Mountain hunt daypack essentials

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by mcseal2, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    I have been on 4 mountain hunts with a friend of mine who always thinks I pack way to light. We hunt Wyoming in late October or early November. The day starts with a 5 mile uphill hike into the area we want to glass at daylight and then hunting from there. The farthest we have ever ended up from the trailhead was 12 miles according to the GPS. We have always come off the mountain each night, but I want to be prepared to survive a night up there if necessary. We also have connections to have horses pack animals out if we are to deep, so we don't carry frames each day.

    I started the first year with a list of what I carried in my daypack, and checked off items I actually used, and items I don't feel safe without. After 4 hunts this is what I still carry. I work on a family ranch in Kansas, so I spend the majority of my time outdoors and am in fair physical condition. For those with more experience please critique my gear and let me know if I am missing something important or if I have my bases covered.

    I usually wear an uninsulated windshear hooded pull-over, jeans, and gaiters if the snow requires it. I am fairly hotblooded and don't want to overheat while traveling.

    Pack-items other than shooting aids, bullets etc

    -100oz hydration bladder (usually 1/2 full)
    -Gerber knife/saw set
    -heavily insulated ski-mask
    -100gram thinsulate leather gloves
    -extra socks
    -polypropylene long underwear
    -midweight fleece vest
    -lightweight gloves
    -cell phone
    -140hr life headlamp with lithium batteries
    -GPS with lithium batteries & trailhead marked
    -1st aid kit
    -2 space blankets (the biggest size)
    -15ft of braided nylon cord 150lb test
    -2 butane lighters
    -ziplock bag of dryer lint (tinder)
    -survival candle
    -6 energy bars
    -Katadyn micro water filter
    -small knife sharpener
    -game tag/license & a copy of the rules/regs

    Anything missing?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I would say you have a pretty good handle on it. My list is very similar but different in that I do not pack anything to wear with the exception of a rain poncho and a lightweight down jacket with hood and a extra set of gloves usually rag wool. No first aid kit or GPS. I use two aluminum canteens so I can warm the water in a fire if necessary. I know “aluminum is bad” I carry three butane lighters and matches but no tinder. I also packed two or three pillow cases for boned out meat. I still use a Madden internal frame pack that I have had for years and it works well for one two and three day jaunts.
     

  3. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I wondered if the vest & polypropylene set was all necessary, but I have always carried it. I haven't ever got cold enough to use any of it except the vest while glassing and if I am settling in for a long wait I can break out the space blankets. If I keep my core temperature up with additional vest and my extremities dry and warm I seem to be alright.
     
  4. mtelkhntr78

    mtelkhntr78 Well-Known Member

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    I would say you have a pretty good list together. You certainly have the right list of basics to keep you safe. One thing I alwasy take is a handfull of hard candy(jolly ranchers) when I go on a death march. Get neck deep in a miserable hike and have some candy. The little shot of sugar is a great pick-me-up.
     
  5. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Unless your getting thirsty, hungry or find yourself staying mostly wet, I'd say you have a pretty good list. I like to take some mre's with me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Your list looks good to me! I carry Emergency drink mix, it keeps you in good shape but the taste sucks. I also carry preg. checking gloves and nitrile gloves for field dressing they really keep the sticky smelly stuff of you! I double down on the head lamps because someone all ways forgets theirs.
     
  7. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the replys. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but my friend had me second guessing myself. I'll continue letting him carry lots of extra weight and keep to my current list and a few of the items you suggested. I have lots of AI sleeves around, I'll be sure to add a couple for field dressing.

    Thanks everyone
     
  8. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Curious what your pack weighs? I generally wear wool because it still has the ability to keep you warm when it is wet. I would add some sort of chemical fire starter, wool stocking cap, and extra headlight or flash light. If your light fails you are done.

    If it is not very cold during the day but cold at night I will wear cotton, but in lots of layers so that I can peal during the day and add as it gets colder.

    I also carry plenty of food for lunch and some extra just in case I have to stay the night.

    My day pack weighs in at about 25-30lbs. I can't seem to make it lighter.

    Steve
     
  9. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    Writing this post, and the reply's I've gotten gave me something to think about during the hours I spent disking wheat stubble today.

    I weighed my pack on my fishing scale just now, with everything included except the items listed below it weighs 8lbs. I have everything in a eberlestock mini-me pack now, but ordered a X1E today that I might switch to next hunt. It has more capacity for a more substantial vest (the cabelas wooltimate I own) and more extra space. The X1E pack weighs 1.5lbs more empty than the mini-me but includes the scabbard in that weight where the mini-me does not. The mini-me is stuffed FULL with everything listed, which makes drawing from the scabbard slower, but not as much as I thought it might. I went on a 3 mile conditioning hike today with the mini-me loaded as listed plus a 20oz water bottle and 9.5lb 270 in the scabbard and it carried great, even with just a T shirt in 92 degree heat. The mini-me is so narrow that carrying a rifle on a sling works very well also which I may not be able to say about the X1E, I'll just have to wait and see. The X1E has 2300 cubic inch capacity where the mini-me has 800. The camelback stryker I used last year has 1200 and was perfect size, but having the gun in a scabbard between your shoulder blades makes carrying it much easier. The area I hunted last year had a huge burn and having my hands free crossing it would have been wonderful.

    I agree with the idea of an extra headlamp, it is something I have considered. The GPS, headlamp, and camera I carry take the same AA batteries so I am covered there. Lamp breakage is different though, a spare small tikka 1 battery lamp wouldn't weigh much or take up much room but would be handy in a bad situation. I haven't carried one because my friend & I stick together in the mountains and he has 2 (at least) also.

    The stocking cap I have covered, because the ski mask I carry is one of those baclave designs that can be used many ways.

    Another idea I came up with today was replacing the polypropylene long johns (that I've never used) with a lightweight pair of waterproof pants that I could slip on if I was cold or going to be glassing in the snow for a while.

    A real meal would also be nice instead of the energy bars, but I hate to add the weight since we don't stop to eat a real meal. We eat good before leaving for, and after getting off the mountain so I think I could get by unless things turned real bad. If that happens I know the areas where we have cell phone reception to call backup. Should I carry more food to prepare for this?

    What do you use for chemical fire starter?

    Not in pack when weighed
    -water
    -cell phone
    -head lamp
    -energy bars
    -water filter
    -license & regs
    -rifle in scabbard

    Also in the pack were stony point tripod shooting stix.

    These items would add some weight, but not a huge amount. I think I could get the pack in under 14lbs without the rifle. The rifle I will carry hunting will weigh 8.15lbs with scope, sling, and ammunition so 22lbs should cover the entire load other than what I carry in my pockets & binoculars on their harness.


    I usually carry my ammunition, rangefinder, binoculars, wind meter, spare knife, & camera in my pockets and not the pack so that makes a difference also. I don't carry a spotting scope but am borrowing a pair of Leupold 10-17x switchpower binoculars to try this year.

    Thanks for the replys.
     
  10. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Cheaper than Dirt has a great surplus fire starter. It is just a little package in aluminum foil wrapper. It usually only takes a little piece of the stuff to start a fire unless it is pouring.

    I do carry my spotting scope also when I am hunting open country. It sounds like you have your bases covered. I think I am like your buddy, I carry a lot of stuff. In fact I just got a bigger day pack so I could have some more room.

    Steve
     
  11. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting thread.
    Learned a couple of good things.
    I use a J107 dragonfly for the short hunts an for the long ones (just one).
    My list for the day hunts is pretty much the same.
    What I found really helps me is a binocular chest harness or strap. It keeps the binoculars ready and in place, they are fast and easy to get to.
    Just in case it rains very hard I carry a poncho.
     
  12. GNERGY

    GNERGY Guest

    I went to a hunting seminar and there was a guy there that gave some tips on staying alive if you get lost or weather changes for the worst. His tips for starting a fire, he took a cotton ball and set it on fire and it burned for about 5 seconds. Then he smeared a little vasiline on that cotton ball and set it on fire and it burned for a long time and the wind and the rain wouldn't put it out.
    I carry some in an empty vitamin bottle.
    I'll try and find this guys name and post his site. Found it. http://www.outdoorsafe.com/
    Tarey
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2010
  13. HUAINAMACHERO

    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

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    GNERGY,
    Thanks for the info:
    I reviewed the info there and it is great webpage.
    They describe a good list for a safety kit.
     
  14. TheRoaminRaider

    TheRoaminRaider Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, I'm new to the site and hunting, but I've spent years hiking the backcountry with my ex-frame Kelty. thought I'd offer up some of what I've learned that wasnt mentioned.

    - An ax is your best friend in the woods. Gerber makes super light ones for packing.
    -you can leave your wallet, but carry a photocopy of your license with your hunting permits in waterproof container.
    -A real wool hat is the best $10 you will ever spend
    -Keep your socks and undies in ziplock bags
    -Baby wipes! You are probably all laughing, but this will change your life on long trips! Its almost like being able to shower on the trail, get the all natural ones so you can burn them.

    The most important thing I have learned is that most "emergencies" on the trail are simply about not being able to access the resources you can at home. If there is something that you need to have, like medication or contact lenses, bring twice as much as you think need. And tuck a $100 bill somewhere safe, you never know.