God I miss those days. Sure the walleye fishing now is great, but the old days of catching buckets full of those slabs was something else.
I disagree with a framed pack being essential but I can definitely see how they could make things easier. https://imgur.com/a/qTIYrGZ
Maybe not totally essential if you’re not venturing far from the truck, but having carried plenty of heavy ass loads in cheap non- framed packs, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to do it for any real distance. If you’re hauling quarters out from deep in the backcountry, a good frame pack that’s designed for hunting and carrying 100 plus lb loads (exo, mystery ranch, stone glacier, etc) is well worth spending the money on imo. Your back and shoulders will thank you!
I can definitely see where you are coming from and I'm not even sure if I disagree since I've never invested in a (modern) framed pack. I've had the same Dana Designs Brigadier for my entire adult life.
This probably holds true of any pack, but once I learned how to properly load my frameless pack, it felt like almost nothing was on my back until I hit the 60 pound mark. There is a great podcast on it on hunt backcountry (episode 132) explaining how to properly work all those straps and how to pack a frameless pack so everything is distributed between your hips and shoulders.
For my frameless, I basically cinched the bottom third of my pack shut to raise the weight of the quarter and used the interior load straps inside to cinch it against my back. My hips, shoulders and back were perfectly happy for the 6 loads I packed 6 miles to my truck.
The only discomfort with was a 100+ pound load of "loose" meat (loins, flanks, scraps, ribs, neck, organs, etc) but I think that would suck regardless - the kind of load where a ledge is required to get the pack on your back while standing!
I'd love to try a framed pack, but can't justify the expense right now (so I very well could be projecting this onto my use of a frameless!).
I will definitely have to give that episode a listen. Hunt backcountry is a great podcast although I haven’t really been keeping up with it lately. Still, it’s hard for me imagine ever using a frameless pack again after buying a good external frame pack (mystery ranch metcalf).
I definitely hear you about the price though. Spending $500 on a pack was a hard to justify. But being able to carry 70- 90 lb loads with zero shoulder or neck pain has been amazing!
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