This is America, where bigger is better, right? We have Big Macs, Bigfoot and Big Audio Dynamite as proof of concept.
But we’re here to defend the bold idea that size doesn’t matter… In backpacks.
Yes, Badlands is home to the big bad Vario Pack System and it’s 6,600 cubic inches of storage capacity. And we revolutionized the way people look at packs with the legendary 2200. And the Carbon Ox is… well…. The Carbon Ox.
But just as every meal doesn’t have to include bacon, there are many situations where smaller packs are the better choice, especially when paired with a Badlands bino harness.
Run-n-Gun – There’s no hunting thrill like working through the woods, following the signs to catch up to your prey. Trying to get eyes on that bull, then getting ahead of its path to set up an ambush gets the heart racing like no other technique. This is where the small pack rules. In fact, why do you think we call our most popular small pack the Pursuit?
The Pursuit allows us to pack the absolute essentials like a field dressing kit, first-aid kit, rain gear, GPS and maps, and snacks…. Lots of snacks. What it doesn’t do is get hung up on tree limbs, weigh us down as we scale the hillside, or mess with our balance when we’re lining up a shot.
Stand/Blind – What do you need a pack for if you’re in a blind? Dude…. So many reasons.
For starters, stands are great for minimalist hunting. But remember, whatever goes up with you is all you’ll have for the entire day. That means any contingency needs to be addressed MacGuyver-style with the materials on hand.
So whenever we head up the ladder, we have a Timber loaded up with the following: rain gear; optics tools and cleaning cloths; range card; camera and accessories; first-aid kit; extra ammo/arrows; and snacks…. Lots of snacks.
Spot and Stalk – This is generally larger pack domain, as it’s easy to set up on a ridgeline and glass for game, then leave the pack behind when you start to stalk. Since you’re likely hauling your spotting scope, tripod and every call from the Primos catalog with you, the big pack makes sense.
Know what else we put in that big pack? A smaller pack.
Before you send us the Xzibit meme about hearing we like bags in our bags, dawg, hear us out.
The bottom line is simple. There are certain necessities you should always have with you and not sitting atop the other ridgeline. Game processing tools, meat bags, rain gear, navigation tools, fire starters, a first-aid kit, and snacks… Lots of snacks.
We get it. Bigger toys for bigger boys and all that. Plus, the feeling of hoisting up a fully loaded Vario 65 for that day-long hike into the backcountry just feels right. But when mobility is a must or space is tight, the day pack reigns supreme.
Just as not every meal needs bacon, not every pack needs to be large. Sometimes, the little guys are the perfect size.
And never discount a thick slice of ham.