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backpacking and long range

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Old 08-08-2008, 10:34 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23
backpacking and long range

I looked at the “what are you packing in with” thread in the backpacking section but that looked like it wasn’t geared towards long range hunting. I backpack and like to shoot long range so I’m thinking this would be a good time for me. However I'm a light weight backpacker and have a hard time getting over the idea of such a heavy rifle. But then again if I'm successful I'll be packing out a deer anyways so 5lbs this way or that won't make a difference! I was just wondering of those that backpack in to hunt long range does anyone carry a rifle 17lbs or over?
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:54 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon City, OR
Posts: 481
What I do

Not excatly backpack hunting but we have to cover some major ground in a day of hunting. My brother and I decide on who is the shooter for the day and split the packs up. If one is carrying the gun for the day the other takes the spotting scopes and tripods.

I could not imagine trying to pack in say 5-10 miles and set up a camp by my self. All the gear that it takes, Bino's, Spottingscope, tripod, rangefinder, food, water, and Gun. my pack is already 40 lbs and i have not included a tent or sleeping bag.

I would think you need a buddy that is willing to be a pack mulie or take a couple trips to get things setup.

I am intrested in how others accomplish this feet!
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:57 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,377
NO!! Why would you?
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:35 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
backpack hunting

Currently I have 2 heavy LR rifles and one sporter weight rifle in 30-378. When backpacking in I want the 30-378 as it's light enough, yet I can still shoot it well and it provides me with enough reach to harvest at any reasonable range.

I use an Kifaru Supertarp, Sierra Designs Orgami 4, and an MSR Twin Peaks as my light weight floorless shelters. These have stove jacks in them and are heated by Kifaru and Ti-goat wood stoves.

For a light single man tent I use an MSR Hubba.

For water filter I now have an MSR Miox. Very small and lightweight.

Optics: I use an Nikon ED 13-30x50mm these days. It is fantastic, lightweight, and rather small, while giving excellent resolution. With this I don't carry a tripod. Rather I have an carbon fiber adjustable mono pod that the spotter goes on. Take the spotter off and twist on a Stoney Point V rest adapter and you have a shooting stick. Great tool and it's collaspable.

For Binos I am using Swaro 8x30 SLC's. Nice small binos that give a wide field of view and you really don't want any more than this in a bino. If more is needed break out the spotter.

Other items are a small light Tiaga bucksaw, GB mini hatchet, LED headlamp, Montbell inflatable pillow, Ex Ped or Big Agnes sleep pad, Marmot down bag, and whatever knife I choose to carry.

There are other stoves I own like the MSR Reactor and Brunton Raptor. The Brunton is very small and light and the Reactor is an amazing tool in its' own right.

Packs: Kifaru EMR, Dana TerraFrame, Barney's freighter, Osprey Cresent, and North FAce Perserverance. This is what I use and I am pretty content especially with the Osprey the old North Face and especially the old Dana Terraframe.

In all seriousness I can make my pack weigh whatever I pretty much want or desire. There is no trouble getting it down to a 40-50 lb pretty easily.

For example: With my Kifaru tarp or the MSR Twin Sisters and a Ti-goat cyclinder stove I have a heated shelter and have an ultra light set up that is bullet proof.

Kifaru gear is really top notch yet extremely expensive. Still I have some of their gear.

In order to economize I've also stoved the above mentioned Msr Twin Sisters shelter by sewing in a stove jack and using a nonflamable groundcloth for under my cyclinder stove. I like this setup as the MSR shelter costs $160 and is well made yet considerably less money than most shelters of this type.

If you backpack hunting, one thing that you cannot change is the weight of the pack itself. You need a heavy duty pack like a Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, Dana, or the like for packing out your camp and meat. These packs are a bit heavier but they last for the long haul and don't fall apart, and provide comfort.

If your with an partner it makes it all the easier.

There really are some light solutions these days and in reality there's no reason to be packing more than 40-50 lbs. In reality it can even be less than that if your taking in an ultra light rifle.

Just kind of a rant that I enjoy the value of backpack hunting and these days it isn't heavy thanks to brilliant small optics, light floorless shelters, merino wool, synthetic clotheing, and lightweight appliances like stoves, ti-utensils and hardware, and small water filters that allow you treat water instead of take water.

Just be smart and really look at what your packing in. You'd be suprised just how much you don't need.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:18 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23
I can get my pack out weight down to 30lbs with food for 7 days in the Rockies and 2L of water. Granted this is in the summer with temps down to the low to mid 30's. The most I carried was 65lbs with a Dana Astraplane for about a week. So I think that it would be possible to combine my three passions in life shooting long range, backpacking and hunting.

As far as why... I think there would be less hunting pressure the further back you go. (I don't have enough money for a guide or horses) Also these are just some of the things that I like to do.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:22 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 139
That Dana pack is bout is excellent and my personal Dana is the TerraFrame. I totally agree that packing in combines the best of all worlds, backpacking, hunting, and perhaps shooting-hunting @ long range.

In the past 2yrs I've gotten my combined pack/weapon weight down to about 40lbs. My longrange pack rifle weighs 9.2 lbs. Range is of no issue, but the barrel does heat up quickly, but again usually the first shot is all that is needed.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:26 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,377
You misunderstood, friend. I meant why on earth would you pack that kind of weight on a backpack hunt. 17lbs? Surely you don't think you need that kind of weight to shoot far.
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