Home Forums Campfire Forum Anyone use a "possibles bag"?

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    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      I recently wrote about a daypack vs a possibles bag. I imagine my opinion (I use the possibles bag more) is founded in the fact that I am hunting in Michigan….it’s hard to get 2 miles from the truck here. I would think you Westerners have much more use for the day pack (or larger)?
      I’m interested in hearing what you guys do to haul your possibles into the field.

      Frankly, I am trying harder and harder to pack less and less.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I’ve tried using one, but never really liked them. For my needs, I feel that a bag like that rides too loose and flops around and gets caught on things. For me, a possibles bag may have ‘traditional’ appeal, but I don’t find them all that functional, at least for what I like to do (not trying to be negative here, just honest).

      I do live in the west, but I still really try to keep what I carry to a minimum, assuming I’m not on a multi-day trip (well, not intentionally anyway…). I don’t like carrying a large pack, either, unless I have to, because I find that there is a tendency to fill whatever pack you have, even if it’s with stuff you don’t really need. I have a smaller fanny/lumbar pack for day jaunts if I’m just out stump shooting, scouting, etc. And I use a Badlands Monster for hunting. It has plenty of room for a full day, and for the emergency things I need if I end up not making it back that night.

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      I use a daypack more while hunting out here where I live never liked anything that can flop to easy good to chance to make noise with it. Just trying different back or side quivers since the one i had sort of worked out broke.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I’m with Smithhammer. A roomy pack is a necessity for elk hunting here in CO, not a preference. Two considerations on the original historic use of possibles bags: First, these guys were carrying black powder firearms and needed to keep their reloading “fixins” handy even in the dark — powder, wadding, shot, these were the original possibles. What would I carry in one today? A pack of cigarettes? A flask of water? A camera? Second, trappers were on horseback most of the time so didn’t have to carry their bulky stuff on their backs. So while possibles bags were utilitarian to the mountain men, they’re impractical for a backcountry hunter today, a token to the past that just gets in the way. I mean, I could hang one from my belt, alongside my sheath knife and with the waist-belt of my pack over that. But why, when most packs today are bristling with external pouches that do the same thing better? I share with both of you gents the desire to go lighter, especially as I age. But given the extreme variations in mountain weather from daylight to dark, necessitating layered clothing, and the advisability to almost always carry rain gear (a few weeks ago, a storm blew in suddenly and along with rain, wind and hail, the temp dropped from 82 to 58 in less than half an hour), plus game bags etc., it seems every year the pack gets heavier, averaging 25 pounds for a standard day hunt and more if I have to carry water as opposed to filtering natural water. Consequently I’m always searching for the perfect hunting pack but am yet to find one. IMHO, Dave

    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      I like your reply David….it is exactly what I figured an elk/back country hunter might say. I am CERTAIN that if I were “out there” rather than the woodlots and forest of Michigan, I would have little use for a possibles bag. Your horse back scenario is probably pretty accurate.

      As it is, in Michigan, it’s damned hard to get 2 miles from your truck. My haversack carries everything I need. Here, when you see a fellow hiking into his farmland hunting spot with a full sized back pack, it’s worth a chuckle.

      I have a good friend who is a gadget nut. He brings EVERYTHING with him hunting. I took he and his young son out chasing rabbits last winter. He showed up with a HUGE Filson duffle bag full of gear. I had a longbow, 6 arrows, and a neck knife. At the end of the day he wanted to shoot a .22 pistol he had brought along. After 1 magazine he started rummaging through his bag for a box of shells. He had everything you can imagine….even spare boots and wool longjohns….but no more shells. 🙄

    • bobtieken
      Post count: 10

      A pack of cigaretts? Really?

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I too use a possibles bag. Always have. You can’t compare east and west. And you will have to excuse these folks from the west. They can’t help themselves taking every chance to brag about their neck of the woods. It’s like texans.

      Speaking of Texans. There was one at a farm meeting the other day talking with one of the local farmers. They got into a sort of competition… Our local old timer was talking about what a good year he had with his cows and how he had taken 30 to market, which was his best year. The Texan said that he had taken 30 in 1 day from his back yard before even going out to the herd…

      Then our local old timer mentioned that his farm was one of the biggest in the area and that if he got in his truck and drove around it, it would take at least 30 minutes. To which the Texan said that if he got in his truck and drove around his place, it would take all day.

      Our local old timer replied : “yea, I had a truck like that once myself”

    • George Tsoukalas
      Post count: 53

      I do use one if my hunt will longer than 2 hours. It can contain a cell phone, first aid kit, camera, food water, etc. Some of those items are hung on this strap. Most of my hunting is done locally. When hunting out my back door I just take an arrow or 2-no quiver or possibles. There’s a couple bandaids in my wallet. Depends on the situation. When shooting 3d I always take a possibles. Jawge

    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      Nice to see you here Jawge!

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      I don’t like anything flopping around when I hunt, which is why I use a bowquiver and a small fanny pack for odds and ends. There are a few exceptions — I’ll use a plains quiver for small game hunting, and if I carry my DSLR I wear a backpack — but for the most part I don’t want anything slung over my shoulder or flopping around at my side. If I’m doing an all day hunt where I plan to be far from camp (elk hunting out west, moose hunting up north, or chasing hogs in Texas) then a good backpack is a must. But for Midwestern woodlot whitetails, a small fanny pack suits my needs quite well.

    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      I tried the fanny pack….it just didn’t work for me. I could never adjust it right…it was always sliding down around my legs. I probably tried to stuff it too full.

    • George Tsoukalas
      Post count: 53

      Thanks, rnorris. 🙂 Jawge

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      I am the same, I prefer a fanny pack in the early season and a backpack later in the season.

    • hrhodes
      Post count: 31

      I think geography plays a big part defining what one needs to take along. Down here in south Alabama, I am hunting white oak riverbottoms, cypress swamps, piney woods, and canebrakes. The camp is never more than a mile or two away. That said, I carry an old folding camo stool with a bag fashioned into it. Something like dove hunters might use. It has a strap where I can carry it in similar fashion to the “possibles bag”. That little bag has a small roll of camo blind material in it, along with a water bottle, a little food, something to tie with, something to burn with, and something to cut with. Thats about all I usually need to set up on a trail to try and ambush a deer or a hog.

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Has anyone ever tried hunting with an old military H-harness? Something like this:

      (That is not mine, just a pic I found online)

      If you’re thorough with attaching pouches (using zip ties where they’re loose) it doesn’t rattle. You can carry quite a lot of weight (around 20 pounds was standard with up to 4 litres of water), it adds a little to your width when passing through bush but it has nothing in the way on front so you can lay on your guts rather comfortably.

      It would be very achievable to overnight with it if it isn’t too cold out, especially if you had a camel back on. With 4x 1 litre water bottles and a 2L camelback you’re packing 6L of clean water, plenty of space for food, gas or hexamine cooking gear, first aid, and some key cold weather items (e.g. thermal shirt, hat, gloves).

      I have never tried hunting or bow shooting in them. Can anyone see any immediate flaws with using something like that?

      (and apologies for bringing up such an old conversation, I’m new here and enjoying reading all the old ones.)

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      I thought of doing the H harness but never tried it…I have a nice fanny pack with a harness and it works well. However, I recently got a Mystery Ranch Dragon Slayer for hiking and future western hunts. I have used it on day hunts in PA and it works well…I am pleased with it.

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Brennan, that looks like a quality pack. I used their ‘3day assault pack’ for an extended period recently. M. Ranch make good stuff. I treated mine like crap and it never let me down. I love the 3 zip design and external webbing. What colour did you get?

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      I got coyote tan…I love the qaulity as well! The Y zipper is awesome! I almost got the longbow because of the nice frame but opted for the lighter dragon slayer. I had gotten 3 other bags first and sent them back because I just wasn’t happy with the quality for the price. When I got the MR I knew it was the right choice. I love things made in the USA!

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      I bought the Bison Gear Haversack at Denton, because it looked great. I used it once to hunt. I don’t like anything flying around my waist when I hunt, so now it has become my New York City “Messenger” bag. Works great in the subway!! 😀

      A backpack is the best way to go for me.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Funny timing on bumping this thread, and on looking back at my response of a year and half ago.

      In a total turnaround, I recently had Bison Gear build a haversack for me, and so far, I’m really liking it.

      It can comfortably hold a surprising amount of gear (more than I typically want to carry), and the attention to detail is top notch. The bucksuede is also extremely quiet. Can’t say enough about the quality of this bag.

      (pictured with a 1-liter Nalgene for scale):

      It certainly doesn’t replace a pack for me on longer jaunts, but for a lot of the stuff I do close to home, or not that far from the truck, and where I don’t need to carry much, it’s pretty sweet.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Ha – good timing, Alex.

      I hear you about not wanting anything “flying” around your waist. Mine came with loops for rigging a waist strap to it (did yours?), so it actually functions a lot like my favorite fishing pack – slide it around when I need to get into it, slide it behind me when I don’t, and it stays put pretty well. I set it up with a 1/2″ webbing belt and a fastex buckle.

    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Member
      Post count: 681

      good Timing Smithhammer!!

      mine has them too. I tried the belt around the waist, but then the shoulder strap was too long 😯

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      I use both types. It depends on the type of hunting that I’m doing. I like the Haversack style for day hunts – Whitetails and the pack style for Elk out west.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I have the opinion that possibles bags are like the human appendix once was – useful. I don’t like the thing flapping around and things tend to get all jumbled around like a womans’ pocketbook. I carry as little as possible in cargo pockets.

    • Michael Scott
      Post count: 80

      I’ve always hunted with some sort of backpack. My current pack has a zip-off “fanny” pack that I took off a long time ago, as it made it too easy to overload, and it made it too long for my liking. I like the upper part. It’s not a real high quality pack (I think I got it at Wal-mart), but it serves its purpose. My good pack I bought several years ago got stolen out of the back seat of my truck (through an open driver’s window) and I never found it, even through thorough searches of the thrift stores and pawn shops in town. Guess somebody liked it better than me. I wouldn’t mind getting an internal frame pack at some point, but for now, if I need a frame pack, I have a couple old aluminum frames that do alright.

      Michael

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Hey Michael,

      A couple of years ago my alice frame snapped and I wanted a new pack. I couldn’t afford one but I could afford a new frame. I got this one from SORD:

      http://www.sordaustralia.com/product.php?productid=19

      I’ve been really happy with it. Light, comfortable and strong. It’s survived a hand full of combat load parachute jumps and a few hundred kilometres of stomping and shows no signs of wear or stress. I have occasionally packed over 50kg (110 lbs?) which is never comfortable but it was better with that frame than my old aluminium one. The kidney pad is delightful.

      A consideration for that is it’s a bit long so if you’re under 5’10 it may be no good for you.

    • Michael Scott
      Post count: 80

      ausjim,

      Thanks for the link. I might look into it, but it will probably be down the line when money isn’t quite so tight. Sounds like a good pack. I’m right at 5’10, so height isn’t a real issue…the biggest problem I always had with my other pack was the excess lenth down low…I like my load carried up higher. I have had the pleasure of trying a couple packs that had good lumbar support, and really liked them.

      Michael

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      I like carrying as little as possible when moving through the woods. I use a small backpack with a hydration bladder. It will hold my knife, compass, map, grunt tube, the essential tp, jerky or sandwich and any other small items. I hardly know its there when moving through the woods and it hangs conveniently from a limb when in a tree. Like others have written, if I take a large pack I will fill it with too many unnecessary items.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      I’ve always used a butt pack over day packs since I don’t need to carry alot of gear. My hunts are usually just a few hours. All day can still be done with my butt pack. A possible sack looks nice but I also don’t want something that might flop a round.

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