I am not new to hunitng. But I have never backpack hunted. I have been interested in it for a long time now. I have an internal frame day pack and I was wanting to upgrade to something that would be big enough for some solo backpack hunts for Deer and Predators of a week or less here in the midwest. I saw the redhead big country external frame pack for $89.95. It has 5,600 CU inches of storage and seems to be a great deal. I think I remember reading somewhere that the weight was 6 or 7 LBs. I realize that you get what you pay for. However, with family, mortgage, and college payments I am on an extremely tight budget. I don't expect it to perform like a Kifaru. I just want a simple dependable pack large enough for my needs. If any one has had any experiences with or opinions on this pack please let me know. I just want to make sure that I am not wasting my money.
In my opinion there are two distink ways to hunt using a backpack. One is too hike to a pre determined place and set up a spike camp and day hunt from there leaving the pack and non necessary items there or as I do wear the pack while hunting and spend the night where ever you are when the sun goes down. If you intend to spike camp then the external framed large packs work really well. If your going to have it on every day and the country is rough the internal framed packs are the way to go as they conform to your body and are no way near as noisy.
But for 90 bucks heck go for it. You have to start somewhere and thatís not a lot of money and in a couple years if you like doing it you will know what works for you and what doesnít.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
I bought us two external frame backpacks at flea markets for 10.00 each. They are huge and work great and will outlast me. Both had the belly band thing. Next purchase is some used ski poles for stability in our mtns when hiking.
5 yrs ago I did splurge on a Cabela's freighter pack frame in case I have to haul a moose out whole, but I felt it was 129.00 (then) well spent. Sadly I havent had to use it yet. Gud luck on yours.
I know it may be alittle out of your budget but I love my ALICE pack, more comfortable then any of the expensive packs at outdoor stores I filled up with stuff from the shelves and tried on in my experience.
Thanks Dimitri, That pack looks like a great starting rig. Unfortunatly, I was just laid off so it looks like unless the price is free, It will be too much for now. When things return to normal, That may be the pack I go with. I am also looking forward to reading anyone elses recomendations in the meantime.
Check out ebay. There are several good external frame packs out there. I have recently picked up a couple of Dana Design Loadmaster packs for a pretty good price. The cheapest was about $75. Popular opinion is, it's the best most comfortable external frame ever made. I put 80 lbs in one of mine without knowing the weight. Carried it for a while and then jumped on a scale. I was surprised it was that heavy. It carried so well. Thought I had about 40 lbs in there.
I know you said money is tight, but keep your eyes open. They pop up on ebay pretty regularly. When you have some cash saved up, buy one. You won't be disappointed.
I have lived and back pack hunted here in Alaska since 1976. I have tried every pack I could get my hands on in the first twenty of those years. SInce 1982 when I bought my first Camp Trails, its been my pack of choice.
What fits your torso is way more important than anything else. I have several different frame sized Camp trails freighter packs. Picked up a small unused one at a Garage sale this past weekend for $25. for my wife. Fifteen years ago I went to a mountain climbing school pack shop and had a internal frame pack built for my wife. She is slight of frame and tough as nails. To carry a 50 pound plus awkward meat load one must have a very tough pack. The Kelty back pack she has is very good for her as 60 pounds is all she should carry. The Kelty is still doing a great Job put she needs to use my smaller Camp trails when we are hauling heavy loads into the back country. The shelf is great for boxes of goods or hauling a 135 pound brown bear hide.
AN example of extreme is we each carried 35 pound packs into the back country for a week long goat hunt. Set up camp leaving everything but spotting scope,camera and essential items. SHe shot her goat the second day in. ( 5 miles) Because of where the goat was on the ridge I had her shoot high through both shoulders to break the back bone. SO boned usuable meat was 75 pounds. Goats front shoulders are larger than hind quarters. I emptied the essentials from my pack into her Kelty and carried all meat back to camp. Then I still had the original 35 pounds of gear to carry out in addition to the meat. It is not the weight as much as the surface area and tie downs that have allowed us to do things like this for decades. I still have my first Camp trails. I have carried it so much that the aluminum bags pins have had to be replaced several times. SO I quit replacing and used 1/4 stainless steel bolts.
That belly strap as it was referred to is actually the waist belt. Essential to fit as the packs I carry after an hour or two will literally cut off circulation to ones arms. A proper fitting padded waste belt is used to place the heavy loads on your legs and not your back.