Author / LYLE HEBEL, SG MARKETING DIRECTOR
One of the most common questions about our packs is why we don’t include more built-in pockets for gear organization. It’s a great question, as I do feel that having an orderly pack helps reduce stress and anxiety when you find yourself in high-pressure situations. The reason we don’t build in a bunch of pockets is that they add unwanted weight. The weight of extra zippers, material, and webbing adds up fast.
Our system still offers ample organization options, but it does require you to think about your gear list and optimize what you bring. By reducing the amount of “extras” you carry, you can find ways to reduce your total pack weight, which allows for more efficient trips into and out of the backcountry. At the heart of our organization options are the Swingout and Camp Pocket. These two ultralight pouches can be configured in countless ways inside our packs. They easily attach to half-inch tri-slide buckles located throughout our packs, and each one weighs just a couple of ounces. Once you get your gear pared down to the essentials, I think you will find that you spend less time searching in your pack. I carry three Swing Out and one Camp Pocket at all times. I have highlighted a few of the key items I carry with me all the time.
I carry four large lightweight synthetic game bags. Since most of the meat gets deboned, four bags is typically enough. I also carry a fixed blade knife. I am currently using the Speed Goat from Montana Knife Company. It’s light and holds an edge. I also carry one Havalon with extra blades and a small knife sharpener.
GEAR REPAIR & SURVIVAL
One item that is often overlooked is extra buckles for your pack. While our buckles are super strong, they can still break. I carry an extra set of 1” buckles and waist buckles at all times. I also pack a Leatherman® tool, which can come in super handy when you need to make a bush fix.
We all hope you never have to get into your medical kit when hunting, but those odds go up if you hunt long enough. QuikClot® is a great product to keep on hand if you need to stop significant bleeding. QuikClot® is made of a non-woven material impregnated with kaolin. Kaolin activates Factor XII, which in turn accelerates the clotting cascade leading to faster bleeding control.
Okay, I get a lot of laughs and looks when I talk about this one, butt (see what I did there) it’s a game-changer. If you spend a lot of days hiking, your intergluteal cleft is probably going to get sweaty. If left uncontrolled, it can lead to painful miles. That’s why I always carry a small bottle of Balneol®. A little dime-size wipe with this stuff post-TP will help ensure you keep the area sparkling clean.