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Thread: When the real work begins, Backpacks???

  1. #1
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    Default When the real work begins, Backpacks???

    It's high time for me to upgrade to something decent for a backpack. I have hauled moose out with my brothers pack, an Alaska Range stand alone pack, and hauled a brown bear hide out with my other brothers no name junk pack, (never again).
    My question is, what have you guys found works best for hauling a really heavy load?
    List what you have, what works, what don't and why. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The gold standard has for some time been the Barney's line of packs. Some use other brands (kifaru, cabela's, etc), but among serious hunters and guides in Alaska it is hard to find a more used and more trusted pack than those made by Barney's. Do a search here for Barney's packs and you'll find more posts than you care to read.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donner View Post
    It's high time for me to upgrade to something decent for a backpack. I have hauled moose out with my brothers pack, an Alaska Range stand alone pack, and hauled a brown bear hide out with my other brothers no name junk pack, (never again).
    My question is, what have you guys found works best for hauling a really heavy load?
    List what you have, what works, what don't and why. Thanks.
    Works get for heavy loads - not so good for loads less than about forty pounds.
    Joe
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  4. #4

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    I bring two packs with me on a hunt. I have an internal frame Osprey pack, and a pack frame similar to what Mr. Want just posted. In my opinion there are benefits to both styles. For the bulk of most of my packing I rely on my internal frame. Reason being is mostly for comfort, and because it rides close to my body giving me better balance while traversing difficult terrain. I have hauled everything from moose quarters, and caribou, sheep, and large bear hides in it without a problem. Occasionally a really large hind quarter on a moose is a challenge to get into the pack, but usually it all works out. But for carrying things like antlers, action packers (for float hunters), and other unusually shaped objects, I totally agree with Mr. Want. A pack frame works best for these items. All you have to do is cinch them down tight with strap and go. Heck one time I even strapped on an outboard motor to the back of a pack frame. Worked like a charm.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I bring two packs with me on a hunt. I have an internal frame Osprey pack, and a pack frame similar to what Mr. Want just posted. In my opinion there are benefits to both styles. For the bulk of most of my packing I rely on my internal frame. Reason being is mostly for comfort, and because it rides close to my body giving me better balance while traversing difficult terrain. I have hauled everything from moose quarters, and caribou, sheep, and large bear hides in it without a problem. Occasionally a really large hind quarter on a moose is a challenge to get into the pack, but usually it all works out. But for carrying things like antlers, action packers (for float hunters), and other unusually shaped objects, I totally agree with Mr. Want. A pack frame works best for these items. All you have to do is cinch them down tight with strap and go. Heck one time I even strapped on an outboard motor to the back of a pack frame. Worked like a charm.
    Good point about the second pack. Usually had a second lighter framed pack like a Camptrails. Would relay with the two packs, works great in some situations. Most of the time used the heavier pack with the day "stuff".
    Joe

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    I'll cut right to it...for heavy loads 80+ pounds imo, the Barney frame is unbeatable. For lighter loads, any well made internal frame will suffice nicely. I can't fit a moose hindquarter in my Barney bag, which bothered me a bit because it would be sweet to just tighten down the straps and off I go without going through the pain of removing the bag and using the frame, but its an easy enough task. I'm not as experienced as some, but I've put dozens of moose (heavy loads) on my back and nothing beats the Barney frame. You may get away with an internal frame for others (sheep, goat, deer, etc) but I've found that the only advantage an internal frame has over the Barney's line is going through thick brush and not getting caught up as much. Spend the money and get the real deal if you are going to use it, I've had mine for 4 years--several animals have been put on my back (not all harvested but certainly packed by me) and I am more of a believer in the Barney's line than ever.

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    I was in Barney's today, that's what got me thinking about this. The suspension system looks great. Very similar to the Alaska Range only it, (Barney's) has some grip stuff on the waistbelt and shoulder straps.
    I also like the idea bringing an extra frame just for hauling meat back to camp. I have an internal frame pack that works great for my gear but not much else. At least it's a good time of year to think about it.

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    Barneys. Nothing else in it's class.
    Tennessee

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    Here is an interesting thread on an elk forum. Elk are not nearly as big as moose but some of the comments and pictures are interesting.

    http://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforum...SAGES=143&FF=5

  10. #10
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    here's one that i like from wilderness pack specialties ( they have a web-site and also sell from schnee's in mt ). it is rated for 120# and will carry it. it is industructable, and has a geat suspension system. it is also cheap as it sells for about $130. check it out!
    happy trails.
    jh

  11. #11
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    +1 for the barneys
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  12. #12
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    For years I used a Caabela's Alaska pack and it worked well. I had the oppurtunity to buiy a Barney's pack from a guy leaving the state (PCS) so I took it. It is pretty comfortable and works well in packing caribou and bears out. I would also recommend looking at the barney's pack. They usually have a display at the "Great Alaska Sportsman show"

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    I vote for Barney's also. I bought one 9 years ago and have packed several deer, a moose and a black bear out on it and have no reason to look for any other packs.... If nothing else I recommed going to Barney's and talking to him before you make up your mind.

  14. #14
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    I bought an 07 Suszki Vinson... in 08.

    it has packed over a dozen moose, last year i up\graded to the AC prowler and it packed 4 moose last season. both are showing sings of wear but are holding up quite well... my alaska range pack straps to the racks quite nicely~!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  15. #15
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    here's one that i like from wilderness pack specialties ( they have a web-site and also sell from schnee's in mt ). it is rated for 120# and will carry it. it is industructable, and has a geat suspension system. it is also cheap as it sells for about $130. check it out!
    That is the same frame that the newer Army packs(MOLLE) are using. I still have not made my mind up on it for hauling heavy loads but it is more ergonomic than the old Alice Pack frame was. The composite frame allows some flex which is a little awkward when getting a loaded pack on at times but it has held up in cold weather and being thrown out of perfectly good airplanes.

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    I'm a big advocate of not spending more than you need to for a pack. But, I won't own junk. I have a small fleet of dana internal and external frame packs. The most recent is an older dana "alpine" that I craigslisted down in WA (near parents' place - they picked it up) for $50. This fall I used that pack as my daypack on my moose hunt. When the moose died, I took the first load out with it. That load was monumental - the pack was plugged from top to bottom with all backstrap, neck, and trim meat. It weighed more than any moose hindquarter I've carried. I didn't have far to go, but the pack did fine.

    For bone-in moose quarters, a bald, shelf-less frame is best. The frame pictured is from my dana terraframe. Half-hitch / choke the lower leg to the top of both frame posts with light rope to carry the vertical load, and lash the rest of the quarter in two places to secure it with compression straps. Real quick and easy. Shelves on a pack are supremely useless - they hold the load too low on your back and make you bend way forward to balance. You want COG of the load right between your shoulder blades. Pack 4.jpg

  17. #17
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    For moose on foot it's probably hard to beat the Barneys freighter frame but I prefer the rack on my arctic cat for that. For all other hunting I will take my Dan McHale internal every single time. A quality internal is an extension of your person, it goes through alders easier and is much more balanced scrambling around the mountains. The kifaru packs also look nice and I have a few buddies that love their Mystery Ranch packs thought they are a little heavy.

    From my research there seems to be 3 "do it all" packs for AK

    On a budget the Cabelas Guide model frame pack: does everything pretty good, probably a bit better for moose than mountains. Nothing fancy and you aren't likely to get many oohs and ahhs but lots of guys haul lots of moose with these packs and do it for lots less bucks up front. I wouldn't expect it to last like a higher end pack though and a broken frame would suck 1/2 way though hauling out a moose.

    Barneys pinnacle or hunter: Top moose pack with it's great frame and suspension. Lots of guys use it for the mountains too and it is pretty light w/ the kevlar pack. I don't like external frame packs for mountains and this one didn't cure that. I sold my Pinnacle pack to buy my internal but will probably buy just the freighter again at some point specifically for moose hauling.

    Myster Ranch Nice 6500: More of a mountain pack, though heavy for that category. It carries like an internal but the unique nice frame will allow you to remove the bag and attach a load sling which is pretty slick. Only downfall is that when you do this you lose the load lifters! If you want a do it all pack that will carry a moose quarter (though not to far) but also function like an internal for the mountains and alders then this is the pack for you. If killing moose more than about a mile from transportation I would get a good frame.

  18. #18
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    For moose on foot it's probably hard to beat the Barneys freighter frame but I prefer the rack on my arctic cat for that. For all other hunting I will take my Dan McHale internal every single time. A quality internal is an extension of your person, it goes through alders easier and is much more balanced scrambling around the mountains. The kifaru packs also look nice and I have a few buddies that love their Mystery Ranch packs thought they are a little heavy.

    From my research there seems to be 3 "do it all" packs for AK

    On a budget the Cabelas Guide model frame pack: does everything pretty good, probably a bit better for moose than mountains. Nothing fancy and you aren't likely to get many oohs and ahhs but lots of guys haul lots of moose with these packs and do it for lots less bucks up front. I wouldn't expect it to last like a higher end pack though and a broken frame would suck 1/2 way though hauling out a moose.

    Barneys pinnacle or hunter: Top moose pack with it's great frame and suspension. Lots of guys use it for the mountains too and it is pretty light w/ the kevlar pack. I don't like external frame packs for mountains and this one didn't cure that. I sold my Pinnacle pack to buy my internal but will probably buy just the freighter again at some point specifically for moose hauling.

    Myster Ranch Nice 6500: More of a mountain pack, though heavy for that category. It carries like an internal but the unique nice frame will allow you to remove the bag and attach a load sling which is pretty slick. Only downfall is that when you do this you lose the load lifters! If you want a do it all pack that will carry a moose quarter (though not to far) but also function like an internal for the mountains and alders then this is the pack for you. If killing moose more than about a mile from transportation I would get a good frame.
    I was going to mention Mystery Ranch also. I personally don't have any experience with these packs but have heard really good things about them. Eberlestock is another one. It seems there are a lot of people (sheep guides in particular) that I've spoken with recently that perfer internal frame packs.

  19. #19
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    Another vote for the waist belt and suspension system on a Barneys backpack.

  20. #20
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    I have a cabelas pack that I have beat the heck out of...they work. I also have a Kifaru long hunter. I really like it for up to 100 pounds. Haven't put a moose in it yet so I am not sure whether the extra 20 to 50 pounds would break it down or not...but it sure is comfortable compared to the cabelas with 60 to 80 pounds (my usual backpack weight with gear for a 5-7 day hunt).

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