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Thread: Maybe it isn't the "100 pounds" :idea:

  1. #1

    Default Maybe it isn't the "100 pounds" :idea:

    Just may it isn't the “100 pounds”

    It’s:
    1.) Being in good shape
    2.) Having a good pack frame designed for heavy loads (most commercially available pack frame ARE NOT)
    3.) Knowing how to load the pack frame depending on the terrain to be traveled
    4.) Resting before getting tired AND at regular intervals
    5.) Selecting rest locations and a pack frame that will allow standing without having to “muscle” the pack on to the back from a knee.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Pack that fits?

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Another element I failed to mention.....

    I set a time limit on my haul. If I'm heavy it's usually 5 minutes on 2-3 off. Thats a loose arrangement but Joe got it right. His list really nails my strategy.

    It would only take one hunt with me to realize how careful I really am about loading a pack, where I travel, and how I conserve and utilize my available energy. I don't skimp on gear either. It's all got a purpose.....killing game and carrying it home.

    I never try and do things quick either. My alpine hunts are ideal at three days and I will take an additional day if necessary to maintain sanity and safety.

    Thanks Joe. I didn't like the sentiment of being an over enthusiastic muscle bound zealot. I know physiology. In fact I'm home today resting up for an entire weekend because I've got a four day mountain jaunt planned for next weekend. I'm repairing gear, shooting my rifle, and getting physically ready.

    Ok, gotta go. My bike and a nice easy swim is waiting for me. Nothing jarring or strenuous, just keeping the metabolism active.

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Food. I have a problem with getting a goal of how far I am going to hike for the day and going and going without taking enough breaks for food. Eventually I find myself calorie depleted, feeling like crap and without any energy.

  5. #5

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    "Evil Kenevil" thought he had every jump figured out. Sometimes he did.

    I can hear my grandpa saying "Son, if you ain't gonna be smart you better be tough".

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    Ah, packing smart. Yup, good list there Joe, thanks. I'm not sure a lot of guys consider 2 and 3 enough. If most of the weight is on the shoulders it is harder to take each breath. One has to "lift and expand" the ribcage with each breath. This can wear a guy out in a hurry. A pack loaded with weight too low wants to pull a guy over backwards, therefore your always fighting it and having to pull forward. Combine both of these and it'll wear a guy out pretty quick.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    +1 Joe.

    Those of us who are starting to see age fifty on the horizon (or in the rear view mirror <grin>) and still actively mountain hunt know what you are saying.

    The very best thing we can all do is try and adopt a lifestyle of being fit and taking care of our bodies. The body is resilient and amazing if we take care of what we have.
    Proud to be an American!

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    I can still pack 100 plus lb. loads, but as an over 50 year old hunter, I don't care to any more. I'm sure my past packing adventures are at leaast partially responsible for my sometimes tweaked back. I carefully consider where I am and how I'm going to get an animal out before I pull the trigger now, something I didn't always do in my younger days. Age has forced me to be smarter because even tho I have some tough left in me, the aftermath isn't pretty if I push too hard. Still bringing big bucks down off mountaintops tho, just not always as quickly as 30 years ago.

    Boud'arc's grandpa was a smart man, probably from experience.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    great points joe...exspecially it..well...all fo them!
    i also eat frequently, almost every 30 min or so i have a little bit. but i've drove my motor alot and know how it runs and when to put fuel in it. listen to your body and keep it fueled and it'll take care of you.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  10. #10

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    I guess a couple of things.
    We always make the rails of the pack frame long enough so that when seated (and with a heavy load that is often) the load is lifted off the shoulders. No pulling the pack forward when trying to stand. For width they are just narrow enough to allow the arms to swing freely front to back while walking. In most circumstances the loads are tied with the center of gravity just high enough to take the pressure off the small of the back and create a slight "off balance" to the front, helps when standing up and walking. We carry most of the weight on the shoulders and occasionally relieve the pressure by tucking the shoulders and hunching the back. I never use a "waist belt".
    With heavy loads usually try to do 20/10 - 20 walking 10 resting. Always good for the first three or four "turns", but then the "10" part starts getting longer and the "20" start shrinking. This "problem" is usually corrected by a candy bar or two and a thirty minute break (a box of raw jello also works wonders) (if eaten)
    I believe it is REALLY important to rest BEFORE getting tired.

    Joe (Ak)

    (Note: We have pretty much always used the same general procedures when packing - even before I have to "look up" the meaning the verb "to tire"! a couple of years ago! )

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    3.) Knowing how to load the pack frame depending on the terrain to be traveled
    Can you expand on this one a bit? Say you're packing the same load of meat and/or gear - how does your loading differ if in mountainous versus forested terrain?

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I'm curious on this as well. I know to generally keep the bulk of the weight closest to the body, but do you vary it high/low as well?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Great list Joe! I spent a lot of time talking with Dan McHale in the process of putting together my "ultimate mountain hunting pack" and he had some insight that I have found to be very worthwhile.

    First is that lots of pack manufacturers hide an ill fitting pack behind a mountain of padding. Big padded waist belts and shoulder straps does not make for a good fit, it simply hides a bad one. A waist belt that is comfortable but that contours and holds to the iliac crest is extremely important. Many heavily padded belts will not do this under a heavy load. The padding will compress under a the weight and the belt will slip off the ilium which transfers the weight to the shoulders and compresses the spine.

    I also don't like packs that have the rear of the belt integrated to pack bag. Your hips naturally move up and down as you walk, if the bag can't pivot to accommodate this then the bag will shift back and forth as you walk. This wastes energy and can cause you to lose your balance.

    A rigid frame structure in the pack is another important feature. Most off the shelf packs use cheap mass produced structural materials. When heavily loaded the frame will flex again transfer weight to the shoulders as well as put other non ergonomic pressures on the back and spine.

    Load lifters if done correctly are very handy. Too many packs have them but they are ineffective. Theoretically they should shift some of the weight from the shoulder straps back to the frame. This is useless if there is not a rigid support connecting them to the waist belt and thus the hips. Lots of packs will just cause the frame to flex forward at the top. The McHale bypass harness is the best that I have seen. The load lifters are just there to hold the pack frame against your back. The shoulder straps and load lifters are two completely independent features that can each be set individually. You can loosen the shoulder straps to the point that they are floppy but keep the load lifters cinched to control the pack and keep it snug to your back. The shoulder straps can be tightened to what ever level you are comfortable with. By adjusting them you can shift some (or all) of the load to your shoulders in a very specific manner.

    A pack that fits your body, specifically the length between the iliac crest and the the 7th cervical vertebrae is important. Funny to me that many pack makers seem to think this distance is one of three possible lengths Short, Medium, or Long. Most adjustable packs are not any better since the adjustment tends to slip and be a source of weakness in the frame. This is one advantage for frame packs since they usually have a spacer system for setting the proper length that will not change under a load. The correct back length is vitally important because all of the the rest of the packs features depend on this part fitting properly for them to have the right ergonomics to function.

    There are other pack features that weigh on comfort and ergonomics but those seem to be the most important that I have found. I personally don't care for external frame packs. The disconnect between the pack and body causes them to feel unstable to me. I agree that they can generally hold more weight, especially dollar for dollar against an internal but I feel unbalanced when going over uneven or steep terrain. I haven't eliminated external frames all together, they are still the best I have found for hauling a moose quarter. I don't have a need for the bag but a good frame will remain in the inventory. It also tends to remain on the wheeler while a day pack does the hunting. The frame will come out if I cant drive to the downed animal.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Can you expand on this one a bit? Say you're packing the same load of meat and/or gear - how does your loading differ if in mountainous versus forested terrain?
    In steeper or hard walking situations the center of gravity (or CG as pilots are so fond of saying) has to be lower. The lower CG gives the packer better control but requires more effort to move forward. The forward momentum created with the higher CG is great but comes with some sacrifice of control. When walking down some nice frozen bear trail the pack can be loaded with the CG much higher than when coming down a steep hill side or crossing some bog with lots of little "tussucks".
    After packing down a steep slope or through "bad stuff" we always re-tie the loads to a higher position on the pack frame.
    Hope this helps.

    Joe (Ak)
    (Would add that in most circumstances it is a BIG MISTAKE to try and catch ones self if they loose control when carrying a heavy pack. Best to have a "controlled" crash and go from there.)

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    I'm curious on this as well. I know to generally keep the bulk of the weight closest to the body, but do you vary it high/low as well?
    Here is a pretty good diagram. Some experimentation with a variety of loads in your pack is advised but as a general guideline this is pretty darn good. Bear in mind that the average packers version of "heavy" and a hunter hauling meat are not nearly the same. I wouldn't put heavy meat nearly as high as the external frame diagram shows.


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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Good list Joe!
    Only thing I would add is a good walking stick to help maintain balance. Falling face first with a heavy pack can be pretty hard on the packer - also twisted ankles or knees - sticks sure do a lot to help steady me. I especially am fond of them when crossing water, that 3rd leg is why tripods are so stable....
    Good post!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Here is a pretty good diagram. Some experimentation with a variety of loads in your pack is advised but as a general guideline this is pretty darn good. Bear in mind that the average packers version of "heavy" and a hunter hauling meat are not nearly the same. I wouldn't put heavy meat nearly as high as the external frame diagram shows.

    Great diagrams. We've always keep the CG as high as the terrain would allow and still be safe. With the external frames have always liked the flexibility they afford for tying on loads. The one big knock I've found with external frames is that in steep terrain the rails can exert a pivoting affect away from the slope - not good.
    Also don't hesitate to re-arrange loads after traveling a short distance if they don't feel right.
    Easy enough to find what's right for any individual - just need a pack and some weights.
    Good Luck
    Joe (Ak)

  18. #18
    PIE FACED
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    Aren't you a little old to be telling grown men what to do MR. Joe?

  19. #19
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PIE FACED View Post
    Aren't you a little old to be telling grown men what to do MR. Joe?


    The time draws nigh....

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    I dont know if anyone mentioned this I didnt read the whole post, MENTAL TOUGHNESS, I have seen young guys half my age and in great shape quit or give up carrying the same weight.

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