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Archive for July, 2015

A hunting pack is a fundamental piece of gear. Even the most spartan hunter has a bevy of core equipment and supplies they need to transport to and from the field. A gadgeteer has even more gear and will require much more from a pack in terms of its capacity and organizational capability.

In addition to one’s proclivity for gadgets and technology, what and how he or she hunts also plays a significant role in determining their ideal hunting pack.

So, where does one begin?

Frame packs are capable of carrying extremely heavy loads, and are the only suitable choice for big game wilderness hunts. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

Frame packs are capable of carrying extremely heavy loads, and are the only suitable choice for big game wilderness hunts. Photo courtesy of http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

Look at hunting pack selection as a three-step process. First, consider five fundamental hunting pack designs. Choose the style that best suits the way you’ll hunt. Next, factor in your needs as they relate to overall capacity and choose the right size. Finally, but equally important, consider features that increase comfort and functionality.

Traditional Backpacks

A traditional backpack is what most envision when thinking of a hunting pack. It’s worn on the back and is supported with shoulder straps, which should be fully adjustable to modify the pack’s fit based on the wearer’s unique physique and the particular load being carried. The best models also have a fully adjustable waist belt system and at least one chest strap for increased comfort and load balancing.

Traditional backpack-style hunting packs come in many sizes, from less than 1,000 cubic inches to over 6,000 inches of total capacity. They typically contain at least one main compartment, which may include additional sub compartments to keep gear organized. Additional pockets or pouches may exist on the front and sides of the pack for added utility. Other additions may include D-rings, compression straps or other mechanisms for attaching additional pieces of gear to the pack’s exterior. The best hunting models will also include a dedicated spot to safely carry a firearm or bow.

Traditional backpacks may be constructed over a rigid frame of aluminum or, in some cases, carbon fiber. Packs lacking some kind of interior frame or internal stiffening components are less expensive, but will also be less comfortable to wear, as a frame helps support and distribute whatever load is being carried. Frame packs, or those supported with stiffening splines, are a necessity for backcountry hunters who use their packs to carry an abundance of gear, game quarters or capes.

Traditional backpack-style packs are the kings of capacity and load carrying, and are typically favored by big game hunters. The design is one of the most restrictive with respect to upper body mobility, however, and may hamper the wearer’s ability to shoulder a firearm or draw a bow. This may be of little consequence to the tree stand or blind hunter, however, who typically takes his or her pack off when settling in and hangs it on a nearby limb or hook.

The Tenzing Predator Pack sports 2,200 cubic inches of storage space in a true backpack with main and sub compartments, a separate detachable electronics or accessory pack, and zippered front/side compartments with centerfire cartridge and shot shell loops, and a foldout boot to carry a firearm. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com

The Tenzing Predator Pack sports 2,200 cubic inches of storage space in a true backpack with main and sub compartments, a separate detachable electronics or accessory pack, and zippered front/side compartments with centerfire cartridge and shot shell loops, and a foldout boot to carry a firearm. Photo courtesy of http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com

Waist Packs

A waist pack is a great grab-and-go option for the stand or blind hunter, for archers, or for anyone who wants to travel light without an abundance of unnecessary gear or supplies.
By definition, these packs are worn around the waist and include at least one main compartment. They may also include side pockets, D-rings, or other specialized pouches for carrying knives, rangefinders, ammunition or other essentials.

The waist pack’s belt system is of critical importance, as it’s the sole means of support for the pack’s weight. Look for models with a wide, padded and fully adjustable waist belt and durable buckle that won’t loosen under a load.

Some waist packs offer additional functionality beyond load carrying. The TZ 721 model from Tenzing is designed for core warmth; with an integral hand muff and built-in pockets inside the waist belt to accept chemically activated hand-warmer pouches – a thoughtful and welcomed feature for stand and still hunters.

Waist packs offer great mobility and offer enough capacity for the stand or still hunter hunting close to camp or the truck. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com

Waist packs offer great mobility and offer enough capacity for the stand or still hunter hunting close to camp or the truck. Photo courtesy of http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com

Lumbar Packs

A lumbar pack can be described as a hybrid of the traditional backpack and waist pack designs, and is a superior option for bowhunters, horseback hunters, or anyone who needs or appreciates full upper body mobility.

A lumbar-style hunting pack carries its load low around the waist like a waist pack, but is also supported by shoulder straps or a shoulder yoke. The design minimizes binding between the shoulders and allows archers a comfortable and unrestricted draw.

Capacities are generally significantly larger than those of waist packs, with most models providing a variety of compartments and pockets with up to about 1,500 cubic inches of total interior space.

Lumbar packs are a relatively complex design. Key features to look for include full adjustability of all waist, shoulder and chest straps, along with quality components and materials that improve durability and comfort.

Vests

A traditional preference for upland game and turkey hunters, the hunting vest is more garment than pack. Nonetheless, it’s designed to carry ammunition, electronics, calls and other essential gear, in addition to harvested game, and is a mainstay in most hunters’ wardrobes.

Standard upland hunting vest features include front pockets with built-in shot shell loops and a large rear game pouch. Turkey models may also include specialized pockets for calls and other gear. Materials cover the gamut, from inexpensive Nylon to oiled cotton to modern Dyneema-reinforced ripstop cotton.

As with other types of packs and hunting accessories, prices rise as features increase. Premium models are available in multiple sizes, include high-tech materials, fully adjustable waist belts and chest straps, and various pockets and compartments for specialized gear.

Chair-style packs are exciting options for turkey, predator, hog and even deer and elk hunters – anyone who hunts from the ground, needs to remain mobile and set-up quickly. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

Chair-style packs are exciting options for turkey, predator, hog and even deer and elk hunters – anyone who hunts from the ground, needs to remain mobile and set-up quickly. Photo courtesy of http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

Chair Packs

Chair-style packs represent a relatively new hunting pack category, ranging from simple but well-engineered folding chairs with built-in shoulder straps to more advanced hunting backpacks with fold-out legs and drop-down, padded seats.

Chair-style packs are exciting options for turkey, predator, hog and even deer and elk hunters – anyone who hunts from the ground, needs to remain mobile and set-up quickly.

Capacities and designs vary, but two of the more advanced are Tenzing’s TZ TP14 Turkey Pack and TZ PP15 Predator Pack. Both utilize an aluminum frame stay backpack design with adjustable, foldout aluminum legs and a drop-down padded seat. The Turkey Pack incorporates a variety of specialized call and accessory pockets on its front and a large, expandable turkey pocket on its back. The Predator Pack is more generalized, sporting 2,200 cubic inches of storage space in a true backpack with main and sub compartments, a separate detachable electronics or accessory pack, and zippered front/side compartments with centerfire cartridge and shot shell loops, and a foldout boot to carry a firearm.

Pick Your Pack

Regardless of design category, today’s hunting packs range in price from as little as $30 to as much as $900. As one can imagine, price is a direct reflection of features, size, comfort and quality of construction. Packs with quality zippers, thread, advanced high performance materials, full adjustability and extra features like hydration systems, compression straps and rain covers represent the top of the market. Plan on spending $60 to $220 for a quality traditional hunting daypack that will hold up and perform for several seasons. Quality backcountry hunting packs capable of carrying capes, quarters or a week’s worth of gear start at around $200.

At least two truths become evident when researching and shopping for hunting packs today. First, the range of styles, features and choices has never been better. More options are available across multiple price points than ever before. Second, no single hunting pack excels in every hunting situation. Most avid hunters have multiple packs, so save your pennies, buy the highest quality, best-fitting packs you can afford, and take care of them. They’ll take care of you, and you’ll be money ahead in the long run.

Packs with quality zippers, thread, advanced high performance materials, full adjustability and extra features like hydration systems, compression straps and rain covers represent the top of the market. Photo courtesy of www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

Packs with quality zippers, thread, advanced high performance materials, full adjustability and extra features like hydration systems, compression straps and rain covers represent the top of the market. Photo courtesy of http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

About Tenzing ™
First introduced at the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show in January 2012, the Tenzing™ line of innovative, high-tech, high performance packs are engineered and built to help hunters go farther, stay longer, and comfortably carry incredible loads in and even bigger ones back out.

Tenzing packs are constructed from the finest materials available, including the world’s strongest fiber, Dyneema®, and designed to be the lightest, most rugged, best organized and most versatile packs on the market. Tenzing packs are fully adjustable to result in a perfect fit for any hunter.

Combining his life-long passion for the outdoors with a relentless desire to be the best at his craft, Jay Robert is the soul and spirit behind the Tenzing brand. A company of hunters who listen to other hunters, Tenzing pursues innovation through real world product feedback from one of the hardest-working hunting pro and field staffs in the industry.

The ever expanding Tenzing product lineup includes carbon fiber frame packs, full-sized backpacks, lightweight day packs, lumbar packs, archer’s packs, women’s-fitted packs, turkey packs, upland bird packs, waterfowl blind bags, high-performance bow cases, gun cases and related accessories.

Tenzing products have received numerous recognitions for innovation and quality, including a prestigious Field & Stream Best of the Best 2012 Award for the Tenzing TZ 2220.

Learn more at http://www.tenzingoutdoors.com.

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For those who’ve made a profession out of their passion for fishing, the world’s largest recreational fishing trade show is as much about generating new energy as it is new business. With those values in mind, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has expanded the lineup for its longstanding ICAST trade show taking place July 14-17, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., including a full array of fun, festive, and productive events to rev things up the day before the exhibition opens. Registration and details are available at http://www.ICASTfishing.org. 

For the third year, ICAST and the International Fly Tackle Dealer show (IFTD), the fly tackle-specific show produced by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, are co-locating in the Orange County Convention Center on the same days with the same show hours.

Main attractions on this year’s show schedule include celebrities from the world of country music and the National Football League as well as two new events on nearby Lake Toho, an expansive product demonstration and a tournament in this bass fishing paradise. 

Now in its 58th year, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, annually attracts nearly 12,000 people from around the globe to take part in the world’s largest showcase of sportfishing products, apparel, and accessories. Last year’s show included nearly 500 exhibitors and a show floor covering half-a-million square feet. It is the preeminent venue for launching new fishing products and sparking new industry trends.  

“ICAST is a great, global celebration that brings us together and reminds us why our sport and our industry are so special,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “The show has always offered the best chance to engage face-to-face with everyone in fishing, see all the latest examples of the industry’s ingenuity and gain some inspiration and good ideas along the way.”

Nussman added, “With the continual flow of creativity, enthusiasm and generosity from our members, we’re able to keep improving on ICAST’s success.”   


A Tantalizing Menu of Events, With All the Traditional Trimmings

Two main events kick off this year’s show: a concert by award-winning country music star Easton Corbin and an inspirational keynote speech from Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley.

ICAST-Easton Corbin Country star Easton Corbin

Presented by ICAST and the World Fishing Network, the Easton Corbin concert on Tuesday, July 14, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., includes concert opener, fellow country singer James Wesley, who is sponsored by Calcutta. Launching his career just over 5 years ago, Corbin’s accolades are already too numerous to list. He was the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1. Born and raised in rural Gilchrist County, Fla., he spent much of his young life working on his grandparents’ cattle farm and fishing in the nearby Suwannee River—when he wasn’t practicing guitar until his fingers were raw.

ICAST-Gus Bradley Jacksonville Jaguars
Head Coach Gus Bradley

Coach Bradley—also an avid angler—will share his insights on staying ahead of the game during the State of the Industry Breakfast taking place just before the show floor opens on Wednesday morning, July 15. The breakfast also includes a presentation from ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman, who will offer his perspectives on the short- and long-term issues affecting the sportfishing community and an outlook for the future.

Super Tuesday is, Well, Super!

Lake Toho, located a short shuttle-ride’s distance from the convention center, is the site for two new Tuesday events this year: ICAST On The Water, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, is an expansive product demonstration, and the ICAST Cup, presented by FLW, is a bass fishing tournament bringing together professional anglers with representatives from the industry and outdoor media.
ICAST OTWShuttle service for ICAST On the Water is being provided by Experience Kissimmee and will run continuously from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Shuttle bus pick up/drop off is in front of Hall A/B at the Orange County Convention Center West Building.

There’s also the second annual Bass & Birdies Classic, a golf tournament combined with a fishing competition, at the beautiful Shingle Creek Golf Club, presented by Florida Sportsman. All these events take place July 14.
There is Nothing Like the New Product Showcase

ICAST’s traditional star attraction, the New Product Showcase, sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, will spotlight innovations in 24 categories this year. Sportfishing companies have entered hundreds of products to compete for “Best of Show” honors within their category and for the overall Best of Show award. Buyers and outdoor media representatives serve as judges, getting an advance look at the plethora of products during the New Product Showcase Preview Reception held on Tuesday, July 14, on the show floor. Winners are announced at the Chairman’s Industry Awards reception, a celebratory gathering sponsored this year by Costa, on Wednesday, July 15, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Orange County Convention Center.

Throughout the exhibition schedule are expanded opportunities to take part in free, ultra-informative business development seminars led by consultants with special expertise and best practices to share. More than two dozen sessions on a variety of topics are planned. 
2015 ICAST Show Sponsors

ASA is grateful for the generosity of all the sponsors of ICAST Week 2015: Gold – Crocodile Bay Resort; Costa; Discovery’s Destination America; Fishing Tackle Retailer; FLW, LLC; Florida Sportsman; Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation; Under Armour, Inc.; Visit Orlando; and World Fishing Network. Silver – American Tackle Company; In-Fisherman; Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corp; Pure Fishing, Inc.; and Wild Instinct Outdoors. Bronze – Beyond Coastal; Buck Knives; Chums; Classic Fishing Products, Inc.; EvoCaps; Grander Custom Tackle, LLC; H2Outdoors; and Sunsect, Inc. The list is current as of May 27, 2015.


Important Details

Friday, June 12, is the pre-registration deadline for exhibitors and attendees.

Tickets for the Industry Breakfast ($40 each) and the Easton Corbin concert ($35 each) can be purchased at the same time as registration. If you have already registered, order tickets by calling Experient at (800) 424-5249 or log in to your account to order them online.

Registration also is required for the ICAST Cup and the Bass & Birdies Classic.

Proceeds from the kickoff concert and both tournaments support ASA’s KeepAmericaFishing® angler advocacy campaign.

Badges are required for all events. Badges will not be mailed this year—they need to be picked up on site. 

The ICAST mobile app improves your ICAST experience with maps and information on events, business sessions, and exhibitors. To download the app to your smart device, visit http://www.ICASTfishing.org and scan the QR code on the homepage or look for ICAST Fishing in your device’s app store. The app is supported by Apple, Android and Blackberry. If you downloaded it last year, you can update it automatically for 2015 by simply opening up the app.

 
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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 60 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate over $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

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