As a hunter in the age of the internet, thousands of hunting websites, and tons of major sporting goods retailers advertising on outdoor TV shows, it takes a very unique and useful hunting product to get me excited.  However, when I see something that is lightweight and useful, I jump on it and here are three products I have found that are handy and that will lighten your hunting pack.

Wire Saw

Commonly referred to as a ‘survival saw,’ a wire saws are simply a treated piece of steel wire with two finger loops on each end. Some wire saws have teeth and some have diamond dust heat-treated into them to achieve proper abrasion effectiveness. Most wire saws are made for wood, but I have found them to work well on bone and soft metal as well.

When long-range hunting or mountain hunting, reducing weight is the name of the game and wire saws are way lighter than carrying an actual bladed saw. There are several brands out there, but in my opinion, the Stansport wire saws are the best. They have medium sized teeth that don’t up on wood and I have successfully used them to cut skull plates off of deer and sheep while in the field.

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads are an essential back country item. They keep you insulated from the ground, and they bring relief to your bodies contact points while sleeping or resting. There are a pile of pads out there that are considered ‘light weight’ that have an average weight of around one pound.  You can do better than that and the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOlite Sleeping Pad (size small) sold at REI is the lightest one available. 

The small size is not body length, but it is long enough to pad everything but your lower legs and feet which really don’t need relief as much as your core/torso does.  It weighs in around 9 ounces and since it is rigid, it can be used in certain emergency situations.

Ultra-Light Binocular Harness

Made by professional hunter Rick Young from Oregon, the Ultra-Light Bino Harness is a serious improvement on the common- but bulky- binocular harness made from straps by several companies. Young has made his harness out of rugged adjustable elastic cord, and it weighs next to nothing. It also features quick-release snaps and will hold up to 3.5 pounds. They will keep your binos at your chest level all day and you will not even know you are wearing them. 

(For info on Stansport wire saws, visit and for info on Therma-rest SOlite pads, go to To order Rick Young’s Ultra-Light Bino Harness, go to