Cleaning your backpack/hauling out meat question

Sundance

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
172
Just wrapping up washing and putting away my gear from a successful elk hunt, which includes pulling apart my mystery ranch pack and washing it. When packing out meat I put the meat in a game bag then use the meat shelf on the pack and away I go. The bag and frame always get bloody, if I'm still hunting with a group I either soak it in a creek or when available go to a self-serve carwash and hit it with a light pressure wash. At home I fill a tote with warm water and use a very small amount naturalish soap then hand knead and scrub with a brush. After that I rinse the hell out of it with a garden hose than hang dry. It's a chore but it's part of my routine.

I've seen guys use trash bags and roll tops to protect their pack from getting bloody, but I've always been afraid of the heat this is trapping in the meat. If it was cold out I wouldn't even think about it and go with the trash bag, but from August to early October I've never risked it. My thought is if I'm packing an hour + why would I put the meat in a bag that doesn't breathe and traps moisture and heat?

Give me some insight on your thoughts or if you've come up with a better solution for keeping your pack clean.
 

Wrench

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
3,031
Location
WA
I put it in a game bag inside a drybag. It's an hour....you already bought a ton of time by deboning it.

For blood stains i use peroxide....then rinse.
 

BBob

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
1,164
Location
Southern AZ
Breathable game bags. Will sometimes dump them into trash bag lining the pack. Only a garden hose for major blood but if minor it gets left on. I don't think I've ever properly "washed" blood off a pack other than the hose. Blood stains make the camo much more natural looking ;)
 

MuleyFever

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Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
5,304
Location
S. UTAH
I have tried the garbage bag thing but I also have worried about heat in the early season. If its cold out by the time the meat is deboned and I am all done it has cooled a lot. I usually just throw the game bag in my pack and when I get home the pack goes in the washer. Its way easier than messing with trying to not get my pack bloody. Especially if a head is coming out. The head strapped to my pack usually gets everything bloody anyway.
 

BBob

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
1,164
Location
Southern AZ
If its cold out by the time the meat is deboned and I am all done it has cooled a lot.
Exactly, even on a Sept AZ/NM hunt when it's hot it'll still cool fine if you do it right. We throw the meat on a tarp in the shade and it cools just fine while we work.
 

BRTreedogs

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
3,842
Location
Central Oregon
So I carry a contractor trash bag in my kill kit.
You can use it for a rain coat, rain water catch, and a meat tarp.
Then I taco the game bag of meat..
Even tho its just a taco and not a full enclosure it keeps a surprising amount of blood off the pack. And more importantly from running down my back.
 

forealboreal

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
611
Location
Northern Wet Coast BC
Game bags of boned out meat into a dry bag inside the pack.

had zero issues hauling out half of a ram killed 3 days prior for 10 hours in 20C weather.
It was put into an ice cooler when we got back to base camp.
 

highcountrymuley

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
119
Game bags so meat can breathe. No Trash bags: Trash bags have pesticides and who knows what else in them. Meat is not trash!
Wash pack afterwards. It's a tool not a museum piece
 

Holycross07

Junior Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
11
I just give it a good rise when I have time after the hunt. Usually the blood stains get about 90% out with just a rinse a good scrub with a wash rag.
 

PA Hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
473
Location
Bethlehem Pennsylvania
I use my pack for moose,I put a contractor bag in my pack for deboned meat but I still get my pack slopped up. I actually toss my backpack bag in my super large washing machine with some tide on a gentle cycle.
 

Carlin59

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
386
Location
Colorado
I’ve used my Kifaru pack and frame hard for 6 seasons. Multiple animals packed out each year, never been washed. Always throw meat (in synthetic game bags) in a contractor bag before going in the bag for packing out. My math related to heat is: I’m hunting x miles from the truck based on (for elk) a minimum of three trips outs, so my time frame is built around that last load out. A one way trip in my pack in a contractor bag is a fraction of the time that meat is outside an iced down cooler. I’m more worried about the total time that last load of meat has been hanging than the time in my pack for any single trip. Also, even with a load shelf pack, what % of the game bag is actually subject to circulating air? At minimum, 25% is against the frame. If between the frame and a bag, there is another 25% (bag side) of no air circulating. And given how meat compresses against the frame, maybe ~30% total of the game bag is exposed to air in a standard frame/load sling/bag configuration? Just not enough to worry about in my book. Kill kit goes in the contractor bag in the pack, pull the whole thing out once an animal is down. Use the contractor bag as a work space while breaking down. Throw game bags in the contractor bag when ready, throw contractor bag back in pack, minimal blood anywhere. Apologies for the ramble, hopefully there are some useful tidbits in there for someone
 
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