Make My Pack More Efficient

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Going on an Idaho bear hunt the end of May and I'm trying to dial in my pack for 6 days out. Any suggestions are definitely appreciated. I'm still trying to figure out my food situation so I'll post that once I do the math.

Couple side notes--I'm going with my brother and he is carrying the tent and stakes. I'm carrying the tarp which we will use as a ground cloth/rain shelter. I'm also a type 1 diabetic so I have an extra almost pound in diabetic supplies. I also can't leave my battery pack because my insulin pump will probably need charged.

The thing that stands out to me the most would be my weapon weight. I use the Hatch Outwest Bipod which definitely has a weight penalty but came in clutch in MT last year.

What I'm Wearing In
Danner Boots
Darn Tough Socks
Exofficio Boxers
Sitka Timberline Pants
Icebreaker Merino T-Shirt
Patagonia Cap3 Long Sleeve Shirt
Patagonia R1 Hoodie
Hat
Suunto Core Watch
Marsupial Gear Bino Harness with Rangefinder Pouch
Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 Bino
Sig Kilo 850 Rangefinder
Wind Checker
BD Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
Ear Protection



Pack
Mystery Ranch Metcalf91.2146.06
Mystery Ranch Rain Fly3.67
Garmin inReach Mini4
Bear Spray11
Nalgene Water Bottle3.99
1L of Water32.2
Optics Carried in Pack
Siruui Tripod and VA5 Head45.5489.77
Leupold 12-40x60 with Adapter44.23
Clothes Packed
Stone Glaciar Grumman Puffy Coat11.849.78
Montbell Down Pants14.1
Sitka Cloudburst Rain Jacket17.6
Darn Tough Socks x 26.28
Sleep System
Thermarest NeoAir xTherm Sleeping Pad15.9146.05
Western Mountaineering Caribou21
Exped Small Pillow1.69
Borah Gear 6 x 9 Tarp7.45
Medical/Random
Kifaru Medium Pouch0.8527.82
Med/Battery/Teeth/Aqua Mira/Fire7.44
Diabetes Supplies8.19
Glucose Tablets Tube x 35.7
Toilet Paper w/Ziploc5.64
Kill Kit
Argali High Country Game Bags916.34
Paracord0.53
Latex Gloves x 20.95
Kestrel Ovis Hunter3.7
Kestrel Mountain Scalpel0.92
Pen with Electrical Tape0.39
Kifaru Medium Pouch0.85
Electronics
Dark Energy Posidon8.9613.05
Spot Headlamp2.89
iPhone Charging Cord0.7
Insulin Pump/inReach Charging Cord0.5
Misc.
Z Pad Seat2.19.74
SteriPen Ultra UV Purifier4.94
HydraPak Seeker 2L2.7
Cook Kit
Sea to Summit Long Spork0.4217.97
MSR Pocket Rocket4.06
Snow Peak Ti-Solo Pot5.68
4 oz Fuel Canister7.4
Small Bic Lighter0.41
Weapon
Tikka T3x Lite Veil Alpine160.42174.99
10 Bullets with Pouch9.74
GoHunt Gun Cover4.83

Total Gear (oz)416.5826.04Pack Weight w/o Food Lbs)
Total Food (oz)Food Weight (lbs)
Weapon Weight (oz)174.9910.94Weapon Weight (Lbs)
Total Carry Weight (Lbs)36.97
 
OP
FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Here's the initial food list. This will probably change but this will get me started.

NumberWeight/UnitTotalCals/UnitTotal Cals/Day
Mountain House65.130.6460460
Snickers Bar62.0712.42250250
Milky Way Bar61.8411.04264264
Honey Stinger121.214.4150300
Pop Tarts(2)63.420.4400400
Justins Peanutbutter121.1513.8210420
6" Tortilla121.113.290180
Pacaroons616120120
Fruit Snacks120.819.7280160
0
0
0
Total Oz131.58Total Cals/day2554
Total Pounds8.22375
Pounds per day1.37

And this is an updated total with food.

Total Gear (oz)416.5826.04Pack Weight w/o Food Lbs)
Total Food (oz)131.588.22Food Weight (lbs)
Weapon Weight (oz)174.9910.94Weapon Weight (Lbs)
Total Carry Weight (Lbs)45.20
 

bsnedeker

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
1,608
Location
MT
I don't know man, that system seems pretty dialed to me. Your weapon is the absolute most critical piece of gear you have with you in regards to being successful, I say suck it up and carry the weight. You could spend hundreds of dollars to get a lighter bipod (spartan) and if you have the budget for it I say go for it...if you don't have the budget for that I would just go with what you got.

I don't bear hunt in May without a thermocell with me.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
I don't know man, that system seems pretty dialed to me. Your weapon is the absolute most critical piece of gear you have with you in regards to being successful, I say suck it up and carry the weight. You could spend hundreds of dollars to get a lighter bipod (spartan) and if you have the budget for it I say go for it...if you don't have the budget for that I would just go with what you got.

I don't bear hunt in May without a thermocell with me.

Thanks man. Yeah that's kinda where I'm at with the rifle. The reason I like this bipod is I can use it from a sitting position if needed.

I haven't thought about a thermocell. I'll definitely look into it. I definitely don't want to get eaten up.
 

sweetroll

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Idaho
Looks pretty dang good. I’d add trekking poles to the list. Also, we’ve found that going with one spotter works for us, while we each have bino’s and tripods for most of our glassing time. Might consider that if you both have spotters on your lists.


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xcutter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
1,108
Location
Connersville, IN
List looks really good to me to. Maybe drop 1 pair of extra socks and that's just me trying to find something. Depending on weather/temps drop the puffy pants? Myself would have to pack a little more food weight. I'm usually closer around 3k calories a day.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Looks pretty dang good. I’d add trekking poles to the list. Also, we’ve found that going with one spotter works for us, while we each have bino’s and tripods for most of our glassing time. Might consider that if you both have spotters on your lists.


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Good call. I have my poles listed under the "worn" list just because I'll be carrying/using them the whole time. I use the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Corks.

List looks really good to me to. Maybe drop 1 pair of extra socks and that's just me trying to find something. Depending on weather/temps drop the puffy pants? Myself would have to pack a little more food weight. I'm usually closer around 3k calories a day.

Yeah I planned on just one extra pair of socks and added that 2nd pair to the list last night. Those and the puffy pants will be decided probably last minute depending on weather. I'm really bringing the puffy pants because I'm bringing my lighter sleeping bag. Figured I'd wear them at night if needed.

I'll definitely take a closer look at food. I'm definitely open to suggestions on that. Last year in MT I brought way too much food so I'm trying to bring enough but not too much.
 

sweetroll

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Idaho
For food, depending on your hiking route you may be able to cash some along the way and return to it later in the trip if it works out logistically.


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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
For food, depending on your hiking route you may be able to cash some along the way and return to it later in the trip if it works out logistically.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah for sure. Not a bad idea!
 

mlgc20

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
836
Location
DFW, TX
Looks to be a well thought out list. Here are a couple of things I do to save extra weight. Just food for thought.
  • Get rid of the pack lid. This is the first thing I do with nearly every pack I have. They are very heavy for the benefit they provide IMO. The Metcalf is a fantastic pack. But, the lid probably weighs 10 ounces.
  • Replacing puffy pants with zip-off base layer bottoms. A different approach to keeping legs warm, and isn't as convenient if you are constantly taking them on and off. But, I feel the base layers on my legs keep me warmer and weight half as much as the puffy pants.
  • Replace the Pop Tarts with something like a Greenbelly Meal to Go. I love Poptarts. Believe me. But, they aren't going to get you very far. The Greenbelly's have much better calories and they still taste great. Greenbelly is just an example. There are plenty of other options.
Enjoy your trip. Best of luck.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Looks to be a well thought out list. Here are a couple of things I do to save extra weight. Just food for thought.
  • Get rid of the pack lid. This is the first thing I do with nearly every pack I have. They are very heavy for the benefit they provide IMO. The Metcalf is a fantastic pack. But, the lid probably weighs 10 ounces.
  • Replacing puffy pants with zip-off base layer bottoms. A different approach to keeping legs warm, and isn't as convenient if you are constantly taking them on and off. But, I feel the base layers on my legs keep me warmer and weight half as much as the puffy pants.
  • Replace the Pop Tarts with something like a Greenbelly Meal to Go. I love Poptarts. Believe me. But, they aren't going to get you very far. The Greenbelly's have much better calories and they still taste great. Greenbelly is just an example. There are plenty of other options.
Enjoy your trip. Best of luck.
That’s great advice! And I’ll definitely check out Greenbelly. I was hoping for some more food advice so much appreciated.
 

gexpro

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
399
Location
san jose, california
gear list looks solid man. really cant get much lighter unless you go very minimalistic for sleep systems, or a new rifle/optic to get you sub 7lbs.. but that's where financially; not really justifiable imo..

you can look into lighter alternative in spotter/tripod, like the new vortex summit carbon II, and a KOWA 553; which is what i will use this up coming season. Trust me, i love my sirui tripod with VA5.. however it is a bit of a tank.

Taking a look at your food menu, try to stay away from those high sugars; they'll jack your guts up after eating them every single day and cause bad inflammation in your joints. Look into more sustainable foods, dehydrator is your best friend at this point. start doing dehydrated fruits and bring nuts, proteins, cheeses, cooked bacon, etc. you'll thank yourself by day 4+ doing this. be mindful and keep that weight range per day for food around 1 - 1.5lbs

note - bring a spare headlamp. one is none, and two is one :)
 
Last edited:

Northpark

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
513
looks dialed to me. Food would be different for me. Like someone else said maybe ease up on the sugar. I usually pack a peak Refuel or mtn house ( prefer the peak) then the rest of the day is a MTN OPS bar or pro bar, double serving of almonds, double serving of Fritos, a couple nature valley coconut butter biscuits, jerky, cheese, a couple honey stingers, a couple Justin PB or almond butter packets, instant coffee, and a MTN OPS ignite packet. Fat is 9 cal per gram protein and carbs are 4 cal per gram. So I lean on fat. I’m down to about 1.25lbs of food per day for 2700 calories.
 

sargent

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2017
Messages
118
Location
Pennsylvania
Your list looks pretty dialed. You could save about 9.5 ounces by carrying a one liter seltzer water bottle and aquatabs instead of nalgene and steripen and getting a lighter pot. Also, 5.64 ounces seems like a lot of toilet paper. Hope this helps. Have fun.
 

Mike Islander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
1,473
Location
Lowcountry, SC
Looks great, but you can save many pounds pretty safely with some compromise.

- 1 liter water = 35.3 oz, not 32.2
- Smart Water bottle saves 3 oz over Nalgene
- Sub Sawyer Squeeze for Steripen. Saves 2 oz plus can put right on top of Smart bottle or bladder.
- Do you need the spotting scope?
- 2"-3" rain for entire month of May. O.R. Helium rain shell is 6 oz. Sub it for the Cloudburst?
- Do you need puffies in May? Depends on altitude I guess.
- Make sure your Bro also brings a lighter! :) Personally I'm never without 3 sources of fire. 3 mini Bics are great for the weight. Stored loose, a Bic can completely drain if button accidentally pressed. Ask me how I know.
- Lose the gun cover? It's a Tikka. Electrician tape barrel tip.

Sub fats for some of those sweets and gain calories while losing weight.

* Why no warm gloves? 40 degree nights and possible cold days.
 
Last edited:

Antares

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
348
Location
Alaska
I wouldn’t get too wound up about the rifle weight. Yes, the veil is on the heavy side, but it’s also awesome...so there you go.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
gear list looks solid man. really cant get much lighter unless you go very minimalistic for sleep systems, or a new rifle/optic to get you sub 7lbs.. but that's where financially; not really justifiable imo..

you can look into lighter alternative in spotter/tripod, like the new vortex summit carbon II, and a KOWA 553; which is what i will use this up coming season. Trust me, i love my sirui tripod with VA5.. however it is a bit of a tank.

Taking a look at your food menu, try to stay away from those high sugars; they'll jack your guts up after eating them every single day and cause bad inflammation in your joints. Look into more sustainable foods, dehydrator is your best friend at this point. start doing dehydrated fruits and bring nuts, proteins, cheeses, cooked bacon, etc. you'll thank yourself by day 4+ doing this. be mindful and keep that weight range per day for food around 1 - 1.5lbs

note - bring a spare headlamp. one is none, and two is one :)
I definitely appreciate the advice. I think I’ll definitely bring some dehydrated food and change up my menu some more.
 
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