Items needed for a long stay in the backcountry.

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by bhunting, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. bhunting

    bhunting Active Member

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    I am going mule deer hunting with a friend in NW Wyoming this fall. We are going in Oct 14th and plan on hunting for 9 days and then packing out. We are planning on going in anywhere from 4-8 miles depending on where the deer are and then hunting from there. I just purchased the badlands 4500 pack and he is getting the same pack. We don't plan on seeing the truck again til we are done so we are putting a list of items together that we will need for this journey. Can you help me put together a list of items so I don't forget anything.
    Thanks.

    And we will be anywhere from 5000 to 9000 ft.
     
  2. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    What is your background/experiecne in backpacking, especially backpack hunting? If we knew that, it might help to give you more appropriate advice.

    Does the 4500 expand at all? 4500 cubic inches might be a bit small to carry enough food and gear for 9 days. Just something to consider is all. If you are planning just making one camp in a few miles, you could probably make that pack work. Some could do it, but you might need to very good/experienced at minimizing and miniaturizing the gear you take, especially if you are a longrange hunter with the associated optics and other gear.

    Mid to late October can be a real weather crapshoot. You need to be prepared for anything from near 0 F to sunny 80 F and perhaps a good snow or two...you just never know. You need good water source and way to purify it, you need a good shelter with a way to warm up, dry off and cook out of the weather. If you cannot dry out at night and get a good nights rest in a quality sleeping bag that is kept dry, you will likely soon lose the energy and drive to hunt hard day after day. If it's 80, you don't need to worry about drying out usually, if it's cold and snowy/rainy, drying out becomes a major issue.

    Clothing selection becomes an important decision as well. Number one rule for serious outdoor activities is NO COTTON--not a stitch. Get good quality wicking underwear as a base layer, then a good insulation layer and then have available a waterproof breathable (top and bottom) outer layer for wind/rain/snow--9 days in the mountains that time of year and you're likely to have a bit of everything thrown at you weatherwise.

    Anyway, there's a few basics, but there's alot more to consider and many on this site that have many different ways of getting along in the backcountry. Good to hear it all and then hopefully make a good decision on what to use/do, etc.

    Jon
     

  3. bhunting

    bhunting Active Member

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    As for a background I guided in western mt for 2 years but that was 9 years ago and we had a base camp we hunted from with wall tents. I know I will need a decent sleeping bag and tent. We are planning mre's for meals and are gonna break them down for size. Also we have water purification taken care of. I do shoot long range and am planning bino's but not sure yet about a spotting scope although I would really like it and my rangefinder is a must. I also know my clothing is going to be limited but socks are a must and with weather a huge variable that time of year we have to be prepared for the worst and will have extras in the truck but don't want to waste time going there if it can be avoided.
    Thanks!
     
  4. Gene Jr.

    Gene Jr. Well-Known Member

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    Remember to share anything you can between the two of you. One first aid kit, one stove, one water filter, one cooking pot, one hunting knife, one spotting scope/tripod...

    I'm going on a walk in sheep hunt this fall and am going through the same process. Communicate with your hunting partner, work as a team. We are taking two rifles, one LR setup and one carry gun, but sharing as much of the rest as possible. It keeps the cost down a bit also if you're gearing up for the first time.

    I have a plastic storage bin that I'm accumulating all my stuff for the trip into. As I find something better/lighter I swap it out. Make sure to use everything ahead of time, carry it, practice with it, sleep out in the back yard with it. Do a day hike and set up camp, cook lunch, pack it all back up and head home. My hunting partner is in AK and I'm in PA. We don't have the chance to practice together but communicate by email and even send pictures of our gear to each other so there is a clear understanding of what each person is responsible for.

    Have fun with it! Getting ready is just as much fun as going and it can make your hunt so much more enjoyable.
     
  5. Kronberg

    Kronberg Member

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    Some already talked about the (hard) choices to be made. One may be if you should have to rifles with you or just one. If you hunt consistently as a pair only one might be needed and you could do away with bulky 3-5 kg. However if you plan to split up a bit two rifles are of course needed and perhaps even a second spotting scope. ( Here an error in taking "wrong" game (different sex, age, size etc) can be costly and frustrating)

    Personally I always enjoy a tarp, especially if there are trees around. In milder climates it can be superior to a tent, but it can be a very sensible addition during a hunting trip. During bad weather you can cook, work, skin, eat in it's shelter and do so at the tent site or during a rest away from sleeping place. Of course slightly forested areas are ideal for it, but you can set it up in so many ways. Light walking/skiing/snowshoeing poles work well too.
     
  6. bhunting

    bhunting Active Member

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    Thanks for all the info and keep it coming. We are going to split up and cover more ground so two rifles are a must. I would also like my spotting scope so we each have one especially our morning and evening sits when we will be split up for sure. I will give it up if I have to but really don't want to.
     
  7. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

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  8. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    I might add,

    Most guys overplan there stay in the backcountry. Honestly if this is new ground to you I would not pack in 9 days of stuff. You park and pack in 4 miles north with a weeks worth of stuff and see nothing? Now what.

    Your best option is to set up a COMFORTABLE base camp at the truck. If you get bad weather, injury, shoot somthing and pack it out, ect. You have a comfortable place to rest.

    From there, spike out, pack lite for a one or two night outing, carry light, glass and move acordingly. If you don't find a shooter it is time to move to a different area, or go further in. If your spike camp is 4 miles in and you decide to go another 2-3 miles in, walk back to the truck empty, and resupply, leaving spotters and one gun at the spike camp.

    9 days in one direction is a big investment, after all your hunting mule deer, I would hate to carry in 9 days of stuff and you both tag out on day 3. I've been there and done that in one weeks time I had set camp up 3 times in 3 different spots. The first and second were in very poor places that made hunting harder.
    #3 ended up being a camp I used for another 4 hunts in following years.
     
  9. bhunting

    bhunting Active Member

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    Thanks for all the help. It is going to be a long wait til October but I want to be ahead of the game. If you think of anything else please list it.
     
  10. Bobcape

    Bobcape Well-Known Member

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    That is very good advice you've been given right there! I spend a lot of time in the Big Horns in Wyoming each year. You might be surprised by the number of FS roads in your area. You can usually drive quite a few miles in and make a comfortable base camp. Head out in the mornings until you find you need to do overnights. Pack accordingly each day so you can stay out if necessary. The controlling factors for finding the animals you want are weather and hunting pressure. Both are difficult to determine from a map. You will have just as enjoyable a time base camping and spiking out and probably more success.

    Bob

     
  11. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    I've seen many times the number or critters a ways off the road than on or near a road, road end or not. You can be quite comfortable a ways off the road if you have a good lightweight tent that you can put a lightweight wood stove in and have knowledge of what comprises quality, purpose built gear. Where I make camp for elk hunting, we routinely hear and feel footsteps of elk just a few yards from the tent at night. You're much more unlikely to get that at the road end and I can get quite a bit more sleep and use less energy to hunt longer because I don't have to take nearly the time and energy to get to areas with critters. JMHO
     
  12. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    After packing my spotting scope around and realizing how heavy it was I went out and bought a doubler that presses on to one eye cup of my binos. I bought the bushel elite 2.5 doubler and I think vortex offers one as well. Some might not think this is an adequate substitute for a spotter but my pack is much lighter and I'm not necessarily trophy hunting. I use my binos and if I'm having trouble telling if it's legal I put on the doubler and hopefully can count at least 3 points. So that's my idea if it's any good is up to you ;)
     
  13. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to think about important items to have in your truck once you get back... like a set of chains in case you are parking somewhere remote/rugged. change of clothes, extra food, lots of extra water.

    Also think about water storage wherever you end up setting up camp. You may not be right next to a stream. I always pack in two empty 1-gallon plastic milk jugs... just slash them on the outside of my pack. they weigh next to nothing, but it is great to not have to pump water every night when you get back to camp. All you'll want to do is boil water for your dehydrated dinner and get to bed.

    Also, as far as food goes, you want to be smart. no junk food. only take food that is going to fuel you as you hunt. most people I know take halloween candy, and it sure tastes good, but does you no favors when you really need energy. Basic rule I follow is just simply avoid any sugary foods.