Great pack pointers from Pat McHugh!
Hunting Pack Pointers
• When you pick up a loaded pack always do so by grabbing the “haul loop” on top of the pack or pick it up by grabbing both shoulder straps. Never carry or grab a pack by one of the shoulder straps. This puts all the weight on this strap and may cause it to fail.
• Don’t over tighten the compression straps fitted to packs, these straps are meant to stabilize a load once it is packed, not to hold it in tightly in place.
• Take care of all your zippers. Clean them often using an old toothbrush and lubricate the full length occasionally with a high quality silicone spray. Keep frayed fabric trimmed back around all openings so it doesn’t get caught in your zippers. There is nothing more aggravating than a broken zipper on the trail.
• Keep the all the buckles and shoulder strap buckles fastened when you are not wearing the pack. This prevents them from getting stepped on, or crushed and broken.
• Inspect the stress points on your pack before each trip. Check along the shoulder straps, compression straps, and the hip belt (it is not a waist belt, all MPI Outdoors backpacks are meant to be worn low and secured across your hips, not on your waist). Make any necessary repairs before going into the field by using a strong upholstery thread or un-waxed dental floss and a heavy-duty needle.
• Always pack smart. Don’t let pointed objects like stoves; tree pegs, knives or other objects create cuts or weak spots in the fabric. Wrap these items inside of clothing or place them inside smaller pouches.
• Don’t overload a pack. This could cause harm and discomfort to your back. Most hunting daypacks are just that, packs for one-days use. Daypacks are meant to carry extra clothing, calls, and some ammo, trail gear and possibly some food for lunch. Do not try to pack for a weekend trip in what is classified as a “day”-pack; use a duffel bag for any extended trip or other heavy gear.
• Distribute the load weight in a fanny pack carefully and evenly so as not to add any imbalance to yourself on the trail. Remember to carry the weight of the pack as low on your hips as is comfortable, keeping the weight off the small of your back, but centered on your body frame.
• When you go out to buy a new pack, remember that you most likely will be wearing a heavy jacket when hunting season opens. Look for extra long webbing on the shoulder belt adjustments and also on the hip belt. Better yet take a jacket off the stores shelves and put it on before trying on a new pack. ALL MPI Outdoors hunting packs are engineered with extra length shoulder strap adjustments and 26 inches of webbing on “each” side of the hip buckle, giving you plenty of room for “expansion”.
• Spot clean your pack regularly with a soft brush and a mild soap and water solution. Never use harsh laundry detergents or tumble dry your pack in a dryer. This is a good time to inspect for abrasions, tears and any loose threads.
• Open up all compartments and air your pack out before storing it away for the next season. To prevent mold and/or mildew never store a pack that is the slightest bit wet or damp, also never store a pack that is dirty. When possible hang the pack on a clothes hanger by looping the straps over and closed around the hanger for support.