How to Add Weight to Your Pack?

justinspicher

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I've wondered about this too as I am just doing my first Western hunt this year and have started training. My worry is mainly towards my down items such as puffy clothes and sleeping bag. I don't want to constantly have them compressed for an extended period of time and risk damage to the down or internal baffles etc.
I fully understand that, I don’t want to jack up my quilts either, I’ll generally use a fleece blanket in place of my sleep system if its just a training hike.
 

meta_gabbro

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Jun 22, 2020
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I've wondered about this

The reason this isn't usually done is because you're training for a fully loaded pack out, not just a pack in. Your usual pack list probably weighs 30-40lbs, and most remotely-fit people should be able to manage hiking with that in normal conditions. But when you've got your 30lb pack plus a whole elk quarter for your pack out? Now you're looking at a >70lb pack, and one that's bulkier and more physically awkward than the one you hiked in with. All that training with your 30lb pack will still be beneficial, but not nearly as much as if you'd been using a 70lb pack in the offseason.
 

EJDXT21

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Mar 29, 2021
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Kingwood, TX
The reason this isn't usually done is because you're training for a fully loaded pack out, not just a pack in. Your usual pack list probably weighs 30-40lbs, and most remotely-fit people should be able to manage hiking with that in normal conditions. But when you've got your 30lb pack plus a whole elk quarter for your pack out? Now you're looking at a >70lb pack, and one that's bulkier and more physically awkward than the one you hiked in with. All that training with your 30lb pack will still be beneficial, but not nearly as much as if you'd been using a 70lb pack in the offseason.
Makes sense. I hope I'm on the right track here, forgive me if I'm not, still trying to figure all this out. So far I'm thinking the biggest benefit to doing hikes with your actual packing list is to figure out where in the pack items need to be placed to make the pack carry comfortably, adjust accordingly if needed especially if anything is making noise, and figure out how your are going to balance with at least that weight. So once you get all that down, then it seems to make sense to load up a pack with more weight, say 70lbs of sand bags or similar, and do some hikes and workouts to condition the feet and build up strength, so that when the actual hunt takes place, normal hunting should be a breeze, and pack out should be bearable.
 

justin1134

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May 2, 2021
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If any of you use the outdoorsmans packs then they sell a trainer attachment that allows you to add weights to the pack frame for training. It’s pretty handy and is easy to attach/remove but again is only really practical if you already use their packs/frames.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

EJDXT21

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Mar 29, 2021
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Kingwood, TX
If any of you use the outdoorsmans packs then they sell a trainer attachment that allows you to add weights to the pack frame for training. It’s pretty handy and is easy to attach/remove but again is only really practical if you already use their packs/frames.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Good to know. I don't currently own Outdoorsmans but they do seem like well built packs. I do have a cabelas instinct fast tracker 63L that I may use for training purposes instead of putting wear and tear on my mystery ranch. I may load up the mystery ranch when I'm doing actual hikes with weight, but as far as home workouts I'll probably use the cabelas.
 

Big Lew

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Jul 15, 2021
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The Pennsylvania Wilds
A bag of deer corn or dog food. It's a bit more bulky than sand, softener salt.... so it fills the pack better and still provides some weight. With more dense items, you can end up with all the weight in the bottom of the pack, so it doesn't ride very well or act like a back country pack load.
This is what I do too.
 

AK_Skeeter

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Jan 3, 2020
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Becker Ridge, Alaska
I use an old rectangular plastic laundry detergent bucket to keep the weight high and close to my back.
I use 25 lb bags of lead shot since I reload shotgun, plus lead shot in plastic soda bottles,
gradually adding 5 lbs incrementally over a winter of training...most of this I do over the winter,
then backpack all summer long.

Weight high in the pack and close to the body makes a big difference in packing comfort.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
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Glad I found this.

Has anyone found an ideal number of # to train with.

Was at 35# for a long time but recently bumped it up to 40#.

Dont know of it's easier on the knees over time to just train with a lighter load or of it dosnt really matter.
 

Wags

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May 31, 2021
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California
I use a Butte Force Sandbag. Then add blankets to the pack to support it. Total weight is 75lbs.


Pack.jpg
 

Lelder

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Jan 28, 2018
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N.E Ohio
1631843304526.jpeg
Bolted a section of structural stud to an old frame pack and welded a piece of pipe to hold Olympic plates
 

*zap*

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Dec 20, 2018
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N/E Kansas
Glad I found this.

Has anyone found an ideal number of # to train with.

Was at 35# for a long time but recently bumped it up to 40#.

Dont know of it's easier on the knees over time to just train with a lighter load or of it dosnt really matter.

30-40# is ideal imo. Very heavy packing (maybe double the pounds) for shorter duration sets with rest in between, something like 10 minutes on and 10 off 3 times. Work up to longer sets but only maybe 2x a month or once a week max. That is just my opinion.
 

Wags

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May 31, 2021
Messages
319
Location
California
View attachment 327030
Bolted a section of structural stud to an old frame pack and welded a piece of pipe to hold Olympic plates



I dig it.

I have a few of the Alps packs that I use for duck hunting. They haul weight so much better than my Stone Glacier, it's not even close IMO. The ability to secure the load to the frame to keep it from swaying around and becoming unbalanced or uneven is the difference maker.
 

aman

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Sep 12, 2020
Messages
28
I mainly just use bunch of water. Use water bladder, sawyer bags, water bottles, etc. You can easily dump the water up top to save your knees for the hike down.
 

rdp123

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Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
15
MSR droms filled with water will help get you there. If you mix one or two with the items you'd normally take, the water can sub for the weight of food, or you could use the weight of water, which is easy to measure, to help you train.

I like that droms are more realistic than more arbitrary weights too. I always keep one in the bottom of my pack and routinely fill it for camp water, setting it against the frame. If you figure even a light hunting pack/frame set up is going to weight 4#-6#, then you've got food, optics, tarp, extra clothes, and miscellaneous BS weighing at least another 8# to 10# and maybe more, 6L of water at #13 is already getting you in the ballpark of a hike-in weight, with the plus that you can fill your pack with the gear that you'll take on your hunt, rather than simulating.
 

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