Make My Pack More Efficient

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,524
Location
BC
As others have said. It's a solid list. You're definitely getting into the finer details to drop weight. But there's always room to cut!

Things I'd consider.

- Lose the Suunto watch, iPhone has a compass and clock on it.
- consider another battery pack, for 10,000mAh, you could be closer to 6oz. I make my own from a Nitecore F2 and two 21700 batteries (this makes a larger difference if you need two battery packs)
- take Kestrel Ovis and strip the handle off of it, wrap it in paracord and save 2oz. I field prepped my elk and one of my bears this year with the same knife. I didn't miss the scales. Kestrel also makes a lighter sheath, which saves roughly an ounce
- swap out the VA5 head for an RRS BPC-16, save a bunch of oz for $150ish
- swap headlamp to a Nightforce NU25 with a lightweight headstrap from Lightsmith, saves about 1.5oz
- swap Nalgene for a Smart water bottle and swap the Steripen for a gravity filter and the water bladder for a source 2l, you'll save close to half a pound.
- lose the rifle cover
- lose the ammo case, wrap the spare bullets in an elastic band or hair tie.
- do you need a windchecker? You're rifle hunting.
- toothbrush cut down?
 
OP
FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
As others have said. It's a solid list. You're definitely getting into the finer details to drop weight. But there's always room to cut!

Things I'd consider.

- Lose the Suunto watch, iPhone has a compass and clock on it.
- consider another battery pack, for 10,000mAh, you could be closer to 6oz. I make my own from a Nitecore F2 and two 21700 batteries (this makes a larger difference if you need two battery packs)
- take Kestrel Ovis and strip the handle off of it, wrap it in paracord and save 2oz. I field prepped my elk and one of my bears this year with the same knife. I didn't miss the scales. Kestrel also makes a lighter sheath, which saves roughly an ounce
- swap out the VA5 head for an RRS BPC-16, save a bunch of oz for $150ish
- swap headlamp to a Nightforce NU25 with a lightweight headstrap from Lightsmith, saves about 1.5oz
- swap Nalgene for a Smart water bottle and swap the Steripen for a gravity filter and the water bladder for a source 2l, you'll save close to half a pound.
- lose the rifle cover
- lose the ammo case, wrap the spare bullets in an elastic band or hair tie.
- do you need a windchecker? You're rifle hunting.
- toothbrush cut down?
All good ideas! I'll so some researching on these.
 
OP
FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

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Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
I'm throwing around the idea of not bringing my spotting scope. We are going to be in a pretty thick area and I don't think we will have the option to glass much further than 1,000 yards. Never been there though so it's really hard to say.

Any thoughts on spotter for this hunt? Mine comes in at 2.7 lbs.
 

gexpro

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
327
Location
san jose, california
I'm throwing around the idea of not bringing my spotting scope. We are going to be in a pretty thick area and I don't think we will have the option to glass much further than 1,000 yards. Never been there though so it's really hard to say.

Any thoughts on spotter for this hunt? Mine comes in at 2.7 lbs.
Hard to beat a KOWA 553, for its weight and size / glass quality. However the FOV is slightly narrow.

I’d say anything lightweight that’s 65mm and under for your application, given you have plenty of open country to glass.. if it’s too thick, stick with the bino’s.
 

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,524
Location
BC
I'm throwing around the idea of not bringing my spotting scope. We are going to be in a pretty thick area and I don't think we will have the option to glass much further than 1,000 yards. Never been there though so it's really hard to say.

Any thoughts on spotter for this hunt? Mine comes in at 2.7 lbs.
Anything beyond about 500 yards I'd consider a spotter, especially in steep country where you can't close the gap easily. Bears have a funny way of becoming black indistinguishable blobs at distance.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

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Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Anything beyond about 500 yards I'd consider a spotter, especially in steep country where you can't close the gap easily. Bears have a funny way of becoming black indistinguishable blobs at distance.
Good point for sure. I think we may be glassing around 700ish yards at the furthest.
 

wiiawiwb

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
664
Location
In the mountains
Man yeah there are supposed to be grizz in the area. You definitely make a good point though. I'm not sure how quickly I could get my gun off my pack, a bullet loaded, and fire if a grizz was coming at me.

If I ditch the bear spray, gun cover, and pack cover that would save 19.58 oz. So that is a pretty big deal.
Excellent job compiling your gear and objectively evaluating it. If in grizzly territory, I would never ditch the bear spray.
 

hikenhunt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
253
Location
WA
Good point for sure. I think we may be glassing around 700ish yards at the furthest.
Bears are usually pretty active when they are out and about. At 700 yards you will be able to tell if you're looking at a bear with most any binos. Now if you're looking for a certain size, then a spotter would definitely be helpful.
 

prm

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
887
Location
No. VA
Looks pretty good to me. I’ve spent years refining my pack and gear and most options I see are choices rather than needs.
  • I would not take a spotter for viewing to only 700yds. 10x binos on a light tripod are very capable.
  • I’d personally switch to Peak Refuel meals. Just taste much better to me. At least make it a variety.
  • Absolutely add a second headlamp
  • Have a compass, not phone.
  • I love the R1 around the house, but for the mountains I much prefer something light, yet blocks wind. For me it’s the Kuiu Peleton 240
  • No mention of trauma kit. Something to ease pain and something to stop bleeding.
  • You mention fire and don’t know if that means a starter like Trioxane.
  • For food, thats a lot of food. Though the weight seems appropriate. I get the caloric intake too, but my guess is you'll end up with a lot of left over food. Depends on level of effort each day too. I would say take three packages of Green Belly bars and eat one bar each day (there are two per pack). I pack similar to what you have, and I always end up with a lot of food left over.
  • A couple of small powdered hydration/electrolyte packs can come in handy on warm pack outs.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Looks pretty good to me. I’ve spent years refining my pack and gear and most options I see are choices rather than needs.
  • I would not take a spotter for viewing to only 700yds. 10x binos on a light tripod are very capable.
  • I’d personally switch to Peak Refuel meals. Just taste much better to me. At least make it a variety.
  • Absolutely add a second headlamp
  • Have a compass, not phone.
  • I love the R1 around the house, but for the mountains I much prefer something light, yet blocks wind. For me it’s the Kuiu Peleton 240
  • No mention of trauma kit. Something to ease pain and something to stop bleeding.
  • You mention fire and don’t know if that means a starter like Trioxane.
  • For food, thats a lot of food. Though the weight seems appropriate. I get the caloric intake too, but my guess is you'll end up with a lot of left over food. Depends on level of effort each day too. I would say take three packages of Green Belly bars and eat one bar each day (there are two per pack). I pack similar to what you have, and I always end up with a lot of food left over.
  • A couple of small powdered hydration/electrolyte packs can come in handy on warm pack outs.
Really appreciate the advice.

I'm still definitely thinking of leaving the spotter. I hate the idea of a redundant headlamp but I'll put some thought into it.

I agree with the R1. I really do like it when I'm hiking but it does not stop the wind. I have a 240 vest but I may pick up the zip up jacket.

The biggest thing with food for me is being a type 1 diabetic. I just always fear not having something to eat if my blood sugar needs it.
 

prm

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
887
Location
No. VA
I had a very dark and rainy night in an area of the Rockies I was unfamiliar with. On my way back towards camp solo, maybe 3mi away, a massive rain/thunder storm rolled in. One headlamp failed in the rain and I didn't have a GPS. I knew the general direction towards camp. That extra light to see my way through downfalls, steep embankments, etc. and a compass to keep me headed in the right direction were critical. I now have a Silva compass tied into my pack and I always have two headlamps. It's also a pain to replace batteries in a headlamp on a zero moon night. But easy with a second light! Those were pre-cell phone. While a good cell offers some capability, and I do use the GPS/Maps, there is zero chance I am trusting one to get me out of a bind.

I hear you with the food. I just thought the two Green Belly's would be quite a bit. I knew not to reduce the periodic snacks.
 
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FrankAbagnale

FrankAbagnale

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
I had a very dark and rainy night in an area of the Rockies I was unfamiliar with. On my way back towards camp solo, maybe 3mi away, a massive rain/thunder storm rolled in. One headlamp failed in the rain and I didn't have a GPS. I knew the general direction towards camp. That extra light to see my way through downfalls, steep embankments, etc. and a compass to keep me headed in the right direction were critical. I now have a Silva compass tied into my pack and I always have two headlamps. It's also a pain to replace batteries in a headlamp on a zero moon night. But easy with a second light! Those were pre-cell phone. While a good cell offers some capability, and I do use the GPS/Maps, there is zero chance I am trusting one to get me out of a bind.

I hear you with the food. I just thought the two Green Belly's would be quite a bit. I knew not to reduce the periodic snacks.
Good point! I’m definitely leaning towards one bar per morning as well.
 

Christian1556

Newbie
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
9
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
Looks pretty dialed in man. Good luck
 

codyadams

Junior Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
11
The best way I have found to drop weight on the weapon support system, is to ditch the bipod, get a small arca rail on the bottom of your stock, and then use your tripod for support, it is much more versatile for shooting positions and hard terrain, and takes away the weight of your bipod.
20200907_161245.jpg
Other than that, looks good!
 

codyadams

Junior Member
Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
11
Also, I know the struggle of type 1, my wife is type 1, we always take a solar battery pack, a little over a lb, plus all the extra supplies for the dexcom and tandem pump. Honey sticks bring her up fast and are light/small too, she hates the glucose tabs. I also always carry a couple of the emergency glucose pens in my pack too. It's ALWAYS a stress in the back country when your multiple hours from any help, so that is somewhere I allow excess, likely (and hopefully) unneeded weight.
 

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,524
Location
BC
Good point for sure. I think we may be glassing around 700ish yards at the furthest.
That's an awkward distance, so close to not needing a spotter. Here's a few other questions.

How's your eyesight? 20/20 or better, no need for a spotter, otherwise it's still a maybe.

Do you just want a bear? No spotter. Chasing something specific? Then take the spotter.

Are you an experienced bear hunter? If not, sometimes its worth having a spotter just for watching the Bears to learn how they move and getting a better judge of the size.

And props to you for getting out in the backcountry with diabetes. That's awesome.
 
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