View Full Version : Need a good pack...suggestions?
March 24, 2013, 12:09 AM
I have a backcountry hunt this fall and am going to need a good pack. Needs to be able to carry about a weeks worth of gear and preferably also has a spot for my rifle. I've seen them before but don't know the name? Who's used what and what are your recommendations? Thanks guys
March 24, 2013, 12:23 AM
I would suggest you start your search with a visit to somewhere like REI and see what they have. They generally have a wide selection and you can try on different packs and see what you like.
March 24, 2013, 12:24 AM
I can't remember the name, but last I checked, the guy who started Dana Design backpacks started a new company making hunting-specific packs. Basically the same as the old Dana packs (best in the world) but in hunting colors. They're internal frame packs that can easily carry as much weight as you can put in them. I've used one of the Arc-flex Terraplane packs for years and it's amazing. Still like new. 70 lbs in it is completely comfortable (except for my legs!) Easy to strap a rifle on either side.
March 24, 2013, 10:34 AM
My advice is to get out there and try on different brands, they all fit different. When you get a brand finding one that has a set up you want should be just as easy as looking online.
March 24, 2013, 11:48 AM
They aren't necessarily cheap, or especially light, but they are built like a tank. I have the Gunslinger II. It has a dedicated compartment for your rifle that allows it to be removed and shouldered without having to remove the pack from your back. If you want a serious hunting pack that can carry a load, stand up to some abuse, and allow easy access to your rifle, they're worth a serious look.
Most standard backpacks are not going to have that convenience when it comes to your rifle, they are built around hikers, climbers, snow boarders, etc.
Another worth looking at, though again a bit pricey, is Mystery Ranch. They make a model built for heavy hauling called the Crew Cab that is something like the Transformer of packs. It's very popular with the back country hunting crowd because you can hack up what you shot and pretty much load up everything that will fit, and you can physically carry. Mystery Ranch uses an interesting base frame system that the bulk of their packs attach to.
Both brands can be found on ebay, though used ones are not plentiful. If you are patient though you can find them. I bought my Gunslinger there and got a great deal. It was in like new condition and if memory serves about $80-$90 cheaper than new.
March 24, 2013, 03:48 PM
There are a few sources & kits for your needs;
www.uscav.com www.cryeprecision.com www.blackhawk.com www.5.11tactical.com www.policehq.com www.cabelas.com www.csmgear.com VooDoo Tactical, Maxpedition, Tactical Taylor.
These should help.
March 24, 2013, 05:48 PM
I have done a least 8 backpack hunts for elk or deer. These hunts were 2-3 weeks long. About 60# is all you will want to handle. Here are some things to consider.
1. I prefer to have the rifle in my hands, under my control, in the event that I fall, I had a better chance to protect it. instead of being on the pack behind me which is the direction you mostly go when you fall. The back pack tends to pull you backwards.
2. I prefer the external frame, which allows me to remove the bags and use it to pack the animal out after the kill. even if you are going to have a packer come and get it, you will want to get it back to your camp in an effort to keep predators off it while you wait. Some external frames also allow to expand the pack upwards using a bow about 1 ft high. This works really well for carrying your sleeping bag, which should be your bulkiest and a fairly light item so it don't affect your balance to a great degree. also pay attention to how may rings can be added to the frame
3. Food, I use freeze dried foods and plan for 2 meals a day. Coffee, salt, pepper. packs of ketchup and also mustard. It helps dress up some of the freeze dried food. Lard, yes Lard. It don't burn as easy as veg oils and you may want to fry up some fish, bird or steaks a couple times. about 1/2 lb. will do.
4. Stove. I prefer the coleman peak, this unit use,s less fuel than some of the others. Plus the storage box is your cook kit. very handy. My party consists of 3 people and we only use 1 pint of fuel for the whole trip. You only really need it if the weather goes bad. What ever stove you choose fill it with fuel, light it and see how long it runs on a tank. and go from there.
5. The frying pan is about 8-10 and I prefer the Blue, with white specks ceramic or glass coated pan. They are light, and clean easy, and if they have something burnt, fill it with sand and scrub it out, the ceramic don't scratch
6. Additional equip: Collapsible candle lantern and a couple extra candles. Buckle style straps of various lengths 12-48 inches. They work better than rope for packing gear and meat. A leatherman tool and about 30 ft of TIE WIRE, which works great for making camp and securing poles. No nails allowed and take the down when you break camp.. Space Blankets, the silver lining works great as a reflector to dry gear and clothes and just to warm up.
A good collapsable game saw is handy, a hatchet is a must and a good game hoist along with game bags. Firestarter kit with permanent match. This is for emergencies when its rainy and everyone and everything is wet.
When you start putting this together you will find out that you don't have much room for extra clothes. When you pack them roll them up tight, and secure them with large rubber bands and pit them in plastic re-sealable bags to keep them dry.
MOST IMPORTANT of all is good boots that are broke in. during a backpack trip is NOT the time to be breaking in new pair of boots. Good fitting quality socks is the second most important item.
And last but not least a small first aid kit. Murphys law applies more than ever on these back country hunts, never forget that, keep that in the front of your mind at all times.
I would like to close with a personal story about one of my 1969 Elk hunts.
It was in Montana, just North of the Yellowstone Park line i the Hellroaring Drainage area. Our base camp was 30 some miles in from the pickups and trailers. It was a horse back hunt, 4 hunters 2 guides and a cook. The second day of season in the evening the hunter, who wasn't horse savvy, was going to head back to camp. In the process of mounting the horse he attempted it from the wrong side. The other hunter was on the correct side of his horse and in the process of climbing aboard but his horse experience was also small. The horse getting mounted on the wrong side shied away hitting the other hunters horse. The commotion caused the hunter to fall/slip down and the horse stepped on his pelvis and broke it. The man couldn't get up, he was showing signs of going into shock. The hunter didn't know the way back to camp so the guide had to instruct the other guy what to do for shock, and go back to camp for help. By this time its dark, the outfitter goes to the accident site, and he sends the guide to go back to the trucks and go get help. It over 30 miles he has to go over the Devils Divide and its switchbacks in the dark. Being very familiar with the trail he got to the trucks about 5 in the morning. Got into town contacted the Sheriff to start rescue efforts. Because this was wilderness area it took time to get clearance to come in with a helicopter and air vac him out. It was over 18 hrs before the hunter was taken out. He healed up OK and made it. He's still kicking and Dean if your reading this it is your story.
I hope I've helped you and given you answers that will help you, enjoy, be careful and Good Luck
March 26, 2013, 12:47 PM
I'd add www.LLBean.com of Freeport Maine. They have many top rated outdoor products & gear. Beans been in business for many, many years.
They have great customer service & decent prices too.
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