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Advice on backpack hunt gear list

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Unread 02-22-2011, 06:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 295
Advice on backpack hunt gear list

I have a list made up for my first backpack hunt I thought I’d post for everyone to critique. It will be two of us hunting muleys in late October in the mountains. We would be looking at camping about 5 miles from the trailhead and about 2000ft higher. We have both camped many times but always in places we could get to with my Polaris Ranger or river boat so we weren’t packing this light. After we get gear purchased we will do a trial weekend and test it all. For our hunt we would be looking at packing in one day and hunting that evening, 2 full days, the next morning and packing out. We would take the rest of that day and night in town to wash clothes, clean up, rest, and then repeat the hunt. Each trip would be 3 nights out. Here is my list of what I am looking at taking in including all the camping gear and my personal hunting gear. My friend will carry half the camp weight and his own gear. Anything that has a price next to it is something that we have not purchased yet, but intend to. I listed weight in pounds/ounces on most items and rounded anything short of a full ounce up to keep the estimate on the high side. If anyone experienced at this has time to review my list and offer advice I’d appreciate it. Thanks for your help.
Backpack hunt gear complete list (all oz rounded up)
Kifaru Paratipi w/ parastove
-combine for 5lb/13oz shelter $787

Tent floor
-Grabber space blankets (use 2 5x7” 11oz each for 22oz)

Sleeping bag - I don’t think I could sleep in a mummy bag without being claustrophobic about being that restrained. This bag narrows at the bottom for weight savings but has room in the chest and shoulder area, and no hood. I think with the stove in the tent it will work.
-Cabelas Eureka Dual temp sleeping bag (3lbs/15oz 33x72 hybrid bag $99)
-no hood +10 temp rating synthetic insulation

Weather info
-Eton FR160 solar, crank, and battery powered radio (9oz)

-Kifaru small stove (listed above)
-Snow Peak TI .7L mug w/ lid ( weigh 5oz each need 2 for 10oz) $40
-REI Sea to Summit alpha utensil set spoon/fork need 2 (1oz each) $15 x2 for $30
-waterproof matches (light stove)

-Cabelas Alaskan guide extreme pack & frame 7/14
-small camelback stryker daypack (carry rolled up in sleeping bag) for hunting from camp 1/8
-Backpacking light waterproof pack liner (2oz XL liner) 3 for $6

-hot tea packets
-Oatmeal packets
-Mountain House meals (one 2 serving size meal per person per day for evening) 5oz per meal x 6 meals =2lbs
- Cliff bars
Total food estimate 5lbs (right amount?)

1 roll toilet paper

-Katadyn filter (11oz)
-gatorade mix
- water bottles (2 20oz bottles each)

-Browning A-bolt 270WSM (8lbs)
-ammo 25 rounds (1lb)

-Sog field pup (5oz)
-Leatherman Wave (9oz) – handling hot mugs & stove door, has small saw
-Schrade firebird lockback (2oz)
-Pocket sharpener (2oz)

Clothing (including what I wear in)
-Cabelas down pack vest
-Danner pronghorn boots
-Cabelas rain suede tall packable jacket seclusion OC $95
-Cabelas rain suede packable bibs seclusion OC $90
-Patagonia zip undershirts (2)
-Medalist long underwear (2)
-Wool socks (3pr)
-Cabelas MTP boxers (3) $10 each for $30
-Cabelas Microtex light pants (2) $40 each for $80
-Sitka mountain pants (2)
-Cabelas windsheer windbreaker
-Brown light fleece shirt
-Cabelas Dry plus gloves (40gr thinsulate)
-heavy leather gloves
-Orange fleece baclava

Daypack list (what goes from camp when hunting)
-Sog & schrade knives (listed above)
Survival kit
-handwarmers (2 7hr packs)
-adventure medical bivy sack
-military rain poncho
-small BIC lighter
-pill bottle of vaseline coated cotton balls
-25 yds of 150lb braided nylon cord (boot laces or other uses)

-15yds of 350lb braided nylon cord
-filter straw (leave Katadyn at camp with 2 people) ($10)
-quickclot (1 small pouch)
-vetwrap 1 roll
-4x4 gauze pads (4)
- fishing kit ( dozen hooks & 20ft line in little pill bottle)
-Petzl headlamp (3 AAA) 200hr battery life low, 55hr high 100hr red
-Petzl headlamp (E+lite 1 ounce back-up light. Uses same battery as wind meter)
-spare lithium batteries ( 3AAA)
-cell phone
-Esbit stove (4oz)
-snow peak cup w/tea pkt (listed above)
-pack liner (waterproofing gear or packing meat)

First Aid
12 aleve
-first aid kit (6oz)
-insect repellant (3 pkts)
-insect sting relief (2pkts)
-burn cream (3pkts)
-hand sanitizer (2pkts)
-Iodine prep pad (1)
-hydrocortizone cream (3pkts)
-disposable lancet
-poison ivy cleaning towelette
-first aid guide
-surgical needle
-antiseptic towelettes (6)
-bandages (assorted)
-moleskin (2 pads)
-gauze pads (2 lg)
-athletic tape
-Percocet pain pills (3)

Hunting gear
-scope cloth
-camera w/ 2AA lithium batteries, (unused, spares for GPS)
-10 rounds ammo in camo sleeve

-Leupold Olympic binoculars 10x50 (26oz)
-Rangefinder bushnell elite 1500 (11oz)

Total Weight Camp Only 23lbs 11 oz
-includes only Kifaru,2 floor blankets, 2 sleeping bags, radio, pots, utensils, food, Katadyn filter, leatherman, first aid kit
Hunting and personal 21lbs 8oz
-includes pack, daypack, pack liner, rifle, ammo, knives, sharpener, binoculars, rangefinder
Does not include clothing or survival kit. (estimate at 15lbs)

camp weight (11/12) + hunting gear (21/8 )+ clothes & kit ( 15lbs) = 48lbs 6oz total for my share.

Even if the clothing & kit weight estimate is light, which it probably is, with rounding up ounces on everything I think it would stay under 50lbs which I think would be manageable. I’ve packed 80-120lbs of elk in a trip a few times, so I think I could handle this. I think we could get camp and one deer out in a trip with two of us, or if we both kill we could make two trips.

What do you all think, am I on the right track?

Last edited by mcseal2; 02-22-2011 at 06:34 PM. Reason: typo
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Unread 02-22-2011, 07:19 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,726
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

You are getting there...

Check this out for a bag and change your thought process on mummy bags. They are absolutely fine to sleep in. No one says you have to have them zipped all the way up with the draw cord tightened around your face--not even close. You are really not 'restrained', least I rarely feel that way.

Mountain Hardwear Banshee SL 0 Sleeping Bag: 0 Degree Down from Backcountry.com

0F bag, 800 fill power down, (will last much longer than any synthetic fill if taken care of properly) that's a few ounces lighter than the Cabelas and with the Conduit waterproof/breathable laminate (got it myself in one bag and it works great). The baffles are welded so there is next to zero exposed stitching to absorb and carry water to the down. Much smaller package in your pack due to the high compressibility of high quality down vs. synthetic. I pretty much generally figure that most stuff from Cabelas is meant for camping at your truck or in a wall tent with that a pack string packing you in. Not too knock Cabelas too much, but it's just generally not top of the line gear.

If you go with a floorless Kifaru design tipi or the Paratipi and get any rain, it's likely that the ground will be wet, which means you'll be wet in short order. You'll need a bag that can deal with that as the above bag can. Your Cabela's bag won't have a w/b outershell.

You have to factor in the extra weight and bulk of a floor you pack along with you in the final assessment of shelter weight and the reality is that floor you pack with you will be much less waterproof and usable and comfortable than a shelter with a real floor will be. WildSide Systems ...new and much better designs than shown are being worked on as we speak. A shelter with a floor is a tremendous boost to being comfortable and having a livable shelter. You will be able to hunter harder day after day after day and looking for systems that allow you to do that is...isn't that why we are out there in the first place?

Your shelter and your sleeping bag are your last lines of defense from nature's weather. I like 'em made to take on more than I think likely to be shelled out weatherwise. That time of year in the mountains, anything can happen. A floorless shelter and marginal bag leave something to be desired when the rain/snow hits in my opinion.

Some of the Garmin Rhino series GPS units have built in weather radio funtion as well as FRS/GMRS capability. Less bulk and weight for the same or better functionality.

Check out the MSR Titan Tea Kettle before you buy.

Kifaru Long Hunter Hauler functions as large backpack and day pack with option to immediately pack out a quarter of elk or 1/2 deer. Actually, I packed out all 4 quarters of a 4x4 , approx. 200-225 lb. muley last year on some x-country nasty terrain in one load with it last year and then back up for camp in one more load.

Will you have a water source nearby or have to pack in water for the dehy meals? Often you'll find that if you are packing xtra water in for the dehy meals, that a can of chili, etc. is as good and less weight and much less expense overall than dehy. Just something to keep in mind if it fits the situation. Can of hearty soup can be cracked and put right on top of the stove with no addt'l pot needed as well.

I usually have no more than about 10 rnds ammo ith me. Just me.

Just got to try it a few times and see what works for you. Have a good time!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

www.wildsidesystems.com - Shelter for Your WildSide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYwgo...&feature=g-upl

Last edited by jmden; 02-22-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 08:04 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 172
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

It is a little difficult to suggest what other gear to leave or bring with you without knowing your experience level but it seems like you have a plan for everything. I will let others comment on most of your gear but I don't think I see a map of the area on your list?

I see several knives and a sharpener. What about a bone saw and less knives.
Is the fishing kit for survival or do you plan on fishing during the hunt? If it is a survival kit I wouldn't bring one since you are only five miles down the trail.

25 rounds are a lot for a hunt. I think I usually bring 12 because that is what my case holds.

I think tents can be a personal thing so I won't comment on your choice but it is definitely expensive. I also think your choice in eating utensils is expensive.

As far as your medical kit I hope you have practice using the equipment. Otherwise quick clot can be dangerous to both patient and doctor. The same can be said for the percocet and surgical needle.

I love my camelback and they have made great strides in ensuring they don't leak. I still wouldn't want it near my sleeping bag.

Thanks for posting the list. It is always easy looking at people's camp gear and commenting on them then when I go to get my pack ready I find myself bringing a lot of extra stuff and asking the same question. From the gear you are using it sounds like you have experience in either backpacking or hunting or both and are on the right track. I don't know how many hours I have staring at my gear laid out and wondering what I am missing!
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Unread 02-22-2011, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 295
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

Thanks for the reply's and I'll try to answer all the questions so far. This is my first backpack hunt, so it will be a new experience. I live and work on a ranch, so I spend most of my time outdoors and have hunted my whole life. I've never combined it with camping before. I've spent a couple hundred nights outdoors from March through October for one reason or another over the years, but never more than two nights in a row. With weight not a problem on those trips I've used a shelter made from two heavy tarps and two steel poles I made. It's nothing fancy, but is roomy and has kept us dry on many rainy nights. I've been soaked and miserable working on many occasions, so having a stove in the tent to dry it is a top priority for me, and why I looked at the Kifaru.

I checked out the Wildesystems site and emailed you for more information. That may be exactly what I am looking for and uses the same stoves, thanks for the tip.

I have an 8oz Gerber folding saw I could take, I actually left it out because the guy I hunt with also has one and always carrys it. I figured we could save weight there. They have a wood blade if we need it to notch a stick to break for the stove, and a bone blade for game. I thought I'd carry the leatherman pliers instead for handling the hot stove door and pots. Now that I'm thinking about it, I have a composite handled freeby leatherman that would serve the same purpose and weighs half as much. I could probably skip the schrade lockback, it's just habit to have a pocket knife for me. I've had to cut my way out of a couple tight spots roping and doctoring cattle, so I always want a knife handy.

For the eating utensils what would you recommend? I thought about plastic disposable utensils, but was afraid of breaking them.

I already have the snow peak mug, so I thought I may as well use it. I figured if we each had our own we could heat our water in it and drink from it also. I'll look into the other designs for him, it might be nice if he had a different one anyway so we each use the right one.

I could drop the ammo count. I usually carry 4 in my gun, 3 in my pocket, and 10 in my daypack. Deer usually go down on the first shot anyway, unlike elk. I've put 5 into an elk before, when any one of the first 4 would have done the job if I'd been more patient. I'll drop to 4 in the gun, 4 in my pocket, and 4 in my daypack. That way if I loose one stash all is not lost.

On the medical kit, I combined 2 other kits into a small pouch and that is just what was in them. The percocet were leftovers from a prescription I threw in in case of severe pain from a broken leg or something. The needle came in the kit so I just left it, I've never sewed a wound on a human and hope not to.

What is the danger of quick-clot sponges? I can't say I've heard anything bad about it. Sounds like I need to do more checking on that.

I'll definitely look into the Garmin Rhino, that sounds like a great piece of equipment. I need a new GPS anyway since the screen went out on mine this winter.

I'll look into the sleeping bags more also. You have me thinking now about water resistance. I've spend a couple nights out in the rain soaking wet, and it isn't something I care to repeat if I can help it. It definitely didn't do much for my ambition level the next day either.

For the water question, there is plenty near camp. I left it off when making my list, but I was thinking of getting one of the collapsable bottles to carry in empty and fill at camp.

Thanks alot for your help. I'd sure rather figure out what to change now than when I've already bought it and am on a mountain needing it to perform.

Last edited by mcseal2; 02-22-2011 at 11:14 PM.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 07:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 71
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

I've spent alot of nights in Kifaru shelters in the rain and have never gotten wet.just stay a few inches from the outside edge of the tent and be carefull where you pitch it same as with any tent
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Unread 02-23-2011, 08:15 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 172
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

Depending on when and where you bought your quick clot determines how it was made and the effects on the wound.

The quick clot I have used is basically a chemical that cauterizes the wound. You have to apply a lot of pressure over all the bleeding arteries/ veins making sure you get them all. As a life saving device it is great to have but you have to make sure not to burn yourself by using decent gloves. When you cauterize the bleeding arteries etc it makes it difficult for doctors to repair the damage. It also has a tendency to attract a lot of bacteria so you have to ensure you keep the wound extra clean. By all means take it and use it if necessary but I would leave it as a last source or major emergency. You might want to get a little extra and try it on a piece of the animal you shoot just to see how it works. Take pictures and post them if you can.

I use a spork for my utensil and just tie it down so I don't lose it. What got me was the price you were paying.

For water I use a pump water filter in case my water source is pretty small. Otherwise you might take a look at steri-pens. They work great when sterilizing water if you just scoop water out of a lake/stream. If you are trying to save weight a couple drops of bleach goes along way to kill bacteria/parasites. If you have a swimming pool the stuff they use to "shock" the pool will kill all bacteria/parasites. It comes in powder form and a little goes a long ways.

Another great feature on the Garmin Rhino is if you each of your hunting partners have one you can see where the other one is.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 295
Re: Advice on backpack hunt gear list

I have a Steripen, not the new adventure model but the bigger one. I've actually never used it in the field, it is in my truck emergency kit because I have a 12V battery charger in there for AAA-D cells, and some spare batteries. At 6.4oz it is lighter than the Katadyn, I'm just not sure I trust it quite as much. Have you used one?

Also good to know on the quick clot. It will be a last resort if gauze and vet-wrap aren't enough and I don't think we can get to help fast enough. Thanks for the tips.

I think we are getting a couple of the Garmin Rhino's. I have been around hunters whose radios are squauking non-stop, which really irritates me. If you can't handle silence or being alone the mountains are no place for you in my opinion. For an emergency, getting help with a down animal, or such reasons they could be a lifesaver. Having all that in one unit is great, I can pack extra batteries for the weight I save not carrying all 3.

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