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Pack Frames

jbohiojbohio Senior MemberPosts: 5,569 Senior Member
Jerry's gear thread got me thinking. One of the pieces of gear that I need to add to my kit is a pack frame. I know next to nothing about them. It's not like I'd use it often, or ever, but it sure would be handy in certain situations. This would be one of those once a lifetime purchases, buy it once, buy it right.

Anyway, what do you guys have, like, dislike? I'll be asking for one for my upcoming birthday.
My FIL has an inexpensive Cabela's pack frame ($79?), and he really liked it, until we looked at one at Sportsmans Warehouse.

I've got plenty of packs, so I only need the frame part.

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,756 Senior Member
    I absolutely detest external frames, just don't like the way they ride when loaded especially in rough country For packing out meat shot in the far back, I use my internal frame pack (Eberlestock Gunslinger) with the meat wrapped in garbage bags...I like the fact that I can stick my rifle in the packs scabbard and keep my hands free for a walking stick. I also like the fact that I can't overload my pack with a load I have no business carrying....I'd rather make more trips than hurt myself trying to tote a load that is outside my load bearing capacity (which is really easy to do with a frame pack)

    http://www.eberlestock.com/Gunslinger%20M%20Series.htm

    for more capacity

    http://www.eberlestock.com/G4%20Operator.htm

    But that's just me...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,762 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I absolutely detest external frames, just don't like the way they ride when loaded especially in rough country For packing out meat shot in the far back, I use my internal frame pack (Eberlestock Gunslinger) with the meat wrapped in garbage bags...I like the fact that I can stick my rifle in the packs scabbard and keep my hands free for a walking stick. I also like the fact that I can't overload my pack with a load I have no business carrying....I'd rather make more trips than hurt myself trying to tote a load that is outside my load bearing capacity (which is really easy to do with a frame pack)

    http://www.eberlestock.com/Gunslinger%20M%20Series.htm

    for more capacity

    http://www.eberlestock.com/G4%20Operator.htm

    But that's just me...

    I agree with you on everything except the plastic garbage bags, at least on elk. The huge slabs of meat from an elk don't cool as fast as the smaller deer-sized parts, and plastic garbage bags tend to hold the heat in. If you have a long trek out, you don't want the meat to be stewing in a non-breathable enclosure. Cotton pillow-cases are the perfect tool for the job. For an elk hunt, I recommend 4-6 cotton (not polyester/blend) pillowcases be stuffed in with your cleaning gear.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    I dont use a back-pac, for 30+ years i've used a large fanny pac with a pair of heavy duty suspenders to keep the weight off my hips. I find its more comfortable and easyer to get on and off, total weight 15 - 18 lbs. In my jeep i keep a large external frame pac with a fold down bracket that i can tie a hind quarter on, for me its easyer than trying to stuff it inside a pac. If i decide to bone it out than the meat goes inside the pac. JMHO

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    I agree with you on everything except the plastic garbage bags, at least on elk. The huge slabs of meat from an elk don't cool as fast as the smaller deer-sized parts, and plastic garbage bags tend to hold the heat in. If you have a long trek out, you don't want the meat to be stewing in a non-breathable enclosure. Cotton pillow-cases are the perfect tool for the job. For an elk hunt, I recommend 4-6 cotton (not polyester/blend) pillowcases be stuffed in with your cleaning gear.

    Mike

    No way would i use plastic, I just use game bags, there cheap and i just throw them away, i guess you could wash them but i've never tried
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,756 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    I agree with you on everything except the plastic garbage bags, at least on elk. The huge slabs of meat from an elk don't cool as fast as the smaller deer-sized parts, and plastic garbage bags tend to hold the heat in. If you have a long trek out, you don't want the meat to be stewing in a non-breathable enclosure. Cotton pillow-cases are the perfect tool for the job. For an elk hunt, I recommend 4-6 cotton (not polyester/blend) pillowcases be stuffed in with your cleaning gear.

    Mike

    Great point Mike...I neglected to consider the larger cuts of meat....my deer sized portions are generally pretty much cooled down by the time I get ready to start carrying...

    When I lived in Utah I used to use cheesecloth and stuff the meat in a pack basket...but the harness is very rudimentary and I was much younger then...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,745 Senior Member
    I have a Coleman pack/pack frame combination that I used to pack out mule deer meat.

    Once.

    It worked ok for me, as I had to pack the meat out for about a mile. In my case, I had cut the meat from the bones, put the meat in cotton laundry bags, which I prefer to pillow cases as they have a draw string, and put the laundry bags in plastic trash bags. When I got to camp, I removed the laundry bags from the trash bags, but left the meat in the laundry bags.

    In my opinion, it's all a matter of how far you have to pack your kill out, whether or not you're going to bone it out in the field, and what other means you have to get it out.

    Also, I do NOT hunt with the larger pack. I have a day pack that I carry whatever I need. If I need to pack something out, I'll make a trip back to camp to get it.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,417 Senior Member
    Anybody have any experience with Badlands brand backpacks?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Camp Trails and Cabela's Outfitter.
    Use old sheets instead of spending money on gamebags
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,762 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Anybody have any experience with Badlands brand backpacks?

    I've never owned nor used that brand myself, but I've checked out quite a few of their different styles at the local Sportsman's Warehouse. From what I've been able to tell, they are intelligently designed and seem to be of very good quality. I wouldn't mind having one.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I absolutely detest external frames, just don't like the way they ride when loaded especially in rough country For packing out meat shot in the far back, I use my internal frame pack (Eberlestock Gunslinger) with the meat wrapped in garbage bags...I like the fact that I can stick my rifle in the packs scabbard and keep my hands free for a walking stick. I also like the fact that I can't overload my pack with a load I have no business carrying....I'd rather make more trips than hurt myself trying to tote a load that is outside my load bearing capacity (which is really easy to do with a frame pack)

    http://www.eberlestock.com/Gunslinger%20M%20Series.htm

    for more capacity

    http://www.eberlestock.com/G4%20Operator.htm

    But that's just me...

    When we went on mountain treks our packs weighed between 45 and 60 pounds full. They were frame packs but we were careful to split up the common gear such as tents and one burner stoves and the pre-packaged food. We tried to balance the load among the whole trek so no one person suffered. Of course we were dealing with boys from 14 to 18 so we had all sizes. With the smaller kids that couldn't manage a lot of weight we lightened the load some. The bigger stronger boys and adults took care of the heavier loads. But we did balance it among the whole crew where none of us had too much. But when you're carrying 50 pounds up and down a mountain you need a strong pack. And the frame packs were ideal. For this hunt, I don't see us doing the walking you would on a mountian trek. Once we get to a base camp and pitch tents we can store our extra clothes and other gear we won't need to take on the actual hunt so I wouldn't think we would need that sort of rugged pack anyway.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    I agree with you on everything except the plastic garbage bags, at least on elk. The huge slabs of meat from an elk don't cool as fast as the smaller deer-sized parts, and plastic garbage bags tend to hold the heat in. If you have a long trek out, you don't want the meat to be stewing in a non-breathable enclosure. Cotton pillow-cases are the perfect tool for the job. For an elk hunt, I recommend 4-6 cotton (not polyester/blend) pillowcases be stuffed in with your cleaning gear.

    Mike

    I woulda never thought about that. Great point Linefinder. I sure don't want to go 1000 miles, spend a couple thousand dollars and get spoiled meat.

    I've eaten elk a few times and in my opinion the meat is the number one draw for me. I love it. It is as good of wild game as I've ever eaten outside of young tender rabbit and squirrel. And If I get lucky I'm going to treat that meat like gold.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,762 Senior Member
    As far as pack sizes for packing out meat........no need to go real big. It's tough enough on those of us that live here, but if you're coming from 500 feet ASL and hunting at 9K plus, anything much over twenty extra pounds is gonna kick your butt real quick. Doesn't sound believable, but believe me.....it's true. You'll be doing exceptionally well if you can lift and actually carry at altitude even a third of what you are used to around home.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,417 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    I've never owned nor used that brand myself, but I've checked out quite a few of their different styles at the local Sportsman's Warehouse. From what I've been able to tell, they are intelligently designed and seem to be of very good quality. I wouldn't mind having one.

    Mike

    Thanks. Price seem reasonable to you when you looked at them?
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Once we get to a base camp and pitch tents we can store our extra clothes and other gear we won't need to take on the actual hunt so I wouldn't think we would need that sort of rugged pack anyway.

    Mike, you better think again, buddy. Elk weigh at least 400 pounds, maybe up to 800 or more. They usually don't fall down near camp. There are no roads, no motorized vehicles allowed. So, unless you have a horse in your pocket, a rugged pack like we're talking about is the ONLY way to get an elk out.
    Also, last time I elk hunted, I averaged 7 miles walking a hunt, morning and night. GPS logged. A couple times it was over 10 miles.
    That's 14-20 miles a day, at 9200 ft ASL.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    justin10mm wrote: »
    I have a Cabela's Alaskan Outfitter frame pack that I used to pack out my mule deer a couple years back. They sell a couple different models but the Outfitter is the largest and sturdiest, which I like. The frame shelf is rated for like 150 pounds so you probably won't overload it. I'd buy another in a hart beat.

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camping/Packs/Hunting-Bags-Packs|/pc/104795280/c/104758380/sc/104392080/Cabelas-Alaskan-Outfitter-Frame-and-Harness-Only/745196.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fcamping-packs-hunting-bags-packs%2F_%2FN-1100683%2B4294770701%2FNe-4294770701%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104392080%3FWTz_l%3DUnknown%253Bcat104795280%253Bcat104758380%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=Unknown%3Bcat104795280%3Bcat104758380%3Bcat104392080

    s7_515116_999_01?rgn=0,0,956,1552&scl=4.08421052631579&fmt=jpeg&id=1ZpLsJRTuNut7PHB44Yu5J

    Thanks! I was looking at that one. Seems pretty nice for the $20 it costs over the base model.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    In my opinion, it's all a matter of how far you have to pack your kill out, whether or not you're going to bone it out in the field, and what other means you have to get it out.

    Also, I do NOT hunt with the larger pack. I have a day pack that I carry whatever I need. If I need to pack something out, I'll make a trip back to camp to get it.

    Yep, that's my way of thinking also. Day pack every day, go get the frame, ditch the day pack when you need to.
    If it's real hairy, I could head back to Olathe and get my FIL and his horses. That's a royal PITA, and burns a bunch of diesel fuel.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    I dont use a back-pac, for 30+ years i've used a large fanny pac with a pair of heavy duty suspenders to keep the weight off my hips. I find its more comfortable and easyer to get on and off, total weight 15 - 18 lbs. In my jeep i keep a large external frame pac with a fold down bracket that i can tie a hind quarter on, for me its easyer than trying to stuff it inside a pac. If i decide to bone it out than the meat goes inside the pac. JMHO

    JAY

    I agree. I've got several backpacks, day packs, and sling packs. My FIL and wife have fanny packs, with shoulder straps. Those are SO much more comfortable. I won't go back to the mountains without one, for a day pack.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I have a Coleman pack/pack frame combination that I used to pack out mule deer meat.

    Once.

    It worked ok for me, as I had to pack the meat out for about a mile. In my case, I had cut the meat from the bones, put the meat in cotton laundry bags, which I prefer to pillow cases as they have a draw string, and put the laundry bags in plastic trash bags. When I got to camp, I removed the laundry bags from the trash bags, but left the meat in the laundry bags.

    In my opinion, it's all a matter of how far you have to pack your kill out, whether or not you're going to bone it out in the field, and what other means you have to get it out.

    Also, I do NOT hunt with the larger pack. I have a day pack that I carry whatever I need. If I need to pack something out, I'll make a trip back to camp to get it.

    Thinking about this, why not hunt with the big pack? Then you don't have to go back to camp to get it to pack meat out. I mean when you get camp set up, you can put the gear you hauled in the big pack in a tent. Then take the big pack with you hunting with only the cleaning gear and bags and other necessities for the hunt in it. The bare pack doesn't weigh much more than a day pack. The frame is aluminum and they are generally very light. It's just that there's enough room in them that if you fill them up they get heavy. And another thing you could put in it is a small folding stool so you wouldn't have to sit on wet ground.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,745 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Thinking about this, why not hunt with the big pack? Then you don't have to go back to camp to get it to pack meat out. I mean when you get camp set up, you can put the gear you hauled in the big pack in a tent. Then take the big pack with you hunting with only the cleaning gear and bags and other necessities for the hunt in it. The bare pack doesn't weigh much more than a day pack. The frame is aluminum and they are generally very light. It's just that there's enough room in them that if you fill them up they get heavy. And another thing you could put in it is a small folding stool so you wouldn't have to sit on wet ground.

    Try it and you'll understand why not.

    Actually, try this. Get a good, large capacity backpack with a good frame. Put about 10-15 lbs. of weight in it. Put it on your back and adjust it so that it fits you well.

    Now, sling your rifle over your shoulder and start walking.

    I'm not trying to be glib, but hunting with a full sized backpack and frame is hunting with weight that serves no real real purpose. You will almost surely be doing more walking, hiking and humping it than packing out a kill. If you happen to get lucky and tag out early, you'll have plenty of time to pack out your kill.

    The folding stool idea is not bad, but again I think it's unnecessary weight. I usually hunt with a day pack, and carry a cheap Walmart 4x6 ft. plastic tarp. If I have wet or snowy ground to sit on, I put the tarp down and sit on it. It's a lot lighter and easier to carry than a folding stool. It's also provides a better shelter if you get caught out in the boonies overnight than a folding stool.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Very true. I got you.

    One more thing though, Goretex is stressed here. When we went on these mountain treks we would spray our hiking boots down with about three coats of Silicone spray. This kept the moisture out and feet dry. Of course I see the need for Goretex pants anyway, and also a Goretex Coat. My boots, hunting coat, and camo pants are Goretex, so all I need is some wool long handles, gloves, and sox.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Alberta guideAlberta guide New Member Posts: 8 New Member
    Look for the "Trapper Nelson" packframe Ohio, it has been around since Christ was a cowboy and has yet to be genuinely improved on. It does, however, need an up-date on it's hip belt. Everyone I know carries the greater portion of the weight of any pack on their hips. And the "Nelson" is severely lacking in that department. It's design does, however, make any, and all adaptations relatively simple and easy. It's a heavy son of a buck (made outta hardwood) but it will last your grand-kids lifetime, and never let you down........sometimes "old" really IS better..... Use these for packin' out meat, or haulin' in a spike-camp...it ain't for every day use ......but , you DID ask for a "pack-frame", not a day-pack....AG
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Mike, you better think again, buddy. Elk weigh at least 400 pounds, maybe up to 800 or more. They usually don't fall down near camp. There are no roads, no motorized vehicles allowed. So, unless you have a horse in your pocket, a rugged pack like we're talking about is the ONLY way to get an elk out.
    Also, last time I elk hunted, I averaged 7 miles walking a hunt, morning and night. GPS logged. A couple times it was over 10 miles.
    That's 14-20 miles a day, at 9200 ft ASL.
    Been there, done that, but we weren't hunting. I remember going up a mountain to about 12,000 feet ASL. There was no such thing as oxygen anymore. I think my body was working on Nitrogen. My lungs burned. I could struggle about 20 feet at a time and had to blow. However, as a leader I was carrying upwards of 60 pounds and we were going anywhere from 8 to 15 miles a day between 8,000 and 11,000 feet ASL. I say 11,000 because we only went up close to 12,000 feet when we went up Clear Creek Mountain. I thought I was walking to the moon that day. Didn't think it was ever going to end. The one saving grace was that this being in July, when we got up above 9,000 feet it got nice and cool and that was a good thing.

    One thing we saw both times I went, when we were above 8,000 feet, was a Green Rattlesnake. Can you believe that? Green as a gourd.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,801 Senior Member
    A couple of good pack frames at camp, is all that will likely be needed. The best way to do things, if you shoot an animal, is to get it cleaned, and opened up to cool as fast as possible. Then, make your way back to camp. The vast majority of kills are going to be between 7-10 am, right after legal light or as the elk are starting to move to bed areas. This is just from experience that I am speaking. For anyone who hasn't had to clean an elk before....just gutting the dang thing is going to blow your mind. You just cannot man handle a 400-1000lbs animal, that is more then likely going to die in a precarious place, and most likely on an incline of some sort. Get it down, get it gutted, get back to camp. Most people will be coming back for lunch anyways, and I'm sure more then a few are happy to drop rifles and go help hump that beast out. 2-3 guys with pack frames can get most if not all of an elk back to camp. Unless it is unseasonably warm, there will not be a huge rush.

    Hunting with a big pack frame is just not something that anyone should consider. Heck I keep looking for smaller packs and how I can make my gear more efficient! Keep it light, so you can be mobile. If we need to pack something out, we'll go get it in a group. And if you end up shooting in the evening, which sometimes happens, it'll be fine overnight. The yotes usually hit the gut pile before they start in on any usable meat, again from experience. I've left 2 animals out overnight without issue. Its not the south, or the desert, the nights even in 2nd season will put frost on the grass around camp.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
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