My hunting gear over the years has evolved from an old green satchel with a 2-inch strap that I slung over a shoulder after appropriating from my father to today’s techno-awesome backpacks available everywhere.
I wish I still had that green bag. My father used it and carried our basics when we hunted deer: Federal .308 cartridges in the box along with apples, sandwiches, his tin of Possum brand sardines, Snickers bars, a couple of Coca-Colas, toilet paper in a plastic bag (very important!). Back then in the dark ages of the late 1970s we didn’t have range finders, wind-checkers, this checker that checker those finders or other things. It wasn’t Daniel Boone with Tick Licker looking for something to put on the fire pot, but we didn’t have a bunch of stuff.
Today, I have some awesome backpacks from Tenzing Outdoors and Alps OutdoorZ that I regularly use. They are designed for hunting and outdoors use. I could pack them with tons of “just in case” gear but still try, as my father did when we hunted, to go with the minimum. One thing I usually add now is a double-bagged resealable plastic bag with fire-starter materials including waterproof matches and lighter. And extra sandwiches.
Here are five reasons your hunting backpack could make or break your hunt:
Not Enough Room
Going minimal is fine, but trying to be a cheapskate and then complaining about not having enough room for all the gear you want to take is another matter. Get a backpack within your budget that has enough cubic feet to store your gear, and think about the gear you typically take: knives, flagging tape for tracking, lights, food, extra clothing, calls, binos or other accessories. Plan ahead first before buying.
It’s Noisy as Hell
One great feature about many of today’s packs is they’re made with brushed materials that shed briars and don’t have a “wrinkle, crinkle, crunkle” sound when you’re moving or walking. You don’t want or need to sound like you’re toting a sack of waxed paper or have all your gear jostling around. Look for a pack with good internal pockets to stow gear, and try on the pack in the store if possible. Move, bend, walk, push it around, load stuff and take it out. Make sure it’s not noisy.
It’s Ill-Fitting or Uncomfortable
Try on the pack in the store or when it arrives from your AmaBay Drone Delivery Team. Loosen all the straps, put it on and then cinch things up. Snap the chest and waist straps, if the pack has them. Move, bend, adjust. If it doesn’t feel good, reconsider.
It Won’t Handle Other Big Items
Most packs today have built-in bow or rifle carriers or are designed so that you can strap and/or attach either to the pack. This is very helpful if you’re walking long distances and want your hands free, or need to drag something, or carry something like a decoy One area I hunt has a walk of more than a mile; I’m able to attach my Barnett Whitetail Hunter crossbow to my Tenzing pack, cinch it tight and walk easily to and from the stand. If you hunt out west with a rifle or bow, you know this is a huge help, too.
Your Pack Stinks and Is All Wet
Another great feature of today’s techno-design is the simple act of adding a rain cover to backpacks in a little tucked-away zippered pocket. It’s not in the way. When you need it, it’s available. That’s a super feature because a wet backpack sucks, since it usually means whatever is inside gets wet, too. You don’t want that. And when it gets wet, it often gets stinky. Don’t get wet or stinky. It’s more cool to be dry and odor-free.
If your backpack has any of these problems and you don’t like it, get a new one. There are plenty of options and, as mentioned, the packs today are incredibly better, more quiet and durable, and are packed with super features.
Here’s a press release from Tenzing about its latest backpack, the TZ-14 that is designed for day trips and should be a cool addition to the company’s pack family:
Great hunting is where you find it, and sometimes, it’s just a short distance from the house, camp or truck. Hunters headed for the stand, blind or back 40 don’t always want or need a large hunting pack. They need a secure place to keep essential hunting gear and supplies meticulously organized and ready for action – a sturdy, svelte and lightweight hunting pack that won’t slow them down.
Grab-and-go hunters seeking perfection in a small, hunting daypack need look no further than the new Tenzing TX 14. Featuring uncompromising function and infallible Tenzing engineering and construction, the lightweight TX 14 is designed for speed, and is optimally sized for any localized hunt.
Weighing in at less than two pounds, the ultra-efficient TX 14 is an organizational savant, providing a total of 1,600 total cubic inches of storage in three compartments, two side pockets and nine organization compartments. From quivers to car keys, clothing and cutlery to optics and game calls, the compact TX 14 daypack provides readily accessible, organized storage for every essential item needed for a morning or afternoon afield. Best of all, this astounding capability comes with a hunter-friendly price tag under $100.
Don’t let the low cost fool you. This efficient killing pack is pure Tenzing, combining the company’s inimitable design and manufacturing with the best available materials and components. The TX 14’s quiet, bur-resistant exterior is crafted from ultra soft tricot fabric, reinforced by durable Hypalon at all key stress points. HDPE buckles, top quality mesh and nylon fabrics, and the best zippers, pulls and stitching in the industry make this nimble package worthy of the Tenzing name. Like all Tenzing products, the new TX 14 is backed by the company’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee.
Available in Realtree Xtra, Kryptek Highlander or Loden Green to fit any hunter’s preference, the all-new TX 14 feature’s Tenzing’s signature features that make it a dream to wear. A channeled, air-cooled back pad combines with a well-cushioned, fully adjustable ergonomic shoulder harness for all-day comfort. An adjustable sternum strap and four lateral compression straps optimize fit with any load. The TX 14 is also fully hydration-ready, compatible with Tenzing’s 2- or 3-liter hydration bladders, sold separately.
TENZING TX 14 KEY FEATURES
- Realtree Xtra, Kryptek Highlander or Loden Green
- Face compartment with 7 organization pockets
- Fleece-lined stash pocket
- Two side mesh pockets
- H2O compatible
- Channeled, air-cooled back pad
- Ergonomic padded shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap
- Oversized, yellow-coded main compartment zipper pulls
- Four lateral compression straps to secure load
- Hypalon reinforced stress points
- Ultra-soft and quiet tricot fabric
- Backed by Tenzing’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee
TENZING TX 14 SPECIFICATIONS
- Three compartments, two side pockets and nine organization pockets
- 1,600 ASTM Cubic Inches
- 1 lb. 14 oz. Total Weight
- Main Compartment: 20” x 12” x 6.5”
- Face Compartment: 16” x 11” x 2”
- Small Stash Pocket: 5.5” x 8.5” x 2”
- Mesh Side Pockets (2): 7” x 7” x 2”
- MSRP $99.99