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Equipment for Backpack Hunting

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Unread 02-29-2008, 05:14 AM
DWK DWK is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 45
For fall hunting in the lower 48, I'm using a Marmot Helium bag (900 down---15 degree) that weighs 1 lb 13 oz. and is comfortable for my 6 foot 225 lb size. I also have a custom Feathered Friends 850 down expedition overbag that weighs about 2 lbs. I've had it down to 11 degrees on its own but it is built roomy and designed to have a bag like the Marmot inside it for extreme winter cold. I have found the two-bag system pretty flexible.

For Alaska and other moist country, I have used a North Face Snowshoe 5 degree Polarguard 3D synthetic bag, mentioned by another poster. Over the last 5 years the insulation has deteriorated substantially and I consider it about a 25-30 degree bag now.

One of my friends has a Western Mountaineering down bag that is excellent. I have their down Flight Jacket, which weighs 12 oz in XL size and the warmth just beats the hell out of many down jackets that weigh twice as much. However, it is an ultralight item and not built for crashing through thornbushes!

I've used the Snow Peak Giga Power titanium stove a lot and like it. On BackpackingLight.com they explain how to build a wind shield that will get it to perform at least as well as the Jetboil. Snow Peak titanium cookware has also worked well for me.

For fall conditions I've used a Tarptent with the built in floor and vestibule. Extremely light and good wind resistance but not meant for really cold winter conditions.

One piece of Cabela's equipment about which I can definitely say good things is their two-man expedition tent, which I think they call an XPG or the like. It is not as light and sophisticated as the Biblers so it is for horse packing or river rafting rather than lightweight backpacking. A friend brought one on a river trip out of Bethel, AK, not too far off the Bering Sea. For over two weeks we got the hell beat out of us by about 4 severe storms in a row. That tent performed perfectly for around $200 (or less on sale). Extremely strong, stable, dry, etc.
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Unread 02-29-2008, 05:30 AM
DWK DWK is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 45
Forgot the water purifier. For many years I used the full-size Katahdyn (I suspect that's not spelled correctly) with a 10 micron First Need pre-filter (that can be backflushed in the field) on the end of the intake hose. Fairly heavy. A year ago I bought an Aqua Star Plus for about $80. It is a UV purifier like the Steri Pen but I prefer it somewhat because it is lighter and it is built into the screw top for a 1 liter Nalgene lexan water bottle.

I fill the Aqua Star bottle with water and screw on the top, activate the switch, turn it upside down in my water bottle holder, and start walking. 80 seconds later the liter of water is ready to drink. On a week-long backpacking trip I did not need to use my backup batteries---the original set lasted well past that trip. I get the 123As from Surefire at a fairly reasonable price.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 10

Hunting in San Diego/ Imperial Counties:
Eberlestock Gunslinger pack w/ 3L hyd system
Northface Tadpole tent
Old REI summer weight-down sleeping bag, weighs about 8 oz
Poncho liner. if it's cold I take extra poncho liners.
Rain gear (never needed it yet here)
Polypro hat/gloves
Therma rest
MSI water filter
Nalgene 1L collapsible water bottle
Petzl headlamp
Titanium cook-cup,
Whisperlite stove

Last edited by tippet; 04-03-2008 at 03:45 AM.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 73
Check out this web site - Integral Designs - Innovative Gear for Self Propelled Adventurers they have some top quality gear. I used one of their bags on a sheep hunt in NWT last year and my guide slept under one of their tarps. Very light weight high quality gear. It is also expensive. My 0 degree F down bag is waterproof, but it cost over $600. It should last a lifetime.

Backcountry.com: The North Face, Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia Skiing, Camping, Hiking and Backpacking Gear from Backcountry.com Camping MSR, Sierra Designs, Hiking, Skiing K2, Volkl, Climbing Petzl, Yates, Snowboarding K2, Palmer, Rescue @ HermitsHut.com

Here are a couple more. The mountaineering folks really know light gear and how to survive.
I use a Mystery Ranch pack and really like it. I agree a frame pack may be alittle better for big meat loads, but I would much rather hunt in my MR internal frame pack and think overall it is a better deal. I have the NICE frame MR pack and can change bags from 6500 inches to 5000 inches or use the crew cab for day hunts or even overnight hunts. Welcome to Mystery Ranch Backpacks The pack bags have a place for water bladders.

Good Luck in your search.
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