on all orders over $1000
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So, you have done the research on what hunting pack is best for you and your upcoming hunt and/or your hunting style in general. Now what? Well, now is the fun part. You get to accessorize!
Much like getting a Jeep Wrangler, half the fun is in customizing it to your own liking, and what setups work better for you. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to hunting pack accessories.
Some hunters like and use certain things more than others, but that doesn’t mean you have to equip your hunting packs with all of them. Will it help? Sure, but it will mostly help to be versatile in applications of those accessories to specific hunts that may or may not need them.
Too many hunting backpack accessories can also be cumbersome. With more attachments comes more weight, and with more weight often comes more noise. Finding that perfect balance between storage and functionality is crucial.
In my opinion, my top essential pack accessories (in no particular order) include a glassing pad, waterproof rainfly, some type of hydration bladder or holster, a meat sling (unless you prefer internal meat storage, or if your pack serves as a meat sling), good lumbar support, and finally, an extra accessory pod for those items you will want to get to quickly and quietly.
One of the most common reactions when I grab my Outdoorsmans glassing pad is, “Why did you bring that?”. Every single time I am asked this question I smile to myself, and after the morning glassing session I let them borrow the pad to see for themselves. The reactions are a guaranteed “Wow!”.
Think about it, we glass for hours on end on some rough sometimes jagged rocks and dirt. Why not bring something extremely lightweight to help you do what you want to do for longer. Being comfortable in the field not only eases the soreness we feel hours later, but it also helps keep ourselves focused on the task at hand. To me, a good quality and light glassing pad is a guaranteed accessory on my hunting pack.
Whether you like a bladder system or a water bottle, one thing that’s for sure is that you’re bringing water. It’s truly the most important thing that we NEED in the field. Personally, I like the convenience of the bladder and hose system, but the drawbacks are that it takes up valuable cubic inch space in the packs and that it can be more time consuming to fill.
The Nalgene water bottle will not store as much water, but the benefits of it are its ability to attach to your pack hip belts or your pack side pockets in the Outdoorsmans Hydration Holster. It also doesn’t take up any internal pack space. Whatever system you decide is a better fit for you, make sure to take enough water and stay hydrated.
Most people either store their game meat internally, or they use a meat sling that straps the game meat to the frame system and strapping it closest to your center mass making it less strenuous on your shoulders and back.
Both options work great, and I have personally used both methods many times. I personally like to use a meat sling system because it keeps the meat out of my bag (don’t have to wash out the inside of my pack), and it’s strapped towards my center mass. I also still have space for all the items that I like to keep in my hunting pack without worrying about organizational space.
After a long day of hunting and field dressing, the last thing I want to do is play Tetris with my gear.
I cannot emphasize this accessory enough. For you young bucks this may not be as vital of an accessory, but when you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s proper lumbar support is your best friend. The mountains don’t take it easy on us, and proper lower back support paired with a well-adjusted pack will ensure that you are comfortable and are not putting extra strain on your lower back.
We often pack our hunting packs like our wives pack their luggage. To the absolute brim, because we want to make sure we have the necessary gear for the expected and the unexpected.
For this reason, I recommend an accessory pod that allows you to get to those easy to reach items much faster and much quieter. I like to organize mine with some medical supplies, snacks, flashlights, a knife, and a few extra rounds of ammo. Accessibility is your friend in the field.
These were some of my go-to pack accessories for my hunting adventures. I hope my insights were helpful to you and wish you a happy, comfortable, and successful hunt!