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  1. #1
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    Best Lightweight Day Pack

    What is the best lightweight day pack for spot and stalk western hunting where you're covering a good bit of ground every day, like an archery elk hunt? Assume the meat is coming out via horses.

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    I'd still grab my Exo with either the 2000 or 3500 bag most of the time. That pack moves with me well enough it's like not having a frame until you need the frame. Even if I'm not packing much weight the frame still makes a good shooting rest for a sitting shot.

    Predator hunting I use an Eberlestock X3 or Team Elk quite a bit. I have a giant FoxPro Prairie Blaster 3 call that takes up almost all of the main pocket of the X3 and is pretty heavy. The Team Elk is just enough bigger I can hold a puffy jacket and insulated hat with it. I don't like having a sling on my predator rifle, I figure it's just one more thing to get tangled or have visible movement when getting a shot. The scabbards are really nice and I've been a fan of them for a long time.

    Archery hunting I'd definitely choose the Exo. The only reason I'd consider the Eberlestock instead is the scabbard. That said I haven't carried one on a western hunt since I got my Exo. The layout of the Exo, especially the 3500 bag, is great for me. I can get my optics out and set up quick and quiet, no zipper noise or hassle. I don't currently bow hunt so I can't say much there, but the guys who invented the pack are bowhunters.

    Something else to consider is that even with horses available elk don't always end up dying where the horses can reach them. A pack-out of some length may still be needed, I've been there.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcseal2 View Post
    Something else to consider is that even with horses available elk don't always end up dying where the horses can reach them. A pack-out of some length may still be needed, I've been there.
    Good point. I'm asking for my son-in-law, who is going on his first ever elk hunt and was told to keep things as light as possible.

    I'm looking too. The full size pack I hunt with now seems like overkill for much of what I do, so I'm also looking to size down a bit. We both will be hunting from tents at least a couple miles back from the road. He's using horses, I'm taking llamas for the first time.

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  6. #4
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    I'd look at the Mystery Ranch Pintler, the EXO 2000 and maybe the Kuiu 1800, 1850, or 2200. All three are light weight daypacks with the ability to haul meat to the horses if needed.
    For many hunters the stigma of being unsuccessful has become so unbearable that the satisfaction of the hunt itself has become lost...

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  8. #5
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    I generally have found it not necessary to carry a pack on a day trip.
    picking a day pack is really not something one needs to put A lot of thought on
    on those few occasions when I do bring one, the only things I really look for in the pack is,
    1. color(generally camo)
    2.that it is made out of a material that will be silent when walking through brush
    and 3.will it fit whatever items I wish to carry


    any pack that covers these three things will do.
    AS GOES THE CHURCH, SO GOES THE NATION

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcseal2 View Post
    Something else to consider is that even with horses available elk don't always end up dying where the horses can reach them. A pack-out of some length may still be needed, I've been there.


    this is true, I have a couple times had to pack an elk a short distance to the horses,but in all the years I have been hunting elk ,this is a rare situation. but it DOES happen. once had a bull bail off a cliff and roll down into some ugly, steep, stuff, where , I did not particularly, want to be , let alone take a horse.

    for the most part though , if an elk can get there ,so can a HORSE. and on those few occasions I did have to pack it to the horses ,it was never a far pack. generally less then a couple hundred yards at most, with the exception of that one ,which was probably closer to half mile
    AS GOES THE CHURCH, SO GOES THE NATION

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    I like my Kuiu ultra lite 6000. Compacts to almost nothing, weights almost nothing, and can easily carry 2 elk quarters in one haul.

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  12. #8
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    Maybe I should have been more specific. I always have my weapon, spare ammo, 3 liters of water/day minimum, the pack itself, knife and other essentials, rangefinder, headlights, lunch, snacks, often a 65mm spotter and tripod, and layers I take off. That's 25 lbs, so we're not talking a lunch sack.

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    I use my Stone Glacier 3300 and just compress it down. That way I can always pack out some meat
    I go to the Mountains to loose my mind and find my soul.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoshour View Post
    Maybe I should have been more specific. I always have my weapon, spare ammo, 3 liters of water/day minimum, the pack itself, knife and other essentials, rangefinder, headlights, lunch, snacks, often a 65mm spotter and tripod, and layers I take off. That's 25 lbs, so we're not talking a lunch sack.
    That's pretty much what I pack in my Exo. I prefer the 3500 bag most times because the side pockets are great for my tripod and spotter. With the 2000 bag I used the water bottle holder and compression strap for my tripod and put the spotter in the stretch pocket on the back. The 2000 fits everything fine, but I prefer the layout of the 3500 for the extra half pound or so. The 3500's long side pockets will also hold my rifle if I want to get it out of the way for a long hike or climb. It's just easier to get everything organized in the bigger pack and then compress it down. I rifle hunt so I usually have a puffy jacket and pants stuffed in there later season too. I can dress light for the hike in and put them on at my glassing point.

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