The Incredible KU Pods

unm1136

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I bought these last year to increase the capacity of my Marauder for a deer hunt. They worked great for that, and now that I have an EMR, they are not as critical to my hunt. I use them for EDC, and the more I use them, the more I like them. I have other silnylon bags, and these feel different to the hand, re-enforcing Kifaru’s assertion that they are not silnylon. During last year’s hunting and scouting trips, they were not babied in any way, and I was surprised at how well they held up to being dropped on rocks, trees, trails, and roads. I can detect literally no wear on them.

Anyway, this year I watched Aron’s Rokslide video on packing his DT pack, and noted that he used a compression sack to store food. I also took an REI class on lightweight backpacking, as I am still new to this; my last couple of years could be classified as car camping to hunt. This year I want to get back, baby.

I was pricing UL stuff sacks for my food, and realized that on my gym bag (a Maxpedition Sitka Gearsliner) I had my small pod and realized that they could act like a stuff sack in the pack, and if pack space is necessary for meat, the pod could resume its original role and be clipped to the outside of my pack for the haul out. They could also, with cordage, be used to suspend food from a tree in the approved bear aware manner. Because they would be inside the pack for the pack in, they would be exposed to approximately 50% less wear and tear than if they were strapped to the outside of the bag.

I initially hoped that the small pod would carry 2-3 days’ worth of food, the medium pod 5-7 days’ worth of food, and the large 10+ days’ worth of food. I initially continued my old habit of separating each day’s worth of food in a zip lock bag for organization. I learned that since the pods are sort of free standing when they have things in them, it was beneficial to stop that: I got about 60% more food per pod by stacking it in the pod without the zip lock bags. I could likely increase the amount of food in each bag by about 25-30% by opening the mountain house bags and purging the air, or even better, transferring the contents to quart ziplock freezer bags and labeling the bags with the contents and the correct amount of water to add.

The first thing I did was thread the female airlock connectors for the pods through the male parts. Then I filled the pods, and tugged the draw string tight and secured it, and tucked it in. The female connecters were connected to the male connectors, and the dock and lock straps pulled tight, providing a football shaped pocket. The spare female connectors were put in a small snack sized zip top bag with the Tactical/KU adapter ladder locks. Here is what I learned.

Small pod: My set up for next week’s 2 day turkey hunt. Leaving Friday afternoon, backpacking in since my minivan (grocery getter/looser cruiser) can’t get me to my hunting spot , and spending Friday night, and Saturday night in the woods, returning either after dark on Sunday, or just after first light on Monday. The small pod holds: 3 MH wrap meals, 2 MH meals, 5 Justin’s almond butters, 1 can Hormel chili, 16 high fiber tortillas, 2 cans smoked brislings, and 1 package thick sliced, cooked bacon. Including the weight of the pod and all the packaging for everything: 6065 kcals, at 5#9oz, or 62 kcal/oz. Taking the net weight of the food and doing the same math, 102kcals/oz. I could likely get better food choices, but for 2+ days this gives me variety.

Med Pod: I didn’t do the math for this pod, since the 2 day+ turkey hunt is on the horizon, and that is what I am more concerned about. However, the medium pod gave me 27 servings, rounded off. I treated the 2.5 serving mountain house meals as 2 servings. I don’t have kcal/oz, but here is what the medium pod held, at a weight of 6#15oz, including all packaging and the pod: 1 full MRE, 2 MRE entrees, 1 MRE pound cake, 10 assorted MH meals, and 2 Backpacker’s Pantry meals. That is easily 5-7 days’ worth of meals, if you can fit a few snacks into other pockets or pouches.

Large Pod: Could not get this like I wanted to, as the Large Pod is attached to a bag in the Wife’s car at the moment, and she is at work. I have just completed 10 hours at work on my day off, and really don’t care about scientific accuracy. The large pod, based on experience, will hold both the medium pod and the small pod, and a bit extra. So, if you have room for snacks elsewhere, the large pod, with or without the other pods will do 9+ days. No total weight available, and since I won’t be able to hunt out of state or on a full archery hunt in this state for several years, I am effectively limited to 5 day hunts for the foreseeable future. So a Medium Pod and a Small Pod will do me well, to include snacks.

Pics to follow in the next 2-3 weeks.

pat
 
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unm1136

unm1136

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Albuquerque NM
Also, after my hunting trip last fall, I expect this to be a dry camp, so I will be packing in all my water. The Sawer 4L bladder for their gravity filter system will just fit into a long pocket. I mention this, because laying the empty bladder over the pocket, it doesn't look like it will fit. Once filled the bladder fits nicely, with the hose and the filter. For a 2+ day hunt I am packing in 11 quarts/liters of water.

pat
 

Lawnboi

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Mar 2, 2012
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If you have some time could you put up a pic of the small and medium stuffed next to something for a size reference. Id like to get 1 to try out for biking on an E&E and spike camp
 
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unm1136

unm1136

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I got a little time this morning, so I grabbed some photos. These pods don't make great compression sacks, but the job they do compressing is ok, and the ability to mount to the exterior of the pack makes up for it.

First is the way I connected the straps...
SAM_2947.jpg
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SAM_2951.jpg

pat
 
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unm1136

unm1136

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Next is the small pod loaded for my turkey trip, next to a 1L Camelbak Better Bottle, a Nalgene Oasis Canteen, and a USGI 2 quart:
SAM_2943.jpg
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SAM_2946.jpg
SAM_2949.jpg

pat
 
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unm1136

unm1136

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Medium Pod, loaded from the initial post, with size references.

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Here is a shot of both Pods, in the top of my EMR. My EMR is a little wasp waisted; the sleeping bag compartment has my hammock, underquilt, towel, and pillow in it. The bottom and middle compression straps on the body are pulled as tight as possible, holding a 42 pound bag of cat litter for rucking, and the top one is as loose as it can be, so the pods are resting on the kitty litter bag, and they are just below the snow collar.

SAM_2958.jpg

pat
 
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unm1136

unm1136

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Albuquerque NM
Lastly, the Large Pod. Since I am planning us stuffing my sleeping bag into the Large Pod, I was not serious about loading it up with food. I took the loaded Small and Medium Pods into it and saw how much space was left. I put all three size references, full of water (1L Camelbak Better Bottle, 1qt Nalgene Oasis, and 2Qt GI canteen) into the pod and cinched it down tight.

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Since the size references are crammed into the Pod, the bottle here is the wife's .75L Better Bottle.

I am confident that I could have shoehorned the large pod into the EMR. I am sure I could have packed the Large pod a lot more efficiently, and gotten 10 days worth of food in it, particularly by purging the air from the MH bags, and getting rid of the canned stuff. 12.75 oz for all three pods combined, empty.

They work well as ditty bags, with some hanging straps. Tightening the straps give adequate compression, but a lot of shaping ability. Cordage can be tied to either the draw string or the webbing to hang the food. A snack sized zip top bag can hold the Tactical Adapters, and the remaining two female airlocks. I tried to put the remaining two on the straps, but they up the friction a bit, and both of them on one set of straps hinders the ability to really crank on the webbing. I have successfully put all three pods on a Marauder, on the top, bottom, and face, and hiked in a couple of miles. I could easily attach them to my EMR with or without the tactical adapter kit, if I use the existing common loops, and fastex buckles for my XTL, EMR, and long pockets.

pat
 

Lawnboi

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Thanks looks like I need a small.

On a side note this is a great thread since I had the hardest time finding relative sizing of these pods anywhere.
 
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unm1136

unm1136

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
426
Location
Albuquerque NM
Thanks looks like I need a small.

On a side note this is a great thread since I had the hardest time finding relative sizing of these pods anywhere.

I use the small daily to keep my gym shoes separated from my workout clothes. Works like a charm. After a particularly sweaty workout, I may toss the sweaty clothes into the pod, too

pat
 
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