View Full Version : Hunting Packs

July 13, 2006, 07:22 PM
Anyone interested in looking here:


and commenting either here or there on what pack you like and use for hunting, either back or fanny, and under what circumstances (day or overnight) you use it? Thanks.

July 13, 2006, 08:51 PM
Compass (always in my hand or hanging from my belt)
10 times more ammo than I actually need (never used all of it)
1 quart water (used throughout the hunt)
Granola or fruit breakfast bars (if I'm hungry)
fireproof matches (never needed them and that's a good thing)
6" Buck knife (opens my deer)
2 or 3 gallon ziplock bag (liver) :)
2-40 gallon trash bags (dry seat on the ground)
breadties (puts the harvest card on the deer ear)
pencil (fills our harvest card)
Nylon rope--about 8 - 10 feet (drags the deer out)
Flashlight (gotten me out of the woods a couple times when i overstayed my welcome)

All but the canteen carried in ammo packs on a belt from an army surplus store--canteen also fits the belt. And btw imo this makes the cheapest, most durable fanny pack you'd ever want. You'll notice most of my gear can have a dual purpose if trapped overnight.

July 13, 2006, 09:42 PM
Chemist has a good one.
I also keep a pair of gloves, a beanie for cold winds and one of those silver space blankets just in case.

Was with a guy that got turned around in a wilderness area once, took him a while to find his way, and have thought ever since that a GPS would be a very good idea if your in a area your not familiar with.

Harley Quinn
July 13, 2006, 10:56 PM
Then I took up stargazing and realized just how easy it is to tell where you are. :D

LOST! It can be frightening if you are not prepared. Stop, relax, don't do anything that will put you in harms way. Try to keep yourself calm and never give up. Boy Scout motto comes to mind for this one. "Be prepared".


July 14, 2006, 12:05 AM
Not to go off topic, but my wife has a GPS. Personally i prefer a compass. It's easier to learn. Once you learn to read a compass--yes i've seen people misread them--they'll get you out of most jams. Just be sure of you're direction when you deviate from the trail and be sure of town's general direction from where you are. Most of my hunting/hiking is done within 2 - 4 miles of home. If I drove to my hunting area or hunted in an area I wasn't pretty familiar with I'd opt for the GPS.

July 14, 2006, 12:06 AM
wouldnt be a bad idea to pack some bic lighters and an emergency reflective blanket. Light weight, small, and useful.

July 14, 2006, 12:45 PM
I got lost hunting when I was a kid. My dad took me way out told me to sit and wait and he got turned around and never came back for me. I eventualy found my way to a road but it was pretty nerve wracking. I also didnt have any supplies.
So now when I hunt I go prepared for those kinds of things.
Hunter pack vest made by cabelas with a built in pack.
compass and take a heading before you hike out.
first aid kit
strand of rope
surefire flash light
waterproof matches
hand/foot warmers
emergency compact blanket
signal mirror
hat and gloves
cell phone w/gps
topo map
compact side arm
you can get all of these things in a compact package and all fit nicely in my pack vest and dont add too much wieght.

Capt. Charlie
July 14, 2006, 01:03 PM
I think FF is more interested in the actual pack than its contents ;) .

Having been an avid backpacker in years gone by, I tend to go more with packs designed for that end, rather than those specifically designed for hunting. I think hunting packs are designed primarily for hunting gear, with less emphasis on comfort and weight distribution. Packs like those designed by North Face and Kelty are designed after the desires and suggestions of generations of serious backpackers, and tend to be more comfortable after trudging over miles of rough ground.

There are so many makes & models out there today, it's hard to make a choice. Frameless packs are OK for day hikes or short distances, but a frame pack is the way to go for long distances or considerable weight. The weight rests on your hips, and not your shoulders & back. The belt should be well padded. If you notice a small amount of discomfort in the first mile, you'll be absolutely miserable after 10 miles.

Then the question presents itself, internal or external frame? I think that's pretty much a personal choice, but I prefer an external frame, even though it seems to go against main stream preferences today. I like being able to detach the pack from the frame easily for cleaning, etc., and I can jury rig a holster to the frame so that I have a shoulder holster, of sorts.

My choice, either a North Face or Kelty external frame pack, with a slight edge given to the Kelty.

July 14, 2006, 01:22 PM
Kinda drifting off thread, but I carry both a good compass and a GPS with a set of extra batteries. Slightly paranoid, yes. I also carry 3 ways to start a fire - a few strike anywhere matches dipped in wax, a super-duper little butane lighter, and flint/steel. I have practice with the flint and steel, but honestly do not want to get to that last resort if I am cold and wet...

July 14, 2006, 04:21 PM
To answer your questions, the pack you linked to looks OK, but you get a lot of gadgetry in packs designed to carry rifles or bows that has no payback. You add weight and you gain ???? I hunt using a Bianchi pack, 152 cubic inches, streamlined, has a water bladder, straps for tieing things down, pockets for flashlight and knife, map pocket, and you can clip things onto it. It also cost about $100 from Cabelas, and I have never had a better pack.

I used to hunt with a US Army rucksack (LRRP pack), but it was heavy canvas, and if it got wet your stuff was ruined.

Vests designed to be packs do not distribute weight well, and packs designed to do everything end up doing none of it well.

July 14, 2006, 05:57 PM
I find that my vest pack distributes the weight pretty well if you load up the side pouches as well as the back portion. Trying to keep too many straps on (rifle,binocs,backpack,etc) gets pretty irritating on a long haul.

July 14, 2006, 07:53 PM
I have a somewhat cheapy Fieldline that serves the vast majority of my needs.
What ever you get, I can't stress enough to get a pack that is hydration capable. On one of my day trips during the spring bear season this year I went through two 101 oz bladers of water. Carrying that much was difficult enough and contributed the most of the total weight of the pack. Carrying it in a separate container would have been worse.

If I'm carrying a heavier load or going out for a longer period, I use my full-size pack.

July 14, 2006, 07:57 PM
I don't need to pack much when I hunt. I've tried "bookbag" style daypacks and many fanny packs. I've yet to find one that really works well. I've toyed with the vest idea, but there again, I haven't found one I really want.
The heaviest load in my pack is the dozen lag type steps I usually tote. I tried the pistol belt, canteen rig. With the steps in ammo pouches and the suspenders attached, this system works pretty well. It still isn't perfect.

Kelty packs were mentioned earlier. I've had one on my wish list for a couple of months now and will definitely get it before hunting season.

This one looks like it might be the one.

I mostly day hunt within 1/2 a dozen miles of my truck or fairly close to my john boat. If I was taking longer hikes or overnighting, I'd definitely get a regular hiking backpack with an exterior frame. The frame makes all the difference when carrying heavy loads for long distances.

Whatever you end up with try to get something that's quite. I've wasted money a few times on packs that ended up being extremely noisey.

Best of luck this hunting season, to everyone here. Bow season opens here in 2 months. I can hardly wait.

July 14, 2006, 09:25 PM
Most of my hunting is in steep country, but within 3-5 miles of my vehicle at most. I generally use either a multi-compartmented fanny pack, or a frameless backpack. I use both Fieldline and Mad Dog stuff, and they both seem to work pretty well. However, they haven't been torture-tested or anything.

I have an external-frame hiking pack, but I haven't had occasion to use it yet. That one you bought looks OK. I'm not too thrilled about the weapon-carrying thing though. Without trying it on, it looks as if it could get rather uncomfortable, what with the gun being on just one side. Is it framed?

July 14, 2006, 09:28 PM
I use a small day pack that does not reach past my shoulders. I often spend a day cruising for bucks. The pack is made of quiet material. I need a piece of twine to hold the straps together or they slid off one shoulder or the other, then you have to do all kinds of moving to get them back where they belong.

I have the following in it;

a water bag, no sloshing from them

survival food, I hunt up north and spoilage is not a problem. The first day I hit the woods I make 2 extra plain jane sandwiches ham or boloney and they stay in the pack for the season. After the first day thay are not appealing. I will only eat them in a survival situation. This beats the rootbeer barrel that served as supper, midnite snack, and breakfast one night.

A spare compass, I always have a pin on and a map compass on a laynard around my neck.

Flashlight and spare batteries. I start the season with fresh ones. This is a very heavy item as I use a 2 d cell mag light. I also carry one of those single led lamps.

double wrapped box matches and a couple of candle stubs

20 feet of light cord and 12 feet of 7/16 braided nylon rope.

I use a bread bag for the heart and tenderloins.

Zip ties for tags

A closed cell butt pad

GPS if I am in new territory and spare batteries.

Fresh sandwich and cookies, fruit usually freezes

My sheath knife is usually in the pack

A ziplock bag with some 'wipe' in it

Dry gloves

July 16, 2006, 12:37 PM
Yes, I was mainly asking about packs, but hey - what's in your packs is a good discussion too, so that is welcome as well - keep it coming. Yeah, that rifle being on one side instead of centered could tend to be a problem with comfort after awhile - we'll see.

Youp, so if you get lost out there near end of season, you'll be eating 3-month old sandwiches eh? Hope there's no mayo on them! :)

July 16, 2006, 07:29 PM
I wish I had a three month season. There is a 16 day rifle season in MI. Followed by a 9 day ML. The temps probably average in the upper 30s for the season. I change socks, underwear and sandwiches for the ML season:D

July 16, 2006, 10:21 PM
"I change socks, underwear and sandwiches for the ML season"

hee hee.

But what about your archery season - I was counting that....We have bow season that goes continuously from October 1st to January 15th. Then you also overlay an 8 day ML season in late Oct/early Nov., and a 15 day rifle season in late Nov/early Dec. Then we also have 2 seperate bonus doe-only rifle hunts - one is Dec 22-24, and the other is Dec 29-31.

It's kinda funny; last year a new rule was adopted that if you're hunting on a day during rifle or ML season that is buck only (no doe), well you can also carry your bow along on your hunt, in addition to your rifle, and if you see a doe, you can shoot it with archery (does are always ok with archery, and archery season runs uninterrupted the whole time).