Zippers, Silence & Deer Hunting – Can You Have it All?

Hunting wins fans every year, so it’s understandable why the hunting gear industry has evolved so much over the last decades. Faster bows, wireless trail cameras are some of the many new devices that help hunters get the whitetail from the first shot. The more gear hunters they have, the more ready they feel to step up their game. Backpack hunting has slowly developed as the most fantastic hunting experience that only the fearless and experienced hunters who camp dare to take.

No matter how great the new equipment is or how various and challenging hunting has become, the man still has the lower chance when out there; it’s still the deer running the game.

Camouflage products help the hunter stay unseen, and scent concealment helps him not be smelled, so one can only wonder- what can I do not to scare aware that buck?

After decades of scientific testing, research, and tons of field observation, hunters and professionals in the hunting industry have created materials that are less likely to be noisy when you have the game in your crosshairs. For the experienced hunter who likes to put on a backpack and hunt for days, winning over the deer’s hearing is a great challenge. Wearing  camo clothes isn’t enough, especially when you’re also carrying a backpack with zippers and straps. Being quiet will give him a better chance – but is it doable when you’re backpacking?

No zipper hunting backpack – is it a real thing?

Reputed manufactures understood early on that backpack hunting is the next best thing for hunters, and it’s only a matter of time until hunters will embrace it on a larger scale. They have tried over the years to use durable yet quiet materials for hunting backpacks and create backpacks that wouldn’t scare off your game- within limits.

Selecting a hunting backpack is a challenge within itself, and one needs to go over comprehensive buying guides about choosing the proper size, fit, materials, and features for the hunting. It’s a long and tricky process, especially when you know nothing about hiking/camping/spending time outdoors; the options are numerous, though, and you will succeed, eventually.

When you think of a backpack, pockets and zippers are probably the first things coming to mind. And they all mean noise and a fat chance for getting that deer. But what if manufacturers were so determined and smart to create a hunting backpack with no zippers? You would at least have one less source of noise to deal with, so a better chance to be as quiet as a mouse out there. You can also have a hydration system on your backpack and you’ll eliminate yet another chance for creating noise.

A no-zipper backpack for your hunting

If you don’t want to go through the long process of selecting a hunting backpack from the myriads of options, you can look for the pack with no zippers. A famous manufacturer (Badlands) conceived a series of hunting backpacks with just one purpose to mind: complete discretion.

You won’t have to deal with clinking buckles and zipper noises when you have this series of backpacks with no zippers. There are two daypack-size hunting packs to choose from, but both are made to provide absolute silence.

Apart from the built for complete silence, the backpacks come with other excellent features for hunting:

  • They have no zippers, no hook, and loops and no buckles to click. You need to go once buck hunting and lose your shot because of clicking to regret getting a backpack with buckles.
  • Proprietary fabric that remains soft and quiet in all conditions
  • Pockets with effortless access for both backcountry and tree stand hunting
  • Sound absorbing foam liner to contain the sounds inside the pack

As you can see, these backpacks will make a great choice when you want to be completely silent on a deer hunt. But what do you do if you’ve already bought a hunting backpack? Can you still use it and not scare off your buck with all the zippers and the buckles?

What are the most effective methods for silencing the zippers on your hunting backpack?

When you like hunting and camping, backpack hunting will almost come naturally to you. Sure, you will still have to do your bits and bobs about it,  but you will at least have the fundamentals of both hunting and backpacking.

You will need to learn what to pack, how to pack, how to wear your hunting backpack. You never want to take a stab in the dark when backpack hunting, so you will need a complete arsenal of tips and tricks. Staying quiet as a mouse and silencing your zippers is just one of the myriads of things you will need to master for successful deer hunting.

Use wax for lubricating the zippers.

Ideally, you want a hunting backpack with silent zippers, but when you’re shopping on a budget or value comfort more than quiet build, something’s got to give.

If you feel that your zippers are loud, you can lubricate them with some wax to reduce the noisy operation. Some candle wax will do the trick, and surf wax is ideal.

Begin with opening the zipper and carefully rub the wax along the zipper parts, from top to bottom and the other way around. Try to change the angle while waxing so that you cover both sides of the zipper.

The wax is supposed to work like padding that will dampen the zipper parts’ impact, decreasing the level of sound zippers produce. You can use the method for your tent zipper, too; after all, you will also pack a tent or a sleeping bag with zippers when you go on a multi-day hunt.

Don’t think that waxing the zippers once will keep the zippers silent forever; you will need to do it regularly because the wax will wear off eventually.

Use paracord instead of zipper pulls

When you’re determined to eliminate a loud metal zipper pull problem, you can try replacing it with paracord pulls. A good hunting backpack will come with paracord pulls to keep the level noise down to a minimum, but you can run into a perfect pack for your hunting with metal zipper pulls. It’s not worth skipping a perfectly sized and fitting backpack only because of the pulls when you have such an effortless solution for it.

You begin by getting some paracord and metal snips; you need the snips for cutting the bottom loop of the zipper pull, removing it entirely. Cut the length you need for the paracord (a couple of inches will do) and tie the ends together, creating a loop. It would help if you straightened the loop so that the knot is at one end and the loop turns into two lines with a point on one end and a knot on the other. Continue with threading the end opposite of the knot through the zipper, feeding the knotted end through the loop on the other side of the hole; make sure to pull the knot tight. The paracord zipper you create won’t clank or jangle, reducing some of the noise you make.

Use a zipper pull kit.

The zipper pull kit will work as a shock absorber, dampening the zipper pull sound that rattles around. You get to use a plastic tab to pull for clamping the end closed and have a nice look too.

This sort of zipper pull kit should be enough for ten or more zippers; they’re already cut to size and come with a snap-together tab, providing effortless installation. Plus, they look better than some knots.

You need to remove the current metal zipper pulls with snips; thread one side of the zipper pull through the zipper hole. Make sure to have an even length and snap the tab shut on end.

Tie a string around your zippers

When you want to have silent zippers but don’t want to get rid of the metal zipper pull, you may tie a string through and around your zipper’s metal elements. It will work as a barrier that doesn’t allow your zipper’s metal elements to touch each other. The method will dampen the sound and make the zippers quiet, increasing your chance of staying unnoticed by your buck.

You can try various tying styles off the zipper pull, with the hitch and figure 8 knot as the most common methods.

The hitch

It would help if you tied the string/paracord into a loop, straightening the loop with the knot on end. Continue threading the other end through the bottom hole of the pull and back through the top hole. Pick the knot, threading it through the loop you’ve put through the top pull hole. You should tighten the knot too.

Figure eight

Pick a piece of string/paracord, threading it through one side of the pull-top hole; bring it back through the bottom hole. You should rewind it through the hole on top, going in the opposite direction. Finish with tying the two ends together.

Both methods are cheap and efficient for eliminating the risk of zippers clanking.

Plasti-dip

Plasti-dipping the zipper pulls is another method to try. You will need some time and patience because you have to apply several coatings for silencing the zippers.

The plasti-dip is a sound-dampener because it will absorb the impact of the zippers slapping around. It won’t make the zippers completely silent, but it will still dull the impact and block the resonance, which decreases the level of noise for the zipper.

As we’ve mentioned, it will be tricky and time-consuming to plasti-dip the zippers, especially if they’re not small. When you’re done with dipping, you also need to hang it for drying it without making a mess. Keep in mind that the effect won’t last for a long time, which is why you should probably try another method.

Look for plastic zippers.

Nobody wants to buy a hunting backpack and replace the zippers with plastic ones; it’s both a skill-intensive and challenging job. If your pack has everything you wanted in a backpack for hunting, you can compromise and replace the zippers with plastic ones except for the zippers because they’re metal. Metal zippers are durable, but they will become quite loud when they touch each other.

If you have never replaced a zipper in your life, we strongly recommend you to go to the professionals. Not only that, you won’t do a good job, but you will lose the durable stitching that only professionals can make; after all, a long-lasting build is one of the reasons you bought the backpack to begin with.

Think of it: you will have to remove the stitches along with the tape of the zippers; the zipper should come off quickly after removing all stitches. Afterward, you will have to sew the new zipper into place; use a sewing machine for the best and most durable results. The new zipper will be much quieter, but will it be as durable as the first zipper?

One last piece of advice

You will need to do many things to keep yourself quiet as a mouse when you go after your deer; silencing the zippers on your hunting backpack, hunting jacket, or sleeping bags gets you one step closer to not being noticed by your buck.

Don’t just take any noise, and keep in mind that every sound counts when you hunt deer. Some things you’ll learn the hard way, but it’s always better to do due diligence about silencing your gear and yourself at home.