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Packing in and out , simplicity is key..

JCLINE84

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my guess is you’ll be pretty annoyed by not having a properly fitted frame pack for that kind of sustained effort. You may not know you’re annoyed by it if you’ve never had it. But it has been the difference between me burning out and continuing to hunt for me.

a properly fitted pack will weigh 4-8lbs. The weight will disappear because it’s fitted properly. It will feel, weight wise, the same at the minimal set up you’re attempting. But it will be more comfortable.

the one drawback is bulk in the tree. Two options: stash it on the ground on access along the way. Or get one that compresses neatly.(pop up does this well).
This is exactly why I use a kifaru frame and pack. The weight just carries better, allowing me to carry anything I want to carry without it being a bother. Everything straps down easily and doesn’t move around. I know I’ve said it a million times but I think your pack is more important than your other gear. I’d skimp on my bow before I would my pack. I hunt with pretty high end recurves and longbows and I would rather switch to a Samick Sage and spend the extra money on a quality pack if I had to make a choice between the two.
 

raisins

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Jan 17, 2019
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2,308
This is exactly why I use a kifaru frame and pack. The weight just carries better, allowing me to carry anything I want to carry without it being a bother. Everything straps down easily and doesn’t move around. I know I’ve said it a million times but I think your pack is more important than your other gear. I’d skimp on my bow before I would my pack. I hunt with pretty high end recurves and longbows and I would rather switch to a Samick Sage and spend the extra money on a quality pack if I had to make a choice between the two.
What do you think about the trade offs involved in going to a good internal frame pack that also has an adjustable suspension (Mystery Ranch Scree 32L is what I'm using) in order to cut the weight of the pack in half or better? It also doesn't hurt that I could get one for under 200.
 

Topdog

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What do you think about the trade offs involved in going to a good internal frame pack that also has an adjustable suspension (Mystery Ranch Scree 32L is what I'm using) in order to cut the weight of the pack in half or better? It also doesn't hurt that I could get one for under 200.
I have had my finger on the buy button several times this week for that exact same pack, more than likely I will pick one up soon, you like it I assume? Tough to find any hunting reviews on it.
 

raisins

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I have had my finger on the buy button several times this week for that exact same pack, more than likely I will pick one up soon, you like it I assume? Tough to find any hunting reviews on it.
I used it all last season for probably 20 or 30 bowhunts.

It has the usual Mystery Ranch quality and toughness and is very comfortable because it adjusts so well to your height. The lifting straps could be better as they slide off the shoulder straps but they don't dig into you (it does this for me in part because I like a long pack body to keep shoulder straps off my shoulders and also I'm somewhat tall). The great thing about this pack is that the shoulder straps and especially the waist belt are like one on a larger pack (it is over built for its internal volume and is built more like a 60 liter pack).

The material is a thick nylon type. It is medium loud when you crinkle it but not awful. The zippers are medium loud but not awful. I do not ground hunt much and don't get into my pack all the time (and leave it open with flap down) at height, so it is easy for me to work around. It is a hiker's pack so they didn't try to make it quiet. I haven't noticed noise moving through brush because it sits behind my back so well and flat and doesn't really hit things. The stock zippers have metal pull tabs with cords on them. You'll probably want to remove these. I cut these off and then fed the cords through the zipper body and now it doesn't jingle when walking.

There's 3 large internal pockets (elastic closure but not zipper or snap so things could move if you turned the pack upside down and shook it) and 2 pockets on the top flap (the only external pockets). There are also nice but small waist belt pockets that I carry trail markers in. I keep my water bottle inside and use the water bottle pocket on one side to keep a pull up rope that is also clipped to the pack.

I carry my predator or tree suit platform on the outside using bungee cord loops with balls that I've customized for it. I climb with the pack on, reach around with pack still on, and can unclip my platform easily. You could do something similar for climbing sticks. But there are not robust, built-in platform and stick clip on points. I think it is better to customize this for you anyway instead of letting the pack dictate where you place those items. My climbing system fits inside the pack so it is a non-issue.

It and my larger Mystery Ranch (70L) are the nicest packs I've owned and if I was in the market today, I'd probably buy the Scree again. Packs that are similar but from a hunting company usually do not have an adjustable yoke/suspension so I would not like that. It would be perfect if it was quieter and maybe had one or two more external pockets. It is around half the weight of a Popup 28. I do not pack meat out with me when walking out with my other gear (I keep a hauler frame pack in the truck for that), so being able to pack out meat is not a consideration for me. I never hunt more than 3 miles from my truck and I have a back injury I'm slowing rehabing, so I limit how much weight I have on my back, so I would never carry all my gear plus a quartered deer.
 
Last edited:

JCLINE84

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Oct 31, 2017
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What do you think about the trade offs involved in going to a good internal frame pack that also has an adjustable suspension (Mystery Ranch Scree 32L is what I'm using) in order to cut the weight of the pack in half or better? It also doesn't hurt that I could get one for under 200.
The only way the internal frames actually work are when they have the adjustable yoke and suspension so you can dial it in to perfectly fit your torso and disperse the weight. I assume the MR Scree you’re describing is a lot like the Kifaru 357 mag internal frame pack in that the entire suspension is adjustable so you can get the weight off of your shoulders. If I was going to use an internal frame pack the Kifaru 357 mag would be it. But it’s almost too big for saddle hunting. I use a 22 mag on a duplex lite frame and I don’t have any issues with it being too big in the tree
 
Last edited:

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
Messages
901
I used it all last season for probably 20 or 30 bowhunts.

It has the usual Mystery Ranch quality and toughness and is very comfortable because it adjusts so well to your height. The lifting straps could be better as they slide off the shoulder straps but they don't dig into you (it does this for me in part because I like a long pack body to keep shoulder straps off my shoulders and also I'm somewhat tall). The great thing about this pack is that the shoulder straps and especially the waist belt is like one on a larger pack (it is over built for its internal volume and is built more like a 60 liter pack).

The material is a thick nylon type. It is medium loud when you crinkle it but not awful. The zippers are medium loud but not awful. I do not ground hunt much and don't get into my pack all the time (and leave it open with flap down) at height, so it is easy for me to work around. It is a hiker's pack so they didn't try to make it quiet. I haven't noticed noise moving through brush because it sits behind my back so well and flat and doesn't really hit things. The stock zipper have metal pull tabs with cords on them. You'll probably want to remove these. I cut these off and then fed the cords through the zipper body and now it doesn't jingle when walking.

There's 3 large internal pockets (elastic closure but not zipper or snap so things could move if you turned the pack upside down and shook it) and 2 pockets on the top flap (the only external pockets). There are also nice but small waist belt pockets that I carry trail markers in. I keep my water bottle inside and use the water bottle pocket on one side to keep a pull up rope that is also clip to the pack.

I carry my predator or tree suit platform on the outside using bungee cord loops with balls that I've customized for it. I climb with the pack on, reach around with pack still on, and can unclip my platform easily. You could do something similar for climbing sticks. But there are not robust, built-in platform and stick clip on points. I think it is better to customize this for you anyway instead of letting the pack dictate where you place those items. My climbing system fits inside the pack so it is a non-issue.

It and my larger Mystery Ranch (70L) are the nicest packs I've owned and if I was in the market today, I'd probably buy the Scree again. Packs that are similar but from a hunting company usually do not have an adjustable yoke/suspension so I would not like that. It would be perfect if it was quieter and maybe had one or two more external pockets. It is around half the weight of a Popup 28. I do not pack meat out with me when walking out with my other gear (I keep a hauler frame pack in the truck for that), so being able to pack out meat is not a consideration for me. I never hunt more than 3 miles from my truck and I have a back injury I'm slowing rehabing, so I limit how much weight I have on my back, so I would never carry all my gear plus a quartered deer.
^^^^ Perfect review thanks for taking the time to share that, exactly what I wanted to hear.
 

raisins

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Jan 17, 2019
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^^^^ Perfect review thanks for taking the time to share that, exactly what I wanted to hear.
Glad to help!

I should've added something about sizing.

I'm 6' and with a 32 or 34 inch waist. So, I was between sizes. I ordered both sizes from REI (S/M and L/XL). I sent the S/M back. There is no way I could've worn it with winter layers on (belt was near max with summer clothes on). Also, the yoke didn't fit the way I like until maxed out. There wasn't even a decision. I tried them both on with 2 layers of hunting clothes and immediately packed up the S/M.
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
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I’m 6’1” 36” waist, and have a long torso, I have the pop up 28 still and had the 2 day assault, l/xl fits me perfect, I should have kept my 2 day assault I loved the fact it fit my long torso maxed out like you, I sold it because it was crazy loud, I know good hiking packs are going to be and there is always trade offs, so I was ready to order another 2 day assault but found the scree, I’m gonna order a scree and give it a shot, I need a good day pack for summer hiking trips anyways so it can pull double duty if I like it, I leave the pop up in my truck like you for meat hauling just in case, I always seem to get them out whole but just in case the pop up is loaded with knives and game bags if I need it. The waist belt on the scree looks a lot better than the 2 day assault.
 

Bowhunter9t4

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
7
Update. I bought some pack straps and tried mounting the sticks right to the predator xl and it just doesn't work. I ordered an alpz willow creek to see if that works any better.
 

4090Sharps

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Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
488
Location
MD
The only way the internal frames actually work are when they have the adjustable yoke and suspension so you can dial it in to perfectly fit your torso and disperse the weight. I assume the MR Scree you’re describing is a lot like the Kifaru 357 mag internal frame pack in that the entire suspension is adjustable so you can get the weight off of your shoulders. If I was going to use an internal frame pack the Kifaru 357 mag would be it. But it’s almost too big for saddle hunting. I use a 22 mag on a duplex lite frame and I don’t have any issues with it being too big in the tree
I have a MR Scree and a Kifaru Eastern Ruck. The frame sheet on the Scree is quite flimsy (1/16") compared to the Kifaru internal sheet with stays. I think the MR Scapegoat has an internal frame with stays and better tree hunting design, if someone wanted to go that route.
 

Hlzr

New Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
34
Location
Western Pa
Update. I bought some pack straps and tried mounting the sticks right to the predator xl and it just doesn't work. I ordered an alpz willow creek to see if that works any better.
Have you considered using one of the fanny packs with shoulder straps, that was a direction I put some thought into, seems like carrying a platform without a dedicated case would work well in that setup.
 

jordy1327

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Pennsylvania
Update. I bought some pack straps and tried mounting the sticks right to the predator xl and it just doesn't work. I ordered an alpz willow creek to see if that works any better.
I can't speak to the longevity since I've only owned it for a few weeks, but I purchased a pretty inexpensive Mardingtop backpack off of Amazon. Lots of molle, hydration compatible, and most importantly, a double set of buckles to attach my sticks at the bottom, and a double set at the top for attaching my platform. I didn't take any pics, but you can just search Mardingtop on Amazon. I bought the 40L, which is probably bigger than you want. I like it because i can pack my clothes instead of sweating them up on the walk.
 

bowhunthard88

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Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
524
Location
Dingmans Ferry, PA
I personally will never hunt without an internal frame pack with a waist belt, unless it's literally right behind the house! I pack in whatever is "necessary", climbing method, outer layers, use the pack waist belt as saddle support (I don't like to rely on just the saddle waist belt on the hike in as it almost always has to keep being readjusted), and in the tree storage/knee cushioning (if necessary). My go-to pack is the new version (slightly improved and lighter, over the older version) of the Badlands 2200 (another benefit is that I could also pack out game, if necessary).
 

raisins

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Jan 17, 2019
Messages
2,308
Here’s a tip for layers.

Get a good compression sack. I use a waterproof one from sea to summit. I also mostly pack in goose down. I can get a down jacket, vest, and pants packed down to a little bigger than a football and it sits right inside my pack.
 

HuumanCreed

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Joined
Aug 21, 2020
Messages
290
This is my first year saddle hunting and I have an idea for carrying my gear in and put of the woods and was curious if anyone has done it , or something similar.

I do not want to use a back pack. I don't want the extra material. My plan is to buy molle backpack straps for the predator xl platform , and using gear ties to attach my 3 30" hawks directly to the platform.

If anyone has concerns or idea on how to go about this better I'm all ears.
Can I ask what are your reasons for not wanting a backpack? If we know some of your dislike, maybe we can better suggest alternative or counter packs that might not have some of the drawback that you dislike about backpack?

If you want to go minimalist; the Eberlestock Dagger or other hydration packs are very minimal with enough straps to carry a platform and sticks.

if you hate carrying load on your shoulder, fanny pack or vests are a good way to go.

But seem like you got the Alps Outdoorz pack already, that would work fine too IMHO. You might realizes that you can barely feel the weight of the backpack now that you are not also carrying extra 10-20 lbs.
 

philsanchez76

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May 20, 2019
Messages
531
Location
TN
Can I ask what are your reasons for not wanting a backpack? If we know some of your dislike, maybe we can better suggest alternative or counter packs that might not have some of the drawback that you dislike about backpack?

If you want to go minimalist; the Eberlestock Dagger or other hydration packs are very minimal with enough straps to carry a platform and sticks.

if you hate carrying load on your shoulder, fanny pack or vests are a good way to go.

But seem like you got the Alps Outdoorz pack already, that would work fine too IMHO. You might realizes that you can barely feel the weight of the backpack now that you are not also carrying extra 10-20 lbs.
+1 on the dagger. We have another thread about it. It's still on sale too.

https://saddlehunter.com/community/...dagger-in-the-outlet-section-for-49-99.37875/
 

Bowhunter9t4

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Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
7
Can I ask what are your reasons for not wanting a backpack? If we know some of your dislike, maybe we can better suggest alternative or counter packs that might not have some of the drawback that you dislike about backpack?

If you want to go minimalist; the Eberlestock Dagger or other hydration packs are very minimal with enough straps to carry a platform and sticks.

if you hate carrying load on your shoulder, fanny pack or vests are a good way to go.

But seem like you got the Alps Outdoorz pack already, that would work fine too IMHO. You might realizes that you can barely feel the weight of the backpack now that you are not also carrying extra 10-20 lbs.

I've been using a lone wolf hand climber for the past 3 season. It weighs 17lbs and is the only thing I take into the woods besides my bow and what ever I fit in pockets. I leave everything else at the truck. I didnt want a pack because I thought it would be bulky and not carry as well as my climber does.
 

Bowhunter9t4

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
7
This is what I have so far. Don't really like the sticks how they are.

I also ordered some wild edge steps , with the knaider/ swaider system to practice with. If that system works well for me , it'd almost cut my weight in half.
 

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