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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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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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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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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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)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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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.
 

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1. Range finder
2. Bow hook
3. Flash light
4. Grunt tube
5. Gloves
6. A few protein bars and water if I am out there all day. If it’s just a morning or evening hunt I don’t take anything.
7. Milkweed
8. Evercalm
9. Harness
10. Paper towels for number 2
11. Release
12. Bow rope
13. Cellphone
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok-- here we go! I looked at some of the lists-on Steelhead125 I saw Evercalm and release. I already carry the evercalm in my bdu pocket of my pants, and my release is in my release pouch (after using one for 9 months, it's much easier to keep it in there) is on my belt.

Starting out with all the stuff I originally posted plus the pack- 13.7#

Laylow's "remove list"- 10.7#

cspot's remove list- 10.5#

I then took out the 3-arm realtree bow hanger- I only carry that when I'm in a ladder stand- I have the Third Hand universal bow holder on my climber- that took it down to 8.5#

I agree with cspot about the pruners and saw when I'm going to a tree I know, but when I'm going in blind or for the first time in a tree from last year for an afternoon sit, I may need to prune on the way up- those 1/2" branches that are tough to use a climber around.

I stopped using a pee bottle a few years ago, but I found that I was peeing up to 4 times over the rail in a 4 hour sit (one of the problems that comes with age and coffee). Once or twice didn't spook a deer, 4 times and the area began to smell like the men's latrine at the old Franklin Field in Philly. I'm "back on the bottle" so to speak.

As far as a lighter stand, I had a Viper, it was 2# lighter than the Goliath. This past year I bought a Muddy climber with the seat like the Hazemor seats. That is still within a pound of a Goliath.

Thanks for the help guys-- this will take some more tinkering and some real attitude adjustments on my part!
 

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I use a LW assault with a sit and climb top.That gives me the lightest stand possible that's still comfortable enough to sit in for several hours.I have a bow holder on the platform and a small pouch attached to the arm of the top.I throw a small saw,tow rope and a small screw in hook.It weighs next to nothing.Other than that,bow,knife,small headlamp,rangefinder and binoculars.I put the few essentials in a cabelas bowhunter vest and only use that so I can strap my coat to the back for the walk in.
 

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Water is one item you definitely need if you’re hunting all day and want to stay alert. You should be drinking 2 liters and if you’re hiking in the Rockies you better be carrying 3 liters. So you can have 4 to 6 pounds in water alone. Having a light pack and stand helps to start with. Every year I also try to cut the amount of weight I have to carry, but I think the best way to make hunting easier is to keep your body weight down. I try to run at least three times a week so when the season starts hiking miles back into the woods doesn’t seem so bad.
 

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Water is one item you definitely need if you’re hunting all day and want to stay alert. You should be drinking 2 liters and if you’re hiking in the Rockies you better be carrying 3 liters. So you can have 4 to 6 pounds in water alone. Having a light pack and stand helps to start with. Every year I also try to cut the amount of weight I have to carry, but I think the best way to make hunting easier is to keep your body weight down. I try to run at least three times a week so when the season starts hiking miles back into the woods doesn’t seem so bad.

Losing weight is on my plan for the upcoming year in prep of hunting some more remote areas. Cutting the pack weight is easier than cutting body weight. :grin2:

I do agree with carrying water. I don't pack 2 liters, but I usually pack a couple of small bottles. Also carrying some food for all day hunts helps alot to stay warm and comfortable.
 

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Ok-- here we go! I looked at some of the lists-on Steelhead125 I saw Evercalm and release. I already carry the evercalm in my bdu pocket of my pants, and my release is in my release pouch (after using one for 9 months, it's much easier to keep it in there) is on my belt.

Starting out with all the stuff I originally posted plus the pack- 13.7#

Laylow's "remove list"- 10.7#

cspot's remove list- 10.5#

I then took out the 3-arm realtree bow hanger- I only carry that when I'm in a ladder stand- I have the Third Hand universal bow holder on my climber- that took it down to 8.5#

I agree with cspot about the pruners and saw when I'm going to a tree I know, but when I'm going in blind or for the first time in a tree from last year for an afternoon sit, I may need to prune on the way up- those 1/2" branches that are tough to use a climber around.

I stopped using a pee bottle a few years ago, but I found that I was peeing up to 4 times over the rail in a 4 hour sit (one of the problems that comes with age and coffee). Once or twice didn't spook a deer, 4 times and the area began to smell like the men's latrine at the old Franklin Field in Philly. I'm "back on the bottle" so to speak.

As far as a lighter stand, I had a Viper, it was 2# lighter than the Goliath. This past year I bought a Muddy climber with the seat like the Hazemor seats. That is still within a pound of a Goliath.

Thanks for the help guys-- this will take some more tinkering and some real attitude adjustments on my part!
I will say that if the item is something that I need to stay comfortable or like the pruners something that you think you will need then I am packing them in. An extra pound or two isn't going to kill you (maybe) so you should be fine.
 

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Ok-- here we go! I looked at some of the lists-on Steelhead125 I saw Evercalm and release. I already carry the evercalm in my bdu pocket of my pants, and my release is in my release pouch (after using one for 9 months, it's much easier to keep it in there) is on my belt.

Starting out with all the stuff I originally posted plus the pack- 13.7#

Laylow's "remove list"- 10.7#

cspot's remove list- 10.5#

I then took out the 3-arm realtree bow hanger- I only carry that when I'm in a ladder stand- I have the Third Hand universal bow holder on my climber- that took it down to 8.5#

I agree with cspot about the pruners and saw when I'm going to a tree I know, but when I'm going in blind or for the first time in a tree from last year for an afternoon sit, I may need to prune on the way up- those 1/2" branches that are tough to use a climber around.

I stopped using a pee bottle a few years ago, but I found that I was peeing up to 4 times over the rail in a 4 hour sit (one of the problems that comes with age and coffee). Once or twice didn't spook a deer, 4 times and the area began to smell like the men's latrine at the old Franklin Field in Philly. I'm "back on the bottle" so to speak.

As far as a lighter stand, I had a Viper, it was 2# lighter than the Goliath. This past year I bought a Muddy climber with the seat like the Hazemor seats. That is still within a pound of a Goliath.

Thanks for the help guys-- this will take some more tinkering and some real attitude adjustments on my part!

Just an FYI, if you are on public ground in PA (State Game Lands or State Forest) it is illegal to damage/mark a tree, which includes cutting branches. I saw in one section you use a strap for state game lands to hang stuff so I would cut out the pruners and saw on your state game land hunts.
 

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Pa.Bone made the best and most valuable statement so far. Shedding some unneeded gear is always a good thing but it’s not nearly as significant as dropping 15 to 30 pounds or more if you are overweight. There is no doubt in my mind that being fit will give you more advantages than any piece of gear you take into the woods with you. The only thing I could think of that would be more important than fitness is having your weapon of choice dialed in and having confidence in it. Not to mention for those of us over 40, if we are not eating healthy, getting checkups or exercising we’re at a greater risk for a heart attack. Everyone seems to preach the importance of wearing a safety harness but you don’t often read posts about health which is just as important if not more.
 

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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.
I don’t worry about what my pack weighs. I take only what I need, and the weight......well it is what it is.
Most of what is on your list is not “a need”
Oh I always carry a basic first aid kit
 

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That's mine there for bow season... even less for rifle and Flinter. And I HUMP THE SAME CLIMBER AS YOU!!! God, that thing is comfortable!!!


1 pull up ropes- 1 for the bow, wear my pack going up.
1 rangefinder
1 cell phone charger and cable
1 pr. pruners
1 compact saw
1 knife
1 package of bright eyes
1 pr. gutting gloves
1 spare flashlight
1 grunt call
1 can estrus call
1 the strap for around the tree if I'm on SGL
2 bottle of water (early season) and some grub.
 
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