Got to get lighter! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Got to get lighter!

Every year's end, I say to myself: I've got to learn to take less in the pack and lighten up the load when I use a climber. I'm taking too much stuff in my pack, and I know I don't need it, but there is still that "what if" factor that my mind can't ignore. Add to all the stuff I usually haul in, I've added a video camera and camera arm.

This past season I would say I hunted 50/50 out of a climber or ladder stand. Here is what I typically carry:

2 pull up ropes- 1 for the bow, 1 for the pack
1 Lineman/tether rope for harness
1 set binos
1 rangefinder
1 cell phone charger and cable
2 Hot hands
1 empty Pee bottle
1 pr. pruners
1 compact saw
1 knife
1/2 roll of marking tape
1 package of bright eyes
1 pr. gutting gloves
1 spare flashlight
1 container of face paint
1 grunt call
1 can estrus call
1 set of rattling horns (not so much first 2 weeks unless I see bucks in the area)
1 bow hook- 2 or 3 section one
3 small screw in hooks or the strap for around the tree if I'm on SGL
1 bottle of water (early season)

I weighed this in my pack and it came to 15#. The Summit Goliath is 21#. That's 36# on my back at least 3 days a week, if not more.

I always wear my harness to and from, and I have a Game Plan Tree Stand System (similar to a Molle system) on the stand.

Any suggestions on lightening the load? What do some of you guys that I call 'Minimalist" take with you?

Wishing I was at camp!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 04:37 PM
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I don't take that much for a weeks vacation. Like I tell my wife the bigger the purse you carry the more stuff you'll put in it.

2 pull up ropes- 1 for the bow, 1 for the pack
1 Lineman/tether rope for harness
1 set binos
1 rangefinder
1 cell phone charger and cable -- gone
2 Hot hands
1 empty Pee bottle -- gone
1 pr. pruners
1 compact saw -- gone
1 knife
1/2 roll of marking tape -- gone
1 package of bright eyes -- gone[/COLOR]
1 pr. gutting gloves
1 spare flashlight -- gone
1 container of face paint --- gone
1 grunt call
1 can estrus call
1 set of rattling horns (not so much first 2 weeks unless I see bucks in the area) - gone
1 bow hook- 2 or 3 section one
3 small screw in hooks or the strap for around the tree if I'm on SGL
1 bottle of water (early season)
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 04:47 PM
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I'm pretty much with ya there. The one thing you didn't mention is extra layers. I don't have a great layering system (all cotton) so I've always got a couple sweatshirts and a jacket on top of all that stuff. To help with that I'm upgrading my gear to First Lite to increase my warmth to weight ratio. Most of what you have isn't even that heavy, it's amazing how quickly it adds up.

I'd get rid of the charger/cable unless you're doing all day sits in an area with no service and you like to be on it a lot. I'll sometimes switch to airplane mode if I have no service to preserve battery.

I'd get rid of the pee bottle, because deer don't care about that. (more volume than weight)

You could skip on the face paint. I've tricked a number of deer with just my ugly face. I always have a face mask with me but rarely get it up in time.

Not sure what kind of ropes you have, but if they're big you could just wear your backpack climbing and use a thinner rope for the bow. I like the thin not-quite-550 kind with reflective material intertwined. I also really like backpacks that can hold a bow or gun, i often strap the bow onto my back while I'm climbing and don't have to worry about any ropes.

I'd lose the saw or pruners, no need for both unless you're going in blindly to set up a new spot. I usually have a saw but I think I'd get better use out of a quality pair of pruners.

I don't carry rattling antlers simply because I have no faith in them. But I'm sure there are plenty of people here that have had luck with it.

Lastly, you could get a bino harness and wear them in instead of packing.


All said and done you'd probably only save a couple pounds at best. I'm not sure there is a good answer but I'm interested to see what other guys do to stay lightweight.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 05:09 PM
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If it doesn't fit in my pockets,I leave it at home.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 05:36 PM
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I find it interesting to see how hunters have changed. When I started deer hunting back in the late 1950's I carried my rifle, around 10 rounds of ammo, drag rope , knife, a sandwich, a candy bar, and an apple. This was an all day hunt with a gang of relatives and friends. About the only ting I have added to that list is a compass, a bottle of water and my cell phone. I carry the cell because it has my GPS map app. Oh, and a small light that clips to the bill of my hat.
Once I reached my mid teens and from then on till my late 30's there was a pack of cigs and lighter also.LOL

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The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder.
Where the fair wind blows.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 05:53 PM
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Ok. Here are a few suggestions.

2 pull up ropes- 1 for the bow, 1 for the pack
1 Lineman/tether rope for harness
1 set binos
1 rangefinder
1 cell phone charger and cable
2 Hot hands
1 empty Pee bottle Why not just go over the side. Other than noise it isn't going to bother the deer.
1 pr. pruners Don't see the need to take pruners and a saw. I never trim limbs in season, so I don't take either.
1 compact saw Don't see the need to take pruners and a saw. I never trim limbs in season, so I don't take either.
1 knife Most hunts are unsuccessful, and with all of your gear draggin a deer with your gear will be tough. Why not leave the gutting stuff in truck and then go back to get if you get a deer.
1/2 roll of marking tapeFor what?.
1 package of bright eyes For what?.
1 pr. gutting gloves Most hunts are unsuccessful, and with all of your gear draggin a deer with your gear will be tough. Why not leave the gutting stuff in truck and then go back to get if you get a deer.
1 spare flashlight Most phones have a flashlight you can use in an emergency.
1 container of face paintpaint up at the truck.
1 grunt call
1 can estrus call
1 set of rattling horns (not so much first 2 weeks unless I see bucks in the area)
1 bow hook- 2 or 3 section one
3 small screw in hooks or the strap for around the tree if I'm on SGL
1 bottle of water (early season)

Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys-- I think I'll try something over the next few days- 1) load up my pack with my original gear and get and exact weight - my bow scale is pretty accurate. Then I'll start removing the items based upon your responses and see where it get to. I'll keep you posted! I will use a disclaimer that the weight of the pack would be a constant, or else I have to start all over looking for a new pack. I want my current pack lighter, not my wallet.

Wishing I was at camp!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 09:36 PM
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I agree if your bow hunting all day in cold weather from a tree stand your packing a lot of weight in. I do this on occasion and as I get older will do this more often. I will strap my climber, gear and bow to my deer cart and pack everything back in. I will then leave my stand and hide my cart. If I know I'm hunting that same stand in the morning and I'm far enough back in I have even covered my bow with a garbage bag and left it in the tree overnight.

The older I get the better I was.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 07:31 AM
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Get a Lighter Stand ? 2 or 3 lbs. can make a big difference.

Potter County
Gods Country USA
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 08:40 AM
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Rangefinders are usually 6x so I use that for binos. In rare cases I carry binos, I wear them in.

It's a good spot. Just not today.
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