Overpacked Packs


Overpacked Packs

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


It intrigues me to watch hunting television shows to watch the hunters as they go afield. Though many of these hunters park their pickup trucks or UTVs pretty close to their destination hunting stands, it appears like the packs they carry weigh a hundred pounds or more. I have always wondered what in the heck is that guy carrying 200 yards to a hunting stand.

Of course, if you are hunting the mountains or a wilderness area miles from your vehicle, then I can understand carrying a good bit of supplies in a pack just in case. However, I am willing to bet most hunters, indeed preppers and survivalists alike have backpacks that are way too heavy and unnecessarily so. This may be a perfect time of the season to assess the load in your pack.

If you have a pre-packed backpack left over from last season or longer, then drag it out and dump it out. What’s in there? Lay it all out where you can see everything. First, ask yourself this question about every item that comes out of that bag. Did you use it last year? It is OK if you did not, but now is the time to ask these questions again.

What should be in a hunting or prepper pack? Well, honestly the missions are different so pack accordingly. For hunters, think about how far out you may hike and how long are you likely to be gone from transportation or camp. Most hunters are simply going for a day hunt within a set property often well known, but you could also be hunting a public venue for the first time that you don’t know very well if at all.

So, for basics, take some day provisions including water, a lunch or nabs. Pack some extra ammo, a knife or two, compass, matches, flashlight and/or headlamp, emergency whistle, a tiny med pack (band aides and aspirin), small zip bag with wet wipes, and such. Some add a tight packed vest or rain jacket, a water filter, or some paracord. Each to his own. Hunters may add a doe and grunt call for deer or as appropriate to the game hunted.

Remember if you wear typical cargo pocket hunting pants, you can tote your phone, and a small folder knife there. You have a shirt and a coat, too. Light binoculars can go around the neck. Your hunting weapon should have a comfortable sling.

Make every effort to pare down the weight of your day pack regardless. Take out some items, and add others. Adjust the tote to the hunt or prepper trek, but don’t overload yourself.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1964344529

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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