Hunters can be a pain in the a** to shop for, because there’s an overabundance of gear on the market and also an overabundance of gear in most guys’ garages. Out of sympathy for anyone who has a hunter on their shopping list, I’m going to put together the MeatEater’s 12 Days of Gifts Guide. These items are gonna please any hunter out there, no matter how picky or overstocked he or she happens to be. What’s more, these things can be purchased quickly online without having to drive around and endure hordes of competing Christmas shoppers.
Day 11: For backpack hunters, it goes without saying that one’s pack is a crucial piece of gear. I need a pack that fits well and is organized intelligently; and it needs the capacity to carry a big load of food, water and gear in—and a big load of meat out. The Outdoorsman’s Optics Hunter Pack System delivers solidly on all major needs, and then goes far beyond.
The genius in this system is its versatility—the crux of which is a super-light external frame on which you can simply secure various arrangements of pack elements. The system can be tweaked in several ways, and I tend to use it in a few standard configurations. For long trips into the backcountry, or in cold weather, I use the full pack along with the extension of the accessory pod, which substantially adds to the pack’s capacity. On overnights or shorter expeditions I’ll carry the pack without the extra pod—fully self-sufficient for all hunting and camping needs.
I’ve carried this pack in every climate and landscape imaginable, and its quality and dependability are inarguable. Any hunter who likes to get out into the stink will love it.