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Hauling Meat Inside A Pack

authentichunter

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Joined
Dec 9, 2015
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62
Location
Orem, Utah
I currently use a pack with a load shelf/sling feature that I use for hauling meat. I am planning to buy a new pack and I have become very fond of a pack that does not have the load sling/shelf feature. Instead, I will need to haul the meat inside the pack. I have only hauled meat inside a pack one time and it was a very messy affair. Therefore, I am a little hesitant about putting meat inside a pack again. Nevertheless, I know that my experience with meat inside the pack was a result of user error and not the inherent consequences of putting meat inside a pack.

I would like to hear advice from meat haulers who have ample experience hauling meat inside a pack. How do you effectively, and relatively cleanly, carry meat inside a pack?

Alternatively, I am willing to listen to anyone who feels that carrying meat inside of a pack is a mistake and that using a load shelf/sling is a better option.
 

Kaitum

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Jan 14, 2012
Messages
596
Location
Bitterroot Valley
Contractor size plastic bags work well for keeping the interior of your pack blood and stink free. Ideally the meat is cooled down prior to being placed inside the plastic bag. That's always been the case for me. If it's hot out, not sure what I'd do as you certainly don't want meat inside plastic for very long.
 

BuzzH

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Jan 9, 2001
Messages
12,033
Location
Laramie, WY
The best way I've found is to let the quarters/boned meat dry a bit before you put it in game bags.

I usually lay the quarters out on a tarp, clean rock, etc. and let the blood dry as much as possible. Then I put the quarters in a good quality game bag.

It doesn't keep all the blood out of the inside of a pack, but it keeps a vast majority out.

At the end of each hunting season, I clean my packs either in a power wash or let them soak in a utility sink for a day or so.

IMO, packing meat in an internal frame is the only way to fly...
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
Messages
1,167
Location
SD
I use heavy trash bags, Last year I forgot to restock after packing out an elk and the 2nd elk had to go straight into the pack, I had a dripping, bloody mess.

But with a little soap and water in the bath tub, I cannot even tell the pack had been bloody, No stains at all.


Not a big deal if you ask me.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Jun 8, 2009
Messages
3,773
Location
Allegan, MI
First, as we are dressing the animal out we make sure the meat is placed in the shade on a light weight space blanket so it starts to cool and somewhat drys like BuzzH mentioned. Then as we are ready to start hauling a load goes in breathable cloth bags. If it's warm sometimes we have to put it right into the bags to keep insects off. Then when we are ready for our first load we place a cloth bag or two of meat within one or two heavy plastic bags that haven't been treated with any chemicals like some garbage bags are. We then haul the load out and immediately remove the cloth bags and get rid of the plastic bags so the meat can continue to cool in the shade or coolers depending on whether it is cool enough to put into the latter. We use that method for carrying meat out inside a pack or on the one my buddy has with an outer shelf. The space blanket is easily wiped clean when we're done and it can be used over and over and it's always there for an emergency that it's designed for to begin with.
 
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Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
Messages
6,083
I also use the big black garbage bags. It's not ideal, but you just have to be cognizant that you can't have it in there longer than necessary if it isn't cool.
 

WHOCARES

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Jun 29, 2012
Messages
124
Location
northern Minnesota
I often haul meat inside my Alaskan pack. It's in game bags and put those in plastic bags when I remember just for the pack out and then inside the pack. Just soak the pack in cold water when you get home, maybe with a small amount of bleach, and thy clean up fine.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
572
I packed an antelope 2 years ago in my internal frame backpacking pack. Quartered the antelope, put it in game bags and let it sit while we had a casual lunch. Wiped the inside of the bag out with clorox wipes once back at camp and took the pack in the shower with dawn dish soap and a brush once home 2 days later and you would never know the difference.

If you don't have a Mystery Ranch style pack its the way to go for sure given how good internal packs can be had all day long for $100-200 from REI outlet, Sierra trading post and used packs off Craiglist.
 

HSi-ESi

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Nov 1, 2012
Messages
1,023
Location
Corvallis, MT
I usually do heavy plastic bags (after the meat has cooled) but this year I did pack out a sheep using only the Caribou game bags. I had forgotten plastic bags in camp that day.

We let the quarters hang for a bit to cool and dry - but it was a warm day. Shade and a bit of breeze helped out - then put them in the bags. I am a big believer in those bags now. When we got back to camp (after dark) I pulled the bags off the quarters and hung them up to dry. It was a cool night (mid-30's) and in the morning the meat was cold and the bags dry again.

I did have a bit of blood in the pack, but it cleaned up quickly. I'm sure if it was a dripping blood scenario I would have had more mess to clean up.

I liked the performance of the Caribou bags well enough that I'll probably skip the plastic bag, but I'll try to remember at least one for a backup....
 

glass eye

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Sep 3, 2012
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El Centro, CA
Forget about the plastic bags and what difference does the blood stains make. If the pack is for hunting, so what if it gets bloody. I just put the meat in game bags and into the pack. Plastic bags are not good for the meat unless it goes straight into a cooler.
 

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npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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3,510
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Lubbock, Texas
I've hauled meat inside a pack and I've hauled meat with a pack with a load sling and I much prefer the load sling. Not just from the perspective of keeping the inside of the pack clean, but actually getting the meat in and out of the pack and fitting odd sized things in the pack (like an elk head with antlers).

My pack with all my gear nice and clean inside and a boned out elk hind quarter on the load shelf.

 

RobG

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Dec 10, 2010
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4,838
Location
Bozeman, MT
The biggest problem I have with inside the pack is keeping the meat high up. If it sits in the bottom of the pack the balance is wrong and it feels extremely heavy. The hunting packs like mystery ranch are designed so the meat goes between the bag and the frame - that seems like the best. My meat shelf works well too if I don't have too much stuff in the pack.

As an aside, my son shot his elk in the neck and it didn't bleed out. I couldn't believe how bloody the meat was so try to do a good chest shot to bleed it out.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are
Cleaning a pack is about as simple as it gets.

Fill your tub up with lukewarm water and add a capful or two of Woolite. Oxi Clean works too.

Slosh the water around and add your pack. Slosh that around. Drink a beer or two or three.

Drain the tub and run the shower on your pack for about 5 minutes.

Clean everything up before your wife gets home.

Hang the pack for a couple of days.

You'll be amazed at the grime that comes out of the shoulder straps and waist belt.

Mine all get this procedure at the end of hunting season. For interim cleanings, if they're really bad, I just hit them with the garden hose and hang dry.
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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8,525
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WI
I use trash bags too. As long as its cold it helps slide the meat out of the pack bag
 

dustinf

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Jan 2, 2012
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Pittsburgh, PA
I put boned out meat in game bags, and then put the game bags inside my silnylon pack cover.

I carry the pack cover all the time, so it's not extra weight.
 

ric

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Jun 29, 2013
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79
Location
Central Idaho
WW II GI pack board, prefer my elk quartered and packed out, I never bone out. I use bed sheets from the goodwill. Wrap your quarters up tight and they will stay clean and flies cannot blow through the material. Tie them on 1 at a time, nice and tight, and you can haul an elk out of anywhere.
 

TheTone

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Sep 14, 2002
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ID
Cleaning a pack is about as simple as it gets.

Fill your tub up with lukewarm water and add a capful or two of Woolite. Oxi Clean works too.

Slosh the water around and add your pack. Slosh that around. Drink a beer or two or three.

Drain the tub and run the shower on your pack for about 5 minutes.

Clean everything up before your wife gets home.

Hang the pack for a couple of days.

You'll be amazed at the grime that comes out of the shoulder straps and waist belt.

Mine all get this procedure at the end of hunting season. For interim cleanings, if they're really bad, I just hit them with the garden hose and hang dry.
I pretty much do these exact things and have very minimal stains after packing multiple animals with a few of my packs. He is a smarter man than me cleaning the tub before the better half can find out. I guess that's why you make sure you have more than one bathroom in a home.
 

mtmiller

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Jul 7, 2001
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9,839
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Montana
I just hang it off the shower head and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes. Cleans up good enough for me.
 

sagebrush

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Dec 17, 2000
Messages
595
Location
Wittmann, AZ
My wife makes our game bags out of unbleached muslin. I place cooled, boned out meat in a muslin bag, then it goes into a waterproof bag designed for rafting (Boundary Waters) and the whole thing goes inside the pack. Once back at camp, I drain any blood out of the waterproof bag and return the meat into it and the whole thing goes into a cooler. A little cold water and bleach in the waterproof bag and its ready for the next season. Absolutely zero blood in or on the pack. I wash the muslin game bags in the family washing machine with cold water and bleach. They also come out clean and ready for another hunt. The muslin bags last 6-8 loads (about 5 years) before the bleach gets to them.
 
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