Equipment for Backpack Hunting

Troutslayer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2005
Messages
278
Location
Missoula, MT USA
Sounds like TS simply has an axe to grind against the company and is offering an opinion on something he’s never tried.

Also, water-purification pumps are light---much lighter than carrying around bottles of water for 4 hours waiting for the tablets to take effect. If you’ve been sweating and are dehydrated, a pump produces instant results.

A couple of things. I do have a bone to pick with Cabela's as I've owned a lot of the things that they refer to as "outfitter series" and they have all crapped out on me, from cloths to waders to packs. I have used that Alaskan pack though I never owned one and it is certainly significantly heavier than the alternative. As far as water, what I like to do is have a few plastic bottles that are light and pack small so that I can be drinking out of one or two while another one is chlorinating. There are also instant purification methods that don't require a filter. I do a lot of winter mountaineering and sometimes that means melting snow and if you're gonna melt it you might as well boil it which also takes care of parasites and bacteria. Chances are that if you're backpacking there is minimal risk of giardia and though I won't suggest it to anyone, I often drink right out of a small creek or spring. I don't like the filters because they can freeze and the housing can crack which renders them useless. Make sure you purge your filter of all water if you're going to expose it to freezing temps. Sometimes the hose will get blocked with ice or the whole filter will be clogged with tiny ice crystals.
 

billtyler

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
9
A couple of things. I do have a bone to pick with Cabela's as I've owned a lot of the things that they refer to as "outfitter series" and they have all crapped out on me, from cloths to waders to packs. I have used that Alaskan pack though I never owned one and it is certainly significantly heavier than the alternative. As far as water, what I like to do is have a few plastic bottles that are light and pack small so that I can be drinking out of one or two while another one is chlorinating. There are also instant purification methods that don't require a filter. I do a lot of winter mountaineering and sometimes that means melting snow and if you're gonna melt it you might as well boil it which also takes care of parasites and bacteria. Chances are that if you're backpacking there is minimal risk of giardia and though I won't suggest it to anyone, I often drink right out of a small creek or spring. I don't like the filters because they can freeze and the housing can crack which renders them useless. Make sure you purge your filter of all water if you're going to expose it to freezing temps. Sometimes the hose will get blocked with ice or the whole filter will be clogged with tiny ice crystals.


I understand some gear didn’t work out for you (I’ve owned high-end “alternatives” that haven’t worked out either which goes to show $$$ isn’t always the answer), but I’m still failing to see what your dislike of Cabela’s products has to do with Wal-Mart??? My interpretation of your final point in your initial response was that you consider Cabela’s a “big-box” retailer and that alone—not necessarily the gear they carry—influences you to shop elsewhere and is a reason you’re advising others to do the same.

On the pack-weight issue, I still disagree. In my opinion the difference between a good empty pack frame and empty internal-frame pack is negligible, and in my experience it’s much easier to carry loads secured to a rigid frame than with a pack that allows weight to shift with each step. Just my thoughts, no big deal.

It doesn’t matter how “light” and “small” the bottles are—water weighs the same no matter what you’re putting it in. You’re still talking about carrying around a bunch of H2O for hours waiting for the tablets to work. Your points against a filter cracking and purging the unit are very good ones, but what’s to say your spare bottles won’t freeze in the same weather while you’re waiting? Do your pills still work if half the bottle is full of ice? Besides boiling, why aren’t you using any other “instant” methods of purifying without filters as you stated, instead of waiting 4 hours for fresh water???

Melting snow is terrific advice, but what do backpacking and giardia have to do with each other?!?! Does the bacteria not like the backcountry or something?? You can pick it up (as well as a host of other micro-nasties) in numerous places!
 

Troutslayer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2005
Messages
278
Location
Missoula, MT USA
I understand some gear didn’t work out for you (I’ve owned high-end “alternatives” that haven’t worked out either which goes to show $$$ isn’t always the answer), but I’m still failing to see what your dislike of Cabela’s products has to do with Wal-Mart??? My interpretation of your final point in your initial response was that you consider Cabela’s a “big-box” retailer and that alone—not necessarily the gear they carry—influences you to shop elsewhere and is a reason you’re advising others to do the same.

I guess you didn't read the part where I said I bought a lot of equipment from them and it failed miserably. As a hunting guide I would always see these people from the south show up for a hunt with a wal-mart sleeping bag. They were huge and bulky, heavy, and never kept anyone warm. This has nothing to do with me being down on big box stores, just trying to say that there's no excuse for poor quality crap in the backcountry, and I'm not talking about the slackcountry where you're a half days walk from your truck. I mean the real backcountry where things going wrong can have serious and even fatal consequences. I feel like you're just trying to draw me into an argument with you and this will be my last response to this thread.
 

billtyler

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
9
No, no--not trying to make an agrument at al. . . sorry if it came out that way, just debating a little. Not sure you solved anything in the end, but consider it dropped. . .
 

proinfidel

New Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4
Location
Cashmere, Washington
Nimrod Pack Systems

Have any of you tried out the packs made in Washington by Nimrod Pack Systems. This guy makes amazing gear. A lot of thought goes into his gear. He is also a hunter and outdoorsman so everything is tested and any possible bug worked out before it hits the market. All of his gear is also made in Washington state in the good ol' USA. I own one of almost everything he makes.... and so do all my friends. Our hunting camp looks like the Nimrod shop! Try them out if you have not. You will not be sorry.
 

ol mike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
1,174
Location
Back in the south -NW FL..
I'm getting a hennessy hammock w/cold weather underliner ,I Hate sleeping on the ground w/a pad..

You won't go wrong w/the Kifaru stuff and it's American made -something we should all think about when we can...

For bags a western mountaineering is also on my need list.

I have a small titanium cylinder stove w/a 6' pipe -as stated a heated shelter is super nice ,you can tend to the fire -cook -dry out your stuff with the warm dry heat.
It packs down small and is worth every penny.

Lightweight backpacking is contagious -i have my summer stuff all together -right down to lightweight boots -knife -etc..
Get a warmer bag than you think you'll need ,i found this out the hard way.
If you expect 30* temps take 20* bag.

Only buy titanium pots etc. when you are standing at the bottom of a mountain facing a 2,000' climb every ounce counts ,you'll remember every penny you saved everytime you stop for a breather....
Good luck -Mike
 

DWK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
49
For fall hunting in the lower 48, I'm using a Marmot Helium bag (900 down---15 degree) that weighs 1 lb 13 oz. and is comfortable for my 6 foot 225 lb size. I also have a custom Feathered Friends 850 down expedition overbag that weighs about 2 lbs. I've had it down to 11 degrees on its own but it is built roomy and designed to have a bag like the Marmot inside it for extreme winter cold. I have found the two-bag system pretty flexible.

For Alaska and other moist country, I have used a North Face Snowshoe 5 degree Polarguard 3D synthetic bag, mentioned by another poster. Over the last 5 years the insulation has deteriorated substantially and I consider it about a 25-30 degree bag now.

One of my friends has a Western Mountaineering down bag that is excellent. I have their down Flight Jacket, which weighs 12 oz in XL size and the warmth just beats the hell out of many down jackets that weigh twice as much. However, it is an ultralight item and not built for crashing through thornbushes!

I've used the Snow Peak Giga Power titanium stove a lot and like it. On BackpackingLight.com they explain how to build a wind shield that will get it to perform at least as well as the Jetboil. Snow Peak titanium cookware has also worked well for me.

For fall conditions I've used a Tarptent with the built in floor and vestibule. Extremely light and good wind resistance but not meant for really cold winter conditions.

One piece of Cabela's equipment about which I can definitely say good things is their two-man expedition tent, which I think they call an XPG or the like. It is not as light and sophisticated as the Biblers so it is for horse packing or river rafting rather than lightweight backpacking. A friend brought one on a river trip out of Bethel, AK, not too far off the Bering Sea. For over two weeks we got the hell beat out of us by about 4 severe storms in a row. That tent performed perfectly for around $200 (or less on sale). Extremely strong, stable, dry, etc.
 

DWK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
49
Forgot the water purifier. For many years I used the full-size Katahdyn (I suspect that's not spelled correctly) with a 10 micron First Need pre-filter (that can be backflushed in the field) on the end of the intake hose. Fairly heavy. A year ago I bought an Aqua Star Plus for about $80. It is a UV purifier like the Steri Pen but I prefer it somewhat because it is lighter and it is built into the screw top for a 1 liter Nalgene lexan water bottle.

I fill the Aqua Star bottle with water and screw on the top, activate the switch, turn it upside down in my water bottle holder, and start walking. 80 seconds later the liter of water is ready to drink. On a week-long backpacking trip I did not need to use my backup batteries---the original set lasted well past that trip. I get the 123As from Surefire at a fairly reasonable price.
 

tippet

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
10
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argh
Hunting in San Diego/ Imperial Counties:
Eberlestock Gunslinger pack w/ 3L hyd system
Northface Tadpole tent
Old REI summer weight-down sleeping bag, weighs about 8 oz
Poncho liner. if it's cold I take extra poncho liners.
Rain gear (never needed it yet here)
Polypro hat/gloves
Therma rest
MSI water filter
Nalgene 1L collapsible water bottle
Petzl headlamp
Titanium cook-cup,
Whisperlite stove
 
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JCFORD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
73
Location
Kansas
Check out this web site - Integral Designs - Innovative Gear for Self Propelled Adventurers they have some top quality gear. I used one of their bags on a sheep hunt in NWT last year and my guide slept under one of their tarps. Very light weight high quality gear. It is also expensive. My 0 degree F down bag is waterproof, but it cost over $600. It should last a lifetime.

Backcountry.com: The North Face, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia Skiing, Camping, Hiking and Backpacking Gear from Backcountry.com Camping MSR, Sierra Designs, Hiking, Skiing K2, Volkl, Climbing Petzl, Yates, Snowboarding K2, Palmer, Rescue @ HermitsHut.com

Here are a couple more. The mountaineering folks really know light gear and how to survive.
I use a Mystery Ranch pack and really like it. I agree a frame pack may be alittle better for big meat loads, but I would much rather hunt in my MR internal frame pack and think overall it is a better deal. I have the NICE frame MR pack and can change bags from 6500 inches to 5000 inches or use the crew cab for day hunts or even overnight hunts. Welcome to Mystery Ranch Backpacks The pack bags have a place for water bladders.

Good Luck in your search.
 
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