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Military Packs for Hunting?

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Old 08-19-2013, 07:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 20
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

They may be worth it but at $700+ many of us can't afford them no matter what. They will remain on my wish list .
ol' Ephriam's Bait
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:58 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Mojave Desert, Nevada
Posts: 183
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?(Eberlestock)

+1 for the Eberlestock packs.

Speaking as a backpacker I think the Just One is THE most versatile hunting pack made.

Closed up for day hunts, opened up a little for carrying overnight bivouac gear or opened up all the way for carrying out quarters,
"There are no comfortable packs, only packs that are less uncomfortable than others."
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:41 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

USMC ILBE Gen 2. It's made for Marines to carry into combat. "Nuff said
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:15 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Mojave Desert, Nevada
Posts: 183
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

Re. Mystery Ranch packs:

Before starting up Mystery Ranch production Dana Gleason owned Dana Designs and made several great (al;though heavy) packs. He sold the name and company to a larger company and it eventually died out because they didn't have a clue about quality pack design.

I own his Dana Designs Terraplane, a real load hauler and weighing in at 7.5 lbs. I now only use it for winter backcountry trips B/C I need the extra space (7,000 cu. in. max) for bulky winter gear.

My 3 season pack is a 2007 REI Cruise UL 60 and it hauls anything I need including a bear canister for my food when necessary.

So Dana is a man who knows how to design a comfortable, high quality pack. 'Spensive? Yep, but worth it.
"There are no comfortable packs, only packs that are less uncomfortable than others."
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Lawton, OK
Posts: 28
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I would be wary of military packs. After market packs designed with troops in mind is one thing, but I personally would NEVER carry an issued pack on a hunt. They are not very adjustable, very heavy, and wear you down quickly. I just did a 12 mile ruck march a couple weeks ago which took 2.7 hours. My arms fell asleep and my shoulders hurt up to about three days after the march. We were only carrying about 40 lbs of gear. They hold a lot of weight but at the expense of your body. I would save up the money and buy a high quality commercial pack. Eberlestock and Mystery Ranch come to my mind as a couple of top tier companies. Keep in mind though that 1000d nylon is incredibly durable but not as comfortable or breathable as some other fabrics out there.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:46 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Gilbert, Az
Posts: 17
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

For the money the ILBE pack it's hard to beat. Complete packs can be found pretty cheap on ebay these days.

I picked one up a few years ago to play around with. I made a few modifications to suit my needs.

First I cut most of the MOLLE webbing off, this got the pack down to 6.5 lbs.

Second I swapped the original waist belt out for a used kifaru one. I have skinny hips and no butt, the original belt never fit me comfortably with any weight in the bag.

It's a little big for day hunts imho but cinches down fairly thin. I wanted to get some field time with it so I used it on my brothers elk hunt last week. It worked out great and hauled quarters out like a champ. I think I may use this one more often.

I've used a gen4 MOLLE frame and pad set the last 2 deer seasons. I cut the suspension off another pack I didn't care for and mounted it to the frame. I've packed out 2 coues bucks with this setup by cinching the meat between the bag and frame. The meat, head, antlers and gear weighed about 70lbs. The pack feels pretty comfortable at that weight, at least as comfy as 70lbs can feel. I wish the shoulder straps were less wide though. This pack also comes in around 6.5 lbs.

My final surplus pack is the Mystery Ranch SATL I got off ebay. It's my favorite of the bunch but it's brown and I'm scared to use it during rifle hunts so it's my archery bag. It weighs in at 4.5lbs, I added a little extra padding to the lumbar pad, ordered padded belt pieces from MR and swapped out the flimsy fiberglass stays with pieces of carbon arrow and got rid of the rolled foam body armor support things.

This pack is super comfy and light. I've only packed out a javelina with it, probably a 45-50lb load but it felt good. This would be my go to pack most of the time if it wasn't brown.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:25 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Military Packs for Hunting?

I've been using a surplus molle I picked up dirt cheap on ebay. I cut about half the straps off. It has worked great so far. I put lots of mile in with it for archery season and hauled out thee elk and a deer with it. It is a bit hot and a bit heavy. But for the price I think its hard to beat.
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