Packing one out

Reflex

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I have a question for you guys who have packed a lot of animals out of the woods. Aron has a video that explains how he loads his pack up with meat before making the trip back to the truck, etc. Aron was saying how it is important to get the meat (heavy items) up off the bottom of the pack and close to your back as possible. To do this, he put his sleeping bag, clothes, etc. at the bottom. But what do you do if you have an empty pack? Just throw the meat in and go? I know most times you will have some gear with you (clothes, etc.), but I was wondering about the time when you have to go back for a second trip, etc and don't want to carry a bunch of extra gear in your pack that you might not need.
 

JNDEER

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I have not packed "a lot" of animals out. Bear and blacktails is all.

Almost everytime I had just the meat. In my case there was no room to lift the meat higher in the pack because the pack was full with the meat I was carrying out. It may make a difference, but usually running with the adrenial high of killing something I have not felt a major difference.
 

Benny

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Alot of IF packs will have an internal meat shelf or if it is not a "hunting" pack will have a sleeping back compartment at the bottom of the pack. Usually that will help keep the meet a little higher. If that isn't an option you can usually keep meat higher with the help of the compression straps on the pack. Tighten down the bottom straps very snug so that basically the bottom of the pack is closed and will only allow meet down so far. An easy way to experiment with it is to throw a 50lbs bag of sand in your pack and see where it rides....very dead, dense weight much like boned out critters.
 

Matt Cashell

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The compression straps are the key. I try to lay out the meat against the back of the pack as tight and high as I can, and use the straps to hold it in place. One of the big problems with my Eberlestock Just One pack was the meat would end up in a big ball at the bottom of the pack.

I have a plastic frame pack that I use with bungee cords, and it acutally works really well because the cords can hold the meat right where I want it.

I haven't had an opportunity to haul meat in my Kuiu Icon 6000, but really like how the meat compartment is set to keep the meat high and tight.
 

2rocky

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Well explained in previous posts.

If you are using an external frame, you can lash it using rope. bungee cords let it move too much.

Horse and mule packers, I used a Basket hitch and a crowsfoot. This was a whole Idaho whitetail with bone in shoulders and hams,
 

muleman

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Well explained in previous posts.

If you are using an external frame, you can lash it using rope. bungee cords let it move too much.

Horse and mule packers, I used a Basket hitch and a crowsfoot. This was a whole Idaho whitetail with bone in shoulders and hams,
I saw your picture before reading your post and thought to myself here is someone who has used pack animals. Nice job!
 

Matt Cashell

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Well explained in previous posts.

If you are using an external frame, you can lash it using rope. bungee cords let it move too much.

Horse and mule packers, I used a Basket hitch and a crowsfoot. This was a whole Idaho whitetail with bone in shoulders and hams,
While I have been able to get my loads nice and tight with the bungees, I love the crows foot idea, 2rocky! Thanks for the tip.
 

miller1

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I think Aaron fills the bottom with rocks if he doesnt have anything else just to make it more of a challenge. :)
 

Aron Snyder

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As mentioned above, most internal frame packs have a sleeping bag divider and that can be used to elevate the meat as well. If you have a Kifaru pack you can use the Hanging Meat Bag and attach it to the common loops at the top of the pack.

To be honest, I usually don't run into that problem (empty pack) as I try and make one trip for everything.
 

Swede

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I have packed out a lot of elk over the years, and I have never heard of or discovered the value of loading high. I have external frame packs and either load the heavy part on the shelf or drop the meat into the sack. The heavy end almost always goes down. I have had top heavy loads that were hard to balance and wanted to shift when I was on uneven ground. I have not seen the video. Where is the best balance between too high and too low? Is loading on the shelf what you are calling "loading high"? I weigh 155#. I have noticed over the years that I can hold my own and even out pack my friends who are over 200# if we keep our pack weights down to around 60#, but at 80# or more I am struggling more that they are if the terrain is not favorable and the hike short. I know the obvious solution for my last problem is to load some rocks, as Miller1 suggested, in my buddies packs when we have a heavy load. It makes no sense that I would be the only one struggling.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Compression straps to close off the bottom of the bag, a meat shelf, or the hanging meat bags (Kifaru or self made) all work well.

Swede; I'm not sure what others are talking about when they say load high, but in my mind loading high would be roughly mid/lower back up to shoulders. Basically centering the weight so you don't have a lot of weight below your hips (so you don't get pulled down), and not a lot of weight above your shoulders (so you don't get top sway).
 

RUTTIN

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Usually hasn't mattered to much with me to get the load to ride a little higher, as there is usually another quarter below that one that keeps it riding higher.
 

Matt Cashell

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What I mean by high is I like the load above my hip line up to the shoulder line. I don't want it down on my a5$, which seemed to be exactly where it ended up in my Eberle, no matter how I strapped it in.
 

Aron Snyder

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The heaviest weight needs to be in the center of your pack and against your back....not "high" per say, but having all the weight at the bottom of the pack compared to above the hips is a night and day difference.

If it was a mile or less it wouldn't matter, but most of our pack outs are 3-5 miles.
 

Becca

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If you are making two trips to pack out meat and camp, consider doing half gear and half meat in each load--you can use gear to elevate the load each time, and keep it tightly adjusted with the side compression straps.

If you are packing out a cape or hide that could help too. On a combo trip last season where we had both a caribou (meat and antlers) and a wolf (hide) to get the 12 miles to the truck, we packed the wolf hide at the bottom of my pack with the meat above it, and although bulky I think it still elevated the heavier meat load enough to make a difference.
 

Jared Bloomgren

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I use the meat shelf in my pack to keep the meat higher and put everything that I can below such as my sleeping bag and clothes. There is no way for me to take all my elk in one trip like Aron and when I come back in for additional trips I only keep the essentials with me. Usually that means my sleeping bag stays so I will have that to help me out to keep the meat higher again. Often times I spend another night in there while packing out. In the event I am making the last trip I will go back with an empty pack. I still use the divider to keep the meat higher but one of my packs dividers has given out in the past. I used the compression straps to keep things as high as I could. I also use 550 cord and hook high on my pack and loop down around the bottom of the meat to keep it up.
 
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