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tjconrads wrote: I have done a few extensive backpack hunts, one 12-days for mountain goat, and as Dave mentioned you need two types of packs. This makes the goal of getting as light as possible an intensive undertaking. Bivouac a day or two requires far less gear than an extensive hunt. This fall, I am going on a seven- to eight-day backpack hunt for elk … not the easiest hunt if success should fall my way. Basic gear includes an internal pack of around 6,000 ccs, one-man tent (mine is 3#), pad, down bag, water filter, freeze-dried food, MSR Whisperlite stove and quart fuel, wool shirt, long underwear, water bladder, cook kit, light rain gear, fleece jacket, and one set hunting clothes. In addition, I take my hunting pack, which includes camera, game bags (cheesecloth), rope, compass and maps, emergency overnight and first aid gear (drugs, sutures, gauze, scalpel, etc.), water bottle, food, 1-pound coffee can for cooking/boiling, firestarter, bow kit (string, taper tool, wax, etc), notepad and pen, knives … it all comes to under 50 pounds.

The fact is, each situation is different. On this hunt, I am sharing camp necessities with my hunting partner, so there will be no duplication. One of the most common mistakes we make is packing too much crap. I always make a thorough list, lay out all the items, rethink the area and time of year … weather concerns are important … then start cutting back on gear. Small things count, like toothpaste, lotion, fuel, clothing … every ounce here and there add up quite quickly. Finally, I pack, unpack, and repack my gear until I find the most efficient way to get it all balanced correctly.

Backpack hunting is a fine art in discipline. It takes time to get your gear right, and starting months ahead is not too early. But, like all things that take effort, the rewards … even if no game is taken … are immense.

Great information…I think everyone should read the above at least ten-times prior to packing for a hunt!!!