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Nebraska Outlander
04-29-2012, 06:05 PM
I am looking at going Elk hunting in 2013 and starting to buy things that I will need for a pack in hunt. My question is if you were planning on staying in for around 5 to 7 days how big of pack would you need (cubic inches)?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Nebraska Outlander

Bitterroot Bulls
04-29-2012, 06:10 PM
5000 cubic inches and up should do it, if you have reasonably light backpacking equipment. You can get by with smaller packs, but 5000 has been about right for me.

Grantbvfd
04-29-2012, 06:25 PM
I definitely wouldn't go smaller than 5000 CI. Food for 7 days will take up alot of room in a pack. I would consider looking at about a 6000 CI pack. When in doubt go a little bigger than you think you need because any good quality pack will compress down to the size you need. It will also help you when you get something down and need to get camp and meat out. Good luck let us know what you end up getting.

Drhorsepower
04-29-2012, 06:35 PM
Good point, better too big than too little,5k and up is a good rule

Nebraska Outlander
04-29-2012, 07:30 PM
Thanks guys, glad I asked would have gotten too small!!! I am glad this site is here trial and error is okay however if you don't have to go threw it I will be a lot better off!! :)

Thanks again,

Nebraska Outlander

Ikeepitcold
04-29-2012, 09:44 PM
I agree with the 5k but remember if you go bigger guys tend to want to fill it causing extra weight.

Grantbvfd
04-29-2012, 10:45 PM
I agree with the 5k but remember if you go bigger guys tend to want to fill it causing extra weight.

I will definitely agree with you on this one. I have a 6500 CI pack and I really have to ask myself if I really need some items I bring. Just keep an eye on what you pack and you will be fine.

ChadH
04-30-2012, 02:05 PM
Agreed! It's the same principle as with your finances.... no matter how much you have, you spend most of it. No matter how much space you have, you fill most of it.

Matthoek21
04-30-2012, 04:01 PM
I agree. Really be thorough with your list of items. That will make a huge difference. I have made mistakes taking too much gear and food. Remember you may not eat as much as normal and food will occupy a lot of space. However dont skimp on calories because you will be burning alot of them. Dont be afraid to ask alot of questions about your pack list. This group of people on this forum can help steer you in the right direction. Lots of expeeience and knowledge here

Elk Hunter
05-01-2012, 08:45 AM
Another vote for the large pack. I have a Argon 85. Definitely needed when I start packing out my elk. The best thing I have done to save weight is to make an excel worksheet on the computer, listing all my gear and food options along with the weight of each item. Also keeps you from forgetting anything. I just check what I want to take and the worksheet keeps track of the total weight. Interesting how an item no longer seemed so important or I found ways to do without an item once I knew how much it weighed. Even food options make the list only after considering calories per ounce. Did you know walnuts and cashews have more calories per ounce than peanuts? The worksheet keeps track of total food weight, calories, and calories per day of the items selected. I still carry a couple of extra days but I saved a lot of weight when I stopped carrying so much food.

Larry Schwartz
05-08-2012, 01:27 PM
The comment above about it depending on how lightweight your gear is was a critical one. Don't worry about what size pack to get until you get what will go into it. One person may be able to fit his standard gear (sleeping bag and pad, tent, cooking gear, clothes, water filter, etc.) and the food to be taken into a 5000 cubic inch bag while someone taller or or with bulkier gear may need a 6500 or 7500 cubic inch pack for the same list of equipment.

Once you have your core set of equipment lay it out with something the same size as the food you will be taking into a rectangular cube and then measure it to see how many cubic inches you will need. Also, keep in mind that most backpack manufacturers measure the capacity of their packs based on a fully stuffed calculation which takes into account stretching. This means that a bag that is 10" x 10" x 20", or 2000 cubic inches might be rated as 2200 because you can jam 2200 ci's of stuff into it, so get something that is 10-20% larger that what your rectangular cube measures. This will also make it easier to pack for the trip out and you are sitting on ground stuffing stuff into your pack bag rather than carefully putting it in just the right place.

Also, many packs have expansion collars on the top that they use to get their full volume, so the main pack bag may be 3000 ci's but with the expansion collar it goes up to 5000 ci's...but it is also 12 inches taller which makes it go over your head. If you are normal sized you may not like this design and might prefer a pack that is wider than some others.

Hope this helps,

Larry

Rock 2.0
05-31-2012, 11:23 PM
I use a 5000 and think its plenty, as for feeling that you have to fill the space, just stick to your list and keep in mind that you will hopefully have it overstuffed with meat after getting your animal!

mthuntress
06-01-2012, 12:51 AM
If you want everything in your pack then get a 4500+ and if you don't mind stuff on the outside of the pack then I use a 2800.But I have all my gear in titanium{took a few year to get it due to the cost}and the lightest gear i can get.

ChadH
07-22-2012, 07:38 PM
I agree with the 5k but remember if you go bigger guys tend to want to fill it causing extra weight.
yep.... just be prepared to be ruthless about every ounce you can possibly save. After you have shaved off every ounce you can, THEN you can go back and add luxury items. If you just jump in and start figuring out your kit on the fly you will rationalize a bunch of stuff you won't really use by saying "oh, it's only 1/2 oz. I might need that). It all adds up. I've found cut it all down to absolute minimum, then try it out on some overnighters. Once you have a baseline kit add a few luxury items (like for me I HAVE to stick in a block of cheddar cheese) and you won't go overboard as easily.

I have a 6500 ci and a 3000 I use for day hunts and plan on using for 2-3 day "short" hunts.

Fink
07-23-2012, 06:51 AM
yep.... just be prepared to be ruthless about every ounce you can possibly save. After you have shaved off every ounce you can, THEN you can go back and add luxury items. If you just jump in and start figuring out your kit on the fly you will rationalize a bunch of stuff you won't really use by saying "oh, it's only 1/2 oz. I might need that). It all adds up. I've found cut it all down to absolute minimum, then try it out on some overnighters. Once you have a baseline kit add a few luxury items (like for me I HAVE to stick in a block of cheddar cheese) and you won't go overboard as easily.


How do you keep the cheese from getting nasty? Or is that for short hunts only? I've been trying to figure out what kind of cheese I could take to put on a bagel with some salami, to break up the monantany of of peanut butter and honey.

BKC
07-23-2012, 09:28 AM
I take string cheese or the little individual packets of cheese sticks. They stay fresher longer and easier to pack

ChadH
07-23-2012, 11:19 AM
I take string cheese or the little individual packets of cheese sticks. They stay fresher longer and easier to pack

I've never had a problem with cheese keeping for the number of days we are talking about (say up to 10), realistically it is going to be gone in probably 5 days, it keeps just fine. I buy a chunk of chedder and if the end is a little "dried out" buy the last day shave it off, but usually you are eating a slice often enough it is fine. A good chedder doesn't melt easily, it isn't "greasey" so it is about perfect for me. The string cheese is very handy to pack, but it's a little to "processed" for my liking. Tastes ok though.

dihardhunter
07-27-2012, 08:52 PM
I think the first question I would have is are you going early season archery or 3rd rifle season - climate being the critical component. I hunt out of a Badlands 2800 for 3-5 archery bivy hunts and have room enough to lash in the first hindquarter between the bat wing compartments on the pack back to the truck after the kill. Personally, bigger packs are too much temptation to pack gear that you aren't going to use anyways but still have to carry around for the better part of a week. Sitka 32 would be another pack that would perform nicely for a lengthy early season backcountry hunt.

Iowahunter
08-27-2012, 12:47 AM
Are a lot of you eating the dehydrated meals? Also trying to figure out our 2013 CO rut hunt, for food. the Mtn House Meals say 2 servings but is it more like 1 hearty meal? Plan on taking meals, gran. bars, string cheese...any other good high cal foods you've found? We plan on hiking in for as many days as possible without coming back out for supplies. What are some of your packs you're using?

labman
08-27-2012, 08:40 AM
Yes, I eat mountain house and 2 servings is a lot of food but you will need the calories. I am doing my first backcountry elk hunt is 3 weeks and my pack is a Mystery Ranch 6500. I have left over room but it is a bomb proof pack!! They tend to be a little heavy but I have been training with 85 pounds in the pack and it handles it with no problem. We are staying 8 days to give you some prospective pack with all gear is right at 50 pounds.

Iowahunter
08-27-2012, 12:39 PM
Awesome, that's not bad. Just curious, what do you take for clothes? Not sure what level to get yet for APX gear or if I should just get their raintamer. Plan on taking a heavy duty plastic bag and some powder laundry detergent so I can semi-wash clothes instead of bringing an extra pair. I generally dress pretty light for rifle season 'cause I sweat like a mad man and I guess I'm used to colder weather being from IA where the wind never stops and we have high humidity to cut through. Though about the L3 zephyr or thunder(although don't really believe in the scentlok type garments)

mnhunter
08-27-2012, 01:01 PM
I wouldn't get too worked up about scent management on a backpack hunt. Early in the season you might trade off a heavier bag for an extra set of cloths for the pack in, moving camp, and packing out. Other wise, buy a little smoke bottle and mind the wind.

Iowahunter
08-27-2012, 01:25 PM
Yea, agreed with scent clothes...don't think they're worth the extra $,IMO. Uncles have always pounded into my head, play the wind and throw your clothes in a tote with pine bows. MNHUNTER, you being from MN, do you sacrifice the weight/space to bring heavier insulated clothing? Or just lighter weight layers?

labman
08-27-2012, 01:27 PM
My clothing I am taking is APX L3 Primaloft Lighting Vest, L3 Zephyr Pant, L4 Gale Jacket
APX rain gear as well
First Lite Merino Wool Llano Short Sleeve shirt, Llano Crew Long Sleeve Shirt, Red Desert boxer short

This for my bow hunt in 3 weeks southern CO.

mnhunter
08-27-2012, 01:58 PM
More lighter layers for me. I have a hodge podge of clothes: I bought some firstlite this year (before that I was using my army issue silk-weights and waffles), cheap 1/4 zip fleece shirts from cabelas ($15 and lightweight), Sitka Ascent Pants, Russell APXG2 L3 Jacket, Under Armour rain pants and jacket.

The only scent control I use when out west is one of those little smoke bottles. I have tried to mess with the scent blocker stuff and the sprays, but when you are working that hard and are living out of a pack, you just can't cover that kind of stink up.

Iowahunter
08-28-2012, 12:45 AM
I was thinking about the lighter layers as well. Usually for 3rd and 4th season rifle CO I wore just a t-shirt and a cheapo orange button up from Walmart when I was hiking and then when we'd take stands near the timber, take that stuff off and put on a fresh T shirt, sweatshirt and an old thin coat. We've always had a base camp for gun season so I could bring extra "if" clothes along. but since we're packing in, I need to actually limit myself.

Thought about getting the Russell Gear Raintamer jacket and pants and just using my light weight, fleece windproof Red Head pullover and pants for if it gets cold. And actually think we're going to pack in one of those portable showers to revive our self!