For people who use packs without a "brain", where do you put the small items you usually would store in the brain? Do you have aseperate small bag inside the main pack?
What do you normally put in the brain and what conditions are you going in?
If I'm going cragging I'll usually only have my sandwich, a roll of tape and headtorch in the brain, and only because I have one and I'm lazy. If I didn't have a 'brain' on my pack then I'd just chuck these inside my helmet bag (and the helmet will protect my sandwich).
In winter if you're thinking headtorch, compass, GPS etc. then I reckon these are better in your jacket pockets anyway.
Yeah the top part which clips down over the opening. Modern packs often have them as entirely removable and with roll-top bags becoming popular they are becoming obsolete (especially for winter climbing when a majority of the things in your pack come out when you're at the bottom of a route and you want to compress your pack down as much as possible).
I've not heard a lid pocket called a brain before.
I've got mixed feelings about these simpler lidless climbing packs. I like simplicity, especially when climbing, and I do use a couple of lidless packs a fair bit. But for me a lid pocket is still far from obsolete - especially since the small pockets offered on most lidless packs are really pretty poor. Stashing things in a couple of small stuff sacks is the best you can do if you're lidless, but they become a faff to get at so it's not ideal.
I'm not a fan of stuffing my clothing with odds and ends as it all adds to bulk around your body and it's nice to be streamlined (for want of a better word) when climbing. I'll carry a phone in a pocket and may have a compact camera round my neck so it's easy to reach but kept warm and dry under my top layer. Occasionally a pair of gloves or a torch go in a pocket if I'm imminently going to use them. When navigating off the top you clearly want your map/compass in a jacket pocket. But I don't want any of that bulk about me on the route. That's for the lid.
In a lid pocket I might carry any or all of these, for ease of access on the go: thin gloves, buff, hat, sunglasses, ski goggles, headtorch, map/compass, snacks, compact camera if I'm not planning to use it for a while. If all that lot has to live in stuff sacks somewhere inside my lidless pack then I inevitably end up spending more time retrieving it.
Likewise re 'brain'. Is this niche slang?
> What do you normally put in the brain?
Odds and ends I once thought would be useful but in fact have never used, same as my actual brain.
I think it's possibly a USA-ism. I've done a bit of backpacking there and think that's where I came across it first.
For all folks wondering, the lid pocket is indeed the brain.
I've not got a proper mountineering jacket yet so acess to pockets is a bit painful witht he waist belt or a harness on. I think at the moment I'm going to try a dry bag at the top of the pack with all ther bits and see how that works. Though I expect it to be fafffy.
> If all that lot has to live in stuff sacks somewhere inside my lidless pack then I inevitably end up spending more time retrieving it. <
Current thread about Buffalo reminded me that I often put quite a lot of stuff in the large chest pocket of my Big Face Buffalo top. Better than sac top pocket as very easy to get at and see contents. Cons: need extra polybag if raining, looks like large bust and harder to see feet.
A lot of packs without a (removable) top lid have a small zippered pocket for various small items. I like lidless designs but only if they have a small-ish pocket for stuff you need easy access to.
I switched to a rolltop with just one storage compartment a few years ago and I'd never go back. Far simpler and far lighter
For rock climbing with a sack, it's best to have the smallest possible streamlined sack, with the minimum of extra pockets. But for every other use, a sack with "brain" pockets is very useful for getting to small items quickly. However, I think internal pockets with zips are more or less essential for valuables - these can fall out of (or be stolen from) external pockets rather easily. I like to have my valuables - especially keys and money - buried inside the sack, where they can't possibly fall out, but not jumbled up with everything else in the pack.
Incidentally, I usually find things go pear-shaped rather quickly when I don't use my other brain as effectively as I might!
god I hope this usage dies quickly
perhaps CPU would be appropriate
"Confusing Pocket Unit"
If i put anything in the top pocket then it will just be keys/phone etc, so i do not have to keep taking them in and out the main pack everytime i need something. Everything inside my packs go inside dry bags, little ones for the lid and small items inside and a big one inside as a liner, even in my waterproof roll packs, once you have opened and taken things out of even a waterproof pack a few times in the rain, they will get wet.
>However, I think internal pockets with zips are more or less essential for valuables - these can fall out of (or be stolen from) external pockets rather easily. I like to have my valuables - especially keys and money - buried inside the sack, where they can't possibly fall out, but not jumbled up with everything else in the pack. <
I often use little pouches or poly bags for my valuables and use either built in clips or nappy pins to ensure they can't fall out. I prefer to keep keys, cash etc pinned in clothing if I know I'll be wearing that item all day as it will never be separated from me and will only be required at start and end of outing.
Another option which may or may not suit is a bumbag. If you're not harnessed up then these can be a great place to store knick-knacks (worn on the front obviously) and have the added convenience of meaning you don't need to take your pack off. You can also get add-on small packs which fit to waist loops or shoulder straps.
I was simplfying to make a point, which was that things can rather easily slip out of external pockets that become unzipped. (How do I know?!). When I am really out in the sticks, I've usually carried house and car keys on a lanyard around my neck.
. Modern packs often have them as entirely removable
Modern! Long time since the wedge was called modern.