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As a new Elk/mountain hunter, I am looking to purchase a good multi day pack that I can haul meet out with. What is the best pack I can buy for the money and what features should I look for? External or internal frame? Since my budget is pretty tight I guess I really need to know what to look for in a pack and what not to worry about as I will most likely buy a used pack.
 
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Backpacks, especially backcountry packs meant for carrying heavy loads are deeply personal and what works for me, may not work for you. Try out as many as you can.

What kind of budge do you have? I can advise you to save and spend as much as you can.

I personally use and Kifaru packs, but they are spendy. After trying several others though, the configuration options are almost unlimited and once you get a frame, any of their bags as well as multiple accessories will attach to it. It's also a system you could put together over time, should that suit your budget better.
 
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Ya ive heard Kifaru and Stone Glacier are the best but they are too pricey for me. Honesty my budget is <$250 which I know limits me. Thats why I am looking more towards used or older packs.
 
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Take a look at Mystery Ranch.

Eberlestock should fit your budget as well, but they tend to be on the heavy side. That's why I used until I discovered Kifaru.

The classifieds at www.rokslide.com have people selling packs all the time, that may be your best bet in finding somthing.
 
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I second the Kifaru, had mine for about 10 years. It's a great pack, but I'm sure there are a lot of great packs out there.
 
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I have an older Nimrod Systems Pack, which I plan to sell, and a new Mystery Ranch. My son has used Tenzing and swears by Kifaru. Nimrod is a middle quality pack, and it super comfortable and quiet, but not all that great for hauling. Tenzing is also middle quality but not a terrific pack, and also not a great hauler. Exterior frame packs do a better job hauling, in my opinion. That said, I prefer interior frames for comfort and ease in walking in heavy timber. I walk a heck of a lot more than I haul unfortunately. I m a bowhunter, walking is mostly what I do. I do really love my Mystery Ranch pack. I have a Scapegoat 35--good enough for a several day trip but compresses down enough for single day hunts too.

Ebelstock has several solid quality packs (one is even named the elk hunter or something like that), but I am sold on Mystery Ranch. They go on sale on Camofire pretty often and also on Black Ovis, though not as often, so you can usually pick one up on sale. Ebelstock goes on sale too.

Also, take a look at the above packs and also Exo Mountain Gear. I tried one on at the Sportsman's Show and it felt really good and was a high quality-made pack. Cost though was pretty close to Kifaru which costs a lot, but which are also probably the best packs out there for hunting or extended backpacking. You can also call Kifaru directly and they will go over your measurements and essentially build you a custom fit pack. I am not sure anyone else does that.
 
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I personally have used both internal and external. I currently use a Eberlestock F1 Frame pack with the big dry bag as needed. Also have a huge meat hauling canvas bag that straps to the back when needed or can go inside dry bag if raining. I use it also for backpacking/hunting. It works fine to haul gear in the dry bag. When I have an animal down I put the de-boned meat inside canvas bag which sits on the bottom part of the frame and is strapped in and then the dry bag with my gear goes on top of that. It sounds wierd, but it works great and is the best setup I have found without spending serious money. Eberlestock makes a real pack that can be mounted to the frame for another $150-$200, but I don't see a reason for it. I think i have about $250 in it with the frame and both bags.
 
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One of the most important things to remember about a backpack is you have to take out whatever you bring in and don't use up. And, food/water are about the only major things you will use up. Now, add that to how much Meat you are Hunting for and that's where you need to be looking.

If you haul IT in but don't haul IT out:mad::mad::mad: you're not going to be Welcome in a lot of areas!!! Use it but don't abuse it.:):):)
 
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I have a frankenpack. Kuiu icon pro 3200 on a kifaru frame. Frame will handle more weight than I can and I like the organization of the kuiu bag so I put them together.
 
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I have had several Badlands packs. I am not a mountain climber but for my body size they fit well and carry a lot of weight well. Sportsmans and Cabelas carries them if you want to try one on for fit. All my day hunts are done with their Monster fanny pack with shoulder straps it does awesome.
 
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I would say it depends on your style of hunting. Base camp, spike camp, tent or trailer? I have not met a external pack that did not squeak at some point. My cousin has a Kuiu and it did. I was guiding him and pointed it out. He put some bow hunting wax on it and it went away, but I bet it returns. Hopefully not at a critical time.
I rifle hunt and like a internal frame (a Kelty). I go spike camp and it is easy to lash to my cargo pack when its empty, providing I don't just leave it with the meat at the truck. I usually carry 1/3 to a quarter of an elk, no bones or hide. Strains the straps pretty good but it's hanging in there. YMMV
 
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You have awhile before the season so keep an eye out on some of the pack manufacturers websites for “outlet”or sale items. I bought a Kuiu Icon 1850 with frame and support for under $300. It’s a day pack at best but will pack some meat out in multiple trips. I can also add 3 other sizes if needed without needing to buy a different frame or support.

Kuiu, Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, EXO, Stone Glacier are all top of the line packs, with Mystery Ranch being one that I know you can actually get your hands on in a store locally. The Mystery Ranch Pintler has a load shelf which when deployed can carry an elk quarter.

Packs are very personal so try to get your hands on a few. Determine what you will actually need and how you will use the pack, and understand that the more weight you want to pack comfortably, the higher the price tag goes. Framed packs or tons of straps and buckles will squeak if not properly adjusted, weighted, etc. so take that into consideration as well.
 
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No very conventional, but I love my osprey atmos 65l pack. It's durable, has a lot of great features, and I've been very pleased with the performance. Downsides are it's not meant for hauling 100 pounds of meat. Can it be done? Of course. Another factor is the cost. I think I paid $270 for mine at rei. I love it though. You don't have to get a traditional meat hauling pack. Rei often puts out clearance packs for dirt cheap online or at their garage sales. Might be something to look into.
 
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For backcountry heavy hauling trips, I like the EXO mountain gear 5500. For shorter trips (3-4 days) I take the Kuiu Ultra 6000. Both are excellent packs but the waist belt on the EXO is FAR superior to the KUIU ultralight pack. The KUIU is a bit uncomfortable when hauling heavy loads.

I have a very lightly used Horn Hunter Mainbeam XL pack (made in Utah) that I’ll sell you for $150 shipped if you're interested.

MAIN BEAM XL | Horn Hunter Packs
 

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