Hunting Gear Tests: House of Pain

Hunting Gear Tests: House of Pain

All outdoorsmen and women are total hopeless gear queers from birth, and it's half the reason to be in this magazine business. Hunting gear tests at Petersen's run the gamut, from mild runs up and down stairs for boot testing (our editor standing at the top with a PE coach's whistle) to throwing axes never built for flinging just to see if they can take the shock. We abuse it so you don't have to.

Schoby is a big strong guy for a writer type, and equally adept at both destroying things accidentally and also putting things back together, a real McGruber who can wreck a Landrover one day and then rebuild it using pieces from a wheelbarrow and an old lawn mower. Most importantly, he revived Meat On a Stick, but that's another story.

Me, I walk on my knuckles a lot, and that is harder on most gear than you can imagine. The result when he and I get competitive, which is pretty much always, is our gear tests quickly escalate into attempted Feats of Strength. For example, using multi tool pliers on oversized  chunks of metal just to see how they hold up, if we can bend the handles, or straighten a gun barrel with them€¦Or sometimes we simply have to know just WHAT EXACTLY a crossbow can shoot through before the arrow explodes with a satisfying Pa-WHANG! Only after throwing our backs out from pulling out arrows too deeply buried in targets.

Sometimes, we get more creative in our various and sordid attempts at gear abuse. Lacking reasonable payload to test out the ultra big yet superlight Freighter Frame Pack by Frontier Gear of Alaska, we had to improvise. The pack is light and incredibly strong, obviously supersized for huge moose chunks or whole Dall sheep. It's spendy, at $619, but none of the editors had seen anything quite like it.


So I had the bright idea to throw WILDFOWL associate editor Angela Pham on the back and see how it handled a live human, since dead sheep were in short supply in our offices, and we'd eaten all the roadkill already. The pack has a cool fold down part on the lower frame for freakish large payloads, and happily that creates an unusually nice seat platform on the thing.


I trotted about with Pham on it for a while, so comfortably that my absent-minded thoughts soon turned, as always, to first food then coffee... and then forgetting she was there at all, I inadvertently wandered in the men's room.

(awkward€¦)

Ahem€¦testing concluded€¦


Or was it? Soon after, while back at my desk, I heard loud clomping sounds and look up from my cold Top Ramen ("spork" testing in progress) to see none other than Mike Schoby, all 200+ pounds of him, perched precariously on the pack where Pham had been sitting, while our giant web content and video guy Brock Norman (6 foot 5, I don't care what he says) hauled him around at a near-run like a kid with a book pack late for the bus, Schoby bouncing like a kid who scored a free extra ride ticket at the dog and pony show, and as always, cracking the whip on his underlings.

field test

The pack frame held up astonishingly well, despite Schoby's impression of a mechanical bull ride and prolonged abuse to those creaky metal joints. (the pack's, not Schoby's)


After that, I know just who I'll be calling next time I shoot some big animal far off the road. Brock "the Rock" Norman is not your normal web geek. Our geek could whip your geek's ass anytime.

And I'll bring that monster pack, too. Gear test conclusion: a pass and with flying colors.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Kevin Steele sights in his CZ .557 carbine rifle that he plans to use on a Colorado elk hunt.

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills. How-To

4 Shooting Drills to Make You a Better Hunter

Jeff Johnston

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success. Whitetail

Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut

Jeff Johnston

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study. Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study.

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

Setting up near a roosted springtime gobbler has never been easier. Accessories

Enhance Your Hearing with TETRA Turkey AmpPods

Jeff Johnston

Setting up near a roosted springtime gobbler has never been easier.

Nikon's new MONARCH 7i VR, the Big Bear X pack and more are must-haves for the whitetail afflicted. Accessories

4 Must-Haves for the Whitetail Afflicted

PH Online Editors - December 18, 2017

Nikon's new MONARCH 7i VR, the Big Bear X pack and more are must-haves for the whitetail...

These products will help you be dead-on at any range while pursuing predators. Accessories

Predator Hunting Products That Work

Joe Arterburn - April 13, 2020

These products will help you be dead-on at any range while pursuing predators.

OSG live stream host Michael Bane met up with Holder to talk duck hunting memories and to discuss the attributes of Sure-Shot's new Yentzen One2 double-reed duck call. Accessories

Sure-Shot Game Calls' Yentzen One2 Duck Call

G&A Staff - January 29, 2018

OSG live stream host Michael Bane met up with Holder to talk duck hunting memories and to...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now