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Equipment And Planning For Backpack Hunting
First of all you will need a good backpack. I tend to like the external frame type over the internal. Mine was a Cabela's Alaskan, with the fold down platform (better for packing meat) Whichever backpack you prefer just make sure it has a comfortable waist belt and use it properly. You should be carrying about the same amount of weight on your hips as on your shoulders. Be realistic about what you can carry comfortably.


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Of course everyone is gonna have the standard gear for whatever they will hunt with, archery gear or rifle stuff, so there is no need to cover which works best or the shooting tools needed, I just want to stress some basics, like a good shelter. There are so many quality tents out there these days and I do not have a preference, just remember you are going to be carrying it on your back, so lighter is better. After the backpack hunting trip mentioned above I invested in a high quality one man backpacking tent that weighed 3lbs. One piece of hunting gear that I do stress is good quality binoculars. I never carry a spotting scope when backpack hunting because of the weight, but I would rather stay home than be without my Zeiss 10X40's

backpack hunting

Good quality leather boots are next on my list of necessities on a backpack hunting trip. Again I don't have a particular brand to pitch here; mine are Cabela's Mountain Hunters. I like boots 8" tall to give plenty of ankle support, but make sure they are well broken-in, and carry extra laces. Don't buy a new pair the week before your hunt. Also a quality sleeping bag, rated for the weather you will be using it in. Goose down is great but you do have to keep it dry. Some of the poly filled bags these days might be the better choice. Another item I carry is a self inflating mattress pad. This insulates you from the cold ground and makes sleeping a lot more comfortable for the little weight it costs you.

Everyone’s tastes are different when it comes to food so I will just touch on this. My preference has always been MRE's for backpacking. I would carry one for everyday I planned on being out, then a pound or so of minute rice and a couple packs Raman noodles. You may want to open the MRE's and take out the stuff you wouldn't need and seal them back in a zip lock bag to save a little weight. My favorite cook setup is a SVEA liquid gas fueled stove that nestles inside about a quart saucepan with a lid that served as frying pan. I can usually cook 3 or 4 times on it with one tank of gas, and of course carry a good supply of waterproof matches and a failsafe fire starter kit, it might just save your life.

backpack hunting

I usually plan to backpack hunt in an area with water so I would not have to carry any very far. A lightweight water purifier or tablets to disinfect water is a good idea, also a collapsible water jug. You certainly want to stay hydrated when backpacking. This is probably a good time to discuss your medical kit. Be sure and include Imodium tablets in case the water or something else gives you a dose of Montezuma’s revenge. Other things such as aspirin, eye drops, Rolaids(for altitude sickness) and your preference on bandages and antibiotic creams. Also think about stuff like moleskin for blisters, and superglue for cuts. I also carry a suture kit, especially if archery hunting, and a good ace bandage. A cell phone may be a good idea these days if there is service in the area, just in case of an emergency. I noticed that there is a new device out now that is a satellite messaging device that can summon help in the event of an emergency, from practically anywhere in the world. It has GPS tracking that can lead help right to your location. Always have a backup plan and be sure and leave instructions behind, on where exactly you will be hunting.

I was always able to get by for 3-4 days on 45 to 50 lbs of backpack gear not including my rifle. Food is usually the determining factor on how many days you can stay. I would pack into the area I intended to hunt and set up camp, then with just a daypack set out on the hunt. Once while on a backpack sheep hunt, I was crossing a creek and noticed some nice sized trout that were in a shallow area, where a beaver damn had broke and left them stranded. I was able to gather them up by whipping the water over them with a stick and stunning them, thus extending my trip by a couple days, eating trout that I grilled over coals wrapped in aluminum foil. Another time on a backpack archery hunt, a grouse gave its life for a meal. So always be an opportunist when it comes to food, and carry salt and pepper, a little flour, a few other spices, and aluminum foil.

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