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the rack packer first buckLike most innovations, The RackPacker was born from necessity. While on their first deer hunt together in 2000, Zack was fortunate to harvest a fine 6 point Pennsylvania buck while sitting on his father Keiths’ lap. Although it was already 9 am on that snowy November morning, the day had (and the work) had just begun. Zack, still a young boy at the time, didn’t have the strength or the stamina to get that buck from the spot where it laid, back to the vehicle. The responsibility fell on Keith, a slightly overweight man in his mid-forties with high blood pressure and cholesterol. Nearly one mile of uphill logging road lay between the two hunters and their vehicle. Nearly four exhausting hours (and probably a near heart attack) later, that buck was finally on the hitch haul on the back of the truck. The two looked at each other and thought, “There has to be a better way”.

Zack happened to be studying the Native Americans in school at the time, and the simple age old design of the travois seemed to be an appropriate place to start. A platform or netting mounted on the frame of two long poles lashed together in the shape of an isosceles triangle, the travois allowed the Plains Indians to transport more weight than could be carried on their backs. The travois can be hitched to livestock and horses for even better transportation capabilities. Obviously, several changes had to be made to the travois to make it stronger, lighter, and more compact.

Over the next 12 years, The Rack Packer was designed, tested, and redesigned again. The biggest innovation to be added to the travois design was the wheel. Added on the pointed end, the wheel allowed The Rack Packer to be pulled more easily over both even and uneven surfaces. The open end of the travois, which would normally be in contact with the ground, made for perfect handles. The design was then hinged in the middle to allow the unit to fold for ultimate portability. Finally, straps were added to keep cargo in place and to allow the user to backpack it into the field. The Rack Packer has completely redefined game retrieval as we know it, becoming the most solid, lightweight, portable, and convenient unit on the market today.

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