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  1. #1
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    What's the right size pack

    My plan is to park the truck and pack in 2-3 miles. The area I'd like to hunt is about 1-2 miles beyond that. All said 4-5 miles from the truck. The goal is to be out 3-5 nights, whatever is necessary. Any recommendations on a pack size?

    Do most guys pack in all the gear, use the empty pack to take out the harvested deer, then head back in with the empty pack to retrieve the gear? Or is it possible with one giant pack to bring out deer and gear in one trip?

    Last question is water. Are most folks packing in 3-5 days of water, or ensuring they're near a source? I just bought a sweet super-light backpacking filter, but it makes me nervous without a sure supply. On the flip side, a gallon a day is 40 lbs.

    I walked out of the mts last year and ran into another hunter. The guy was wearing basically a phanny pack. I couldn't help but think what are you going to do with that???

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    I carry out all my gear and a boned out deer in one trip. It's heavy but beats 18 extra miles! Most of the places I hunt I know where multiple sources of water are so I'll cut back and pack in 2-3 liters. Right now I have a cabelas outfitter pack, it's not perfect but it's big enough and works for now. (A hiking stick helps a lot with the heavy loads)

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  4. #3
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    I agree with Never in Doubt. I now use a Tenzing 5000 for pretty much all my trips no mater how long, that way I can pack most everything out in one trip.
    JJenness
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    &T Crazy

  5. #4
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    4000 cui range, I can do a week out of that.

  6. #5
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    My pack is around 7k, I don't use all of going in but try and use every inch of it coming out. As far as water, it is unreasonable to try and stay that long without a water source. I've done 2 days before and that was pushing it with 6liters.

  7. #6
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    I have a Kelty Big Bend 5500cu that is made for hiking/camping. It's suited me well on several camping trips, I've just never tried hunting with it. It sounds like it's a suitable size based on the ranges you guys provided. I'll give it a whirl this fall and see how it holds up. Might as well try it before dropping $400+ on one of the hunting specific packs.

    For water, I guess my scouting trip in a few weeks is to find deer and water.

    Thanks everyone for the input!

  8. #7
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    I use a Kuiu 5200 Icon for anything less than 7 days.
    Something in the 5,000 c.i. size can be used as a large day pack and works well for shorter multi day trips.

  9. #8
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    rindog,those kelty's are nice packs, for backpacking and hiking. I have that same exact pack. but they are not built for heavy loads of meat, hunting packs are made a little more durable for the meat factor. I did haul out a mule deer in mine and it did to the job but with every step I took it felt like the seams were going to bust. and I agree some of these packs out there are outrageously priced!!

  10. #9
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    4500-5500 should do for earlier season hunts, but I'd suggest 6000-plus for when you'll need extra layers/gloves, heavier sleeping bag, more food, etc. Your shelter/sleep system will take up the most space so it really depends on your specific setup there as well. I'm in the camp of using a larger pack than "necessary", and then be sure not to overpack just because there's space.

    As for the water, find sources on maps and Google Earth and plan accordingly. Last weekend I stretched 3 liters from the pack in on Friday night until mid-day Sunday... it sucked. Water sources I was banking on ended up being dry.

  11. #10
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    I can do 3-5 days with a 3900 ci pack with a 1000 ci Talon attached, but that's be stretching it. For a week if much rather have something in the 4800-5800 ci range.


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