A daypack is like the desktop of a computer or the home screen of a smart phone; it keeps important things organized and allows you to carry them with you at all times. For hunters, it’s a lunch box, a carryall for a compass, GPS, rangefinder, rain gear, emergency kit, fire starters, and a host of other small gear (including extra toilet paper). As the name implies, a daypack is not designed to pack out elk quarters or carry a sleeping bag, yet this tortoise-like convenience will help you hunt longer, more comfortably, and more effectively.
For tree-stand hunters, it’s the ideal storage for that extra release, the buck lure you don’t keep in your pocket. A good daypack will allow you to conveniently transport your entire hunting package, from pull-up rope to rattling horns. For active hunters, the daypack allows you to travel light and add insulation for when things slow down. Take our advice: Don’t leave camp without one. Here are three fine daypacks to consideration:
Tenzing Daypacks: Jay Tenzing operated an archery shop in Boise, Idaho, for 20 years; now, he builds and designs backpacks based on knowledge acquired during his many years of hunting. Tenzing is a high-end, feature-filled pack line running the gamut from packs designed to carry lunch to those tested to lug up to 300 lbs. The Tenzing website includes multiple photos of each product, along with a video to help you pinpoint your selection.
Easton Outfitters: The Stake Out is a full-featured daypack with an innovative retractable, integrated seat pad, and is the perfect match for day hunts when mobility is key. This Easton pack is tailored for “run and gun” turkey hunting, but is equally at home in a tree stand or ground blind. The Stake Out is lightweight, with a capacity of 1800 cubic inches, and has a padded waist belt for added comfort that can fit up to a 52-inch waist. The quick-stash hip pockets are handy for calls, a wind indicator, or other small items that are easily accessible.
Cabela’s: The Trail-Camera Backpack makes an excellent way to carry cameras on rugged trips and airliners, yet the padded, large space is ideal for short hikes and carrying plenty of gear. The interior, designed by Cabela’s for multiple lenses, doubles as the perfect organizer so that each hunting item has its own space. Its side handle easily attaches to a pull-up rope, and the added padding helps protect your video gear and optics on the way up the tree.