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How to pack and organize a hunting backpack

Packing a backpack doesn't have to be complicated, but there are some techniques that will utilize all of the space and make things more comfortable. In the video above I walk through my process when loading gear items into my backpack for an extended stay hunt. 

A quick summary of my packing method:

How to pack and organize a hunting backpack

All photo credits: Brady Miller
  • Remove all air pockets by filling gaps with small items
    • This will allow your pack volume to fill up slower
  • Light items at the bottom (sleeping bag, clothes, etc)
  • Medium-weight items above the lighter gear (gear, food, etc)
  • Heavy items at the upper portion of the backpack and along your back
  • Keep essential items in storage pockets (headlamp, glassing accessories, first aid kit, etc.)

I highly recommend that you practice how to pack your backpack before you go on a hunt. This will help you to become very familiar with where your items are so you don't struggle to find something in a pinch. There's nothing worse than setting up to glass and having to dump your entire pack out because you placed an important gear item at the bottom.

Stone Glacier EVO 3300 backpack

Over time, packing items into your backpack will become second nature.

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Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 10-22-2018 09:43:29 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Glad you enjoyed the article, Jeff. I fully believe a person should carry a first aid kit. I carry a pretty minimalist first aid kit on all my hunts (backcountry or day trips). Worst case survival items... I believe you can't go wrong with super glue, trekking poles, gorilla tape, P-cord, and electrical tape. All of that you can use in a pinch for a splint, large cuts, etc. Also, a huge safety device that I have used for a long, long time is a satellite messenger. I've used several different brands through the years, but the one I'm currently using is the inReach Mini made by Garmin:

That device allows me to send and receive text messages to friends and family and also has an SOS feature if things really get bad.

Outdoor Edge makes a great knife kit but that system definitely adds some bulk. I'd suggest looking into a Havalon Piranta knife. These have replaceable blades so once a blade is dull, you can easily replace it in the field and boom... you have a sharp blade to finish the job. You can check them out here:

Hope that helps. Happy to answer any other questions you might have.

Jeff H. - posted 1 year ago on 10-21-2018 05:31:04 pm

Love to see how others pack for hunting. Myself, I tend to over pack. Should a person carry a first aid kit? How about any ,worst case scenario, survival items? I also pack a butcher set from Outdoor Edge. It's kiND of heavy and akward to pack. Do suggest taking only one knife? If so, which one will last through a deer or elk processing? Thanks for your help.