Sitka Mountain Gear
pack size
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
ARROW 27-Jun-20
Bou'bound 27-Jun-20
altitude sick 27-Jun-20
fisherick 27-Jun-20
WYelkhunter 27-Jun-20
Jaquomo 27-Jun-20
Sivart 27-Jun-20
jingalls 27-Jun-20
sticksender 27-Jun-20
Jims 27-Jun-20
fubar racin 27-Jun-20
TxHuntr 27-Jun-20
splitlimb13 27-Jun-20
Mathewsphone 27-Jun-20
Barrera 27-Jun-20
SBH 28-Jun-20
gil_wy 28-Jun-20
ARROW 29-Jun-20
Mike Ukrainetz 29-Jun-20
Ray 08-Jul-20
stringgunner 09-Jul-20
Scoot 09-Jul-20
Teeton 09-Jul-20
Hackbow 09-Jul-20
TxHuntr 09-Jul-20
Matt 09-Jul-20
From: ARROW
27-Jun-20
Guys looking for the right size of pack for a 3 or 4 day bivi. I know it depends on how much gear you are taking but just wanted to get an average that you guys use. I got some decently light and small gear but have always camped next to the truck so did not have a need for anything larger than my 2000 CU in pack I have now. Thanks

From: Bou'bound
27-Jun-20
6000

27-Jun-20
5900 because that’s the SG sizing :^)

From: fisherick
27-Jun-20
I have used a Badlands 2800 pack for 2- 3 night bivy/spike camp hunts. I could do up to 5 days with this setup. If you are hunting with a buddy you can split common gear such as a tent, cook gear, tarp, 1st aid kit, etc. A pack in the 2500-4000 ci size should work for early seasons. A bigger pack makes you carry more crap not needed.

From: WYelkhunter
27-Jun-20
I would say 4500 minimum. It just depends on how much you are taking and how bulky your gear is.

From: Jaquomo
27-Jun-20
Bivi or spike camp? If you are truly "bivi hunting" you'll want something smaller and lighter because you'll likely be carrying it as you hunt. If you are spike camping, 4500 is a good starting point. Like others have said, bigger pack equals more crap, which means more weight to lug around.

From: Sivart
27-Jun-20
You'll find the bigger bags really aren't that much more weight. I would always go a little bigger, as they all cinch down. I have an EXO 1800 for day hunting, and a Kifaru long hunter that works whether it's 2 days or 10.

From: jingalls
27-Jun-20
I just picked up an Exo K3 4800. Very light but strong frame to pack out animals. And it cinches down to a incredible small size as a day pack once you set up camp. And these packs hold their value. If you decide this pack does not fit your style of hunting you will have no problem selling it and getting the lions share of your money back out of it. Good luck!

From: sticksender
27-Jun-20
My Kifaru T2 pack at 5200 cubic inches I can pack in to spike hunt for 7 days with nothing strapped to the outside of the pack. With gear selection tuned over the years for minimal size and weight.

From: Jims
27-Jun-20
I definitely wouldn't use anything smaller than 6,000 cu in. Your back, shoulders, and legs will thank you! Smaller volume packs usually aren't designed for more than 30 to 40 lb loads. You can always cinch a large volume bag down but if you are to small you are screwed. Nothing worse than having to pile a lot of junk on the outside of your pack. If you want the best get a Kifaru or Stone Glacier. I hardly even notice a load until I have around 40+ lbs on my Kifaru. The new materials used in today's packs are so light that a 6,000 cu in bag doesn't weigh much more than a 4,000 bag. The shoulder straps, internal frame, belt, load lifters, etc on new frames are mighty posh and comfortable! A larger volume pack will also save you several trips once you start hauling meat!

From: fubar racin
27-Jun-20
I bought the absolute largest pack kifaru makes I can haul my camp plus half of a bull elk plus off the mountain in 1 load. I’m physically capable of hauling big loads and I believe it saves me meat and time both. My advise would be vase pack size off your physical ability.

From: TxHuntr
27-Jun-20
I have a Kuiu Ultra 6000. I spike in with it then it compresses down enough to be a comfortable day pack. I have packed out elk quarters with it but this year I bought a cheap Alps frame pack to haul meat with after the first load to make the more expensive pack last longer.

From: splitlimb13
27-Jun-20
Lou is right. 4500 is plenty for bivy camp

From: Mathewsphone
27-Jun-20
5200 is what I carry

From: Barrera
27-Jun-20
Kifaru Fulcrum 1800 to 7200 cubic inches. Works Great for multiple applications.

From: SBH
28-Jun-20
I do 3 nights with my SG, I think its 3000 or somewhere in that world. Strap tent and a few other items to the outside and works fine. It's easy to take to much in with a bigger pack.

From: gil_wy
28-Jun-20
I’d go with a pack that you can utilize a load shelf... then you can carry camp in and then use the smaller bag. I’m running a Kifaru w/ the gen 2 22mag. I can do more days than I care to hunt out of this with the load shelf.

From: ARROW
29-Jun-20
Thanks Guys. Sounds like A SG or Kifaru are the most popular ones out there. Will look for something not under 5000 CU inch.

29-Jun-20
Unless there is a big weight saving it seems silly to go with a smaller bag, doesn’t it? The frames are usually the same for every bag and then the bag can easily be cinched down. What if you actually kill something and have a relatively short hike to get it out, wouldn’t you rather load it up with your whole camp plus some of the animal and get it out in one shot? Kuiu for example has a 7800 cubic inch bag that weighs 3 lbs 6 oz or the 6000 bag that weighs 3 lbs 2.7 oz, why lose 1800 cubic inches to save 3.3 oz? You have to go all the way down to a 3600 bag that weighs 1 lb 13.8 oz to get any appreciable weight difference. I’ve never loaded up my pack just because it’s big and will fit more crap in it?! I load it according to a gear list, which is about the same for a 3 day hunt or a 10 day hunt, food is the main difference and freeze dried food is bulky. If you only ever do one 10+ day hunt in your life you will regret buying a smaller pack, I guarantee it.

From: Ray
08-Jul-20
4500 is ok for me.

From: stringgunner
09-Jul-20
5900 SG.

From: Scoot
09-Jul-20
I agree that having one that is too big is better than one that is too small. However, for a novice backpack hunter having a really big one just provides license to add in way more crap than you'd ever need. More experienced backpackers and backpack hunters seem to carry less and less as they dial in their system/approach. But... it takes experience to do that. For me something in the upper 4000s or low 5000s is a good size for a week or so on the mountain.

From: Teeton
09-Jul-20
I would get a 5500 to 6000 and just make sure you don't over pack it. It's great to have the extra space "if" you ever needed it. It would really help packing out a animal. It would compress down that you would know you had the bigger pack. I also bet it woundn't weigh more than 12 oz than a 2800 pack.

From: Hackbow
09-Jul-20
Use a Kuiu Ultra 6000. Have packed in 60+lbs for up to 10 days with a little room to spare. During the day, non-hunting essentials are left in spike camp, cinch the bag down and carry 12-15 lbs for hunting.

From: TxHuntr
09-Jul-20
Same as Hackbow

From: Matt
09-Jul-20
Get a bigger bag that cinches down well for daypack mode. If you take a smaller pack and it doesn't have a load shelf, you will have no room for meat on your first trip out.

There can be a temptation to fill up the big bag because you have the space, which can be a killer. Make sure you come up with a packing list and stick very closely to it. I only allow myself a couple of "nice to haves" (inflatable pillow and electronic air mattress inflator, ~ 4 oz. total), everything else I take is on the list.

I have a Kifaru Fulcrum I've used for this.

  • Sitka Gear