How heavy is your pack?

Arcticmanak

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Feb 27, 2021
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I'll be sheep hunting this fall, the first time in a long time, and am going through the gear I have, what to take, what to leave, what I need to buy, etc. Pure joy in anticipation of a great hunt.

How much weight do you realistically expect to carry going in? I'm looking at about 8-10 miles to set up camp.

This is an extremely subjective question due to unique physique, strength, etc, but I'm curious.

I hope I'm not asking something that has ready been hammered to oblivion here, but I'm new to the forum and technologically challenged. 🙂
 

USMC-40

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10-12 days I have been 80ish pounds with rifle. Trying hard to get under 40 for 7 days this year. Well see.
 

wildbill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Following closely, I fly out of atlanta aug 18 trying hard to get weight down as mush as possible
 

Laramie

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Going in that deep, I would personally use a pack animal if possible so you could have a more comfortable base camp. If that's not an option, I would try very hard to stay under 60lbs, including rifle, so you have a little gas left in the tank once you get there. As you state, everyone is different though. Some guys can carry 80 all day with no issue while others struggle to handle 50 on long hikes.
 

7layerburrito

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Washington / Wyoming
Without food, water or rifle I'm at ~34lbs which is as light as I've been able to get my pack and not really want for anything or do anything drastic. I only do one optic at 34lbs. Everything gets a LOT easier when you're with a partner so you can split the shelter and cooking/fuel and spotter.

I'm going on a Dall Sheep hunt in August but it's guided so I don't have to worry about bringing a bunch of the heavier items (shelter is there, food is already there, can split the spotter with the guide) and my pack for that (without rifle) is 29lbs with a couple splurge items in there like my Feathered Friend booties and my kindle.

*Meant to add: considering rifle is 7.5# and 1.5# of food per day and not needing to carry any. more water than I'm drinking at any one time, that's ~56# for ten days which is light but like @Laramie said, I don't want to gas myself getting to where I'm going.
 
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Arcticmanak

Arcticmanak

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I will likely be solo, and I should have added it will probably be a 5-7 day hunt.
 

slim9300

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This should help if you can see it, but gear is dependent on where you are hunting. Temps, climate, method, etc. Depending on where you are hunting you may want thicker/tougher rain gear, for that I would bring one of my Chugach sets. If it was real wet or might get below freezing during the day, I would take my Kifaru full zip Lost Parka, some warmer gloves, and a second fleece mid layer.

Let me see if I can get my food spreadsheet to show up also. I can’t tell you how much that has changed over the last 20 years, but my advice is bring what you will/want to eat. If you have food leftover at the end of the day, I would leave that choice at home from then on and pack something you would have eaten (even if it’s not ideal from a health point of view). Your body will be starving for calories even if you are eating 3000 per day. It’s the nature of the beast.

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slim9300

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I make other dehydrated meals like elk/turkey chili w/pasta, Turkey Tikka marsala with orzo pasta, etc., but I haven’t taken the time to figure out their calorie content.


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justinspicher

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Colorado
My last sheep hunt was in 2018, I was at 50lbs with everything for 12 days. Partner was at the same weight. I dropped 10lbs once we got off the plane, I had a bear canister of extra goods we left at the airstrip.
 

Larry Bartlett

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Every ounce matters. I'd say the greatest gains you'll make in shedding weight off anyone's pack list is your food kit.

Science colleagues and I have spent the last three years identifying the caloric requirements of hunters in Alaska to help us truly understand caloric deficiency as it relates to skeletal muscle preservation.


The jest of how these field studies have helped me as an expedition hunter is by revealing the facts about minimalistic field nutrition.

We learned it's actually metabolically positive to operate in a 50% caloric deficit as long as you consume 1gm protein/kg/day but the threshold for muscle loss could be closer to 0.7gm protein/kg/day. I shoot for .8gm protein/kg/day and have preserved skeletal muscle on these studies.

This way you'll lose weight but preserve skeletal muscle. Our data suggests float hunters and sheep hunters burn around 4000-4300 cals per day on moderately difficult scales. If we aim for 50% of the expected caloric demand our target is around 2000 cals per day with insurance of at least 0.8gm protein/kg/day (190 lb hunter = 86 kg = 80gm protein intake/day). Of I need 90 gm protein/day I add a large handful of cashews or almonds (320 cals/10gm protein) This is bare bones strategy but will help you create a lightweight science-based food kit for any weight restricted hunt.

lb

P.S. Here's some food science for thought if you haven't read this yet:
 
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Arcticmanak

Arcticmanak

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Slim, thank you for that information! I will definitely spend some time poring over those lists.
 

Kentk

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Alberta
Last year I solo hiked in 16 miles. Pack was just shy of 60lbs for ten days with a couple litres of water. Met up with a few other guys out there and they were all around 60 lbs. I would not recommend being much heavier going in that distance.
 

Snyd

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Feb 10, 2013
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AK
2 guys, DIY, depending on what tent we take I'm at 36-38lbs for all my gear including weapon. Add food and water. Over the years it seems I'm about 60-65lbs going in depending on how many days of food I/we take. I do tend to go heavy on food and this year will go back to my bomber 4 season Hilleberg Tarra tent since we'll be 15+ miles in on a walk in draw hunt. My spreadsheet shows my gear weight 38lbs with my half of shared gear. Tent, stove/fuel/ water pump, spotter/tripod.

The last couple hunts I've been on we used a single wall tipi type shelter with light bivi bags and ground cloths. I added up the weight of the tipi, bivies, ground sheets and found that my bomber Hilleberg Tarra is only 3lbs heavier. 1.5lbs per guys, heck, I'll crap that much weight off in the morning! I'm going back to my beloved Tarra and leaving the bivie and ground sheet home.
 

Farmerlentz

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I did a sheep hunt last year in alaska. I was just under 40lb with gear, rifle 8 days of food and a litre of water. If I get the opportunity to go again I would probably add a couple pounds of some extra stuff. But I would recommend going as light as you can and would definitely try to stay under 60lb max
 

DuckDogDr

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Aug 24, 2019
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Not to hi-Jack this thread, but how easy is it to find water up there. I tend to consume /sweat alot with minimal activity
 

rodney482

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My 10 kit weighed on scales was 62# bow

big part of that is food. We only went in 4.75 miles
 
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