View Full Version : Hunting Pack Advice

Jim T
05-14-2003, 07:43 PM
I have been searching for a really skookum (that means good in Alaskan) daypack for quite some time. Some of my requirements are: it must carry well, I want a hydration system, easy access to gear, relatively quiet, some way to carry a handgun on my hip, leave my shoulder clear to sling a rifle and not have it fall off constantly, be big enough to carry enough gear to survive a couple of unexpected days.

Come to think of it, I have an external frame pack marketed by _________ in Anchorage that it supposed to be the greatest. It is creaky and noisy, and gets hung up on every piece of pucker brush out there. The bag isn't bad, but....

I see on the forum that Patrick recommends the Longhunter in place of a daypack for some applications. Would I be better served by the LH as a do-it-all, or go with the Spikecamp?
I am a bit nervous about plunking down big bucks on something I have never held in my hands.

05-15-2003, 06:40 AM
Within the confines of what most guys would use a "daypack" for, the Spike Camp w/gunbearer is (IMO) the deal. However, that line about enough gear for a couple of unexpected nights gives me pause. The question is, how much gear does that mean?? I purchased a S.C. with the express purpose of a light, go fast, 3 day pack w/game carrying capabilities. Unfortunately, my 3 day load out did not fit, so I returned it for an exchange on a L.H.

I suggest that you get together the gear that you would carry as a "normal" load, put it a duffel, and go to a co-operative store and try loading it into various packs. Once you find one that'll carry it all comfortably, you'll have an idea of how much space you need. I.E. 2,000 C.I. or 3,000 C.I. or whatever.

Then you'll know whether a S.C. will work for you. If you'd like a smaller pack but the S.C. is a bit too small, look at the "Pointman" Mil-pack. If you want a do-all, including several days out, and the ability to comfortably pack big loads...........the L.H. is the ticket.

My $0.02............JF

05-15-2003, 07:24 AM
Jim T, My hunting partner has both packs. We normally fly into a lake in Alaska and spend several weeks chasing caribou and moose. He carries the Spikecamp excusively while we hunt and we have been able to put half of a caribou in it. The mouth of the pack could be a little larger, but we have always managed to get the hind and front quarters inside the pack. He has the Longhunter in case we get a moose to far from camp. So far he has not had to use it. I have ordered the Pointman because I think it will work a little better packing out animals. Jim

05-15-2003, 12:16 PM
Jim T
Once you try the "Gun bearer" you will be ruined. I used it for the first time this last year on a sheep hunt and three moose hunts. Sliced bread doesn't even come close. Patrick offers this on all his packs and the LH sort of has two.

As to your bag delema, two questions are important. The first has been raised already, How much do you pack. The second is, Just how big ol boy are ya (RD Mercer)? The LH compresses way down into a day bag for me and I can expand it to carry huge loads in just a few seconds. I have the Rondy size LH and my only complaint is that I can't use it as a carry on. If you are average to small I would suggest the Spikecamp/pointman. If you can't fir 3 days worth of stuff in there you have too much stuff. If you are above large to Big Show size, get a long hunter. I put seven days of camp in mine and still had lots of room. And I have hauled a big moose quarter and a little gear for a friend with none of the complaints that a modified Camp Trails pack like yours produces. It is a bit warmer than an external. But I will take comfortable over less sweat any day.

So how long have you lived in Slow Town?

Good Luck and Good Hunting

05-16-2003, 05:35 AM

Your post makes it clear I need to let this "out of the bag": we will be officially announcing two new hunting packs with our next catalog. They are "in-between" the size of the SpikeCamp and the LongHunter.

LATE SEASON-- will be 3200 cubic inches and is the Hunting version of the Pointman pack over on the Military page. Will carry fully 70% of the comfortable weigh of a LongHunter.

SIWASH-- will be 4200 cubic inches and is the hunting version of the military Navigator. Will tote 85% of the LongHunter comfort load.

Both of the above have the very sophisticated suspensions I developed for our military line, plus our fleece panels and GunBearer, standard--just like all the hunting packs. We don't have photos yet, or even their weights, just know they'll be lighter than their military counterparts because they won't be covered in PALS webbing and will be constructed of 500d Cordura instead of 1000d. Those folks who have gotten wind of this have already ordered some of these, which is a good idea as we will not be producing them until about July and will be immediately behind the 8 ball on them since that is just before hunting season and we'll be humping to keep up with ALL hunting pack Orders.

Anyway, you have more choices after all, and I want you to be aware of that. Feel free to phone the Shop for in-depth consultation, or ask away right here. I might just add I really, really like these new packs myself!!!! Oh, costs will be 298.00 for the Late Season basic (443.00 in Complete configuration), and 335.00 for the Siwash (480.00 Complete). The names of the packs convey much of my concept of what the packs are useful for, and y'all are most welcome to fire away with comments, discussion, etc. Should be fun.


05-16-2003, 06:09 AM
I got a bone to pick. If your making the Pointman and Navigator in hunting versions then why not the Marauder?

05-16-2003, 08:31 AM
so what I am hearing is that there is now three packs for me to choose from for my travel bag. I am assuming that the Late Season will be "Carry on" compatible for most airlines and will have that cool pocket for tickets on the front like the Spikecamp. Now I just have to see how my schedule works out. As always thank you for your good work. I can't wait to see this new top loader. It should be just the ticket for us full size people.

Good Luck and Good Hunting


05-16-2003, 08:48 AM
Tyde and 7mmstw--

Yep, the ticket pocket is there, Tyde. Couldn't do without that, eh?

And, 7mmstw, as we've discussed, the Marauder platform is too close in size to the fabulous, splendiferous SpikeCamp. (You've beaten me up one side and down the other with that "bone" 'til I'm black and blue, ol' buddy! Help!!!).


05-16-2003, 08:56 AM
News just in--

Maggie tells me she has posted a letter from a soldier on the load carrying aspect of the Pointman (and hence the Late Season). It's under FEEDBACK in the left margin over on the Military home page. Click there and you'll be taken to the letters that are starting to come in. The point is you'll get some independent reviews on what you can expect from the new hunting packs. I think it's self-evidently important we hunters have even "mid-size" packs that will carry a LOT of weight comfortably. Goes with our territory if you know what I mean.

05-16-2003, 11:00 AM

Ok, I'll let it rest. I've got a Marauder on order anyway, with a fleece cover to fit like your rain cover. I hope I told Janice to make the fleece cover in hunter orange.

I have contacted another dealer for shipping of the Rambler, I think I have it worked out.

05-16-2003, 08:33 PM
Was that the "official" product launch announcement? If I need to, I'll call in to reserve one in order to get it by mid-Sept. I'll wait to see the published weights but I doubt that the Siwash will be as light as I'd like. Is there any difference between the "Combat" G.B. and the "regular" one??

Now I can quit trying to attach the cargo chair and G.B. to my "Ghost"


05-17-2003, 05:37 AM

No, that was not the official launch--just a timely reponse to thread-starter Jim T in hopes of his getting exactly the pack that really suits his needs best. I'd be distressed if he was disappointed AFTER the official launch because he had already purchased a "not-quite-right" pack from us. Not that a Spike or LongHunter is ever a mistake, but...you get the idea.

If you're using a Ghost now with good results the Late Season is the pack to fetch. Even tho it's going to be heavier than the Ghost you will be very happy anyhow because of the LS's splendid suspension system, which will more than offset it's additional weight. And yes, I would advise ordering now. I am loath to say this but we really are going to be in a serious bind come summer getting both hunting packs and the burgeoning military pack line produced timely enough for the onset of hunting season. We debated holding off on the two new hunting packs for that very reason. But situations like Jim T's are just too important; I can't justify "hiding" a solution to his needs...it just ain't in me. We'll just have to do the best we can and hope for some forbearance from customers.

There is a difference between the Combat GB and the Hunting GB, yes. So, if you order a military pack get the Combat version; and if you order a hunting pack you'll get the hunting version.

BTW, if you do pre-order a Late Season and for any reason it isn't quite right you can certainly send it back. Or exchange it, or whatever. But, again, if you like the Ghost you'll cotton to the LS in a heartbeat. Lastly, a CargoChair simply won't work on a Ghost...the "frame" in the Ghost is too flexible! 'Tis a pity, but true nonetheless.


Jim T
05-17-2003, 12:57 PM
Arrgh! More choices? It's like being in a candy store!

I just got back from a two day campout with my son's 5th grade class. We went out on a jaunt (3 miles) with the kids. I was wearing my hunting pack, more as a little early get ready for hunting session.

I was really wishing I had some of the pouches in the Kifaru catalog, as nothing was ready to hand. I also was cursing that doggone frame that hung up on a couple of trees that were hanging over the trail.

I'll probably go for the largest LH, and just cinch it down when I use it for short trips. That way, if I get a critter I can always haul it out the same trip (or at least part of it).

I'm 6'4", and weigh about 235. Does that really make a difference with the packs?

Tyde: I've been here for a little over 2 years. Was in Ketchikan for 3 1/2 before that, and 6 in the Palmer area.

For you Alaska guys: I just took delivery of a Hewescraft 22' Searunner with a hardtop. I want to do some black bear and deer hunting in it. Keep it in mind. I especially want to try calling deer, as I don't think the deer up here have been subject to it much, unlike SE AK.


05-17-2003, 01:21 PM
Jim T--

Oh well,looks like my pre-launch speech was unnecessary. Any of the packs will fit you well, but you surely will love a LongHunter; hell, at your size your extra cold weather duds justify the big pack! If you like spare pockets you can accessorize with three on the LH, or look at the EMR or MMR on the Military page where the number of pockets you can add is almost in the jillions. And y'all don't have to show orange to hunt legally (the military packs don't get the fleece panels).

Jim T
05-17-2003, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the reply, Patrick. The cold weather duds and rain gear are subject for another thread! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Given the fact that we don't have to show orange up here, what about the quiet aspect? I would like to avoid the nylon scraping noise as much as possible.

When I was refering to pouches, I was specifically thinking about the GPS/cell phone pouch, and the possibles bags (and the handwarmer, and the.......)

You have some really great ideas. My wife is going to hate you before this is all over.