
    3. Tiny Ziploc with Tylenol PM (Generic)
    4. 2-50 mg Dipenhydramine Gel Caps
    5. 6-Chewable Pepto Bismol
    6. 2-Packages Nutralox Antacid Pills
    7. Various Size Band-Aids
    8. Various Pieces of Mole Skin
    9. 2-Alcohol Preps
    10. 1-Single Use package of Triple Antibiotic Ointment
    11. Repair Patch for TAR NeoAir Sleeping Pad

So, as I said, the individual items will definitely vary from trip to trip, but for the most part, these items are generally in the Ditty Bag. Some things, such as the amount of pills or fire starters I carry for a trip can change, however, the actual weight changes are very little, and in all honesty, unfelt. Despite this though, I like to practice only bringing what I need so that I don’t find myself getting carried away with carrying lots of items I do not need… This is the best way to keep my UltraLight pack, well, UltraLight…

Feel free to share what items you carry inside your Ditty Bag, and until then, thanks for reading/watching!



If anyone wants to make a video response, I will include the video here in this post. So, to start it off, I would like to first post the one from Jason Klass, who made me want to do my first Ditty (Sundries) Bag video:


Then of course at the top of this post is my initial Ditty Bag video.


So, here is the first video response I received today from Jerry Starcevic:


8 Responses to My Ditty Bag

  1. Mark Cashmere says:

    Thanks for the updates to my questions. Have fun out there….



  2. Mark Cashmere says:

    Hi Stick,

    I am doing some more tweaking (of course) for my upcoming Spring trip and I was reviewing your Ditty Bag videos in order to see where you were able to cut down. Although you dropped about 8 ounces on your changes, there are a few items that were left out of the second review. Some of these might be truly gone which is fine to leave out then, but other items are still carried (i.e. headlamp). These might be no longer carried in your Ditty Bag, but for weight comparison they might still be important to include.

    Wetfire — probably gone
    Firesteel — possible gone
    Petzl e+lite — changed to ??
    Toothbrush/toothpaste — ?
    Compass — ?

    Sorry for the nitpick, but some of those items add back some of the [saved] ounces I would guess as most are in the 1+ oz. range each. Can you advise how these items changed?

    Thanks for the great videos and gear reviews.



    • Stick says:


      Believe it or not, my ditty bag is slightly different even from the 2nd ditty bag video I did. Not so much, but there are some changes. Some of my items are carried in different areas now, such as my headlamp. If I am hiking small miles during the day, I will keep my headlamp inside my pack since there is no reason for me to have it, even in my ditty bag considering I have a photon light in my pants pocket. As far as your other items:

      Wetfire — I do not carry the Wetfire anymore. I am generally now using Esbit, and I have some fire tinders in my ditty bag.
      Firesteel — This was on a lanyard in my pocket, but it is now back in my ditty bag, inside the “emergency/repair” loksak bag.
      Petzl e+lite — Droped this since I found it did not work for me. I now carry the Zebralight H51 with a DIY headband. Love it.
      Toothbrush/toothpaste — My toothbrush & paste is inside my food bag.
      Compass — I have a button compass, as well as one on my watch. However, being as I am on the AT, I don’t bring more than this.

      I hope this helps some. Let me know if you have anymore questions!



  3. Constance says:

    I just came across your video after spending a couple of hours this weekend reviewing what’s in my pack and sewing my own ditty bags. This video was great!
    I have to say I was watching Emily for most of it – her expressions told it all:
    from her reaction to you lighting the lighter, to her “move it along, Dad” geststure when she started pulling stuff out of the ditty bag, to her recognition of the hand sanitizer container, to her somewhat bored tongue lollying and flirting with the camera…too cute for words!
    The one thing I carry which you didn’t have and may be a duplication is witch hazel and alcohol pads – individual wrapped packets which I guess could be substituted out if carrying hand sanitizer. I use it mostly for bug bites and removing bug spray/sunscreen before going to sleep.

    I also include a a tiny tin of hand salve, a cardboard nail file, tweezers, and backup TP in a ziploc.
    My sewing kit is a needle pre-threaded stuck in a couple of dried out baby wipes. I have sunscreen sample packs tucked in there too, though they don’t get used much. DENTAL FLOSS!
    A recent encounter with an AT thru hiker has prompted me to include an emergency contact/medical history sheet (meds, allergies, etc)in a tiny ziploc as well. It’s a back-up to info in my wallet or elsewhere in my pack.

    You really do have a lot of ways to start a fire!

    Thanks again!


    • Stick says:


      Thanks for watching my videos and commenting…and this is one of my favorite videos simply because my daughter is in it… she was all gung ho to be in it, but at times I don’t think it was as much fun as she had hoped for… 🙂

      I do have some alcohol prep pads. They are in with my band-aids, but I may have forgotten to mention them in the video. I would like to have some tweezers but haven’t gotten around to getting some… and with the TP, I learned the hard way to simply bring enough… I don’t have an actual page with my medical history, meds, etc… but it is a great idea. Maybe when I get bored one night I will print one off. Have you looked into the ID bracelets? Thanks to Brian Green I have seriously been considering one of those too…

      As far as my fire starters, they are each such a minimal weight, I don’t mind it. Typically with my alky stoves I just use my fire steel, however, now that I am trying out solid fuels I find it easier to use a lighter. As for my matches, I only carry 5 of the REI Storm proof matches, which I look at as for my worst case. I do think I am going to drop the Wet Fire though and go back to carrying dryer lint…

      Thanks for stopping by!



  4. Pingback: My UltraLight Cooking System | Stick's Blog

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