Question: I am so confused about pack frames. I’ve been watching video after video on Youtube in an effort to discern what these things are used for. I’m still not quite sure. I know that backpacks and rucksacks are used with bushcraft and camping, but why does someone need anything beyond that? Are pack frames used when someone doesn’t have a backpack? So if they roll their gear up in their blanket or tarp, they can attach it straight to the pack frame? I’ve seen a video where someone attached their actual rucksack to their pack frame, but in this case, I’m not sure why they did that. If they already had the backpack, why do they need the frame as well?
The only purposes I can see for a frame is to carry firewood and a hunting kill. Please educate me here because I’m trying to get a handle on all the gear that’s necessary for a productive hike, camping trip and bushcraft adventure into the woods. Thank you in advance!
Answer: You are almost there. Yes, many folks use pack frames or just frames for collecting firewood and hauling their load back to camp. Using a frame makes this chore exponentially more efficient. Hunters also use frames to haul their kill back to their truck or vehicle. They’re actually used for all sorts of things. The ALICE pack, for example, is used in conjunction with a frame. That’s just how it was built. I own the Sandpiper Pack Mule frame and I do all sorts of things with it. If I’m going to hike to camp, I attach my backpack to it and bring it along to use with firewood collection as well as a seat. Yes, a seat folds out of it and I sit on that thing for hours. It’s actually quite comfortable.
Answer: Dave Canterbury talks about using a pack frame for hunting as well as to carry gear along with a bedroll. Frames aren’t nearly as popular these days with some types of outdoors people as they were in the past because of alternatives, but they are still very versatile and of good use. Dave likes the Roycroft frame, frames from Cabela’s and Bull Pac. He really likes the Bull Pac frame. Apparently, it’s extremely durable and it also has a lifetime warranty.
The thing is, you can carry tons of weight with these frames, so if you’re out in the woods or someplace else that requires you to carry heavy items, you can do it much easier on your back with a frame. Just imagine trying to carry something without one. I’ll leave a video in this post for you to look at, but I’ll tell you that in it, you can see people using frames to carry leaf blowers, packs of roofing shingles, hunting kills, deer and moose sheds, lots of camping gear and machinery. They’re pretty great. Don’t forget about archery gear and guns for hunting.