Bungee Cords are the Devil
Bungee cords are soooo easy…especially the ones with the built-in hooks. Pull tight enough and you can have something attached to your back in moments. You will be laughing at the chump that is tying some kind of crazy knot. You can sit there and impatiently tap your foot while you wait for this joker to realize it’s the Twenty-first Century.
Only, the bungee cord is the worst thing you can use camping, period.
It feels like the bungee gets your stuff nice and snug, but it doesn’t. The whole point of the bungee is that it stretches. That’s what it does. Which means, every step you take creates a little stretch in the cord. This can cause your stuff to shift over time. Best case scenario is that it just makes your pack a little unbalanced. Worst case scenario, stuff is falling off. If you insist on using bungee cords, don’t be last in your hike line.
Also, the last thing you want is your pack jiggling, swinging, or zigging when you are zagging. You might not notice it at first, but it expends extra energy. Eventually you will feel like you are carrying extra weight. And, hey, if you are willing to carry extra weight, I am sure your backpacking buddies can accommodate you.
Use a good, lightweight nylon rope to attach things to your pack. It will resist moisture, stretching, and wear-and-tear.
And, really, would it kill you to learn a couple of knots? Whatever you do, don’t tie a granny knot or a square knot and then come complaining to me that you can never get stuff cinched down enough. Two half hitches, taut line, constrictor, and advanced cinch knot will solve most of your problems. Combine some of these knots and you can really get somewhere. If you really want to do it right, though, invest a little time in learning the trucker’s hitch. If that doesn’t impress your friends, then…well, it probably is because you were the last to learn it.