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Military Packs for Hunting?

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Unread 09-23-2012, 01:32 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 80
Military Packs for Hunting?

Was looking really hard at Badlands and other assorted packs for the upcoming deer season, and then I got to thinking (dangerous, I know) how would a military surplus pack hold up for packing in and staying for a night or two, and hopefully packing meat out?

Seems like it should be fine but I have searched multiple forums and couldn't find too much info on it. The packs I am looking at are the new Molle systems and the 2nd Generation marpat arcyteryx. Both can be bought used on ebay for about $100

Here are a couple links.


Digital ACU US ARMY MOLLE II ACU RUCKSACK Complete Back Pack w/ 2 POUCHES | eBay

What do you think?
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Unread 09-23-2012, 06:26 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 341
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I have the MOLLE II one, and you can really load that frame with weight. I would check out a local surplus store to see how well they will fit your body. I used the Cabelas Alaskan guide pack in AK for hauling around caribou meat and it works great also, since its super easy to remove the pack part, and has a cool meat holder built in (for use with the game bags).
If you like your hunting rifle, you can keep your hunting rifle.
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Unread 09-23-2012, 07:56 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 14
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I have used the Army's MOLLE II in the field and hunting. It's heavier than commercial packs and might not be as adjustable if you have a longer torso. It is also made to get wet and drain (vs to be waterproof). I do think the ACU pattern is the worst camo pattern out there. You will also have the "US" painted on the sustainment pouches and the main pack.

I think the load limit on the frame is something like 200lbs. I've never approached that weight when packing.

Hope this helps
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Unread 09-24-2012, 08:44 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arkansas (Home of Record)
Posts: 1,951
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I have put hundreds of miles in with one. I don't have a lot to complain about. I'm 5'7" and 210 lbs, and it does ok. There isn't a whole lot of adjustment on them. I have carried well over 100#'s in mine for extended distance. It will hold a lot of crap, lived out of it for several days many times without a resupply. If I had my choice would it be what was issued to me, probably not. But have I went out and purchase a commercial one to replace it...no
I took it on an elk hunt a few years back and packed out a lot of meat in two trips, if I get to go this year ill take it with me again.
As far as ACU camo is concerned, when I gets dirty it actually serves you better. Or do as I do a lot of times and paint it. Too easy!
Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

The people trying to say the 2nd Amendment is outdated are probably the same folks that would say the same thing about the Bible.
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Unread 09-25-2012, 05:09 PM
2@X 2@X is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I rock around with one of the old large ALICE packs with steel frame. It is pretty tropical where I live and hunt down here in Oz and I like the fact the frame sits off my back to help keep cool (overheating is a real danger down this way). There is no need to carry much in the way of cold weather gear, so not to much bulk, but a raincoat is essential!

I have found the material to hold up alright, though the rocky areas do scuff it up a bit and will wear through eventually.

Having used the ALICE for a while now, both for my ex work and pleasure, I dig it! (just get better strap and kidney pad kit)
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Unread 10-27-2012, 06:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 140
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I'd be sniffing around for a used Dana Design Terraplane or Alpine. Should be able to find one around $100-$150 and they are about as good as it gets.
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Unread 10-27-2012, 08:49 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 1,024
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

For packs, I buy within my price range. I've done many 3 day'ers with old one compartment bags before there was ever a specialty market for packs. I'll pack out heart & liver and a little meat but usually go back to base and get a pack frame for hauling meat. Alice packs squeak and are a little heavy but very rugged. You can buy comfort but unless it's ultra cheap, most will do the job if your not hauling all your meat in it. Go ahead and try the military pack and then you'll know.
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