How large a pack will I need?

*zap*

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An inexpensive way to test things could be a MR guide lite frame purchased used and a surplus filbe main pack. The filbe fits right on the guide lite and they say it is 5000ci but I think you can fit more than that in it.
 

Vandy321

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I may be biased...but you should definitely start here for a bag/lid, 7500ci + w/the bag, lid, pockets. I packed 5 days of cold weather gear, food, water and a 3 person Hilleberg Namatj GT (larger than a sawtooth and stove) in it, no problem.

 

Kevin_t

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Thanks for the suggestion Kevin. Is there a special discount if I purchase a Hot Tent combo and Pack? I was on the site either yesterday or the day before and the SEEK coupon code vanished on me while I was trying to figure out what I need. Just kidding about the coupon code...sort of ;-)

I will look into your suggestions
No , because so many people want different things in a pack. Maybe we will consider that . My personal fav hunting pack of ours is the Lanner , but with kids I would take the Brooks or Saker (Which I still like .. just the lanner has a bit easier quick access).

My son trained for his first one at 12 ... he did a few weighted hikes. It is also important to note, that my boys have backpacked with me since they were 5 -6 years old ..and they had both climbed a few to a fair amount of mountains by that age.
 

mtwarden

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I would definitely err bigger rather than smaller in your situation- 7000-ish for what you describe.

Not sure of other makers, but Stone Glacier bags are easily swappable- if down the road you need less volume, pick up a smaller pack. The resale on their stuff (and other high end packs for that matter) is good, so you aren't going to be out much if you change things up down the road.
 

easilyamused

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I agree with all the guys saying to look for a big (7000+) bag, you dont lose much if anything going big and just compressing it down.

For a specific pack id look at a used kifaru, stone glacier, seek, or exo. The resale value on them (especially kifaru) is very high and a pack you spent $600 used will be worth what you paid after you get back from your hunt.
 

prm

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Mar 31, 2017
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Tipi with stove is excellent decision. Make the evenings much nicer! My Seek Outside BCS is still going strong after many years.
The Mystery Ranch Mule would be a great pack for him. You can add a 55L dry bag to it and carry plenty! For you, there’s been lots of good options mentioned. I like Kifaru, but there are many good alternatives.

3-4 miles can be a long ways in the mountains. For your first trip you may want to move that in a bit. If you shot an elk another mile or two up the mountains you’d be in for a major effort. There’s a lot of nonsense on forums about how far guys go, and where elk are, etc. Packing an elk essentially by yourself that far is truly daunting. 4mi each way on a good trail is hard and it only gets worse from there. Add in dead falls, and 1mi can be ridiculous. Obviously I’m saying without knowing anything about you, so take it for what it’s worth.
 
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mrbillbrown

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I’m in Edmond and you’re welcome to check out any of the stuff I’ve got.

I’m a Kifaru guy and have found it’s the best fit, function, and value for me. Buying used from the classifieds is an excellent way to try gear and sell if it doesn’t quite work out the way you wanted. Right now frames are running $300ish and bags are around $250ish. That’s pretty cheap for a Kifaru pack that could last you a lifetime.

If you really want an inexpensive “one and done” pack set up look at those Kifaru Timberline series internal frame bags a couple of guys have for sale. They were the flagships of Kifaru’s lines a few years ago and still function better than a lot of other top manufacturers packs today. A couple of those and you and your sons could have packs that would never need changing and they’re priced around $375-400ish.

Having a son that’s 17 now he’s been growing with his Kifaru pack(s) and only needed to move from an XS belt to a Small belt. We’ve only changed the torso length slightly and he’s been carrying the same pack(s) since he was 13yo. Heated shelters are definitely a game changer in the back country for morale and adds some memories to the experience. You’re definitely gonna want a 7000ci or bigger bag if you plan to carry the lions share of the stuff and today’s larger bags compress so well you’ll hardy now the difference between a 3000 ci bag vs a 7000ci bag when everything is compressed down. I never wanted to load my son too heavy so gave him 20# or so his first backpacking trip around age 13. Just didn’t seem right loading him too heavy. That left me with a stuffed pack and around 75#. Not the worst I’ve carried but sucked during a 5-6mile hike in around 10-11k feet. (Coming from OK elevation to that height has its own limited oxygen challenges).

Best of luck in your gear search.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Lionhound1975

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Aug 25, 2019
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I would go with a large pack at (7000+) since you will end up carrying most of the load. When my son was under 12 i would have him carry the lightweight gear that took up a lot of space, such as both of our sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and dehydrated food. As long as you always stay together there is no issue with splitting up the gear load like that. With kids your son's age you should still limit his weight load to 20% of his body weight for full day packing since even though he might be tough and athletic, his bone and joint structure is not as developed as an adult man.

I think if you went with any of the good quality pack companies like Kifaru, Stone Glacier, MR, EXO etc. you will be fine. But i would rather have too much bag then not enough and just discipline myself not to fill it up with non-essentials. Since your son is obviously not going to be carrying 100 pound loads i think buying a top end hunting pack is overkill since the benefits of Kifaru, Stone Glacier, MR, and EXO are the suspension for carrying heavy weight that normal backpacking packs can't handle. I would buy my son a Deuter pack around 65 liters in size since Deuter packs have an adjustable height yoke and a Deuter 65 will still carry more weight that your son should be carrying. Plus it will save you from buying two top end packs.

If you do get an elk, i would have my son carry out the camp load out while i pack meat. Since you are not going to leave a 13 year-old by himself out there, he will be with you at all times so if you get an elk and calculate that you are going to need to take 6 trips to pack out the meat, then divide the camp gear that he will carry out in six loads. Since he will have to make the same number of trips as you anyway, then have him carry a progressively lighter load out each time.

Some good suggestions have already been said on this message for shelters. But make sure your son knows how to set it up by himself in case something happens to you. For a third season hunt in CO i would go with 0 degree bags and good insulated pads.

If you are not used to hunting the west pay particular attention tot he boots both of you will need. Especially during the third season you could easily find yourself in snowshoe territory if a storm dumps 2 feet of snow overnight. So boots and clothing should not be areas to save money on.

I think the biggest thing of hunting with your son is establishing what the main goal is. When my son was younger i had to limit how deep into the back country we went or how long we stayed. I probably could have had more success going by myself. But my biggest goal was developing a life-long hunting partner who will hopefully pass that on to his kids once he has them. I would much rather blow a few stalks on game because my son was still learning to be quiet in the woods rather than not bring him and then i sit there in 20 years from now wondering why my kids or grand kids don't want to go hunting or camping.
 

Marble

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May 29, 2019
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Thanks Carr5vols, I do appreciate it. I think that we are willing to go back as far as necessary, though that's easy to say sitting in front of a computer with no load on your back. My guess is that we will only take 1 gun with us as there isn't much of a point eating 2 tags. Maybe that will change once we figure out what we are doing and experience a little success but I am guessing that will take us a couple of years. The experience of it is what is really appealing to us. Connecting with an animal will just be icing on the cake. If he can't carry 20 - 25 lbs he can stay home.

I'm considering the KUIU Pro 6000 since it is a bit more cost effective than the Kifaru gear. Seems like you can't go wrong with Kifaru but considering we will be luck to do 1 hunt like this a year, I am having a difficult time justifying the expense. I am trying to spend enough to get me in buy one cry once territory but not necessarily the very top of the line stuff.

I also don't want to spend a fortune on gear that he will outgrow in a year...if it's avoidable. I would be interested in decent adjustable bag suggestions for him as well.
Look at the prices for used kifaru stuff in the classified and ebay. The don't lose their value. Other brands don't keep their value as well.
 

TheRambler

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Jan 13, 2013
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NW Connecticut
I think the others have you well covered with advice.

If you are looking a purchasing a larger pack; i am considering selling my kifaru 26in bikini frame and highcamp 7000 in foilage. Includes 1 small and 2 large belt pouches and a Long hunter lid.
 
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