What do you pack on a backpack hunt?

Timnterra

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I'm prepping for a Colorado second rifle season elk hunt in October. I've got a unit and section picked out and if all goes well I should be able to do a few days of scouting this summer. I'm excited to get everything ready to go so I've been gathering gear and loading my pack... I tend to be a little over prepared when it comes to packing and burden myself with things that never get used. Do any of you guys have a gear list that you go by when packing your pack? I loaded my pack up this evening and without a sleeping bag, socks, gloves, thermals, snacks, ammo, binos etc... I was already at 65lbs. That is with my rifle in the scabbard and the spotter and tripod strapped on. But I probably will have about 6-7 more lbs of stuff once I fill up with water. I really want to cut the weight as much as possible what do you guys pack?
 

ShtrRdy

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I'm interested in hearing what someone with experience has to suggest.

I think I would leave the bipod and spotter due to weight concerns. The 2nd season can be anything from nice fall weather to raging snowstorm. So you'll have to prepare for either conditions.
 

lazylabs

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If you post a list of what you have as well as weight for each item that would help get things rolling.
 

Timnterra

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Okay I spent a good two hours listing and weighing everything in my pack here it is:
What should I replace or leave at home?

Pack list:
Eberlestock Main frame + Scabbard+ USMC Marpet ruck:
167oz

REI half dome + 2 tent w/ ground cover extra guy-lines & stakes :
95oz

Thermarest:
56oz

Kelty 0 degree bag with fleece liner:
114oz

Jetboil stove, cup /coffee press:
15.8oz

2-fuel canisters:
25oz

MSR filter:
18oz

2- Nalgene bottles/ one wrapped in 550 cord:
12oz

Streamlight + Princeton headlamp:
7.5oz

Sitka mountain pant w/ knee pads:
28oz

Sitka ascent pant:
19oz

Cabelas goretex rain gear pants & jacket:
61oz

Fleece vest:
14oz

Goretex gaiters:
14oz

3- long sleeve quick dry shirts:
23oz

4 pairs Compression shorts:
13.6

Light and heavy weight polypropylene thermals tops &bottoms:
30.8oz

4 pairs Smart wool/ Fits socks:
22oz

Windstopper baklava/ neck gaiter:
3.5oz

Scent away moist towels/wipes:
14.5oz

Large Garbage bags:
4oz

Knives of Alaska muskrat/ camp Bowie:
17oz

Benchmade lone wolf field dressing knife/ pen sharpener:
4.8oz

Toiletries:
17.5oz

Fire starter/ zippo/ survival kit:
18oz

Rudolph optics quad sticks:
35oz

Bushnell arc 1500:
12.2oz

Velbon Sherpa 4430D tripod w/ vanguard ph-21 head:
52oz

Nikon fieldscope Ed iii 20-60x60 w/cover:
75oz

Custom Rem 700 .338win mag w/ Schmidt & Bender klassik 3-12x50:
140oz

10 mountain house/ backpacker pantry meals
57oz

Breakfast- oatmeal/ coffee:
38oz

Kestrel 4000:
4oz

Total 1227oz
76.68lbs

In addition to this I will be wearing a badlands bino harness with Bausch &Lomb elite binos. Strapped to it is a tactical Taylor enhanced admin case with map compas and other small accessories
 
Last edited:

Rick Richard

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I don't know how long you are going in for, but seems like too many changes of clothes. I would get down to 2 pair of clothing. I would also consider leaving the spotting scope and tripod. Eberlestock packs are heavy too. Every ounce counts, but you may be a young one who can handle the extra weight.
 

FEENIX

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Try to shoot for 25% (final gear with everything) of your ideal body weight. The last time I did a serious backpacking was for 10 days and 85 miles. My packed gear ended up 36% of my ideal body weight.
 

cohunter14

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Oct 11, 2012
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Colorado
I hate to come across as negative about this, but unless you get perfect weather and a great forecast, you are crazy to do this during second rifle. There is always a good possibility of a decent amount of snow, but the biggest thing is that it gets COLD in the evenings. I use a 0 degree bag and that's in a heated wall tent.

Regardless of that, the things that jump out at me right away is that you don't have gloves or hats on your list. You will need a stocking cap to sleep in at a minimum, and most likely you will need a stocking cap for the morning and evening hunts. You will want a couple pairs of gloves in case you get a pair wet, sweaty, etc. I can also tell you that you won't need rain gear...you will need snow gear. It might rain for a couple minutes, but if it does, that means snow is coming.

No matter what, just be smart about it. The weather can change in an instant up there, especially in October. It can be 60 degrees one minute and the next you are in a blizzard that will dump 16" of snow.

Just my two cents...
 

davkrat

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The Motherlode
The quick and easy answer is TOO MUCH! I always carry way more weight than I should. The one thing that I would suggest if you're going solo leave the spotter. The only time we carry a spotter is when one of us is a non-shooter. I realize your odds of spotting game go way up with a spotter but a solo hunter, especially with an animal on the ground every ounce extra is nightmarish.

Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain!
 

kayak

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Dec 18, 2011
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Unless you are moving camp every day, is this list pretty much what you are looking at going in on the first day and coming out on the last? If so, that would mean that most of what you have listed would be staying at camp every day while you are out, correct? If so, would that make the weight of it all a little more acceptable?
 

Rick Richard

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North Carolina
think in terms on the minimal needed and not what you might need. This usually works for me and at the end of the hunt I find I could have done without a couple of items.
 

Timber338

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Colorado
I've got a list of all the gear I carry including weights. It's on my computer at home and I'm headed out camping for the weekend. I'll post it up in some format when I get back on Sunday or Monday.

Big picture is I've done it both ultra-light and ultra-heavy for backpacking elk hunts. Just comes down what you are willing to sacrifice.... do you want to be comfortable hiking/packing in to your camp, or do you want to be comfortable once you get there. I typically will go heavy (~90 lb pack) if I going to hike in less than 5 miles and set up a camp that I have very little chance of moving. If I am planning a hunt that is 5+ miles and/or have a high chance of moving camp in order to get closer to the elk then I'll go light and have all gear be about 50 lbs including rifle, water, food, etc.

Also, I only backpack hunt for elk these days and I have handled some pretty cold/wet/snowy weather in the high country with just my 0 deg bag and a tent without any extra heat. If you have the right gear you can do it very successfully even in cold snowy weather, but you have to be ready for it.
 

lazylabs

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Drop the quad sticks, fleece bag liner, scope/tripod,
swap reflective foam pad for therma rest,
swap water bladder for one nalgene,
Sleeping bag seems heavy but we all like different things.
Game bags?
Gps?
Emergency beacon?
Knife sharpener?
 

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