Blacks Creek Guide Gear Wilderness-proven packs and hunting gear 2017-06-18T04:56:26Z http://blacks-creek.com/feed/atom/ WordPress http://blacks-creek.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-bc-logo-app-icon-32x32.png Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Solution review]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=3582 2016-04-08T17:32:50Z 2015-07-02T15:41:16Z The post Solution review appeared first on Blacks Creek Guide Gear.

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Clay Allen]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=3140 2016-04-08T17:33:02Z 2014-04-03T08:34:03Z The post Clay Allen appeared first on Blacks Creek Guide Gear.

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Clay Allen

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Bowhunting.com Blacks Creek Antidote Backpack Review]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=3133 2016-04-08T17:33:13Z 2014-04-03T08:17:29Z Blacks Creek Antidote Backpack Review Posted by: Steve Flores on Mar 13, 2014 When it comes to the way I bow hunt whitetails I guess you could say the process is sort of an enigma. What I mean is when you compare the way I hunt to the way the rest of the Bowhunting.com staff…

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Blacks Creek Antidote Backpack Review

Posted by: Steve Flores on Mar 13, 2014

Steve FloresWhen it comes to the way I bow hunt whitetails I guess you could say the process is sort of an enigma. What I mean is when you compare the way I hunt to the way the rest of the Bowhunting.com staff does the most common denominator is the game we pursue. After that our tactics and methods begin to vary greatly.

For example, steep, rugged terrain is the norm for me every time I walk outside and head to a stand. There are no open fields to stroll across, no scenic views, and most often every piece of gear I have is strapped to my back in an effort to remain as cool as possible during my walk to the stand. Sometimes my hunting areas are so far off the beaten path that hunting them for a few hours simply isn’t an option. As a result, all day sits become the only logical way to hunt those stands and therefore even more gear must be brought along because I must prepare for a number of situations. I guess this explains my fetish for backpacks. I look at them the way my Bowhunting.com brothers might look at food plot seed or the latest piece of farm equipment. In short, they are vital to my success.

The Black Creek Antidote

If you are in the market for a high quality, American made backpack, do yourself a favor and give the Blacks Creek Antidote a look.

The Problem

For me, when it comes to hauling in my whitetail gear I typically look for a backpack that is built for a Western hunter because we are very much alike. That comparison might sound strange but until you’ve hunted where I hunt you can’t fully understand the similarities. You see, many of my whitetail hunts require trips into the rugged mountains of southern West Virginia and with that come the same difficulties that many Western hunters face.

In a nutshell, I need a pack that is lightweight, can securely carry all of my clothes, my essential gear, food, water and also my weapon. It must also balance the load evenly across my back; allowing me to move faster without inducing fatigue. My pack also needs to be tough enough to withstand bone-jarring ATV rides over rocky hillsides and keep everything dry when exposed to rain, snow and mud. In the event I arrow a buck too far from an access road, my pack of choice must also be built to handle a boned-out whitetail. As you can see, typical, run-of-the-mill “whitetail” packs rarely accompany me into the timber. I need a little something more.

Wearing the Antidote Backpack

No matter what your chasing, if you hunt in mountainous terrain there is a good chance that you rely on a quality backpack to get you and your gear in, and possibly a big-game animal out.

The Cure

Aptly named the Antidote, Blacks Creek introduces a backpack that meets all of the challenges that come with big-game hunting in the West, or in my case, whitetail hunting in the mountains. With a robust 3,000 cubic inches of carrying space the Antidote tips the scales at a scant 5 lbs. When you consider the loads this pack is capable of carrying and the amount of space available, this is a very impressive dry weight. Compare the numbers to some of the other popular models on the market and see for yourself how the Antidote stacks up.

The Comfort Factor

It is one thing to build a lightweight backpack that can carry a large load, but it’s an entirely different thing to build one that can carry a large load comfortably. One of the biggest issues with a poorly designed backpack is that the load tends to shift while walking and fatigue usually sets in after a short amount of time. The Antidote addresses this issue with an adjustable Butterfly Harness System. This system serves two purposes. One it allows the user to custom fit the pack to their frame and second, it evenly distributes the weight of the load across the upper back and meshes perfectly with the scapula.

The Butterfly Harness of the Antidote

With its adjustable butterfly harness system, the Antidote can be custom fit to different torso lengths. In addition, the system prevents load shift during transportation of meat, gear or both.

The Butterfly Harness is adjusted by opening up the Velcro closure located on the center core of the pack. Once opened, the harness can be adjusted by sliding the Velcro tab through the desired horizontal webbing rungs and then fastening the Velcro back to itself. The butterfly portion of the harness is designed to spread the weight across your scapulars evenly. When loaded down, this prevents the pack from teetering side to side; the less “teetering”, the less fatigue.

The Butterfly Harness of the Antidote

The Butterfly Harness really adds to the Antidotes stability. It is one of the best load carrying packs I’ve tested in recent memory.

I tested this feature with all of my gear, a 50 lb. dumbbell and my Mathews XS strapped to the pack. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the load to shift from side to side. The butterfly system seemed to do its job by preventing any lateral shifting of the weight. I do acknowledge that the 50 lbs. was concentrated in a small space; not evenly spread out the way you would normally find in a loaded down back pack. However, I still think the test was a good indication of the Antidote’s ability to handle a substantial load and do it effectively. In fact, I think had the load been spread out, the results would have been even more impressive.

The Pack, a weight and a bow

I placed a 50 lb. dumbbell in the pack and headed into the timber to test the strength and stability of the Antidote. I was pleased with the way the pack handled both.

Top Storage

Storage is abundant on the Antidote. Starting at the top of the pack users will find a detachable lid that offers storage capabilities on the outside and inside of the lid. This is good for Western hunters who decide to drop the main pack when closing in on game; allowing them to move faster and with less bulk and then return at a later time. For me, the detachable lid offers a different advantage. While I rarely stalk whitetails in the mountains (different story for a different time), I routinely carry a loaded pack into the stand with me. As I alluded to earlier, this usually entails a laundry list of items. The problem for me begins when I reach my stand.

Detachable Backpack Lid

While the detachable lid addresses one of my biggest concerns regarding the use of large backpacks while hunting whitetails, it also compresses the load vertically as well as expands upward; allowing even more storage space when items are loaded into the main compartment.

Most often, when hanging a stand in hill country you will discover that you are not always above the whitetails line of sight. What I mean, is in steep terrain there are instances that I shoot whitetails that are standing directly in front of me; despite the fact that I’m 20 feet up in a treestand! Try to picture that for a moment. So, depending on the direction deer approach, there are times when they are looking directly in my eyes while I’m in the stand.

Therefore, it only stands to reason that any extra “baggage” hanging off of the tree will easily be spotted. So, while I need a large pack going in and out of my hunting locations, I absolutely hate to have that same pack hanging off of the side of the tree with me; increasing the odds that I get busted. The detachable lid solves this problem beautifully.

Main Storage Features

The Antidote provides easy access to the main compartment by means of opening the weather guard collar located on the top of the pack. The weather guard collar also expands upward (in tandem with the detachable lid) which also increases loading capacity. The collar is closed using a drawstring system and seems very durable.

Assessing the Backpack

The main compartment of the pack is accessible through the top of the pack and is a perfect location for elk quarters, camera equipment, clothing or anything else you want to haul.

One of my favorite features of the Antidote is the side entry, vertical zippers located on each side of the pack. This allows access into the main compartment even while the lid is closed and compressed. Gone are the days when you have to remove everything inside of the pack in order to find that one item you need (usually located in the bottom). Instead, simply unzip one of the side-entry zippers and you can quickly access your item of choice no matter where it is located. Also, these dual, straight, vertical zippers allow entry into the pack without the need to remove your weapon. ANTIDOTE 7 The side entry zippers located on both sides of the pack insures quick and easy access to the contents inside; dumbbell not included.

In addition to the main storage compartment, the Antidote comes with an optics pocket which is located on the exterior face of the pack. This pocket comes with dual zippers and can be opened from the top or the bottom. Inside the optics pocket are two additional pockets perfect for smaller items that you wish to keep close at hand. Located on the outside of the optics pocket are two additional storage pockets.

The Optics Pocket

The optics pocket is large enough to handle spotting scopes or even camera arms depending on what your situation calls for.

The outside of the pack comes with 6 compression straps which is great. In my opinion you can never have too many compression straps. And, in order to keep everything nice and neat, the excess strap material tucks neatly away in a simple, Velcro enclosure system. When the load gets heavy, users will appreciate the load lifting and load shifting straps located at the top of the pack attached to the frame.

These straps adjust to lift the weight of the load upward and relieve pressure from your shoulders and hips. The waist belt on the Antidote has a similar system that attaches to the frame and pulls the weight inward toward the hips. I experimented and played around with this system until I found the most comfortable position while the pack was loaded. A little adjustment here and there really did make a difference in how the load felt.

Improvements

No pack is perfect so I’m not going to act like this one is. However, it is dang near close. If I could change one thing about the Antidote it would be to replace the bed roll straps with those that have a snap closure. The current bed roll straps force the user to compress clothing (or whatever else is being hauled) and slide it in between the straps. Even worse, if you choose to undo the strap and open it up, you have to compress the load while fidgeting to run the strap back through the clip, then pull and secure the load.

In my experience, it is much easier, not to mention allows bulker items to be used, when you can lay your bed roll or clothing across open straps, compress the load, snap the closure, and then simply pull the compression straps further if needed. All of the other compression straps on the pack come with snap closures except for the bed roll straps. I agree this is not a major worry but something I would like to see changed.

Full Picture of Open Backpack

The Antidote is also capable of carrying your bow or rifle thanks to the removable weapons boot.

Overall Impressions

While Blacks Creek may not have the latest celebrity spokesperson endorsing their packs that doesn’t mean they are producing sub-par equipment; quite the contrary. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a more rugged, highly functional back pack that is also lightweight and carries heavy loads with as much ease as the Antidote. This pack will perform anywhere a heavy load is the rule. That might be on a Western bow hunting adventure for elk or in your very own steep, rugged back yard. Either way, Blacks Creek has the Antidote for whatever situation you find yourself in. Don’t overlook them. The MSRP $350

 

KEY SPECS

  • 3,000 CUBIC INCHES
  • 5 LBS
  • 1000D Cordura or 3 Layer Tricot fabric construction
  • YKK Zippers
  • Internal Frame
  • 9 Pockets
  • Possum Tail zipper pulls
  • Bow/Gun Boot
  • R7-2 waist belt
  • MSRP $350

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Austin’s take on the Solution back pack]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=2756 2016-04-08T17:32:36Z 2013-12-23T12:43:19Z For a busy 2013 season of guiding, hunting, and packing I chose to use the Remedy 7 Solution pack by Blacks Creek Guide Gear. The pack was able to fit my guiding needs from day hunts in the desert for Coues’ Deer all the way up to backpack, week-long trips for Alaska Dall Sheep. Here…

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Austin dall sheep2013

For a busy 2013 season of guiding, hunting, and packing I chose to use the Remedy 7 Solution pack by Blacks Creek Guide Gear. The pack was able to fit my guiding needs from day hunts in the desert for Coues’ Deer all the way up to backpack, week-long trips for Alaska Dall Sheep. Here are the 4 highlights of the pack in my view;

Fit: The feel of the Grip Frame on my back and waist feels more comfortable than any pack I have previously used. With the adjustable support and strap designs, the Solution always tucked in tight to my back, allowing for stable support under heavy loads.

Straps: At first glance you will notice the Solution has more straps than you may have ever seen on a backpack before. After using the pack and placing your gear in the desired pouches, the straps tighten down to make everything feel secure and solid. After the kill when the work begins, there are plenty of straps to secure your load, extra gear, meat, hide, and antlers so that extra rope is not needed.

Bag: The Solution bag is made out of a thick material that can handle sliding down shale rock chutes and being drug through thick alder brush. The full length side storage pockets allow me to store my 80mm spotting scope securely on one side and my tripod on the other. On overnight trips my sleeping bag gets tucked into the bottom pocket which is designed to compress a sleeping bag and keep it protected. However, on day trips, my wet rain gear is stored in the lower pocket, making it separate from the dry gear and readily accessible when that thunderstorm comes rolling in.

Frame Expansion: August 10th, opening day of the Dall Sheep season, I found myself 8 miles from spike camp with a happy client and a dead Dall ram. Other guides asked me before the trip, how will you carry meat out with just a 4800 cu in pack? Well the secret is in the frame. The Solution bag is simply unzipped, exposing the frames internal strap system. I lowered the entire load of sheep meat into my game bag, and tucked it against the frame, between the bag and the Grip frame. The straps are plenty long, allowing me to secure 75+ pounds of meat tight in between the bag. Cinch the bag up to the meat and you are ready to go! In 8 miles of up and down with the full load, the meat never shifted or sagged.

This Solution backpack and the Grip frame will haul all that you can throw at it with plenty of straps and support to make it comfortable. The backpacks made by Blacks Creek Guide Gear leave no personal modifications to be made and are ready for the most grueling hunts you can take them on. It is the Solution for all the backpack complaints and troubles you have ever had.


Austin A Atkinson
Professional Guide

Austin 2013

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Dave Acosta, Arizona Desert Ram]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=2729 2016-04-08T17:35:22Z 2013-12-04T08:35:33Z Thx again for the pack, I’m definitely going to be using your products from here on out .I was amazed on how comfortable the solution felt with the ram’s head and cape in it plus all my additional equipment. I packed my ram out of the wilderness 2.5 miles and the solution made it a…

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Dave Acosta 5

Thx again for the pack, I’m definitely going to be using your products from here on out .I was amazed on how comfortable the solution felt with the ram’s head and cape in it plus all my additional equipment. I packed my ram out of the wilderness 2.5 miles and the solution made it a very easy hike. I have put the pack thru 5 months of scouting and thru two different hunts now and the pack has held up to everything. Excellent pack and would highly recommend to anybody that is serious about hunting.

 

Dave Acosta

ArizonaDesert Ram

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Dusty Bourasa put’s the “CURE” lumbar pack to the test]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=2717 2016-04-08T17:36:22Z 2013-11-20T19:55:34Z How often do we find ourselves searching through the Magazines or forums reading articles and listening to others opinions on products that are new and improved?  We all have our likes and dislikes on items.  We depend on our fellow brothers and sisters in the outdoors to give us their feedback on products so we…

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DSCN2969

How often do we find ourselves searching through the Magazines or forums reading articles and listening to others opinions on products that are new and improved?  We all have our likes and dislikes on items.  We depend on our fellow brothers and sisters in the outdoors to give us their feedback on products so we can make a choice on what item will be best suited for your type of ventures.
My name is Dusty Bourasa and I have been a Pro-Staffer for Blacks Creek for quite some time.  I have had the opportunity to be involved in a lot of the products that have been born from this great company.  We as staffers put in our ideas to make the best products that we can and keep the products that we make on the cutting edge.  We are an American made product and proud of it.
This year I was asked to try out one of the new packs that came out for the 2013 product line up.  This new pack is called the “Cure”.  This sweet little gem is a fanny style pack that offers 1200 cubic inches of storage in the main compartment and 9 smaller storage components that can be used for storing any kind of knick knacks that you choose.  This product also features to side pockets that can be used for water containers or just whatever you decide to put in them.  The “Cure” features a R7-2 waist belt with a full lower lumbar support and a shoulder harness.  Now this sounds like most fanny style packs on the market right?  Wrong!  We at Blacks Creek have gone one step farther.  We have added a meat shelf to this fanny pack.  Yes, you have read this correctly, a meat shelf.
I am one that would prefer to use a day/fanny style pack above all others.  They are simple, small, and when it is hot out, you do not have as much surface area covering your torso.  I sweat like a canary at a cat convention so that is why I choose this style of pack.  But like a lot of you out there in the hunting world, you have to take another pack with you just in case you harvest an animal.  How many times have we wished that we had our frame with us in the field to save one trip off of the mountain?  I know that I have thought of ways to carry out a load on my older style fanny packs.  I used the bow/rifle pocket to support the leg bones of a quarter and then the strap on top to secure the heavy end.  Just to save that one extra trip. Talk about rough on a guy.
No more do I have to worry about this problem.  I used this pack to its fullest capability that it was designed for and even more.  I did my normal early season archery for mule deer and shanked a dandy 185 4×4 muley in full velvet and also was blessed to kill a small bull elk.  The pack fit like a great pair of Armani shoes and its features were stellar.  But the best test was when I packed my bull out.   It took me five trips to get my bull out of the abyss that I had killed him in.  Sure, I could have made my loads heavier but why burn your body up.  I also could have made the 3 mile hike back to the rig and get my “Solution” with a grip frame but I chose to use this pack and really put it to the test.  I removed the main compartment by simply unzipping the zippers on either side of the pack and detached two buckles.  This will expose the interior meat shelf that we have designed in the pack.  Simply undo the four small buckles and lay the load supports to each side.  This fabric is made of 1000D Cordura and is stitched into the frame itself.  The lower meat shelf made of the same material will lie facing you.  Simply put your load of choice on the frame.  Then take the two side wings and buckle them together and tighten them with your load adjustment straps.  Then take the lower wing of the pack and simply attach the buckles at the top and use your load straps to tighten.  Every load that I packed that day felt good on my back.  No hip fatigue or sourness to my shoulders.  Even on the last load of loose meat and the head, it wore like a glove.
I did tell you that I put it to the test on the elk hunt but I even went one step farther.  I was fortunate enough to do a Rocky Mountain Goat hunt with a couple of buddies.  We hiked into the mountains about 12 miles round trip every day.   On the second day of our hunt towards the afternoon we found 2 very large Billies bedded in an alpine basin.  After a short stalk and final judgment, we had a 52 and 1/8 inch Billy on the ground.  One of my buddies used my “Solution” and I used my “Cure”.  He packed a front and hind quarter and my friend Ed packed the other.  I packed the loose meat and the full head and hide of this majestic beast.  I did not take a weight of this pack but I am going to say that it was in the 70 pound range.  Now this pack is not designed for heavy loads, but if it was going to fail (broken buckles or other connectors) it would have done it on this trip.  I have news for you folks, it handled that trip flawlessly.

So now that Christmas is just around the corner and you are looking for that perfect gift, come check out the New “Cure” from Blacks Creek.
Whether you hunt from a tree or the ground, this pack will meet every requirement that you will need in the field.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review.  I have used this pack and guarantee you will love it
American Made and American Strong!

Dusty Bourasa, Oregon

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Travis Long review of the Alternative pack]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=2667 2016-04-08T17:37:49Z 2013-11-13T16:12:12Z   The 2013 big game hunting season is all but in the bag, with all its ups and downs! One of the highlights of the 2013 hunting season for me wasn’t necessarily the tags placed on big game, which was great, but rather the new pack that I had the pleasure of using this season!…

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Travis long 3-RS

 

The 2013 big game hunting season is all but in the bag, with all its ups and downs! One of the highlights of the 2013 hunting season for me wasn’t necessarily the tags placed on big game, which was great, but rather the new pack that I had the pleasure of using this season! I was fortunate enough to pick up the Remedy 7 (R7) Alternative pack to start my year off right! I have used several packs over the years and have liked most of them; however, the one thing I would complain about all of them was the fact that I had to take two packs with me on every hunting trip. One for packing around my gear and one for hauling out meat, if I was on foot, I hated that because that generally meant hiking back down off the mountain to grab the frame pack after putting an animal on the ground. Well, the R7 Alternative was a game changer this year! Equipped with the Grip Frame, the Alternative is the all-in-one solution to my plight of taking two packs with me on hunting trips!

When I first saw the Grip Frame I was impressed, to say the least! At first glance I didn’t even notice the ingenious feature, but once I was shown how it worked I was stoked to get out there and use it! With 3,000 cubic inches of space to put all my gear, I loaded it up and I was ready to go! To add to the great features like the Grip Frame, I immediately noticed how comfortable the Alternative was when loaded down with my gear. The six compression straps made it easy to fit the pack snug to my back and adjust to my comfort level. I tend to carry a lot of weight in my pack because I like to go prepared. So when I went on my first hunting trip of the season at the end of August I was loaded down with camping and hunting gear. No matter what pack you have weight is weight and it will wear on the legs, but with the Alternative I noticed a significant difference in comfort compared to previous packs I had. After putting on roughly 13 miles our first trip in I was completely sold on the R7 line of packs!

Later in the season I was able to put the Grip Frame to use on a buddy’s bull by helping him pack out his cape and some meat. The Grip Frame worked like a charm! I love the way the main compartment zips off the Grip Frame and how easily it clips back on once the frame is loaded. In the future if I decide I need more cubic inches for more gear I can easily upgrade to the Solution pack by just buying the main compartment and zip it right to the Grip Frame!

The Grip Frame, compression straps, pockets, comfort, and high quality material are just some of the selling points of this pack. Versatility is what it’s all about and with the R7 line that’s what you get! I recommend every hunter out there try one of Blacks Creek Remedy 7 packs. You won’t be disappointed! To top it all off, all the Blacks Creek packs are made right here in the USA!

Travis Long

HuntAddicts.com
Antler Addicts Anonymous
Idaho Deer Alliance

Travis long 6-RS

Travis long 7-RS

Travis long 4-RS

Travis long 5-RS

Travis long 8-RS

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Eastman’s Hunting Journal]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=2379 2016-04-08T17:43:56Z 2013-08-20T18:35:57Z Eastman’s Hunting Journal    /   Hardcore Field test     Get the full story from Eastman’s Hunting Joural   EHJ138_64-71    

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Eastman’s Hunting Journal    /   Hardcore Field test

EHJ138_64-71-1

 

 

Get the full story from Eastman’s Hunting Joural   EHJ138_64-71

 

 

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Pro-Staffer Dioni Amuchastegui and the Solution Backpack]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=1882 2016-04-08T17:46:26Z 2012-12-20T15:42:04Z The remedy 7 solution pack has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of equipment. Over the course of my last hunting season I have become intimately familiar with this pack and truly believe it is one piece of gear that will outlast me in rough unforgiving country. This year I was fortunate enough to…

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The remedy 7 solution pack has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of equipment. Over the course of my last hunting season I have become intimately familiar with this pack and truly believe it is one piece of gear that will outlast me in rough unforgiving country. This year I was fortunate enough to pack out 4 bears, 2 elk, and 3 mule deer. I train all year to be able to hunt hard and carry heavy loads and in the past have been left frustrated when my limiting factor is gear. This year I have been able to say that I am using a pack that can truly outperform me in rough country.

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The grip frame on the solution pack is by far my favorite feature because it allows me so much versatility. We all aim to be successful in harvesting the game we pursue and carrying a pack that isn’t up to the task when we are met with our goal makes no sense to me. When I set out to pack in my camp, my solution is up to the task. When I leave my tent in the morning for a long day of hunting, the solution is up to the task. When I am met with success and have an animal to pack out, I have the pack for the job. I find great comfort and security in having so much confidence in my gear.  While packing out my deer on the grip frame with all of the boned out meat, my solution bag attached, with all my gear in it and the rack and cape attached to that I realized that all frames aren’t created equal. I have packed with both internal and rigid aluminum/steel frames and this frame is like nothing before it. It has every bit of the strength of a rigid metal exterior frame but moves with you like an internal frame pack. This allowed me to comfortably carry more weight than ever before. More impressive to me after hours of packing it was still comfortable to carry. The shoulder straps didn’t feel like they were cutting through me and the weight still felt like it was distributed comfortably across my back and torso. There are many more features to this pack but these are what makes this pack one of my most trusted favorite pieces of gear.

Dioni Amuchastegui

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Sam Swenson <![CDATA[Dusty’s take on the Solution]]> http://blacks-creek.com/?p=1576 2016-04-08T17:47:29Z 2012-10-26T18:14:16Z Wow!  What an awesome year of Archery hunting for this Oregon boy.  I have been truly blessed having the opportunity to harvest a great mule deer buck with my kids by my side, an Antelope that grossed B&C and two nice bull elk. When we all prepare for our hunting seasons which in some ways…

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Wow!  What an awesome year of Archery hunting for this Oregon boy.  I have been truly blessed having the opportunity to harvest a great mule deer buck with my kids by my side, an Antelope that grossed B&C and two nice bull elk.
When we all prepare for our hunting seasons which in some ways is year around, we have to depend on our equipment and put those items through rough and rigger tests to make sure that they preform to our expectations.  Early this spring, I had the chance to test out the new R7 suspension system that was being designed by the folks at Blacks Creek.  It was exciting to be a part of the design phase of the suspension system and put in my two cents on likes and dislikes.


Marcus Flesher wrote a good blog on the website awhile back.  He made a comment that hit home and really puts things into perspective for me.  He had said in his blog post that he didn’t think there would ever be a pack that he would consider the perfect pack.  I have to agree with his statement.  Is there a perfect pack?  That is going to depend on who you ask.  Everyone will have their own thoughts and opinions on what they want.  Usually that has to do with the frame work of the person that is going to be using it.  I was able to put the new R7 “Solution” with the “Grip” frame to use this year and I would like to share with you my overall thoughts.

The Solution is 4800 cubic inches and has one main cell compartment with a top access and also a center access through the front.  It has side pockets for a spotting scope and tripod.  The Solution also offers a lid with storage and another cell that can be detached or attached to the outside of the pack.  The Solution has many options for organizing your equipment and is a day pack or a back country pack in one.  All the buckles on this pack are military grade buckles.  This allows you to compress the pack to secure your load without fear of breaking them.
Did I get to pack large loads of meat this year with it?  No!  I was fortunate enough to harvest my animal near an easy access point and was able to load the animal into a pickup which is usually not my luck.  Although I am confident that it would have exceeded my expectations if I had needed it to haul my critters off the mountain.  I put 85 pounds on the suspension while testing this product this spring and I know that it would have done just fine.

I work for an outfitter in the state of Oregon and I spend about forty of my hunting season days working for him.  I used the Solution while guiding hunters this year.  As a guide, you have to make sure you take extra food and fluids for your hunters.  The Solution offers a pocket for a water bladder (on the inside of the main cell). I have a 100 ounce bladder that I use but I also pack about 2 gallons of water and other liquids for my hunter and food for a day of hard hunting.  You may not think that’s much weight, but it will surprise you if you add that up. I weighed my pack one morning and with all of the items that I needed for a day of hunting it weighed in at 49 pounds.  It fit my body so well that I never would have guessed that I was packing that amount of weight.  It makes you think about how packs should fit your style of hunting and even more, your body.
The suspension on the Grip Frame adjusts to your body as easy as pie.  If you are using the pack with a minimal amount of weight, then you adjust it to ride on your waist line by moving the lumbar support in the center of the pack.  If you add more weight to your pack, I have found that you can adjust your lumbar support to a smaller setting which will allow you to keep the weight off of your hips and prevent hip fatigue.

I still sit back and think about what Marcus put on his blog about R7 packs.  As I said above, I do agree with his comment.  For now, I would have to really look hard to find a pack that tops my R7 Solution.

Dusty Bourasa

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