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    • MShaw
      Post count: 5

      Hello. I’m interested in what you guys take in the bush with you on a two or more day hunt.

    • purehunter
      Post count: 63

      I thought there was a thread on this but I couldn’t find it. But I take some of the following (in no particular order):
      Full size pack, water bladders, water filter, dried food, bino’s, first aid kit, maps, compass, knife, multitool, knife/broadhead sharpener, fire starter kit, cell phone, headlamp, extra socks/underwear/t-shirt, down jacket, rain jacket, gloves, beanie, extra hot drink mix, a few jerky sticks from last years game, some type of candy, camera, bow/arrows (always stumping), suncreen, insect repelant, toothebrush, duct tape, hat, sleeping mat, lightweight sleeping bag, lightweight tent or just the rain fly, game bags, JetBoil stove with gas canister, plastic spoon, and spotting scope and tripod.

      That’s most of it. I am usually am up in the mountains (8,000 plus feet) when I scout or hunt. This gear list is about 36-38 lbs. and I can go for 4 days. It runs about 42 lbs. for 6-7 days.

      Alot of guys here have really good ideas for bivy hunts and hauling out game. If you search “backpack hunting” there is a thread about how to haul game out that is a pretty good read.

      Have fun!
      Craig

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      As much as I love backpack hunting, as as essential as it is sadly becoming to escape the ATV hordes on western public lands, it takes a huge amount of planning to get everything you need into a workable load. My most recent trip, with T Downing, was at timberline in CO and I humped about 65 pounds and T even more. A big problem is that you need two separate sets of gear and packs: one for camping and one for hunting. I wound up with my hunting packed stuffed full and strapped atop my backpack. Happily, though we were high it wasn’t a long hike in so it was doable. Then if you succeed (we were after mule deer) you have the meat and maybe horns to deal with in addition to your gear. It’s worth thinking all of this out ahead of time. That said, I personally find going into real wildness, with a friend or solo, to be the purest and most rewarding form of hunting, if also the most demanding. Beyond the mountains and at lower altitudes it would be far easier. Just do it and sort it out as you go along. 😛 Dave

    • purehunter
      Post count: 63

      Dave, why do you take two different packs? I use mine for both jobs, packing meat out and my camping gear. I pack the meat out first, then go back for the camp gear if I can’t get it all in one load. Using a partner that is. Solo or an elk, it means mulitple trips. I use an Eberlestock and it seems to handle it ok. Just wondering if I’m missing something.

      Craig

    • T. J. Conrads
      Admin
      Post count: 52

      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.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      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!!!

      Ireland

    • WICanner
      Post count: 136

      Here is something I do to cut weight and prepare. At least month before a trip, lash a 50 lb rock to your pack. Then hike 3x a week, for a couple of weeks. This gets those pack/hip muscles in shape. Then before the trip, put your gear together in the pack and hike with that. Guaranteed you will take out items you don’t really need to cut weight. Also, try accessing things in the dark, or in a brisk wind, etc. You’ll learn quickly where to pack things to find them, in the order that you’ll need them, to set up camp quickly. Then set up the camp. If something isn’t working quite right, you’ll find that out now, rather than on the trail.

      Just a couple of thoughts, and good luck.

    • hawg
      Post count: 18

      I love backpack hunting. but above all else you have to plan for success. you have to realistically assess your strength and ability to get the animal out. I think above all else.
      I’m with Dave here, I take camping gear and hunting gear, camping/hiking clothes and hunting clothes, so it does add to the weight.

    • FUBAR
      Member
      Post count: 252

      I do a lot of backpacking and I recommend going to some of their sites for info on saving weight. Homemade alcohol stove is very lightweight and cheap to make. Thats just one example. I get most of my hunting clothes through the various discount stores. Especially good for longjohns and sleepwear. Unlike pure hunting stores, they specializee more in things to keep you dry, warm and comfortable. Just of course check each item for noise factors

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      One of my favorite ways to hunt. You will probably start out taking way to much “junk” with you on your first couple of hunts. As you gain more experience you will narrow your needs done and your pack will become lighter and easier to work with. I have found that I don’t really need my cooking stuff – stove, fuel or mess kit anymore. I save alot of weight there and don’t think that I don’t eat good. I have learned to make alot of good meals without cooking or by cooking primitive.

    • DAbersold
      Post count: 111

      I’m thinking tjconrads has it about right, and with a few small changes here and there, about what most experienced backpack hunters take. I can generally get my pack down to 40/45lbs for a five day hunt and eat pretty well and stay warm and dry. Be realistic about how far you go and are willing to pack out your gear and meat. I try for about five miles max. This will get you in far enough to get away from the day hunters, but not far enough for the horse hunters to worry about. In the Trinity Alps Wilderness I hunt, following this rule pretty much ensures I will not see many, if any, other hunters. I’m also thinking that when the others who responded about taking TWO packs they are talking about a full sized pack for getting their gear in, and another smaller day pack to hunt out of. This is what I do and it works well. I certainly see no reason to take two full sized packs. Don’t expect to get it all right on your first try, but I can pretty much guarantee you will learn what works for you after that first trip. Give it a go, have a good time, and don’t give up if the first time you make a few oops’es. (no, oops’es is not really a word)

    • Backcountry Joe
      Post count: 39

      There are 100 diffrent ways to pack in for 100 diffrent people. Some guys will bring everything including the kitchen sink and others(me) don’t take enough.

      I take a 5000 CI pack with my sleeping bag and bivy sac, rain fly, jet boil and extra fuel can or HOBO stove and white fuel, wyoming saw, duct tape, 500′ of 550 cord, water bladder and 2 water bottles(1 filters), baking soda in a wind check bottle(deoderant,toothpaste), small possibles bag with hunting and bow, unscented baby wipes, food, and a knife.

      I use Rivers West fleece because its water proof and layers nice. I also take a pair of shorts for when it warms up to keep the funk down on my other gear.

      If I take more I don’t use it, if I take less I complain but carry on. Everyone has there own idea for food, I don’t eat much in general and evenless in the backcountry. the standard oatmeal, ramen, and trail mix. I also take whey protein for a boost.

    • pab1
      Post count: 2

      I usually bivy hunt and prefer using two packs also. The larger pack on my back is stashed in a somewhat convenient spot so I can return to it every 3-5 days and restock on food. If the weather looks like it will hold out, I hunt with a bivy sack and leave a small tent in the stashed pack. If it looks like I’m in for a long stretch of bad weather I trade out the bivy sack for the tent. I also use the larger pack to haul large loads of meat out. The smaller pack is the one I carry when hunting.

      The tent may add weight going in but its worth bringing along. I’ve slept in a bivy sack during many rainy and snowy nights. You don’t sleep well in a bivy in those conditons which takes its toll on your hunting during the day. I talked myself out of taking a tent on this hunt and it rained almost every night.

    • George McCloskey
      Member
      Post count: 55

      I’ll be heading into a little honey hole this year with my hunting partners, and we’re working on details to backpack up so that we can be “in country” at daybreak. We run the lost river range/pioneer mountains in Idaho, and as a day hunt, it’s 3-4 hours to get to our destination if we start at bottom. Of course, we mess around and have too much coffee in the morning, and by the time we get to altitude it’s 3:00pm.
      This year we are planning on dry camping, and bringing just the minimum. But even so, I don’t see how we can get out from under a 50-60 pound pack.

    • FUBAR
      Member
      Post count: 252

      Sounds like fun8)

    • Polar Bear
      Post count: 91

      I am not an experenced backpack hunter however I have not seen anyone mention paracord in their gear. I don’t have mountains to hunt in but I do like to go out for a couple of days. I used to be able to carry a deer out with no problem but I now make a small travois to help get the game out. By having 150-200′ of paracord I can make one on the spot and pull animal and pack out. I don’t know if this is relevant or not, just hope it helps in some small way.

    • FUBAR
      Member
      Post count: 252

      Very good idea

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Polar Bear — Sure makes a lot more sense than hauling in a wheeled cart, which in designated wilderness is illegal anyhow. Obviously, terrain and slope could render a travois either very useful or useless. In any event I too am intrigued and wondering if you have any photos of one of these rigs in action. It also occurs to me that rather than carrying so much cord and (apparently, as I read it) using it for webbing between two pull poles, you could do as the Indians did and cut a bunch of small-diameter cross sticks and thus need only enough cord to lash them to the drag poles?? Before the big fires here a few years ago I could have made good use of one. Now the downed logs litter the mountains like pick-up-sticks so that in places even the elk can’t get through. Gonna be a real pack-out challenge this year if I get lucky. dp

    • Polar Bear
      Post count: 91

      I carry that much cord because it can be used for various reasons especially emergencies.

      I don’t have any pictures but since I’m go to the range a lot this week I’ll try to put something together.

    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      The distance travelled, elevation gained and climate will probably dictate what I carry.

      I prefer to use tarps over the bivouac sack. Been mountain climbing for 15 years in the northwest, British Columbia and Alaska and always hated the bivy sack since the first use. A tarp often works just as well or better and is a lot cheaper and more versatile. When the bugs come out I use a milspec bug net like we used in the Army.

      Some of the heaviest things you may bring are the fuel, food and water. I stay away from bringing lots of fuel. In the mountains around here there is always a chance to camp near a spring, stream, river, lake, etc. Sometimes I will use iodine or water purifiers. My fuel is only for the coffee. Some of my partners over the years have expressed concern about me not bringing anything to “cook”. I guess it’s just how I fly. Cutting down on fuel consumption will lighten the load. I like to eat nuts, fruit, cheese, pizza, candy bars (clif bars whatever with fruit). If you can leave the stove and fuel at home then you just saved some weight.

      Everyone’s going to have their own ideas of what’s correct/right. Kind of like a pair of shoes.

    • Charles EkCharles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      “Logan Bread” is actually a yeast-less, highly nutritious, homemade bar that needs no cooking once it’s made. It was originally concocted for an assault on the summit of Mount Logan several decades ago. Google for it and you’ll see all kinds of recipes.

      The original recipe contemplated weeks of non-refrigerated storage. Some of the variations you see might not keep as well, so bear that in mind. But for most of us with limited time for trips, shelf life won’t be a major issue, probably.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      MShaw wrote: Hello. I’m interested in what you guys take in the bush with you on a two or more day hunt.

      As little as possible while feeling prepared for most any scenario.

      In addition to bow, quiver/arrows, broadhead wrench and sharpener, spare string, stringer, for a multi-day trip I will typically take;

      – shelter of some sort (depending on time of year/location, but generally as minimal if possible if I’m carrying it)
      – h20 bottle
      – 1 small metal cup for both drinking and eating out of
      – Lexan spork
      – 1 lightweight cook pot
      – fire kit (striker and tinder)
      – 2 knives
      – small bone saw
      – game bags
      – 50ft. of paracord
      – extra layers (depending on time of year/location)
      – water purification tabs
      – binos
      – sleeping bag/pad (I usually go as light as possible on a sleeping bag and plan on wearing all my layers to bed)
      – 1st aid kit
      – map/s
      – compass
      – food (mostly snack stuff – candy, jerky, cheese, etc)
      – headlamp/spare batts
      – lightweight backpacking stove

      And that’s pretty much it. In my area, finding water is rarely ever a problem, so I only carry what I need for a day on the trail. And where allowed, I’ve become a big fan of cooking devices that use natural fuel, like a small Kelly Kettle, which can boil water and cook a small, simple meal with it as well (and there’s no need to carry fuel bottles/canisters, which is great). I can easily put all that together with a pack weight of < 50lbs.

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Smithhammer,

      What model kelly kettle do you have and how does it hold up?

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I’ve got the smaller version, I forget exactly what the capacity is. For solo trips, I really like it, but it would be hard to rely on solely on it if you were camping with other people. It boils water just as fast as a modern backpacking stove, and I’ve got the pot rest and small grill that you can put on top of the chimney so you can cook at the same time that you’re boiling water. It’s a bit bulkier than a stove to pack, but less so than a stove + fuel bottles.

      Best of all, you can always find some sort of fuel to burn (even dried cow chips work in a pinch) and because it is such a small, very focused fire, it doesn’t take much at all.

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