Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: daypack

Deer Season Daypack Loadout

Wilderness survival kit

Deer season is here, instead of grabbing a pack, throwing some random gear in and heading out to the woods, lets take a look at some items that should be considered. The way I look at it, your pack needs to contain everything you need to track a wounded deer, find your way back back to the truck after dark or spend an unexpected night in the woods.

Basic Daypack

This could be anything from a school book bag, to a good quality pack like a Maxpedition Sitka or Maxpedition Noatak. You need something that is not going to tear apart when your tracking a deer as the last bit of the sunlight fades away. For my current load out I am using the Maxpedition Noatak.

TOPO Map

When possible, I like to have a TOPO map of the area. A GPS is nice, but electronics can fail, batteries can go dead,,,, a physical map is difficult to beat.

But, in order for everything to come together, you have to know how to use a map, GPS and compass. Having a TOPO map in one hand and a compass in the other hand does not do any good if you do not know how to use them.

My 3 Favorite Maxpedition Backpacks

Maxpedition falcon-ii pygmy backpack

After using Maxpedition backpacks for several years, there are three which have made their way to the top of the list.

When it comes time to head out to the woods, I usually take a few minutes to think about what I’m going to be doing and what kind of gear I may need. If I’m going on a simple day hike, I might bring the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy, if its an overnight trip I might bring the Vulture-II and if its a short trip or hunting trip I’ll bring the Maxpedition Noatak.

Lets start with the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy – which is my favorite dayhike / warm weather overnight bag. Even though the Falcon-II Pygmy has capacity of only 1,400 cubic inches, for you ultralight backpackers out there that should be plenty of room.

One of the reasons why I like the Falcon-II Pygmy so much, its a light pack that is not big enough to bring the essentials. From time to time I see people post in the hiking and camping forum about some of the stuff they bring on a camping / hiking trip, and I just have to ask myself “why?”

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

Gear Review: Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Maxpedition Vulture-II on a hiking trip

Looking for a good quality 2 – 3 day pack? The Maxpedition Vulture-II be just what you’re looking for. Maxpedition has a reputation for quality, and the Maxpedition Vulture-II is no exception.

However, the pack is not without its issues, which we will talk about later.

One of the things Maxpedition does well is blend military standards with civilian products. In essence, take lessons learned from military applications and apply those lessons to a consumer grade product.

For example, Maxpedition uses 1,000 denier water ballistic nylon fabric, YKK zippers and then add military grade MOLLE webbing to the packs.

The Maxpedition Vulture-II is divided into three pouches:

Main compartment

Two outer pouches

Maxpedition Vulture-II

Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger Review

Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger

The Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger is unlike a lot of other backpacks, as it only has one shoulder strap. Its designed so that the user can disconnect an under-the-arm strap, and then spin the pack so that its in front of them. Thus, making the pack easy to access without having to dismount it.

Maxpedition makes 3 packs in its gearslinger series – the Sitka, Noatak and the Kodiak. In this article we are going to be looking at the Kodiak.

The single shoulder strap supports the weight of the pack, while the under the strap helps to keep the pack in place.

The Kodiak Gearslinger has 5 compartments:

  • Place for the water bladder
  • Small outer pouch on top outside
  • Medium outer pouch on outside
  • Zipper pouch on outside of medium pouch
  • Main compartment

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.

Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger Review

maxpedition sitka gearslinger review

This review of the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger should be able to answer most of the questions that people have about the pack. First of all, when the Sitka was received, it was well packaged. Inside the box was a large packing slip that was easy to read and everything was spelled out. The toll free phone number is located in the top left hand corner of the packing slip – so its easy to find.

Maxpedition Sitka First impressions

This is everything you might expect to find in a daypack – and more. There is a pouch on the outside for a 32 ounce water bottle, a compartment for a water bladder, the main compartment is big enough for a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), or an Eversafe meal, rain poncho, some tent stakes (for setting up an emergency shelter), water filter or water purification tablets, and a few other odds and ends.

The large outside pocket is big enough for a small first aid kit, TOPO maps, flashlight, matches,,,. The small outside pocket is big enough for map compass, medium sized GPS and maybe a couple of other small items such as a swiss army fire starter.

Final review of the Maxpedition Proteus Versipack

This is the last part of a Maxpedition Proteus Versipack review series. For the other two parts, see these links – Versipack part 1, Versipack part 2.

From the very first moment I handled the versipack I was impressed. Its the attention to detail that makes this a quality product. Its as if no short cuts were taken and some real thought was put into the design of the pack.

Its the simple things such as YKK zippers, triple polyurethane coated for water resistance, internal seams taped and finished, paracord zipper pulls, double stitched Stress points – all of these add up to make a high quality product.

In the following video I have 2 – 1 quart military canteens attached to the pack. I found out later that the attachment points are designed for MOLLE equipment and not ALICE clips. But that is ok, the ALICE gear still attaches just fine, its just a little tight.

With the canteens on the pack, its gets a little heavy. This makes the waist belt a little difficult to adjust. So what I did, I had someone stand behind me, pick the pack up with the built in grab handle, then adjust the belt. To do this by yourself, just back up against a tree and let it hold the pack in place when you adjust the belt. Without the canteens it would not have been any big deal.

Part 2 of the Maxpedition Versipack Review

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack

This is part 2 of a review on the Maxpedition Versipack. The first part of the review can be found at this link – Maxpedition Proteus Versipack Review Part 1.

As mentioned in part 1 of the review, this buttpack was picked because of its lightweight and heavy duty construction. The Versipack will be used to fill a specialty role. Which is going to be for 3 – 8 mile day hikes. But before the pack is taken on an all day hiking trip, it has to be put through a few test. In this review, the pack is taken on a short walk through the woods to see how well it carries.

In the first video a 2 quart military canteen was attached to the back of the pack. Well, that did not work out too well. The canteen pulled the pack downwards and back until it almost touched my legs. So the 2 quart was taken off and a 1 quart canteen was attached to one of the side pockets. I wanted to attached a second 2 quart canteen, but it was in the back of a closet that was full of boxes. So never mind on that.

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack Review Part 1

Maxpedition Proteus Versipack

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And from the first moment I handled the Maxpedition Proteus Versipack, I knew the pack is a solid piece of equipment.

One reasons why this buttpack was picked, I needed something to carry just enough gear for a day hike. My current fannypack is a little big, so I decided to downsize.

Not only is this a fannypack, but it has a grab handle on the top. So the pack can be carried by hand, or worn around the waist.

Since the Versipack as ALICE attachment points, this makes the pack a modular system. Instead of carrying a water bottle inside the pack, I added a 2 quart canteen on the back of the pack.

Please note the canteen does NOT come with the pack. The canteen is one that I had on my Maxpedition Vulture II backpack.

I took the canteen it off the Vulture II pack and put it on the Maxpedition Proteus Versipack.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018