Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: backpack

Gear Sling Pack For Get Home Bag

Red Rock gear sling pack on hiking trip.

Are gear sling packs suited for a get home bag? After a hiking trip in July of 2016, my opinion is that it you use a gear sling for a get home bag there are some things you need to look for in the pack design.

The July hiking trip was a little short at around 6 – 8 miles. Up until then I had never taken a gear sling pack on more than just a couple of miles. At round maybe the 5 – 6 mile mark, the strap started digging into my shoulder. My arm felt like it was going numb from the pain.

I took a bandanna, folded it up and put it between the strap and my shoulder for extra padding. That helped for a little bit.

The pack I was using is a Red Rock Rambler. The strap is on the left side and can not be switched to the right. I ended up taking the pack off and carrying it by hand for the last couple of miles. The pain was so intense my shoulder was sore for a couple of days.

Get Home Bag

Gear Review: Maxpedition Noatak Gearslinger

Maxpedition Noatak

The Maxpedition Noatak fits a wide range of needs. It is big enough to take on a day hike, go fishing, and go the 4-wheeler riding. The Noatak Gearsling design makes it easy to put on and take off while wearing heavy clothing, which makes it one of my favorite backpacks for deer hunting.

A Gearslinger design means there is just one shoulder strap, so when your wearing cold weather gear, you just have one strap to put on and take off.

Specs from the Maxpedition site:

* Main: 11” x 7” x 4” with numerous internal pockets
* Front: 7” x 7” x 2” with internal keyper and sleeve pockets
* Front sleeve: 6.5” x 6.5” with anti-theft device on zipper
* Rear compartment: 8” x 12”
* Water bottle pocket: 7” x 2.5”; fits 32oz/1L bottle
* 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance

ALICE, MOLLE II or Maxpedition Backpack for a 2 Day Trip

Maxpedition Vulture-II on a hiking trip

The other day I received a question asking which one would make a good 2 day pack – MOLLE II Rifleman pack, ALICE pack, MOLLE II pack, or something from Maxpedition. In my opinion, there is no clear cut answer. The large ALICE packs are big, but their too “fat” – meaning they extend off my back too much and make me lean forward to balance the load. For this discussion, lets just talk about the medium ALICE pack, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE II with external sleep system, the Maxpedition Vulture-II and the Maxpedition

For a 1 – 2 day warm – hot weather trip, I would have to go with either the Maxpedition vulture-ii, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE with external sleep system or a medium ALICE pack.

The large 4,000 cubic MOLLE would be good for cold weather – where you need to carry a large sleeping bag, coat, change of clothes, 4 season tent,,,,,. But for a 2 – 3 day trip in warm weather, the large MOLLE will probably be too big.

A lot of it depends on where your going, temperature, and how much gear you carry. During the summer months, I can usually get away with an 1,800 – 2,000 cubic inch pack for an overnight trip. During July and August, I can get away with a 1,500 – 1,800 cubic inch pack.

Here is a video about the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy that I use as a hot weather pack.

The Survivalist and Their Bug Out Bag

Bugging out to the wilderness

One of the popular “survival” plans is the “Bug Out Bag” (aka BOB). Members of the survival community that use the Bug out bag, and a “head to the hills” philosophy are sometimes called backpack survivalist.

The “backpack survivalist” is a person who plans on leaving their home either ahead of a disaster or during the disaster, depending on the situation.

The Survivalist, with their Bug Out Bag and family in tow, will head to some parcel of wilderness. Usually the plans include using national forest land as the retreat, areas close to large lakes where camp grounds already exist or maybe even public hunting land. When discussing these plans in detail with other survivalist, usually, exact details have not been thought out.

Example of a bug out plan: A few years ago one survivalist was talking about his plans, which included driving about 14 – 18 hours (normal drive time), across two states in order to reach a large US national park. Exact details such as refueling stops, rest areas and actual camping grounds had not been planned out. The story sounded more like a mix between the Boy Scouts and a Rambo movie.

The survivalist plans for a bug out usually goes something like this:

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