I just purchased a Mountainsmith Ghost with 3000 cu in. with the idea of going light (not used yet, can return it.) I can hardly fit anything inside it after my sleeping bag. For my down sleeping bag, I am using the large compression bag compressed down into the size of a large bowling ball. After my tent (Eureka EXO2) and my pad (3/4 camplite), where do I put my filter, whisperlite, and other essentials (yes, essentials) before I even get to the idea of minimum clothes and food (freeze dried)? It seems to defeat the purpose to simply tie all the bulky stuff to the outside. I can't mount the pad and tent to the outside sides without covering up my mesh water bottle pockets. Mounting to the outside back would only shift weight away from my body.
Random thought but wouldn't it be better to just get the larger Mountainsmith and get everything inside instead of hanging on the outside? I thought I had pared things down.
[Old Greybearded One, please don't yell at me to read the directions this time. I did go back to the MSR Whisperlite website and downloaded their instructions that only say to "turn the control valve off. The flame will take 1 to 2 minutes to die out." Another example, just got a new Eureka! tent. Both the instructions that come with it and their website on "tent storage" say to "loosely roll" the tent for storage. Nothing about "stuffing it." My point is that I am (and perhaps others) simply field-test ignorant, not an idiot.]