Hunting backpack?


August 2, 2007, 04:16 PM
Local store has one on sale, with a detachable fanny pack, a feature I like, especially here where it can be hot. It's one I've been looking at, but I've been reluctant to drop 100 bucks to see if I like it. For 40, I'm really tempted.

I've never used more than a bird hunting belt in the field. I'd love to carry all the stuff that would fit in a backpack, but I'm not sure how much I'd really like it.

Anyone use one like this? Can you sling the rifle, or carry it comfortably somehow, or lash it to the pack for a long hike when you're not stalking anything?

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August 2, 2007, 04:20 PM
Don't know about that one, I use a JanSport Equinox 33 ($39.), and I love it, best quiet pack ever. I can sling my rifle with my pack.

Vern Humphrey
August 2, 2007, 04:23 PM
Too much. I like a small pack -- a big pack is a temptation to carry too much. In really rugged territory, I like a chest strap -- keeps the pack straps from slding off your shoulders. By putting shoe-goo in the tops of the straps, it keeps your sling from sliding off, too.

August 2, 2007, 04:29 PM
One issue we have here is that we can have frost on the ground in morning and late evening, but hot sunny weather in between, in the Fall.

I'm thinking I could use a decent-sized pack just to carry the layers of clothing I need.

August 2, 2007, 04:29 PM
Agree with the pack size comment, that's why I like my 33. It has waist and chest straps too, it fits and feels like a nice light vest.

August 2, 2007, 04:34 PM
I'm with Vern. I use a smaller pack with a "crossover" chest strap (I think the brand name is Rigged & Ready). I carry a LOT of stuff on a big game hunt, but I agree that it can be overdone. What's important to me is that it is stuffable enough to put my coat in while walking out / dragging a deer or bear. Mine also has a rain-fly which can be pulled out in inclement weather to cover the entire pack.

Mine contains:
flashlight, or two.
2 compasses
occasionally my GPS
extra socks
2 knives (Whitetail Skinner and Buck 4inch)
a coil of rope for dragging
small coil of string
extra ammo during gun season and bow tools during archery
toilet paper (item number ONE)
Scent-Away Spray (usually only during bow season)
digital camera
flagging tape for tracking
very small first aid kit & space blanket
Zippo Lighter.

That's pretty much it other than clothes.


Vern Humphrey
August 2, 2007, 04:40 PM
I like to add a few plastic garbage bags -- youi can bone out an elk and pack the meat in them, use them for emergency raincoats, for vapor barriers if you get stuck on the mountain at night, and so on.

On thing I like is a sack-type pack with a flap, not a zip-up panel pack. I like to hike in as lightly clad as possible, then dress warm. You can carry extra clothing under the flap of a tiny pack.

August 2, 2007, 06:57 PM
Garbage bags should not be used to store meat, they are made with pesticides and I doubt you want your food going into them. I spend the money to get those game bags at the outdoor store, they hold an elk quarter and don't have nasty stuff in them.

Carrying a big pack sucks, I field hunt goose and carry 24 shell decoys, spare shells, clothes, food, water, flashlight and first aid and walk around 1.5 miles. I am fairly sure its the goose decoys that add too much weight but the pack without them is still slightly heavier then I would want to carry for a day, its ok for a few miles.

August 2, 2007, 07:18 PM
I've just got a little day pack. I'm with Vern, too big. My day pack is made out of really soft material and is very quiet. All I need is something for the day, something to stash clothing in as the day heats up, and to carry a lunch, maybe.

That might be a good hiking backpack, though, for an overnight trip and it's a decent price. I don't know how much of that I'll be doing anymore, though, as I'm getting up there in age. But, I ain't dead, yet.

Here's a pic of my gunbelt I wear when hunting out west or hiking. I have another less elaborate one, but this one is packed with stuff I might need, emergency rain blanket, fire starting stuff, multitool, ammo pouch for the handgun, wire saw, snake bite kit, lensatic compass, twin, tape, canteen and water treatment tablets, bandage material, sharpening rock, mini maglight and spare batteries, this and that what I might need in a pinch. The trash bags are as Vern says, multi useful. I wear this one when I'm going to be out a ways from civilization. Believe it or not, there are places around here, down in the baffin bay/land cut area, where I wear this, too. It's a long boat ride just to get down there, no roads in or out.

This rig looks heavy, but really isn't except for the quart of water which I often take out and put in the day pack. I sometimes don't have a handgun on it, too, if I'm hunting with a rifle or duck hunting down at the land cut with a shotgun. Mostly tote a handgun for small game or when I'm back packing (more accurately, day hiking), which I haven't done in a while. It wouldn't work with a back pack that had a waist belt, but works fine with my day pack.

August 2, 2007, 08:08 PM
Understand your problem, I had it too. My solution is the result of years of eveolution. About 10 years ago I finally found an inexpensive, modest size fleece day pack sufficent for my normal day needs and very quiet too. I use a cheap (Walmart) wine "bota" for a canteen, it's quiet and takes the least space when empty.

To add extra ability to stow a jacket and/or rain gear externally, I added steel "D" rings around the pack for tying the extras to. Got the D rings and neccessary 3/4" nylon webbing for them from a back-packing/hikers/climbing store. Used large uphostering needles and unwaxed dental floss for thread to sew them on. Nylon shoe laces are good for the ties.

As an Eastern deep woods deer hunter, I usually carry a self-climbing tree stand. My pack is simply tied to the stand.

( A large mouth plastic Coleman camping fuel container works for a #1 potty when I'm up a tree, it doesn't leak even after I do! )

August 2, 2007, 08:22 PM
I use one similar when coyote hunting (carrying camera, calls, decoy, & ghilli poncho), but opt for a smaller version for other trips afield. +1 on the chest strap . . . you can also capture your rifle sling under it when really covering ground . . . does a good job of keeping it from slipping off your shoulder.

August 2, 2007, 08:32 PM
As long as if fits well, go for it. If you have an outfitter that will allow you to try it and and toss some weight in it, all the better. I'd insist on a good waist belt and a chest strap. Let's face it, the hopes are you load this down like never before with meat from a huge buck or elk. A good suspension is key. The ability to strap on some extra load would be quite nice also.

Comfort is key. If it is adjustable, all the better to make it fit nicely to your physique. However, on the note of how much to spend. You don't scrimp on two things when hiking a lot. 1. your boots. You'd pay anything for good boots when you have blisters or they're wet and cold when they're not supposed to be . 2. a backpack is with you like boots. If it don't fit, you're miserable. Don't scrimp. On that note, a budget pack can fit as good or better than spendy ones. You have to try them on for size.

I went in to buy a $150 backpack for hiking and ended up walking out with a $325 pack because it was that much more comfortable, seriously. And having lugged that bugger up multi-thousand feet pitches in a day. I have to say, it is money well spent, and spent only once. Once is the key. It's not the exclusivity of a "name" brand, it's not marketing hype, it's comfort, period. Where that falls is usually a bit more, but sometimes not. Jansport and Kelty are excellent examples of comfortable budget conscious packs.

August 3, 2007, 11:24 AM
Christ, $325 for a backpack? Some trendy Ro-DAY-o drive hiking shop? LOL! I understand the comfort thing, but I don't do THAT much packing and have only overnighted a few times in the mountains when hiking. I'm a day hiker, mainly, and my day pack is just for hunting. If I were packing in expecting to pack out meat, well, I'd have a bigger pack for sure, though. I usually drag the deer out with a sheet of thick plastic I bought from Cabelas branded a "deer sleigher". Works great if you're only a mile or three from the truck. Elk, though, if I ever get to do that, that's another matter.

$325 is way more'n I'd dump on a back pack unless it was motorized and I could ride it. I'd be looking at Academy for the most comfortable backpack under 100 dollars if it were me. LOL! But, then, I buy my boots at Pay Less.

August 3, 2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the advice. Based on it, and my limited experiences in the field, I bought the thing.

Turns out that the backpack is about perfect, since it's two packs in one: a smallish rucksack with bladder pocket, and a hip pack that detaches if you want it to. A true bargain at $40, with chest strap, heavily padded hip strap, and ergo shoulder straps.

August 3, 2007, 04:30 PM
Looks like a real nice pack for hunting, to me. Price seems to be great, too. Googled it and found one for 55 bucks, about as cheap as I could find it. Not a serious back packing pack like jeepmor's, but I don't think most hunters need such a thing, just a day pack for things. A pack like his is for serious hikers for serious hikes like week long stuff in rugged country. If I did that sort of thing, I'd want one like his, hang the cost. But just for hunting, mine's not as nice as yours.

August 3, 2007, 04:38 PM
Oh yeah... I should have written initially that I was looking for a versatile daypack, not a pack for hiking for days on end, sleeping on the trail, and lugging out meat on the frame.:)

August 3, 2007, 04:39 PM
I have had a couple of FieldLine packs in the past. They are inexpensive because they are cheap is what I concluded. They lasted me about 2 years each before starting to fall apart.

August 3, 2007, 04:46 PM
Yeah, that wouldn't shock me. The terrain and brush here are nasty, though, so I'll probably trash it soon enough anyway.

When I've used it (or used it up) I'll have a better idea of what I really want. Then I'll spend good money on a Kelty I think. The Kelty pack I have couldn't be more durable, and when I did damage it, they fixed it for free.

August 3, 2007, 07:35 PM
My Son has a Fieldline that I used to use, then retired. He's worn it on many a hunt & it's still going strong.

August 3, 2007, 11:57 PM
i just use my alicepack for long hunts and then i have a smaller day hiking pack i use for day trips

i like the alice pack because i can strap my rifle on the side of it and my revolver on my hip then balence it out with the water on the other side of the pack

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