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Thread: Trimming weight

  1. #1

    Default Trimming weight

    I am going to be very limited in what I can take with me into the field (caribou then fly into a new spot for moose solo). I have a lot of high qualty lightweight gear but I am still having to wrestle with some choices so I wanted some input on the following iffy/heavy items. Unit 20a

    1. I really want a spotting scope, and a tripod for it, particularly for glassing caribou before I make long hikes for small bulls. Also for getting close looks at moose to judge size/brown tines. However the lowest I can get is 5 pounds, and right now that is not going to cut it since I have a total limit of 70 pounds. Your thoughts? My binos are Nikon monarch 8x42

    2. backpack, badlads 4500, sure would like a better option at 5 pounds vs 6.5 pounds for 4500.

    3. Ax, roughly 1.5 pounds, never used one on elk, would like to have one but I think this will have to get cut off my final list.

    4. Can anyone guess what a remington 700 .270 mnt rifle weighs with scope, synthetic stock and some ammo? I am guessing 8 pounds (I do not have a accurate scale that goes over 5 pounds).

    5. Bipod for rifle (0.7 pounds - stoney point bipod) and trekking poles (0.8 pounds for two). I might drop bipod and use trekking poles lashed together if needed for a rest (I do not think I need a rest for moose but maybe caribou). I might take bipod for caribou the swap it for trekking poles when I move for moose.

    6. Game bags, how many and what size tags bags for a whole boned moose? I will take 2 contractor trash bags and might take one less tags bag and use a contractor bag instead (saves about 0.3 pounds).

    7. Boots, issues here. Most will be surprised but I have used a hiking shoes (Vasque) for almost every hunt - in almost every weather. I have carried heavy loads over brutally rough terrain, stayed warm in 25 degree weather, and they are comfy and light. However moose may involve water/marsh etc. Caribou should be high so I do not anticipate wet areas (do you agree)?

    8. What does a sat phone weigh? I have a VHF radio and cell phone but I think I will have to rent a sat phone to best communicate as needed, worth it to not have to sit and wait after tagging a caribou and wanting to move.

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    1. Spotting scope...yes. I have a Zeiss Dialyt- about 3.5 pounds and totally adequate.

    2. Bigger pack in the 6500-7000 range

    3.Ax- leave it at home and take a Wyoming saw or similar.

    4. no idea

    5. Bipod- leave it at home. long shots prone can be taken off your pack as a front rest and you're already carrying it.

    6. depends.

    7. hiking shoes...not appropriate in my opinon. High tundra is a spongy mess with numerous water pockets and pothole lakes. High country caribou can be as wet as moose country in some weather conditions and far from dry in any weather condition.

    8. Look at one of the new "texting" satellite communication devices- ie. inReach, etc. for lightweight communications.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I am going to be very limited in what I can take with me into the field (caribou then fly into a new spot for moose solo). I have a lot of high qualty lightweight gear but I am still having to wrestle with some choices so I wanted some input on the following iffy/heavy items. Unit 20a

    1. I really want a spotting scope, and a tripod for it, particularly for glassing caribou before I make long hikes for small bulls. Also for getting close looks at moose to judge size/brown tines. However the lowest I can get is 5 pounds, and right now that is not going to cut it since I have a total limit of 70 pounds. Your thoughts? My binos are Nikon monarch 8x42

    2. backpack, badlads 4500, sure would like a better option at 5 pounds vs 6.5 pounds for 4500.

    3. Ax, roughly 1.5 pounds, never used one on elk, would like to have one but I think this will have to get cut off my final list.

    4. Can anyone guess what a remington 700 .270 mnt rifle weighs with scope, synthetic stock and some ammo? I am guessing 8 pounds (I do not have a accurate scale that goes over 5 pounds).

    5. Bipod for rifle (0.7 pounds - stoney point bipod) and trekking poles (0.8 pounds for two). I might drop bipod and use trekking poles lashed together if needed for a rest (I do not think I need a rest for moose but maybe caribou). I might take bipod for caribou the swap it for trekking poles when I move for moose.

    6. Game bags, how many and what size tags bags for a whole boned moose? I will take 2 contractor trash bags and might take one less tags bag and use a contractor bag instead (saves about 0.3 pounds).

    7. Boots, issues here. Most will be surprised but I have used a hiking shoes (Vasque) for almost every hunt - in almost every weather. I have carried heavy loads over brutally rough terrain, stayed warm in 25 degree weather, and they are comfy and light. However moose may involve water/marsh etc. Caribou should be high so I do not anticipate wet areas (do you agree)?

    8. What does a sat phone weigh? I have a VHF radio and cell phone but I think I will have to rent a sat phone to best communicate as needed, worth it to not have to sit and wait after tagging a caribou and wanting to move.
    1 I carry a swarovski and a light weight tripod that I can stand up and use (moose country can be brushy, heck some times I spend more time in the trees then on the ground)

    2 much bigger pack,you might have a hard time getting a moose hind quarter in that one.

    3 axe is not a bad idea but I carry a tool box saw(carpenter saw)

    4 not sure

    5 bipods are almost worthless in most of the moose country I ever guided or hunted in

    6 I seem to think I (ill have to look in my pack) carry 6 or so and 1 contractor bag

    7 I wear my Koflach mountain hunting boots and glacier socks(on every hunt), they help keep me form twisting stuff and great on tussiks(sp?)

    8 not sure dont always carry one I mostly carry handheld aircraft radio

  4. #4
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    I'll take a stab at a few of those...

    1. I hunt moose a fair bit and have never used a spotting scope, though usually I'm not judging brow tines. All I usually need to know is if it is a bull or cow depending on the tag in my pocket.

    2. I think having a decent pack is crucial. Take what works best for you and your situation. Don't skimp on the pack becasue of weight concerns. Personally, I have a Barney's pack and wouldn't think of taking anything else if I was planning on having to pack meat out farther than a hundred yards.

    3. Axes are nice. Subsituting a decent folding saw would save a pound. You should probably have one or the other. Or look into one of those light weight axes with the composite handle.

    4. No clue what that rifle ets weighs, but it is definitley lighter than my 700 CDL. 8 lbs all up seems reasonable.

    5. I like trekking poles. I wouldn't go into the mountains with out them and having at least one while packing heavy loads of moose meat would be nice. Figure a way to quickly convert them into a bipod with a small bungy if you want to use them for a shooting rest. I can't stand the bipods that are attached to the rifle, as it's just more stuff to get hung up on the brush.

    6. Not sure on how many or what size TAG bags. Game bags are light and it'd be a real shame to not have enough because one gets torn, lost etc. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out how many though. For bone in on a moose I figure on 1 bag per quarter, 1 bag per side of ribs, 1 smaller bag of the yummy cuts (backstrap, tenderloins, heart etc), 1 medium bag of neck meat and misc trimmings.

    7. You'll probably be fine with solid hikingor hunting boots for the caribou. For moose, you'll want to have some sort of footwear that you can stand in water all day long and still be reasonably dry. I don't always need them but a pair of quality chest waders with good supportive rubber soled wading boots has been a real lifesaver often enough that I almost allways have them along. You can't go wrong with Simms.

    8. Sat phones are getting smaller and lighter with each new generation. THe newest ones aren't too much bigger than a cell phone. Always have an extra battery. To save on weight you could ditch the pelican case they usually give you and get a mini-dry bag to store it in. I certainly wouldn't count on a VHF or cell phone for comms in the field. I've been very please with the coverage of the phones that are on the Iridium network.

    I admire your exhaustive planning. You are well on your way to a fine trip.

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    The biggest moose and the biggest caribou I have ever spotted in 20A were both from the same spot why would you think you would need to move? There is alot of places I can think of in 20A were I know i could kill both from the same camp and a plane could land. If it was me I would have a small day pack and a good pack frame. And as far as boots go get a pair of exstra tuffs and be done with it.

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    I'd take the spotter, you'll wish you had it if you don't. I can't judge caribou very well at 1 mile or more with 10x42 Swaros. Sure you can tell its a bull, but how big? What about moose? You can see those long points that stick out with a spotter, not so much with binos

    I'm not a fan of Badlans, I know some like them, but I coudln't get mine to fit right. My current pack wieghs 9lbs and will pack more than I can.

    Like mentioned, I'd get a small carpenters saw, its lighter than the WY saw and isn't limited on stroke length. Works on bone and wood. I have an original WY saw and have used the mid size. Neither work well on a moose skull, the carpenters saw will zip right through it! In the last 20 years of hunting, I can't think of a single time I wished I had an ax. Wouldn't hurt to toss in if you have room though. Could be nice for chopping wood or something I suppose.

    A bare MT rifle weighs about 6.75lbs. depending on scope/rings/sling/cartriges... max 8lbs. My 280 sans cartridges weighs 7.5lbs.

    Use your trecking poles or pack for a rest.

    I've been using 'small' TAG bags for boned moose quarters. A boned hind quarter is a tight fit, but it will go, bone in will fit, but the upper leg sticks out. Takes 6 +1 for the cape if you keep it, the cape will not fit in the small bag. Probalby get the caribou in 3 +1. I'd bring 2 compactor bags incase you rip/tear one. I'd bring a couple extra to rotate meat if the bags get bloody/wet. Speaking of wet, bring a couple tarps.

    Can't help ya on the boots/shoes... personal choice. I'd be wearing some heavy duty hiking boots if it was me, and take a pair of hip boots for stream/swamp crossings. Not sure you can count on it being dry. Some gravely river/creek bottoms aren't too bad, but there is lots of squish in between. I can't trust my ankles to light weight shoes, especially with heavy loads. I've rolled an ankle a few times, and was sure glad to have had a good pair of boots.

    The phone I rented last year weighed about a pound with a spare battery.

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    you will never regret taking an axe with you....if your using it to chop up moose quarters or what ever look into one of those short handled fiskers axes, I used one up in galena and they are awesome! we used them some for limbing and cutting brush and stuff, they have a life time warrantee on the handle and the heads are really good steel. no clue on the price though.

    I have never really been to unit 20a, but in the top portion of 13E which borders 20a, even way up in the hills we would hit swamps and beaver dams where there wasn't a tree in site and we were 2 miles up. pretty crazy. that said. I wear "Iron ridge" boots, the are 110 bucks from cabbalas, they are pretty much the only shoe I wear, wear um at work, hunting, church, most everything. if your on a budget, take an old pair of sneakers, 2 or 3 big rubber bands, and 2 garbage bags, take off your boots for closing creeks o what ever and put the bags on your feet, then the sneakers, and put the ruberbands around at the top to hold the bags up. around the top of your thigh. works good. I know a couple guide that yuse a type of waider that are made to "roll down" so you have a high quality hunting boot, but when your join through swamp or creeks you can roll the waider like material up (its the kind that chest waders are made out of....not neoprene, the thin ones) and you have hip waders, I've heard some great things about um, might look into it
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    1. Get a larger pack that is not going to work well

    2. Bring a spotter it will help when judging a 50" 4 brow tine moose and make field judging caribou a lot easier

    3. folding saw instead of axe

    4. hip waders and good hiking boots

    5. Trekking poles instead of bipod

    6. talk to Larry Bartlett about how many tag bags. You can not substitute plastic bags for game bags they do not breath!

    7. Bring your cell phone you get cell comms in most of that unit if you are up on a hill/mountain

    What are you bringing that is pushing your weight allowance? What tent, sleeping bag, food, sleeping mat, etc?

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys, will post pics of my current gear list soon. I have used plastic bags for meat a lot short term (to cool in creeks and keep pack dry during hike out). Keep in mind most likely I will have my meat from animal to butcher in under 4 days max. Good to know small bags work, I bought large bags and when I went to load up realized just how big they were! WOW, I could never carry one full of boned out meat! I will get some smaller one, less weight.

    Sucks about bou being in wet areas too, I figured that but was hoping no.

    Is it feasible to attempt to keep my feet dry while hunting caribou only (not packing)? Carbou camp is at 3500 feet.

    Also yes moose might be in same place as caribou but I am panning on moving since transporter thinks it is best and to keep the option open.

  10. #10

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    Gear list (so far) with weights. Note a couple things are a few items in one line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    I have used plastic bags for meat a lot short term (to cool in creeks and keep pack dry during hike out). Keep in mind most likely I will have my meat from animal to butcher in under 4 days max. Is it feasible to attempt to keep my feet dry while hunting caribou only (not packing)? Carbou camp is at 3500 feet.
    Don,
    Don't know when your trip is planned but I assume late Aug/ early Sept... temps will likely be warm. 4 days in the field can be a long time with our early season temperatures. Plastic works ok for short term submersion but you really need breathable bags and some abscorbic acid to retard the wee beasties that long. I suggest Larry Bartlett's "Project Bloodtrail" for some tips on warm weather meat care.

    I wouldn't take waders for a high country caribou hunt but I would take decent boots. The tussocks are vicious ankle snappers and the support is probably more important than staying dry. You can do OK staying out of the water courses as they're pretty small up there but the tussocks will be unavoidable.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Don, I picked-up a Nikon Compact 16x48 60mm spotter package including the tripod for $213 on eBay...brand stinkin' new. I chucked the bags...the scope with lens caps & tripod weigh 3.5 pounds total.
    I don't know about your bride, but mine never noticed the $213 hit on the VISA bill.

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    -Decent tripods can be had for a couple of pounds. But if you go with an external frame pack you can rig up a mounting plate for the top of the frame
    -Badlands packs are a waste of money for Alaska IMO (I've had two and the straps on both would slip under load). Get a good external frame pack based off of the CampTrails Moose Freighter (Cabelas Alaskan series).
    -Save weight on food and clothes--go with Mountain House or similar freeze dried and bring only a spare base layer in case you get wet. If your pack is limited to 70lbs then wear any extra clothes on the flight in.
    -Iridium sat phones weigh about a pound.--they're lighter than they look.
    -As suggested above--get the trekking poles, or you could cut some saplings in the field.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonV View Post
    Thanks guys, will post pics of my current gear list soon. I have used plastic bags for meat a lot short term (to cool in creeks and keep pack dry during hike out). Keep in mind most likely I will have my meat from animal to butcher in under 4 days max. Good to know small bags work, I bought large bags and when I went to load up realized just how big they were! WOW, I could never carry one full of boned out meat! I will get some smaller one, less weight.

    Sucks about bou being in wet areas too, I figured that but was hoping no.

    Is it feasible to attempt to keep my feet dry while hunting caribou only (not packing)? Carbou camp is at 3500 feet.

    Also yes moose might be in same place as caribou but I am panning on moving since transporter thinks it is best and to keep the option open.
    No disrespect intended, but I am smacking my forehead after reading this thread ,DonV ! At least half of these questions were answered on the other thread about packing a moose solo.

    Those game bags are that big because a moose is that big !!! You would do well to realize what we have been telling you. You will be making at least 8 trips to pack out a moose. You claim to be able to pack 125lbs no sweat, but are shocked by the size of the game bag size required for moose ? Forget how big you know an elk is and get your head wrapped around what you are in for if you hit the mark after pulling the trigger !


    Leave the bipod behind, if you need a rest to shoot accurately then get a Cabelas trekking pole that has an attachment "V" to double as a shooting stick.

    Your pack is too small for anyhting other than a day pack-I thought you were going to use a external frame pack after all that talk on the other thread ? Get a frame with a good harness and waist belt .

    A spotting scope, your choice, I have only had need of one for sheephunting, never had need of one for moose or caribou.

    What do you want an axe for ?

    Game bags... 8-10 for a moose as I said on the last thread, to pack a caribou out you can get by using three or four by trimming the rib meat off the bone (if legal were you are hunting). Then there is the matter of seperating the quarters into their own bags at camp-meaning at least two more bags for the caribou. This does not include a few extra in case one or more get damaged beyond repair, (ripped open on brush while packing, etc.), or require changing out due blood soaking so much it inhibits drying in a reasonable amount of time (Sept. is the wettest month of the year, and it will rain). So now we are at 13-15 bags not counting extras, or bags for any capes or bear that may change your intentions.

    Do not take short cuts on boots, a quality 10-12" insulated/gortex/leather boot and gaiters are what I prefer. Then you should have hip boots or chest waders for the moose hunt.

    Bring the sat. phone !

    I am puzzled by the 70lb weight limitation in, and the fact that you plan to have a caribou and moose flown out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    You will be making at least 8 trips to pack out a moose.
    You seem pretty sure of yourself...

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    Loads of good advice here. Your comfort level during the day will be dependent primarily on your pack, boots, and ability to stay dry. Skimp on any of these things and you're liable to have a miserable experience. I'd ditch the spotting scope, rangefinder, bipod, solar shower (serious?), and make allowance for more food, fuel, and maybe small comfort items like camp slippers. Dont know what "space rain gear" is, but prob won't cut it. I hunt in Xtratufs with cushy socks and Helly/Grundens gear; you never know what could be comin' at ya, weatherwise. Gotta plan for it.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  17. #17

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    Some answers, when I packd out 125 in one load (twice in a row that day, back to back 3 miles on way) I had a TAGS bag only about 1/2 full (boned out) and another bag in my arms. Going on memory here. There isno one that can pack a large tags bag full of boned out meat over even decent terrain, IMO.

    Also for charter flight, does the clothes I am wearing typically get takenoff the 70 pound weight limit? In my current estimate I have added it in. Also for food, clothes I am at the bare minimum, and it is as light as I can get.

    Rain gear, 1 pound, down jacket, sitka long johns, lightweight sitka pants, sitka vest, sitka jacket, lightweight hat/neck gator, 4/5 pound boots, gloves, watch. One spare pair of underwear/socks. No extra clothes at all, just enough to layer and tolerate most conditions if sitting. Nothing is insulated except my down jacket.

    I do not think I said I was going to take an external pack frame and I have always said I am not packing out bones. Sure I am going to change my mind and perfect my gear choices. I lay in bed at night awake every day thinking about it. I might have checked the weight of my external frame Cabelas freighter and found it to be way to heavy. I am debating getting a new internal frame pack. I hate external frames, but agree they are best for bone in meat (which is not the case here).

    My food is only .3 pounds per day, all very efficent (110 calories per ounce or more) VERY carefully selected for nutrition, ease of preparation, and fat/carbs/protein etc.

    Trip is 9/11 to 9/25

    Big question I have is above, do clothes I am wearing count against my 70 pound weight limit? makes a HUGE difference.

    As for az there are some that swear by it, and if I could take more weight I would, but as of right now it is not going. Would be handy for firewood/trimming branches, cutting off skull cap (I recently broke a saw blade donig this and had a hard time, made me realize doing it in AK would not be good).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambistew View Post
    You seem pretty sure of yourself...
    Based on my experience moose hunting and what DonV has been posting, Yessir. Now if he shoots a spike/fork that is another story.

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    Typically the clothes you have on does not count against your weight limit. What are they going to do, strip you down and weigh them? I think you missed typed the .3 oz of food per day. I take waterproof raingear, not breathable raingear. Seems they will leak becasue it will rain and the wind will blow. I can't say anything about internal packs, all I use are external frame packs. 5 game bags for a caribou. Good luck.

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    I have never had ANYTHING I was wearing on my body count against my weight as far as max pack weight goes. On some cub hunts I have worn all my extra clothes and rain gear for the flight. It is often about center of gravity and where the load is placed. This does not mean to ever exceed gross weight or to be dishonest about actual weights, just load it all in the correct place.

    The last few years,, blow flies and hot weather have been very real issues. I myself personally would have enough game bags and a couple spares. Those blow flies almost cost me half a sheep last fall, they laid thousands of eggs on my meat in the few minutes it took me to sew up a hole in the bag.

    Single worst sin anyone can commit, is allowing hard earned meat to spoil.
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