Pack weight? Who weighs theirs and how much?

Timr245

Very Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
578
375
Northcentral PA
Wondering where you guys are coming in for pack weight. In my last hunt I stayed in a cabin and returned every night. This trip I will be in a wall tent with the possibility of some coyoting nights. Without a spike tent or related goods, what are your daypacks weighing in at with just hunting and processing essentials, excluding food and water?
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,891
1,451
Ohio
I always weigh mine out of curiosity to see what I?ll be packing in the mountains. A few years later I started the spreadsheet like many other ?? ounce counters and started the way individual items just to see what I was actually carrying and where I could find multi use items, etc.
Lightweight, good materials are expensive so it?s finding the balance of affordability and product material longevity. There are several of us on this forum that have posted our pack lists highlighting the weight of each item. I like checking those out to see if I can learn something new to lighten up my load or find a better product, even if it weighs a few ounces more.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
318
142
Idaho
Mine varies a little but with all my stuff, about 25 lbs. That does include water(3 to 4 liters.) and food. I carry an EXO 3500 so I don't even notice it.
 

Timr245

Very Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
578
375
Northcentral PA
I'm sitting at 12.8lbs currently. Water will add around 3lbs and another pound or so of daily food. I'm running an Eberlestock F1 Mainframe with 2 batwing pouches, rifle scabbard, small accessory case, and pack mounted shooting rest. Rifle weighs exactly 9lbs and binos will be another 29oz attached. So all total I'll be around 28lbs. Ive carried this exact setup but with a heavier gun for 6 miles/day with ease, love the pack frame.
 
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taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
368
215
Colorado
I am such a geek on packs. I have four packs that I use for different purposes and I literally weigh them every time I use them (luggage scale) and am always messing around to change their loads.

My "day pack" is an AlpZ Outdoors Pathfinder. It's a lumbar pack that can expand to a full backpack and/or meat-packer. I have a few complaints about it, but it's really reasonably priced and even with emergency kit, lunch, water, etc. my day loadout usually runs 13-16lbs. I use ultralight "pullouts" from KUIU to organize my gear kits, so at the trail head I can throw in or take out things like my field dressing kit or wet-weather gear to optimize my load to what I really need. This is what I carry on any hike <10-15 miles and where I know I'm going back to camp (or home) afterward, and I keep it "simple": water bottle instead of hydration bladder, simple emergency kit with just a few bandaids and so on, etc.

My "bigger pack" is a generic brand (Mardingtop) 35L that I expanded with two large Wisport Sparrow side pockets (one for rain gear and one for cold weather) and a bunch of Molle accessory pouches for things like calls, snacks, GPS, etc. This is big enough for 1-2 day trips with a hammock or bivy for spiking out and with all that extra gear it's always much heavier. I also carry more accessories: much more complete IFAK and survival gear for instance. I've never managed to get this one under 25lbs and it's usually 35 or so with 1-2 days of food and so on.

For turkey season I have a dedicated turkey pack from Cabela's that I spent a TON of money on. It has all kinds of nonsense I never use like a dedicated gun support, detachable/rollout camouflage netting, built-in seat pad and back support, "mini" backpack that you can detach and use separately, and so on. I bought it before I knew a single thing about turkey hunting, it was like $299 (on sale!) and I deeply regret it. It's the single stupidest thing I ever bought (well, for hunting anyway!). It's big, bulky, total overkill, and if everybody else out there wasn't smarter than me (to know better than to want it) I'd sell it in a heartbeat.

For non-hunting backpacking trips where I'm going to camp a lot (I'm no Appalachian Trail person, but 2-4 days is fun) I have a Northface Terra 60 that I like. It's big and blue and totally useless for hunting season, but great otherwise.

Without exception, over the years I've found I've never needed big expensive stuff. My favorite pack (Pathfinder) is only $79 and meets nearly all my needs - I even use it out of season on just general hikes. It's very light yet expandable, and although I have a few complaints, it was still my best purchase ever.

My opinions are always worth what you paid for them... Sometimes less...
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,127
104
midwest
I actually just did this and put it up on another forum. I'll copy it here.

After all the seasons end I usually go through a list of what I used most on my hunts to see where to drop weight. I hunt rifle during later seasons for the most part and take a lot of stuff it seems like. I seem to keep taking most of it on colder hunts and using it. I end up around 40lbs with everything I take except the clothing layers I wear hiking in added together, not just whats in my pack. This list is for leaving well before daylight and being back well after dark, not for close to the truck stuff.

I am curious what others pack and if you are way lighter than my list. I pack a lot of weight in optics for one thing. I don't always take them all but do if I think it's to my advantage.

Weights (rounded up) are in pounds next to the item.

Exo 3500 5.2
Kowa 554 spotter w/ case 2.1
Promaster tripod, pan head, Leica adapter, rifle rest 3.25
Swaro 15x binos, adapter 2.9
Rifles Inc 300 win mag, sling, scope, loaded 8.25
I phone w/ Onx maps.4
FHF bino harness & Leica Geovid 10x42HD-B binos w/ usual kit 3.25
Dark Energy battery pack & cords .8
Blaze orange turtle fur ear warmer (orange that fits over hood) .1
Kuiu Peloton 200 glove .1
Kuiu Superdown glassing mittens .3
Kuiu Superdown Pro pants 1
Kuiu Superdown Pro jacket 1 (used a Kifaru LPP this year but plan to have one next season for drier hunts)
Sitka Cloudburst rain jacket 1.4
Kuiu NXS rain pant.5
Black Diamond ReVolt head lamp (22hr high, 160hr low) .25
wind meter & MOA wind chart for 300WM 180AB 2956fps .2
Bark River clip point hunter .5
ammo 10rd (pack) .8
ammo 2rd (pocket) .1
Fire/Med/Emergency kit 1.1
Beretta sunglass case to protect sunglasses .2
Steripen Ultra .5
Water 32oz Nalgene & 16oz Nalgene 3.7
Food 1.25
3 6ft rolls, cut down shop towels in ziplock, Coleman camp soap sheets .02
Tag Bags 24x44 set. (take 4 bags) 1
Mini Bic in pants pocket .02


Breakdown of main weight categories
Optics 11.5lbs
Gun/ammo/wind meter 9.35
Electronics/Navigation 1.45
Clothing 4.6
Knife .5
Emergency/med/fire 1.1
Water 4.2
Pack 5.2

Areas I know I could drop weight:
-Losing the 15x binos, but I seem to find game with them well enough I haven't except elk hunting.
-Taking less of a knife, I just like having a fairly stout fixed blade
-I love my Promaster tripod and use the removable leg as a trekking pole at times, but I'm going to try a KDC tripod for some hunts
-smaller battery pack, I use it for the headlamp, Steripen, and I phone so I haven't yet
-less water or lighter containers

Sometimes I like the option of an unplanned overnighter if the hunt makes me think it's a good idea. I sometimes throw in a Kifaru tarp and HPG Serape and maybe a little extra food and a stove and cup. Not the most comfortable camp but not terrible either depending on the weather. It can beat a long walk out after dark and back in before daylight for about 6lbs. Often I want my trekking poles at a pound or my cut down Thermarest Z pad to sit on glassing in cold wet weather. If I take my camp kit it is part of that always.

Anyway, the list changes for the hunt but that's the base list I usually add or subtract from. I carry to much stuff.
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
368
215
Colorado
OK I just weighed everything in my Alps PathFinder day pack, which I keep "loaded and ready" because it's what I use like 90% of the time. The bulk of my hunting tends to be 3-5 day trips, but with a base camp I return to each night.

Total weight (moderately accurate luggage scale 14.5lbs (and yes it's AWESOME being that light and fast)

Kifaru Pullout 1: Large pullout, "clothing"
Orange vest 4.1oz
Orange ballcap for warm days 1.7oz
Backup vest (somebody always needs one) 3.7oz
S/A FaceShields: 1.2oz * 3 (orange, woodland camo, standard camo)
Lightweight shooting gloves: 1.8oz
Colder weather gloves: 2.8oz
Disposable rain poncho in mesh bag:1.8oz
UnderArmour Fleece orange/camo beanie: 1.8oz
Spare socks: 3.1oz

I repack what I need from here at the trailhead and the rest left in the car. IE, I won't bring both the ballcap and fleece hat except on super odd-weather days.

Kifaru Pullout 2: "Field Dressing"
Piranta folding scalpel knife with 3x each replacement blades and gut hooks (no I don't need that many, it just "fit" the blade carrier): 2.3oz
1pr nitrile gloves: 0.4oz
Short length paracord for general handling or an emergency "drag": 0.7oz
"Backpack" drawstring bag: 2.1oz
Quart-size ziploc with 5x zip ties, a few paper towels, a few sheets of note paper, and a sharpie with a short length of duct tape wrapped around it: 1.7oz

The drawstring bag makes a great emergency bag for things like wet clothes, and it's also great as a small game bag. It easily holds 3+ grouse and ties off onto my main backpack. I use it a lot more than I thought I would when I got it. The whole bag can be left in the truck for scouting or small game trips.

Pullout 3: "Food"
Plastic MRE spoon: 0.2oz
Bottle of Mio: 1.6oz
Remainder: granola with mixed raisins/craisins/cherries, packets of biscuits, Justins Nut Butter packs, granola bars, etc.

Another trailhead mix-and-match. The granola is my main energy source, the rest is just comfort food. FYI I use a plastic spoon despite owning a really nice titanium one I got as a gift. The plastic spoon is half the weight!

Pullout 4: "Emergency"
Stick SPF50 sunscreen: 1.3oz
Sharpie with electrical tape: 0.5oz
"Meds" ziploc with spare contacts, bandaids, neosporin, children's tylenol, aspirin, caffeine, GasX, ibuprofen, and sugar tablets plus two nitrile gloves: 2.9oz
Foil mylar rescue blanket: 1.7oz
50' of #36 bank line: 0.6oz
25 more feet of bank line I keep forgetting I probably don't need: 0.3oz
5 zip ties: 0.2oz

Notes: I prefer stick sunscreens over sprays and I found a small travel one. I use bank line instead of paracord because it's lighter and you just honestly don't need 500lb strength that much (#36 bank line is rated for 340lbs). The foil rescue blanket can also be an emergency tarp or ground sheet.

Pullout 5: "Survival"
Bic lighter: 0.6oz
Krazy glue: 0.2oz
Firestarter block: 0.8oz
Whistle: 0.5oz
Ferro rod in magnesium block: 1.4oz (will be eliminating this shortly)
4 "tarp clips" (clips that add tie-down points to any fabric): 0.2oz
Aimable signal mirror: 0.2oz
Emergency compass: 0.4oz
8hr white cyalume light stick: 0.8oz
Biodegradable trail flagging tape: 0.1oz

Notes: This year I'll be leaving a lot of my fire-starting stuff at home. I got "Firefly" ferro rod inserts for my swiss army knife and with the bic lighter that's already overkill for day hikes with occasional overnights. There are fire restrictions most of the time I'm out anyway.

Side/accessory waist pocket:
Range Finder: 6.1oz
Energizer headlamp: 3.1oz
Backup ear protection: 0.1oz
Waterproof pouch with my tags, safety cert, etc: 1.6oz
Walker neck-band ear protectors: 2.2oz
Kleenex: 0.6oz
Sunglasses/eye protection: 0.9oz
Tool / utility kit with lens wipe, USB reader (for trail cams), 3x AAA batteries (for head lamp) CR2032 battery (red dot and range finder), band aid, toothpick/flosser, sail needle, and Wounded Warrior Swiss Army Knife: 5.3oz

Second accessory pocket, other side:
Inflatable seat cushion: 2.4oz
Windicator: 1.4oz
3pk Primos elk reed calls: 0.6oz
3pk Hunter Spec Strut turkey calls: 0.5oz
Fabric sewing measuring tape: 0.5oz

Clipped on:
Morakniv basic working knife (the $13 one): 3.9oz

Water bottle pouch: whatever bottle I can get away with. I actually love the disposable Poland Spring style ones because they're UNBELIEVABLY lighter than the refillables: my ultra lightweight 1-liter refillable is 3.9oz while a poland spring 1 liter disposable (which I just refill anyway, despite the warnings) is 0.3oz. I have a pretty good sense of my water needs, and tend to carry "my expected usage * 2".

Small side pouch: Romoss USB charger, 8.6oz. I could probably go with a lighter one most of the time but I like this one because I keep it buried in a hard to reach pocket, and this particular brand turns on automatically when a device to charge is plugged in. (Most others you need to hit a button.)

Right side belt: Kifaru Universal Gun Bearer, 3.9oz.

Notes: Weight here does not include water (the bottle was empty) or weapons. In hunting season I carry a Browning X-Bolt Long Range Stalker which with scope and ammo clocks in at like 9.5lbs! For small game, a Ruger 10/22LR, for upland a Remington 1100, and outside hunting season a Glock 20.

Seems like a lot but it all packs down super small and as I say, getting my pack weight below 15lbs has made a huge difference in the distance I can cover. I'm just not huffing and puffing as much when I get to the top of a hill. It matters.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,891
1,451
Ohio
My 6-day pack is 40lb plus my rifle and optics being worn.
I really need to focus on my daypack items as I tend to carry too much (emergency items in my mind). Plus I've always got my tripod, video cam, etc in day mode as well.
I did a few minor upgrades this winter that will help with a few pounds.
I'm again rethinking... Thanks guys!
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
2,391
886
My 10 day Colorado pack was at 60 pounds (Included 3 days of water). I must be taking too many luxury items. lol

I didn't complain the entire 10 days though...(Except for that inflatable pillow that went flat around midnight every night.....)

It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the water weight.
 

Timr245

Very Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
578
375
Northcentral PA
Nice breakdowns here guys! I too am looking into the shelter and sleeping bag to spend a night somewhere if needed. Other than that I've compared my list to just about every single one posted on here and some special input from Slugz and don't see where I can cut any more weight and still be as prepared as I want to be. Ultimately my pack/rifle equates to about 1/3 of my body weight haha. To me its simple, be in peak physical condition and the pack will be your last concern.
 
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taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
368
215
Colorado
My 10 day Colorado pack was at 60 pounds (Included 3 days of water). I must be taking too many luxury items. lol
I doubt it. I mean, even with freeze dried food, food and water alone must be 15-20+ pounds. For "comfortable backpacking" they say you need a minimum of 1.5lbs of food per day but I've never done less than 2lbs without hating myself. (And that doesn't count the water.) I don't tend to do more than 5-day trips but if I extended my 5-day load to 10 I bet I'd be right where you are, and I'm an "ounces" junkie.

There are guys that do all kinds of crazy things to cut weight, like making packs entirely out of dyneema fabric. I don't see how those things can apply to hunting though. We just need more rugged (and quiet) stuff.

One thing I've considered this year is, I'm looking to hunt a zone where spiking in is really a good idea. When I scout there this summer I may bring in and cache some water and supplies :confused:
 

tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
1,891
357
north idaho
I actually just did this and put it up on another forum. I'll copy it here.

After all the seasons end I usually go through a list of what I used most on my hunts to see where to drop weight. I hunt rifle during later seasons for the most part and take a lot of stuff it seems like. I seem to keep taking most of it on colder hunts and using it. I end up around 40lbs with everything I take except the clothing layers I wear hiking in added together, not just whats in my pack. This list is for leaving well before daylight and being back well after dark, not for close to the truck stuff.

I am curious what others pack and if you are way lighter than my list. I pack a lot of weight in optics for one thing. I don't always take them all but do if I think it's to my advantage.

Weights (rounded up) are in pounds next to the item.

Exo 3500 5.2
Kowa 554 spotter w/ case 2.1
Promaster tripod, pan head, Leica adapter, rifle rest 3.25
Swaro 15x binos, adapter 2.9
Rifles Inc 300 win mag, sling, scope, loaded 8.25
I phone w/ Onx maps.4
FHF bino harness & Leica Geovid 10x42HD-B binos w/ usual kit 3.25
Dark Energy battery pack & cords .8
Blaze orange turtle fur ear warmer (orange that fits over hood) .1
Kuiu Peloton 200 glove .1
Kuiu Superdown glassing mittens .3
Kuiu Superdown Pro pants 1
Kuiu Superdown Pro jacket 1 (used a Kifaru LPP this year but plan to have one next season for drier hunts)
Sitka Cloudburst rain jacket 1.4
Kuiu NXS rain pant.5
Black Diamond ReVolt head lamp (22hr high, 160hr low) .25
wind meter & MOA wind chart for 300WM 180AB 2956fps .2
Bark River clip point hunter .5
ammo 10rd (pack) .8
ammo 2rd (pocket) .1
Fire/Med/Emergency kit 1.1
Beretta sunglass case to protect sunglasses .2
Steripen Ultra .5
Water 32oz Nalgene & 16oz Nalgene 3.7
Food 1.25
3 6ft rolls, cut down shop towels in ziplock, Coleman camp soap sheets .02
Tag Bags 24x44 set. (take 4 bags) 1
Mini Bic in pants pocket .02


Breakdown of main weight categories
Optics 11.5lbs
Gun/ammo/wind meter 9.35
Electronics/Navigation 1.45
Clothing 4.6
Knife .5
Emergency/med/fire 1.1
Water 4.2
Pack 5.2

Areas I know I could drop weight:
-Losing the 15x binos, but I seem to find game with them well enough I haven't except elk hunting.
-Taking less of a knife, I just like having a fairly stout fixed blade
-I love my Promaster tripod and use the removable leg as a trekking pole at times, but I'm going to try a KDC tripod for some hunts
-smaller battery pack, I use it for the headlamp, Steripen, and I phone so I haven't yet
-less water or lighter containers

Sometimes I like the option of an unplanned overnighter if the hunt makes me think it's a good idea. I sometimes throw in a Kifaru tarp and HPG Serape and maybe a little extra food and a stove and cup. Not the most comfortable camp but not terrible either depending on the weather. It can beat a long walk out after dark and back in before daylight for about 6lbs. Often I want my trekking poles at a pound or my cut down Thermarest Z pad to sit on glassing in cold wet weather. If I take my camp kit it is part of that always.

Anyway, the list changes for the hunt but that's the base list I usually add or subtract from. I carry to much stuff.
I kept expecting to see a kitchen sink in there.
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,891
1,451
Ohio
My 10 day Colorado pack was at 60 pounds (Included 3 days of water). I must be taking too many luxury items. lol
I didn't complain the entire 10 days though...(Except for that inflatable pillow that went flat around midnight every night.....)
It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the water weight.
For 10 days, I'd say that sounds reasonable without getting into the details.
Since we're between 'major' hunting seasons, post up your pack list detailing items and weight and we'll discuss it! ;)
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
2,391
886
I think this was the last list I put together.

I could take a few things off this list but I dont like to find water immediately when I get into the area and I also like to run the jet-boil full blast to heat the tent up in the morning. I bring the garbage bags with me to cut them open to lay 1/4's on when I am breaking down an animal. I also dont like sleeting directly on the ground so I have the UL cot. The inflatable pillow was not included in this tally but it was so lightweight I guess it really doesn't matter.

I should mention this does not include arrows and bow weight. Whatever that it is at this point. Triax and 5 arrows. 7-8 pounds lbs?

For anyone wanting to know what Stalking Jammies are....well thats none of your business! lol

LIST.JPG
 
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mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,127
104
midwest
I kept expecting to see a kitchen sink in there.
Know of a lightweight one?

It seems like a ridiculous amount of stuff to me too. I like being warm when I spend time behind the optics though as you can see!

I just did a quick bit of math and if I just had my pack weight including the pack it would be 22.7lbs even with all the optics but the 10x binos and harness. Adding in the gun and the stuff in my pockets adds a bunch. I think a lot of people don't realize how much they are carrying if they add what's on their person instead of just what's in their pack. I figure I should add it all if I'm carrying it all.
 
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mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,127
104
midwest
I love my puffy pants after trying them. I had Kuiu Kenai pants I wore under my pants before but now having the extra warm down ones is awesome.
 

87TT

Active Member
Apr 23, 2013
318
142
Idaho
I have some puffy Kryptek pants that zip on and off. Love them in the chilly parts of the day. I was thinking they might come in handy if I had to hunker down for the night.