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#3590134 - 02/16/14 08:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7476
Loc: Powell Tn

Offline
100 lbs in an X2 will put that pack to the test. I would ask to see if they would reinforce the stitching on the shoulder straps. Nothing would suck worse than a strap tearing loose 5 miles from the truck with a pack loaded with meat or antlers. I have a friend who had a sitka pack ( one of the smaller ones ) take a crap on him while carrying out a black bear hide and skull. He described it rather colorfully.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3590562 - 02/17/14 09:23 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12868
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: UPSman
100 lbs in an X2 will put that pack to the test. I would ask to see if they would reinforce the stitching on the shoulder straps. Nothing would suck worse than a strap tearing loose 5 miles from the truck with a pack loaded with meat or antlers. I have a friend who had a sitka pack ( one of the smaller ones ) take a crap on him while carrying out a black bear hide and skull. He described it rather colorfully.


That's not the pack I'll be taking out West. -not quite the capacity I need for a backpack hunt. They do claim the pack is fully capable of handling Elk quarters though. Erbelstock makes pretty nice packs, but they tend to not be on the Ultralight side of things, actually, far from it. I've noticed that on the Long Range Hunting Forum, those guys are all Erbelstcok or nothing for spike and base camp hunting. They are definitely tough packs that should last for years of use, but the weight of their material + all of the bells and whistles really add up. Also, most of their packs do not offer adjustable torsos. This X2 is a little short for me, actually. I can adjust the pack to ride a bit lower on my back and its fine for day hunts (though not optimal weight positioning for heavy weight), hauling out Whitetails etc, but I wouldn't want to use it for heavier loads on multiday hunts.

Hunting packs: Its hard to have just one that does it all....
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3590636 - 02/17/14 10:17 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2660
Loc: Bartlett, TN

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Alright, first gear weigh in for a 7-8 day, backpack style (no spike camp) CO Elk hunt. Actual gear came in at 44.23 (without bow), 48.63 with bow, but there are still have a couple of unknown variables.

*Food: I estimated 10 lbs for 7-8 days including coffee. That's a bit heavy, as 1 lbs per day is the usual goal, but I know I'll need it. I just don't perform well without sufficient calories.

Some of these things, I'm looking to cut corners. In others, I need to cut corners, but I can't afford the upgrade. For example, my sleeping bag comes in at 3.2 lbs. It was "Ultralight" by the standards of 1999, but the equivalent bags today are coming in at a little over a pound if you're willing to shell out $400+ (that' upgrade won't happen this year). Same thing on the down jacket, mine (that I also bought in 1999) came in at 20 oz. Newest models are running 9 oz. Those to upgrades alone would save me almost 3 pounds, but I can't afford it.

What can I trim and what looks heavy? Since we'll be hunting with full packs and covering extremely difficult terrain, I need to trim down to 40 lbs. I can probably compromise on a pound of food, possibly 1.5 lbs, but I know I am going to be more than 7 lbs. Expected Temp range is 30-80 degrees


Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 7
Boots: 30
-----
707.75 oz/ 44.23 lbs

Bow: 68.8

Total: 776.55/ 48.53 lbs



What kind of water filter do you have? I know there are some lighter options out there (Life Straw is one I've read about, but never tried. That's probably the most minimalist available, besides the tablet approach). Either way you go, be sure to have some water-treating tablets as a backup. I've heard of too many filter-failure stories. Or, look up the ratio of drops of bleach per gallon, and you could use that instead for a cheap fix that takes up almost zero space.

Is the bladder like the Camelback kind? You might just carry one of those half-size water bottles for on-the fly drinking and lose the bladder weight.

The trekking poles are an odd thing for weight consideration...when you are walking, the pole is resting on the ground half the time and you aren't actually carrying it, per se. That's over a pound of pseudo-weight right there :). Another thought from a guy that carries a walking/shooting stick sometimes...could you get by with just one, or would that knock you off balance too much? I understand why you prefer two...

I second the rain gear comments. If I plan on hunting in actual rain, I will bring my breathable suit, but it is not particularly light. Another option might be to only carry the legs, and use a good poncho for the upper and lose that part of the weight. Just throwing out ideas.

Lastly, I know very little about stoves, since I've never used the backpacking styles. How long is 8 ounces of fuel supposed to last? Is it the Sterno-based kind, alcohol, or what? Could you rig your setup to work with a small wood fire in a pinch (as a fall-back plan, not as primary)?

Best of luck!
_________________________
I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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#3590694 - 02/17/14 10:43 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2660
Loc: Bartlett, TN

Offline
Just as food for thought...

My cousin hunts "way back there" in Colorado for elk almost every year. He's a game warden in Perry County, TN. I know that he has contacts with folks at the closest town, and has hired a guy with a pack mule or two to help him get his elk out in times past. That's something you might look into - get someone's contact information, and then if the weather gets warm, you could use that as a fall-back plan instead of trying to make 4 or 5 long trips.
_________________________
I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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#3590729 - 02/17/14 11:14 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12868
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Alright, first gear weigh in for a 7-8 day, backpack style (no spike camp) CO Elk hunt. Actual gear came in at 44.23 (without bow), 48.63 with bow, but there are still have a couple of unknown variables.

*Food: I estimated 10 lbs for 7-8 days including coffee. That's a bit heavy, as 1 lbs per day is the usual goal, but I know I'll need it. I just don't perform well without sufficient calories.

Some of these things, I'm looking to cut corners. In others, I need to cut corners, but I can't afford the upgrade. For example, my sleeping bag comes in at 3.2 lbs. It was "Ultralight" by the standards of 1999, but the equivalent bags today are coming in at a little over a pound if you're willing to shell out $400+ (that' upgrade won't happen this year). Same thing on the down jacket, mine (that I also bought in 1999) came in at 20 oz. Newest models are running 9 oz. Those to upgrades alone would save me almost 3 pounds, but I can't afford it.

What can I trim and what looks heavy? Since we'll be hunting with full packs and covering extremely difficult terrain, I need to trim down to 40 lbs. I can probably compromise on a pound of food, possibly 1.5 lbs, but I know I am going to be more than 7 lbs. Expected Temp range is 30-80 degrees


Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 7
Boots: 30
-----
707.75 oz/ 44.23 lbs

Bow: 68.8

Total: 776.55/ 48.53 lbs



What kind of water filter do you have? I know there are some lighter options out there (Life Straw is one I've read about, but never tried. That's probably the most minimalist available, besides the tablet approach). Either way you go, be sure to have some water-treating tablets as a backup. I've heard of too many filter-failure stories. Or, look up the ratio of drops of bleach per gallon, and you could use that instead for a cheap fix that takes up almost zero space.

Is the bladder like the Camelback kind? You might just carry one of those half-size water bottles for on-the fly drinking and lose the bladder weight.

The trekking poles are an odd thing for weight consideration...when you are walking, the pole is resting on the ground half the time and you aren't actually carrying it, per se. That's over a pound of pseudo-weight right there :). Another thought from a guy that carries a walking/shooting stick sometimes...could you get by with just one, or would that knock you off balance too much? I understand why you prefer two...

I second the rain gear comments. If I plan on hunting in actual rain, I will bring my breathable suit, but it is not particularly light. Another option might be to only carry the legs, and use a good poncho for the upper and lose that part of the weight. Just throwing out ideas.

Lastly, I know very little about stoves, since I've never used the backpacking styles. How long is 8 ounces of fuel supposed to last? Is it the Sterno-based kind, alcohol, or what? Could you rig your setup to work with a small wood fire in a pinch (as a fall-back plan, not as primary)?

Best of luck!


Crosshariy.

My current filter is an old MSR pump. I intend to upgrade to Sawyer Squeeze Filter which weighs 3 ounces: http://www.rei.com/product/837824/sawyer-squeeze-water-filter-plus#descriptionTab
It comes highly recommended on the RockSlide forum.

Yes, the Bladder is a CamelBack bladder. Having the water constantly available means you end up drinking more water and staying hydrated. I've been using bladder systems for 15 years or so and find them to be well worth it when on the move.

I'd still consider the trekking poles weight that one is carrying. In some or many cases, I may have my bow in my hand, which means the poles would be on my pack. The trekking poles become worth their weight on steep and technical downhill, especially in the case of hauling heavy loads such as meat. There are lighter poles on the market, but having a pair with twist locks as opposed to screw locks is critical for heavy weight. If you were just backpacking, you could go with a trimmed down pair.

As far as rain gear, I scored the lightest rain gear on the market during a holidays sale. I have had a chance to test it in some harsh conditions both hunting, hiking and running and found it to be excellent on the breathability front. Its also pretty good at cutting wind and given that CO conditions can produce sustained ~60 mph winds, often for consecutive days, I think a full rain suit is much more ideal than a poncho. I think I'm going to ditch my soft shell, especially in that case, I'll need somekind of shell for protection from the wind, might as well be my rain jacket which is 18.9 oz. As of right now, I'm feeling pretty confident on this front. My partner, however, is planning to go the poncho route, so, if we are faced with harsh conditions, should be an interesting comparison. (current pack weigh in presently has me lighter than him, too).

Stoves: I have a couple of camping stoves. For this trip, I think we'll go with the propane blend cannisters as it is the lightest option. In general one 8 oz. canister of SoPro fuel will be sufficient to boil water for two people over four days. Each person carries one 8 oz cannister, we should be good. Wood burning stoves are an option and are becoming popular again with the ultralight crowd. There are a number of new wood burning stoves on the market and certainly something to consider, though they are not as cheap as you might expect. You also have to plan on gathering wood, which, on a dark to dark hunt is another task to deal with. Its a tradeoff for sure.

So, all in all, on my list above, I think I can cut close to 2 lbs by swapping my softshell for a 2nd merino shirt and upgrading my water filter. If I upgrade my pack, I'll get another 5 lbs right there, so that gets my pack weight closer to 30 lbs than 40, and my total weight right around 40. My goal is to shave to get my total weight at 40 lbs. I feel like 40 lbs is a weight that I can move with very comfortably even on extreme terrain and I can effectively hunt with it on my back. With those upgrades, a total of $400, the only item I may end up cussing at is my sleeping bag. I'm going to try washing the bag and see if the weight lightens a bit. Its become a bit compressed over the years and the loft may lighten up.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3590736 - 02/17/14 11:17 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12868
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
Just as food for thought...

My cousin hunts "way back there" in Colorado for elk almost every year. He's a game warden in Perry County, TN. I know that he has contacts with folks at the closest town, and has hired a guy with a pack mule or two to help him get his elk out in times past. That's something you might look into - get someone's contact information, and then if the weather gets warm, you could use that as a fall-back plan instead of trying to make 4 or 5 long trips.


do you know what the cost is on that? with a few planned upgrades, I'm going to be cutting it close on my budget. My plan is to do the actual trip for $1,000. "Actual trip" is tag, fuel and incidental costs while on the road. Gear upgrades, I'm looking at as long term purchases so that I can do annual DIY hunting trips for $1,000 or less. I'm guessing that having a mule team on call is no cheap affair.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3590756 - 02/17/14 11:29 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 913
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

Offline
Via is by far my favorite instant coffee, it is pricey of course but I have yet had any better. It is lite weight, only negative I could find would be the empty packets you have to deal with, not that it is a major issue either.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3590770 - 02/17/14 11:45 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 4023
Loc: Shelby County

Offline
I wish you the very best of luck Poser. My own experience all of which is during the first rifle season in NW Colorado-Meeker/Craig area is of little value because of the temperature difference. However:

You cannot imagine what it is like camping at 7,000 feet and then walking 4 miles a day minimum up hill and down. The best physical shape you can get in is gonna be key to happiness.

Splitting expenses 3 ways is the only way you are going to keep under your budget.

In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.

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#3590779 - 02/17/14 11:58 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12868
Loc: Tennessee

content Online
 Originally Posted By: DaveB
I wish you the very best of luck Poser. My own experience all of which is during the first rifle season in NW Colorado-Meeker/Craig area is of little value because of the temperature difference. However:

You cannot imagine what it is like camping at 7,000 feet and then walking 4 miles a day minimum up hill and down. The best physical shape you can get in is gonna be key to happiness.

Splitting expenses 3 ways is the only way you are going to keep under your budget.

In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.


1988? Yeah, I'd expect $1,000 or more today, don't you think? If I had mules and were on call by hunters who I knew were spending $$$ anyway, and I was expected to show up to a location at any given time, I don't think I'd consider it for less than $1,000, probably more in the $1500+ range and that would still be condition dependent.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

Top
#3590903 - 02/17/14 02:01 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7476
Loc: Powell Tn

Offline
Maybe I missed but what unit are you hunting?
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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