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11/27/2011 11:54 AM
 

This was asked on another thread, but it deserves it's own thread. This past weekend was an excellent example of (almost) maxing out a Tarahumara. I was headed over to the in-laws for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Without question my Kit Bag was going. In times past, I've taken a larger belted day pack as well. This time, I decided to see if I could meet the trips's outdoor needs with the Tarahumara. I knew it would stow far more easily than a belted day pack. Here's the scenario --

Crossing a snowy pass where I might want to go mobile if the car got stuck. Even in the unlikely event that we got stuck, it would be even more unlikely that leaving the car on foot was the right thing to do. But hey... these are the things we think about. Once at the in-laws house, the scenario changed to at least a couple of times getting out in the morning hiking in rural city parks. The kinds of parks where you are on a single track trail, in the woods, and climbing a few hundred feet of elevation in rainy and windy weather to get to the top of a butte. The belted pack is definitely overkill for a hike like this, and has never failed to elicit comments from other hikers when they saw me. At the same time, one of the buttes I like to hike is a place where I *might* see one other hiker and if I slipped and injured myself on the slick and rocky terrain of a seldom used trail, I might have to hunker down for three or so hours waiting for help to arrive after I place a cell phone call.  So, to cover these scenarios, I went with a heavier and more prepared load than I would normally have in the Tara:

  • half quart hydro-flask on one side pocket
  • .75 quart bike bottle in other side pocket
  • .75 quart bike bottle on left shoulder
  • My main backcountry first aid kit (bigger and heavier than little day kit)
  • Possibles overflow bag (sharpening steel, secondary fire starters, bug dope, purification tabs, etc.)
  • lightweight short gaiters
  • softshell gloves
  • heavy weight beanie
  • HPG Mountain Serape
  • TP and hand sanitizer
  • Lightweight raincoat lashed to the bottom with the p-cord compression
  • two spare pistol mags in pouches clipped to the outside compression straps
  • If I was willing to spend the $40, I also would have had one of those titanium cups that nests over the bottom of a bicycle bottle. Wish someone made a $5 aluminum version.

This left me prepared for quite a bit. There was also nothing under the two compression straps, so I still had a lot more capacity if need be. The Serape was definately the bulky item that took up most of the space and required a little bit of finessing to zip in. On the other hand, it is big enough to wrap around a whole family, and will give one person a significant amount of shelter from the elements. The shell material sheds water exceptionally well. I was very happy with this particular load for the week long trip. This morning, back on the dry side, we went out for a hike in the desert and I was still carrying this same load. I went on ahead and slid a trapper length 30-30 into the slot pocket and took it along as well. Even with this very full load in the Tara, it still carried the carbine comfortably.

On a normal basis, I'm not looking for the Tarahumara to accomplish as much. If out for a wilderness hike, I've probably got the larger belted daypack with a more dedicated day and a half load in it, so the Tara is more about what to grab for a short hike or mountain bike ride. It's also nice to fill in those gaps where I'm not even carrying a Kit Bag - walk in the park with the kids, you want some water, a coat and snacks. Here's what stays packed in the Tara on a normal basis for this scenario:

  • multi-lens glasses for mountain biking
  • softshell gloves
  • cabelas insulator jacket
  • (2) .75 quart bike bottles, one on each side (the third would be in the bottle cage on the bike)
  • TP and sanitizer
  • day hiker style first aid kit
  • low cut softshell gaiters
  • secondary fire starter kit
  • spare contractors bag
  • purification tabs

When you add this to what's in my Kit Bag, it makes for a pretty complete kit, capable of handling overnight emergencies.

Come summertime, or for more desert adventures, the side pockets will carry dual 1.5quart nalgenes.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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11/27/2011 9:10 PM
 

Good timing on this thread.  I took some time off from work for the holiday and managed to fit in some grouse hunting/hiking with the Tara.  I took some pics of my loadout for such trips.  I also have been doing a little comparison between the Tara and the Kifaru E&E so I will briefly highjack the thread if you don't mind Evan.

I am a longtime user of the Kifaru E&E.  As it's name implies, it is a perfect Escape and Evade pack for those needing such a thing.  The 1000d and PALS make it great for very hard use by soldiers and some LEOs.  Although it is just a big pocket that can be converted to a pack, it has seen great success as a full-time backpack by many civilians.  I even converted the stock "seatbelt" shoulder straps to the padded "X-Ray" straps since all I used it for was a backpack.  


Here are some side-by-side photos of the EE and Tara.  Noticed I removed the Tara's compression straps.  I have them in the bottom of the pack in case they are needed.


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Note the width of the HPG shoulder harness compared to the EE's X-ray straps.  This greater width, along with the "yoke" shape, drapes and distributes the load incredibly well over the shoulders and across the top of the back.  With no suspension on these packs, this is the only place to put the load.  
Photobucket

Now back to the subject of this post.  I spent all summer trying to figure how best to carry a light load (under 10 lbs).  We all know the efficiency and comfort of having a pack suspension that will transfer weight off the shoulders and to the hips.  In keeping with this philosophy, I tried many lumbar packs.  They certaintly work, but I found I actually prefer carrying weight on my shoulders provided it is below about 15 lbs and the pack straps distribute the load properly.  I like having nothing on my hips except a pistol and spare mag, which I am accustomed to.  For me and my use, I have found the Tara is the best carry method for light loads.  


This load is about 9lbs not counting the rifle or pistol.  The rifle in the slot pocket adds about 6.5 lbs. (at least until Brockman's gets ahold of it)
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Contents:

  • 17oz of water in a Platy
  • Basic personal survival kit
  • First aid kit
  • Jeboil stove, mug, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Fixed Blade Knife (Skookum Bush Tool)
  • Leather gloves
  • Tyvek ground cloth (military evasion map)
  • Pocket camera, headlamp
  • Integral Designs sil poncho
  • Kifaru small pod on bottom of Tara holds a Kifaru Parka and Windshirt

A great feature of the Tara is that it has p-cord on the bottom of the pack for strapping.  Here is a pic of a stuff sack containing a parka under the cord.  The p-cord passes through loops of webbing that are also perfect for mounting a Kifaru pod using some split SRBs and Slik Clips.  On the EE I was forced to dock the pod to the front of the pack.  Placing the pod beneath the pack puts the weight closer to my CG.
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KU small pod.
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I like to use the cordura pod for the better abrasion protection.
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Here is a .357 levergun with 18" barrel in the slot.  A bit top heavy with this barrel length but it is comfortable, does not slop, and is easily drawn.
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The Tarahumara is a great pack!

 

 
New Post
11/27/2011 9:13 PM
 

 Great post.

As an individual eager to purchase both the Tarahumara and Gear Kit Bag this is something of great intrigue. Items currently in my TAD Litespeed that I'd hope to move into the Tarahumara & Kit bags would be:

  • MSR Hyperflow
  • Sm.-Md. FAK
  • ESEE 3
  • A few small hanks of P-Cord
  • Nalgene w/ GSI Cup
  • Possibles
    • Fire Striker, Matches, Lighter
    • Compass
    • SAK
    • Flashlight
    • Sharpener
  • Rain Jacket --or-- Poncho
  • Socks
  • Beanie
  • Leupold 8x25 binocs
  • Space blanket
  • Survival kit

I'm sure I will need to add/subtract things as needed, but for now those are my hopes.
 

 
New Post
11/27/2011 10:09 PM
 

 Mahalo guys!  Great information.

 
New Post
11/30/2011 7:19 AM
 

Great report ! Can you tell me the overall length of your rifle in the last pic ?

 
New Post
11/30/2011 8:05 PM
 

The Marlin 1894c is 36" overall length.  I have to admit, when I first saw the picture on the HPG website of a gun in the slot pocket of the Tara I laughed.  But after trying it out myself on several day hunts with a Marlin 1894c, a Henry's Lever Action .22 Youth, and a Springfield M6 survival gun, it actually works pretty well.  I think the flat nature of these guns makes them the best for this kind of carry.

 
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12/1/2011 10:00 AM
 

 Not sure if anyone's seen this, but here's a good review with some good shots and comparisions from a member over at Bladeforums.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/903009-HPG-(Hill-People-Gear)-Tarahumara-Pack-and-Runners-Kit-Bag?highlight=hill+people

 
New Post
12/4/2011 2:07 PM
 

Those lever guns look pretty cool in the slot pocket- but hauling 6.5 lbs of metal and wood is not ideal for me. I was trying to fit my 10/22 in there and thought about a modification to try.

I think I might cut a hole at the bottom of the slot pocket to allow the barrel rifle to pass through. This would allow the rifle it nest low better aganst my back instead of being so top heavy. Not to mention whacking every branch I walk under. I am going to hand sew some hypalon reinforcement fabric around the cut out hole to produce some abrasion resistance of the cordura material.

This would be a nice added feature on the Tara version 2- but I am not sure how to carry a rifle without this modification- any other ideas before I potentially ruin my Tara?

 
New Post
12/4/2011 3:38 PM
 

I'm hesitant to recommend this. I guess you've got to figure out what you're trying to optimize for. If you have a slot in the bottom, now you can't be assured that other items will not fall out the bottom if you're not using it for rifle carry. If you've got a front sight on your rifle, you've got to worry about that getting hung up on the way out of the slot as well. If you go ahead with it, don't just cut a hole in the fabric. Get a ripper/picker from a sewing store (~$2) and take the edge binding and part of the seam out to create the opening. This way it can all be sewn back together with no damage if the experiment doesn't work out. Heck, send it to me and I'll re-sew it for you with my heavy machine if need be.

I really think of the rifle carry feature as an unexpected bonus if you happen to have a trapper length lever action (everybody should of course), not one of the main features of the Tarahumara.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
12/5/2011 5:48 PM
 

I was thinking about this also. I have a Win 94 Trapper and just picked up an 1894C (also have a 39D). My thought was if there was some way to sew a dump pouch like piece 3-4 inches (maybe longer?) or so in length x the width needed that would be great. It would allow not only the levers to seat further but also my Model 7, T/C Contender Carbine, Noveske, etc. (all are close I'm just not comfortable with them protruding as much as they do) and you'd be able to roll and stash it in the main pocket unless needed. Hell the right size pocket with a secure way of closing it up would be ideal for my rifles in the fall plus a 4 piece 4wt rod in the spring. I'm sure you could find more uses for the extension it would just be nice to be able to secure it closed when not needed. i guess the key would closure of the pocket and making sure the extension wasn't detrimental to the purpose of the pack.

It may have started off as a nice bonus feature but definitley has merit. It's a great pack, 2 liters of water, food for the day and some emergency gear plus the ability to hike or ride in to a fishing spot, hunting area, etc. with your rod or small rifle would be awesome.  

Spence

 
New Post
12/5/2011 6:33 PM
 

Are you guys aware of this product?:

http://www.eberlestock.com/H1%20Mini-Me.htm


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
12/5/2011 10:36 PM
 

 My Tarahumara and Gear Bag arrived today, I'm going to test some loadouts now and will post my findings.

Oh, I'm not sure who packed the bag, but I have no ideas how you got both items in a box that small. Kudos.

 
New Post
12/5/2011 10:50 PM
 

Delkancott wrote Oh, I'm not sure who packed the bag, but I have no ideas how you got both items in a box that small. Kudos.

Waste not, want not! Look forward to seeing your loadouts.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
12/6/2011 9:45 AM
 

evanhill wrote

Are you guys aware of this product?:

http://www.eberlestock.com/H1%20Mini-Me.htm

 

Compaired to your pack, the "Mini-me" seems like its got another 2 pounds of features for the "Transformer" fans.   The  backpack scabbard/daypack  dose have a real appeal.

From the video, it seems that if the Tarahumara had one layer of nylon added at the back, to form a tunnel, and properly  placed buckles, it could be "Elberstock compatable"  

 
New Post
12/6/2011 10:31 AM
 

You can attach an Eberlestock scabbard to the Tarahumara, I tried it just because i have one. I can try to put some pics up if you would like. I do not use and am not a fan of Ebelestock or a scabbard,  I only bought it because I am going to buy a duel sport motorcycle. Would like to see HPG  make a scabbard so I can sell this fleece camo peice of junk. I have used the Tara a bit with my 92 trapper and it carrys well. I just prefer to carry my rifle in hand, I also have not used a sling on my rifles for over 5 years now.

 
New Post
12/6/2011 11:29 AM
 

Big W - do you intend to attach the Eberlestock scabbard to your bike, or carry it on your back?

Scot came up with the scabbard solution this morning. I've been T&E'ing the "Highlander", bigger brother to the Tarahumara, this fall. The design is the same, but instead of being 9"x17"x4", it is 11"x22"x4". The main use is as a compression panel on a frame (like the Kifaru LH/MMR/EMR or MR NICE frames), but it can be carried just like the Tarahumara as a pack. I didn't like it that much as a pack just because when loaded full it was more weight than I wanted on just my shoulders. But, you don't have to fill it, and it is 5" taller than the Tarahumara which should help a lot with rifle carry. I'll test it that way sometime this week and post pictures.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
12/6/2011 12:37 PM
 

Took a short trip into the woods the other day to practice abit of bow drill fire lighting and to collect some dead wood for carving. Brought with me my Tarahumara containing:
-Two 750ml camelbak bottles
- trarp (with some 550 paracord)
-gore-tex jacket
-Sealskinz Activity gloves
-cotton watch cap
-bacho laplander folding pruning saw

I found the pack really easy to carry and totaly forgot i was carrying it until it started raining. Unless you need somthing you dont realise your carrying it the harness on this in my view makes this the best pack of its size. Another thing which for me makes this great is the compatablity with the kit bag. Using the kit bag with the supplied harness isnt realy comftable for me i found the webbing annoyed me being next to my neck especialy when moving. However the Tarahumaras harness spreads weight so well i found that i could use the lift kit  to hold the weight of the kit bag on the harness and a stabilizer strap just to make sure the bag didnt fly around too  much. Using the kit bag like this fully loaded and the tarahumara loaded with the above set up plus a gransfor bruks small forest axe attached on the out side, i found waering it felt light comfortable.

The only thing i have to say about the design is that it might have been nice to see some PALS webbing on the inside of the bag so small pouches could be attached like a first aid kit or a possibles pouch.  Also i might look into putting some sort of plastic down the slot near the back as i find with a full pack the back pannel tens to round off. This might help reduce the rounding on the pack but might stop the ribbed design of the back pannel from forming to my back.

 
New Post
12/7/2011 9:25 AM
 

 First, an apology for the pics. My Canon G10 is broken so I'm currently using my iPhone for pics. It does okay in outdoor sunny day pics, but indoor rainy day ones are quite terrible.

As requested by some forum-mates on ESEE's Jungle Training Forum here's a brief loadout post.

 

Some links:

http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51580

http://www.militarymorons.com/equipment/packs5.html#hpg

 

Pics:

Packed:

Unpacked:

 

Items to be repacked:

 

Items included:

  • Gransfors Bruks SFA
  • Leupold 8x25
  • ESEE 3
  • ESEE Basic Survival Kit in Kifaru pocket
  • MSR Hyperflow
  • 200' Paracord
  • Socks
  • Beanie
  • Fatwood
  • Baggies
  • FAK (needs to be repacked smaller/more efficient)
  • Camelbak bottle
  • GSI Cup
  • Headlamp
  • Space blanket
  • 10x12' Etowah tarp
  • Diafold sharpener
  • Not shown are Columbia Omnitech rain jacket & Emberlit SS Stove

 

Packed:

 

Items left out:

 

Kit Bag Loaded:

 

Kit Bag Emptied:

 

Inside Shots:

 

Sideview:

I am more than pleased with everything so far. Now it just needs real testing. Too bad I have to strip damn wallpaper.

 

 

 
New Post
12/13/2011 1:06 PM
 

On the subject of rifle carry in a Highlander (bigger brother to the Tara -- still in prototype stage, check out the discussion in it's own thread):


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
12/19/2011 4:09 PM
 

 Any chance of seeing a day hike load includeing a Mountain Serape?

 
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