backpacking and long range

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Siso, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Siso

    Siso Member

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    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?
     
  2. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

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    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!
     

  3. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    NO!! Why would you?
     
  4. shortshooter

    shortshooter Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. Siso

    Siso Member

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    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.
     
  6. shortshooter

    shortshooter Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I have backpack hunted for years and a few years ago got interested in long range hunting. In my opinion they are two different sports with each having its own set of tools. When I backpack hunt the pack is between 22 and 28 lbs depending on the days out and the rifle is around 8 lbs. In the late season the packs weigh a little more because of weather. I have always hand carried my rifles and 8 lbs gets to be a pain in the a…s after a couple days. We don’t set up a spike camp so the pack is on all day and camp wherever we are at at dark..

    No way would I pack the 12 lb rifle for 3-4 days on a back pack hunt along with spotting scope and all the other necessary tools required to make accurate long range shots. I can’t see doing that with a 40- 50 lb pack especially in the rough country that warrents backpacking. Then if you take a large buck it’s a two trip deal or more getting the meat and cape out. The long range stuff happens either from horseback or from a quad. I’m very lucky because where I live and hunt is pretty much out my back door and givin the mood I can do either. The horse does not like packin that heavy rifle either. Got to put a gallon of water in the saddle bag on the off side just to keep the saddle straight.
     
  9. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    Every hunting rifle I own has turrets and is good to at least 700 yards. The heaviest is 10 pounds, the lightest 7 1/4 all up. All are factory.
     
  10. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    What is the max range for a light rifle?
     
  11. Siso

    Siso Member

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    Yea I can see that, two different sports is a good answer. I was thinking some people were packing there long range gear in several miles. How far does that average solo long range hunter go then once the quad is parked?

    Thanks for the replies so far!
     
  12. shortshooter

    shortshooter Well-Known Member

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    This fall I'll see if I can add some pics of an LR packpack hunt using light gear. Pack in the camp on the back and if successful bring camp and deer out in one trip. That is if I can find something that warrants shooting at.
     
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Good question, and I plan to find out. My present out fit is a Sako Finnlight (6 3/8 lbs) that will be topped with a NF NSX (31 oz). I'll be shooting 180 E-Tips out of it and hope to be able to reach 800-900 yds, maybe even a 1000. I think a 700-800 yd shot is very doable with it.

    The real answer to the question is how far is the rifle (and shooter)accurate for a dependable game shot and kill and how far can you get bullet performance?
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I guess there are a lot of approaches to this. For backpacking or even long day hikes up into the mountains or across badlands etc., I wouldn't plan on taking a real heavy outfit. I personally would like to get a 7mm Dakota made with a 27" #5 or #6 barrel topped with a NF NXS. A rifle like that would be capable of a 1K shot and weigh maybe 11 lbs including scope. So I think a good backpacking LR rifle would be someting along the line of a 7mm RUM or 300 RUM with a 26-27 inch medium weight barrrel. I probably would opt for good binoculars and no spotting scope.