So you’re a new hunter looking to conquer the great outdoors. That’s great but you can’t just tromp into the woods unprepared and uninformed and expect to be successful. You need knowledge, insight, and just a touch of luck.
With this series we’ll present you with the best information to get you started in the world of hunting. And for those of you with a few seasons already under your belt, maybe we can give you a refresher on The Basics.
You’re getting closer to your outdoor adventure and you realize you’re starting to accumulate a lot of stuff. You’re gonna need a way to haul it. Here are some pros and cons of the most popular styles of gear bags.
1) The Waist Pack (or fanny pack)
The waist packs advantages and disadvantages are in its size. If you’re just out for a short walk down the holler to your hunting spot, a waist pack may be all you need. Generally, these lightweight packs have enough room for smaller gear and maybe a bottle of water and a snack. If you’re looking to carry more than a pound or two of gear, keep looking.
2) Frame Pack
These large packs can carry the kitchen sink and probably the whole kitchen. With these over-sized bags, carrying your clothes, water, food, rifle, even your tent is as easy as a zippered pouch or pocket. Good for long treks over sparse terrain, frame packs make sure you have space for everything you need. Get a rig with broad shoulder straps and a waist strap if possible to help distribute the weight of the packed items over your whole body.
As great as hauling a sporting goods store on your back sounds, weight is a big issue. Size is a big issue because, well, outfitter packs are big. It’s tricky enough picking your way through a dense thicket with a hat on. Scale it down a bit.
3) Drawstring Bag
Just, no. A bit bigger.
4) Sling Pack/Satchel
Lightweight and low profile, these packs are great for short trips and quiet stalking. The sling pack is great for bow hunting as it allows for more range of motion and a fluid draw. Don’t rely on these bags for all day trips, though. Limited space and smaller pockets make this pack more of a specialized item.
5) The Day Pack/Outfitter Pack
Day packs come in many shapes and sizes and patterns. Pick one with plenty of pockets and an ample main pouch. These mid-weight bags are great for long hauls and short scouting trips. Keep in mind weight distribution when filling your bag as that can make the difference between feeling like you can take on the world and feeling like you’re dragging bricks. Again, look for broad shoulder straps and a waist belt to help carry the load.
Many outfitter packs offer gun and bow pouches to free your hands for other tasks. Hydration systems are also very popular and are a great alternative to carrying around multiple bottles of water. Some of them even have seats built in to the bag! So grab a day pack that fits you comfortably and get ready to fill it with gear.
Next up on The Basics: Gear Gone Wild