Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 22

I say it a lot, but I am hard on gear. I don’t shy away from bad weather conditions to get outdoors. I go to some hard-to-reach places. I go to places that punish gear through harsh terrain. If a piece of gear can stay with me for years and years and never waver from its purpose, I have nothing but admiration for it.

This particular pack is from Bass Pro Shops. It is the Extreme Qualifier 360 model. It’s $29.99 and worth every nickel. (I like to support local stores and North American manufacturers, but I couldn’t find a style of pack like this by any of them.)

I do a lot of portaging and hiking to fishing spots. I can’t even get into how much hiking I do in the fall hunting birds. It’s nice to have your hands free from carrying a tackle box or other gear.

The pack has two main compartments, which can be separated to make two smaller packs. There are four main pocket areas that can hold a ridiculous amount of gear such as pliers, sharpening stones, terminal tackle, spare clothes, food … the list goes on and on. It also has a few secondary hidden pockets for extra gear.

The pack holds ten 360 Plano boxes if you are straight up cramming just lures into it. It’s not the most comfortable pack, but it is decent enough to not kill your back with a day of hard hiking through swamps and up hills while chasing wild game.

Even when I am fishing in a big motor boat, I haul the pack onboard. It’s become part of me.

I’m happy with the way it worked out for me. I’m glad I didn’t loose control and send the pack back and wait for the other model. I did, about two years later, buy the pack I originally wanted. I tried it a few times and actually hated it. It wasn’t for me and I sold it at a yard sale.

Things have a funny way of working out sometimes. If you’re looking for a cheaper backpack that can handle some tough conditions and abuse year after year and throughout the seasons, I would recommend looking at this pack closely. It has withstood the test of time and use and abuse.

"It’s easy. The pack kicks ass. Plain and simple."