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The "Official" Fiddleback OFF-TOPIC thread!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fiddleback Forge Knives' started by VANCE, May 9, 2016.

  1. Bmurray

    Bmurray Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    Phil, you and I would get along very well if we lived near each other.

  2. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Got another hunting video finished up last night. If any of you are interested in watching I'd be stoked to know what you think! I'm still figuring out my editing style.

    This was last year, first elk for both of us! Some people have hunted for years and never bagged an elk so I feel very fortunate that we were able to not only get one, but double up on our first time as tag holders. It did make for a 'fun' pack out though. The filming is a little lacking because we dropped the importance of filming while the elk were getting on the move. Once I shot mine and confirmed that it was down, I took over filming again. Shots were right around 300 yards. 270win for me and Steve was shooting a 300wsm, both Tikka T3 rifles which are fricken awesome guns! I'm super excited to field dress my animals with a Fiddleback knife this year.

    Thanks for checking it out! :thumbup:



    If any of you are wondering about the elk named 'Lefty' that I mention at the beginning. He's a big bull that kind of rules this area we hunt in. We ran into him during archery season and he gave us the slip, but I have a picture of him at least. Forgive the quality, this was taken through my binoculars and he was pretty far away. You can see why we call him lefty...

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  3. Onedog

    Onedog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 5, 2013
    So, John and Odaon. There's definitely a lot of compromise as far as packs go. I can't always say exactly what I want but I have a closet that can attest to what I don't want in a pack. Right now I'm basically just looking for a good day/2 day pack that's comfortable for long hikes and has good organizational abilities and is US made. I'm definitely going to check out Kifaru. There were a few packs on their site that I like already. I really like the Maxped for organization but they can get uncomfortable, especially the single shoulder ones. I also like the fact that most of them open up completely. I guess I really need to figure out where I want to make the compromises. The made in the US part is a must though. I'm really getting tired of buying overseas stuff and I'll avoid it whenever I can.

    Also want to add that that Elk hunt video is way cool. :thumbup:
  4. M4Super90

    M4Super90 Biochemical Superfreak Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    I tend to venture off now and then, but always end up back at Osprey for packs. Unfortunately for you, they moved their CO operations to Vietnam in 2008. Here are a few companies that (at least a year or two ago) still manufacture in the USA.

    Gossamer Gear

    Mountain Laurel Designs




    Zimmer Built

    Mystery Ranch
  5. Onedog

    Onedog Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 5, 2013
    Awesome! Thanks of the list M4. My large backpacking pack is an Osprey. Great pack. I've had it for several years now and it's still in great shape. However, you're right, these days I try as hard as I can to buy US made whenever possible so my next pack probably won't be an Osprey. Again, thanks for the links. They'll definitely keep me busy for awhile. :D
  6. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Thanks for the comment on the video Onedog! It was an awesome day.

    That list of packs is a good one. My 'light weight' 2 day pack is a Golite, they're out of business not and it's not super comfortable with a lot of weight. When I look to replace it I'll probably get a ULA but the Kifaru does everything I need from day hikes/hunts to packing out 80 pounds of animal, to multi day adventures. They aren't inexpensive but they're definitely worth it! I'll be interested to know what you try out!
  7. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Here it's packing out my buck last year!


  8. thurin

    thurin Wanderer

    Dec 19, 2012
    Finding the right pack is a very personal thing. I'll share some of my history and philosophy knowing that it doesn't apply to anyone but myself. (Sorry for the length)

    I've lived in Colorado all my life and started doing extended backcountry backpacking and climbing 14ers in junior high (I turned 48 yesterday). Back then I used an external frame and would haul a ton of stuff, way more than I needed, but I was young, strong and stupid. I've always tried to be a supporter of local companies, so back in the day that meant Osprey and Mountainsmith. Nowadays that would be Kifaru and HPG (and other companies like Spyderco). I've spent time hanging out at the Kifaru factory, and they're a bunch of cool folks. I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Smith on a couple of visits and talked packs, stoves, tipis, etc. Great guy.

    4 years ago I was going through a Canvas and leather phase, Frost River kinda stuff. Someone told me I needed to check out Hill People Gear. It wasn't canvas, but really good. I found out they were based in Colorado, which immediately peaked my interest. I messaged Evan Hill, asking if there was a way I could visit a showroom or something to try out their stuff. There wasn't one, but he told me about a gathering they were doing out by their home base in Grand Junction, and I was welcome to come camp and hang out with them and try out any gear that tickled my fancy.

    I headed out towards Colorado National Monument and met up with Evan and his family and Scot. I was able to spend the weekend with them, picking their brains about gear, trying out all the packs, hiking around with Evan, showing off knives, etc. I had gone out there with my mind set on buying a Ute. After trying one out, Evan and Scot convinced me that it wasn't the pack for me. The torso just wasn't long enough. Someone with less integrity would have sold me the pack. They wouldn't. And immediately earned my support. I didn't get the 3 day pack I was looking for, but I did pickup a day pack that served me well for 3 years (the Highlander, now replaced by the Connor). Over the last few years I've met back up with them multiple times for summer and winter gatherings, and picked up a bunch of their gear. Through those meeting I've been "indoctrinated" if that's the right word, to their organization philosophy.

    Let me try to explain. I've used Osprey and Gregory packs in recent years, and been frustrated by how they've fit me (being 6'6" and a big guy poses problems) and how those packs forced me into their preset organization methods. HPG's philosophy is different. Provide an empty bucket, with the means to organize how you want. Velcro fields that you can slap whatever pouches on you want. 6/12 panels to attach molle/pals gear to Compression panels to add capacity, and to compress the empty main bag down to nothing. It's now up to me how I want to organize my stuff. I've applied this philosophy to my work carry (I use the HPG Attache with LBX pouches) and to my packs (HPG with Kifaru pullouts, First Spear pouches and HPG tool rolls). I swap out panels and pouches to fit my needs.

    I have buddies that are diehard Kifaru fans and I get it, it's good gear. Another that's a Mystery Ranch guy. Dana Gleason is the man. Another friend is really into Eberlestock. It's all good stuff. I suggest trying out whatever you can and see what works for you.

    After 4 years of searching, I now know the answer to my backcountry pack question. The HPG qui-Ya will be heading my way.

    Because of the personal connection I've built up with Evan and Scot, and because I'm now sold on their philosophy, I'm naturally going to be an HPG guy. Same way I'm a Fiddleback, Turley and Spyderco guy. Yes, I'm a fanboy and passionate about the companies and guys behind them. But for good reason IMO.

    Find what you like and what works for you. If I can help with HPG info or pack exchanges, or Kifaru or anything else, let me know. Evan and Scot have also said they plan on doing more shows so folks can get their hands on stuff to try out. They were at SHOT and Overland Expo. I'll try to find out what other shows they have coming up.
  9. trestle


    Feb 2, 2008
    This is an interesting list. Some of the makers are dedicated to ultralight and some could care less about pack weight. Quite a bit of contrast really.
  10. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Street Samurai Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
    Thurin, I ordered a HPG Tarahumara based on your assessment above.
  11. schmittie


    Nov 28, 2009
    I want one of those. Share what you think after some use please.
  12. Panthera tigris

    Panthera tigris Street Samurai Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 21, 2012
  13. M4Super90

    M4Super90 Biochemical Superfreak Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    This was the first year I've missed Overland Expo West in a few years and I don't remember seeing HPG there in the past. Do you attend?
  14. thurin

    thurin Wanderer

    Dec 19, 2012
    Sweet! Keep us posted on what you think.

    It was their first year having a booth (or whatever the equivalent is) at Overland, but they've been at SHOT the last few. I was not at Overland. They said it was a good time.
  15. swonut

    swonut KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 1, 2007
    So today, I'm packing up stuff, getting ready to move, reflecting on collecting 25 years of crap. I post up a "two for tuesday" this morning and now, a few hour's later, it hits me. IT'S WEDNESDAY! Man things are getting jumbled in my life. Hopefully come mid August I'll be able to settle down.

    So, any of you guys live in Kansas City?
  16. thurin

    thurin Wanderer

    Dec 19, 2012
    Good luck in the move! I hope it goes smooth and you enjoy being in the heartland.
  17. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    That's an awesome post Thruin. HPG is definitely another company I've been interested in, through truthfully I haven't done a ton of looking at their products.

    I've been looking for a replacement day/weekend pack for my Golite that is pretty well used... My Kifaru covers the longer trips and big game hunting, I may just have to pick up one of the smaller HPG packs.
  18. thurin

    thurin Wanderer

    Dec 19, 2012
    It's really a bummer Golite went under. Another local Colorado company and I had a friend that worked there.

    Checkout the Tara TripleT mentioned, and also the Connor for daypack ideas. I posted my typical Connor load out earlier in this thread if you want to get an idea of what it'll hold (with room to spare). http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...-TOPIC-thread!!!!!!!!?p=16067268#post16067268
  19. Odaon

    Odaon Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Definitely! I was a big fan of Golite!

    I'll take a look at those, thank you! Seems like you can't ever have too many packs huh?
  20. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    I "thought" I had enough until I started reading this and checking out the websites.:eek:

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