I guess I’m still at a point in life where I believe more gear might make me better. Or maybe just more efficient and therefore a better hunter. Time will tell. The technical gear of today’s age fascinates me, and the people behind the designs do much of the same. Last September our party was caught in a severe storm system which brought snow and fog and causing us to lose several days of our hunt. I learned about the Seek Outside brand because of one of their tipis and portable stove setups I believe is responsible for allowing us to stay in the backcountry as long as we did. My fascination with the brand and its products have grown since and this season I’ll be utilizing the Peregrine 3500 pack to haul my gear and hopefully, meat. For whatever reason, I have to pick the hardest ways to hunt. Usually, that involves mountains and broken terrain with questionable game populations. Its been that way ever since I was a kid. Because of this, my hunts for elk, mule deer and even whitetails in my new residency of Missouri and home state of New York will take place in broken terrain and big timber regions. My kind of hunting.
The Peregrine 3500 arrived a few weeks ago and Here are the basics as pulled off of their website.
- Adjustable frame height
- Five pockets plus a side zipper
- Breakaway load carry
- 3500 ci main bag with fully separating side zipper. Rolls down to 2400 ci at frame height – extend it when you need it.
- Dual side pockets sized for an 85 mm angled spotting scope & tripod.
- Front mesh slot pocket plus zippered security pocket.
- Versatile compression system utilizing Gatekeeper hardware. Use it, lose it, or move it.
- Hydration Port
Here are my initial favorite parts of the bag.
- The main compartment is a dry bag built from what they call X-Pac™ Backpack Fabric. Its a great concept for the long day hikes and brief overnights. I’m giddy about this because last year my gear got soaked using a different pack. Rainflys are annoying to deal with sometimes so having this is a welcome change. There are no interior compartments within the dry bag which isnt an issue, but I will keep things organized with the use of ziplock to keep my various gear separated. Knives and sharpeners in one bag, med kit in another. Trail mix and food bars in another. It’s amazing the number of bars we eat while chasing meat.
- The breakaway load carry is another reason to be excited. Even for whitetails, some of these deep hollows in the Ozarks are not areas I want to drag a deer out of and will gladly fill some game bags with venison. I did run a test with about 35 pounds of stuff in the pack and sinched the straps tightly. Especially with the lumbar support pad, the pack rides so snugly to your back it provides excellent control. The real test will be if it will provide life-saving support if I kill a bull next week in one of those hell-like canyons and have to pull the meat up to a pack trail. Seek has this pack rated at 100lbs and has tested with over 150lbs for good measure. It feels like a firm extension of the body rather than an offsetting weight. When I took practice shots on the range, I felt pleased that the pack was not dragging my shoulder back as the hip support is on point doing a great job resting the weight on my hips. And my shots with the pack on do not lie.
- Giant side pockets. These side pockets can hold an 80mm spotting scope, or my bugle tube. Either way, they are deep and can secure gear externally. It’s pretty straightforward. There is a large mesh back packet as well for storing extra gear. ITs a good place to put your outer layers quickly if you are on the move and need to shed down as the sun rises.
These are my first takes of the pack. The real test will be in how it handles through each hunt. The goal is to document each day of my hunts throughout this fall to provide you the reader with a very transparent understanding of the good the bad and the ugly with each mile hiked this fall.