2022 drop hunt gear review/trip planning help

WeiserBucks

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Weiser, ID
I keep hearing about the importance of a glassing tarp. I'll be after caribou for the first time and I'm curious, are caribou really active during rain storms or are guys just trying to maximize their limited time on a fly in hunt?
 

diamond10x

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Alaska
I’d appreciate the list if you can send it over. Just ordered a 3x5 siltarp and a 8x10 with stakes and guy wires that weighs in at 20 oz. 3.5 is super light. We have a helinox chair each that we are taking so the pad would be extra and can be easily removed. As far as mountain house, we both have a few flavors of breakfast and dinner that we enjoy. May try a different brand to see if there is any other options to add but her and I both have the same mind set. This ain’t glamping lol. Some sacrifices may have to be made such as eating rehydrated food over cooking food fresh. We will take some seasonings as well as some lemons or lemon juice in case we are so fortunate to snag some fresh fish for lunch or dinner and to season caribou if and when we harvest. Hard to hear some fresh cooked heart right out of an animal in my opinion.

Fixed blade knife - are you saying just have one between the both of us or add one more to the two I’m taking? I’m planing on taking my large and small northern hunter by lt wright. I’ve grown to love these knives based off their design. They work wonders breaking down animals. If I added one, I’d probably add something like a drop point hunter for something sturdy breaking down joints but those two handlers her elk she shot this year just fine. Tyto was going mainly for caping the skull bc in my opinion, that’s about all that knife is good for. I tried it on and elk a few years ago and I’d rather sacrifice a lot more weight than use that as my only knife.

As far as weight, I double checked on their website and its 125# per person plus rifle. I don’t think I’m even at 125# all together.

Water? Did you bring a larger water bladder like a 10L and store water at camp for food/hydration bladder in packs or just run the hydration bladder in your pack. We both run 4L MSR dromedary bladders with a quick disconnect that I can hook up to my katadyn hiker pro and fill up without having to take it out of the pack.


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I sent you my list

If hunting alone I take a havalon and then just a fixed blade knife. Since there is two of you I’d just take your tyto, whatever knife she has, and then one of the two fixed blades you mentioned.

I use a 3L bladder in my pack then I take either a 10L dromedary to keep water at camp or I bring a GSI folding water cube in 3 or 5 gallon, I really like the water cubes.
 

Gunnersdad49

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Colorado
If you are in a bone-in unit, bring a saw for the ribs. I know some guys can disarticulate the joints, etc, but with bugs, rain, snow, cold hands, etc, just bring a saw. It's faster.

Also get big feet for your Helinox Chairs. The tundra will take those little 1" feet all the way down, and half the time you won't get them back.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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If you are in a bone-in unit, bring a saw for the ribs. I know some guys can disarticulate the joints, etc, but with bugs, rain, snow, cold hands, etc, just bring a saw. It's faster.

Also get big feet for your Helinox Chairs. The tundra will take those little 1" feet all the way down, and half the time you won't get them back.

Thanks for the advice! I’ll for sure look for those feet now. Didn’t even think about that one! And I’m pretty sure we are in a bone in unit. I’m going to double check in advance before we leave. I’ll need a saw for skull caping the caribou anyways. Guess I’ll need to do some research on a good saw. Never really used one before and was anticipating a hatchet down the spine for the ribs. Guess I depends on what mood I’m in as to how I cut or chop the bou apart If we get lucky and drop one.


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Gunnersdad49

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I used one like this for caribou and moose and it worked really well. It also worked well for cutting discs out of a log to place under each of the feet of my helinox chair when the smashed beer cans didn't work. Held those in place with gorilla tape. Bigger feet on the chair would have worked better. :)
 

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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I used one like this for caribou and moose and it worked really well. It also worked well for cutting discs out of a log to place under each of the feet of my helinox chair when the smashed beer cans didn't work. Held those in place with gorilla tape. Bigger feet on the chair would have worked better. :)

This is what I’m finding for the chair. We have the helinox chair zero.
86bb4357248fe3c16592285151da3f54.jpg



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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I used one like this for caribou and moose and it worked really well. It also worked well for cutting discs out of a log to place under each of the feet of my helinox chair when the smashed beer cans didn't work. Held those in place with gorilla tape. Bigger feet on the chair would have worked better. :)

I used one like this for caribou and moose and it worked really well. It also worked well for cutting discs out of a log to place under each of the feet of my helinox chair when the smashed beer cans didn't work. Held those in place with gorilla tape. Bigger feet on the chair would have worked better. :)

Since you addressed the feet issue, you should add this for the beer. Lol

45657110c4fa462b02d792143eb5aa38.jpg



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Gunnersdad49

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Since you addressed the feet issue, you should add this for the beer. Lol

45657110c4fa462b02d792143eb5aa38.jpg



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Great idea. We actually had time to make some beer coasters while we were up there.
 

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Gunnersdad49

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Heck yeah man. Drinking that good beer too! I can get down on some miller lite!


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It was pretty nice to have a cold beer after long days of hunting. Wasn't a booze fest, but a beer or two with dinner was pretty awesome.
 

william schmaltz

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I prefer an outdoor edge and then bring a fixed blade as a backup. I don't think I've had a fixed blade knife touch an animal in probably 7-8 years. You can break down an entire moose with 2 blades with the OE, it's plenty stout to break joints.

Two pairs of prana pants and 2 wool t-shirts is all I bring. For bottoms I bring LJs, pants and a puffy. For my top I have a t-shirt, hoodie, puffy, and rain jacket. Not sure how that compares to what you listed. That's plenty for me in September and I run pretty cold. If you have the zip off LJs, you can take them off once things starts to get swampy so no need to bring more than 1 pair. Add a wool neck gaiter and maybe a bandana.

For gloves I bring a set of them thick wool mittens that fold over into finger gloves and then a set of neoprene seal skin type gloves.

Gold Rush Liquor does Bush orders for booze. They still follow rules for the village/area so not sure if they're allowed to ship to Kotz. They will ship AK airlines and you can just walk over and pick it up when you arrive (if they ship there). It may be worth the call to them.

I like to simplify my hunts as much as possible. It's only 10 days. Everyone is always bringing potatoes, eggs, and onions for some reason. Is it really worth it? Grab some of the freeze dry ones and keep it simple. If I can't eat it cold or with boiling water I leave it at home. I can't even think of a time I've made meat in the field. I always bring butter, tin foil and seasoning I just never do. In early September you may be up hunting by 6:30 and be able to hunt until after 9. When people brag about making bacon and eggs on a hunt I scratch my head. I'd rather sleep an extra hour and eat my cold burrito or mtn house behind my glass! Same with supper, just when making a mountain house it seems we hardly get to bed by 11 pm. Personal preference but something to consider.

125 lbs per person is a ton of weight. Don't just bring stuff because you can. I had a Beaver to myself this fall and brought 85 lbs for a comfortable camp. I just can't stand having all the crap laying around camp! Your list is pretty minimal compared to most - especially for your weight limit! Good luck, that's a neat part of the state!
 

Gunnersdad49

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We flew in a C-185, so had some extra weight available for beer and such. We also brought a bag of oranges. After a few days, those were really an awesome treat. A couple of summer sausages and some cheese were a nice addition to the Mtn House and Peak meals.

We cooked caribou and moose in the skillet, and some instant mashed potatoes. It was a nice break from the freeze dried stuff. We also did caribou ribs over the fire. They were chewy but tasty, and really added to that cave man feeling.
 

AKBorn

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I like to simplify my hunts as much as possible. It's only 10 days. Everyone is always bringing potatoes, eggs, and onions for some reason. Is it really worth it? Grab some of the freeze dry ones and keep it simple. If I can't eat it cold or with boiling water I leave it at home..
I used to bring a couple of steaks that we would cook for dinner on the night we flew into camp...until 2013, when a young grizzly came loping down the creekbed looking for HIS steak after we had eaten ours! Ran past camp about 25-30 yards out, saw us standing there with our rifles in hand, and kept on running across the creek and up over a nearby ridge. That was the last year for steaks in camp...

We do still bring a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon tho, makes a nice break for the midday meal once or twice during the hunt.
 

Ono

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Washington
Yeah I wouldn't do an AK caribou hunt without a tarp or two. Wind break, rain shelter to glass, meat protection etc.

Given 125lbs, I would add more real food to the list. Add some butter or vegi oil. I carry a chest seal in my kit. Would go with 0 degree bag. I absolutely loathe the first lite boxers or any straight merino underoos. Puffy pants. I always take the weight penalty on socks. I take at least 3 pair. Really like the tall darn tough ones. Kuiu gaiters + boot of choice. inReach or zoleo (cheaper). Solar charger. I wouldn't bother with a table but thats me.
 

AKBorn

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Second shelter is 1.9 pounds and will most likely be left.


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I saw in a later post that you have a weight limit of 125 poiunds per person, but are trying to keep it reasonable so as not to schlep too much stuff through airports. While I fully understand that mindset (airports are enough of a pain without a bunch of luggage), I would encourage you to bring the lightweight extra shelter. Back in 2012, remote hunters in Unit 20 (FortyMile country) were hit with a microburst of 60-70 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 100 mph being recorded in some areas. A pair of seasoned remote Alaska DIY hunters had their Kifaru tent blown wide open by a crazy wind burst in the middle of the night, and ended up cobbling together a shelter of a tarp duct taped to a log, with their sleeping bags under it, to ride out the night. A couple of hunters in the same region had their tent blow down the ridge a ways, while they were in it. I was sitting in Anchorage that fall on vacation with my girlfriend, telling her she had saved me from some crazy weather in the field...

And since you have a really generous weight limt, here is a laundry list of things we bring. Many of them are not necessities, but they all serve a purpose that we find useful:

Cheap, lightweight silk long underwear top and bottom – to sleep in only. It’s refreshing to change out of your hunting clothes when you go to bed, and sleep in clothes that don’t smell.

Lightweight camp shoes or crocs – to change out of your boots or waders when the day is done, and for those late-night bathroom runs.

Cut-resistant gloves – to wear over your nitrile gloves when field dressing game – protects against cutting fingers. Keeping cuts clean in the field is a pain in the ass.

Trekking poles – a HUGE help when navigating uneven terrain with a pack full of meat.

8-10 Rings (1.5 to 2” diameter) used to partition game bags when you put multiple pieces of meat in the same game bag. Put a piece of meat (neck meat, backstrap, etc.) in the game bag, slide a ring over the bag to create a separate section that holds only that piece of meat. Put another piece of meat in, and repeat. Helps keep meet cleaner and dryer, which helps reduce any spoilage in the field. I used to just tie knots between the separate sections of a bag, but knots take up a LOT of the bag’s usable space.

Tyvek Meat Tarps – Cut an 8’x8’ Tyvek sheet, and soak it in the clothes washer for a few hours. Then run it through one wash and rinse cycle, the soaking and wash/rinse will remove the annoyingly loud crinkly noise. You will be left with a cheap lightweight tarp that can be used to lay quarters and other pieces of meat on when you are field dressing an animal, helping to keep it clean and dry. We have each hunter take one tarp in their backpack; that way if we shoot a caribou a couple of miles away from camp, we can use the multiple tarps to set game bags on as we shuttle the animal back to camp in half mile increments or so.

We also use one Tyvek tarp under the tent, and one inside the tent, as support to the thin groundcloth that comes with most tents these days.

Empty 32-oz Gatorade Bottles – 1 for each hunter to use as a nighttime piss bottle. Beats getting up in the middle of the night to pee outside when it’s raining and the wind is blowing!

Large Unscented Trash Bags – We use these when we are packing meat, to keep blood and meat off of our packs to the extent possible.

Newspaper – Take a full sheet of newspaper, compress it just enough to shove inside your boots at night. In the morning, your boots will be dry when you put them on.

Hand Sanitizer – Who doesn’t have hand sanitizer these days? Use before preparing food and eating, or after field dressing or deboning animals.

Baby Wipes – An 80-120 pack should work for 3 hunters. Nice to wipe hands after a restroom visit, and also nice to wake up and give yourself a quick once over with 1-2 baby wipes before getting dressed in the morning.

Electric Tape – To place over your rifle muzzle, lots of little twigs and leaves in the AK backcountry.

Glow Sticks – 1 per night. If an animal happens to wake you from a deep sleep, it’s nice to have your bearings within the tent as opposed to waking up in the pitch dark. They don’t give off enough light to disrupt sleep in our experience.

Pocket Shears – To help clear away small branches and bushes as you are clearing a spot for your tent.
 

kwackkillncrew

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i dont go on any hunt up here with out my light puffy jacket that goes under my dcs guide jacket and my mtn hardware puffy pants. I dont bring any big puffy stuff mostly because i want all my outer layers to be some what water proof.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I prefer an outdoor edge and then bring a fixed blade as a backup. I don't think I've had a fixed blade knife touch an animal in probably 7-8 years. You can break down an entire moose with 2 blades with the OE, it's plenty stout to break joints.

Two pairs of prana pants and 2 wool t-shirts is all I bring. For bottoms I bring LJs, pants and a puffy. For my top I have a t-shirt, hoodie, puffy, and rain jacket. Not sure how that compares to what you listed. That's plenty for me in September and I run pretty cold. If you have the zip off LJs, you can take them off once things starts to get swampy so no need to bring more than 1 pair. Add a wool neck gaiter and maybe a bandana.

For gloves I bring a set of them thick wool mittens that fold over into finger gloves and then a set of neoprene seal skin type gloves.

Gold Rush Liquor does Bush orders for booze. They still follow rules for the village/area so not sure if they're allowed to ship to Kotz. They will ship AK airlines and you can just walk over and pick it up when you arrive (if they ship there). It may be worth the call to them.

I like to simplify my hunts as much as possible. It's only 10 days. Everyone is always bringing potatoes, eggs, and onions for some reason. Is it really worth it? Grab some of the freeze dry ones and keep it simple. If I can't eat it cold or with boiling water I leave it at home. I can't even think of a time I've made meat in the field. I always bring butter, tin foil and seasoning I just never do. In early September you may be up hunting by 6:30 and be able to hunt until after 9. When people brag about making bacon and eggs on a hunt I scratch my head. I'd rather sleep an extra hour and eat my cold burrito or mtn house behind my glass! Same with supper, just when making a mountain house it seems we hardly get to bed by 11 pm. Personal preference but something to consider.

125 lbs per person is a ton of weight. Don't just bring stuff because you can. I had a Beaver to myself this fall and brought 85 lbs for a comfortable camp. I just can't stand having all the crap laying around camp! Your list is pretty minimal compared to most - especially for your weight limit! Good luck, that's a neat part of the state!

I’m with you on gear. I’ve taken the kitchen sink before a few times. End up with stacks of crap I never use or touch. Lol. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible


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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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I saw in a later post that you have a weight limit of 125 poiunds per person, but are trying to keep it reasonable so as not to schlep too much stuff through airports. While I fully understand that mindset (airports are enough of a pain without a bunch of luggage), I would encourage you to bring the lightweight extra shelter. Back in 2012, remote hunters in Unit 20 (FortyMile country) were hit with a microburst of 60-70 mph sustained winds, with gusts up to 100 mph being recorded in some areas. A pair of seasoned remote Alaska DIY hunters had their Kifaru tent blown wide open by a crazy wind burst in the middle of the night, and ended up cobbling together a shelter of a tarp duct taped to a log, with their sleeping bags under it, to ride out the night. A couple of hunters in the same region had their tent blow down the ridge a ways, while they were in it. I was sitting in Anchorage that fall on vacation with my girlfriend, telling her she had saved me from some crazy weather in the field...

And since you have a really generous weight limt, here is a laundry list of things we bring. Many of them are not necessities, but they all serve a purpose that we find useful:

Cheap, lightweight silk long underwear top and bottom – to sleep in only. It’s refreshing to change out of your hunting clothes when you go to bed, and sleep in clothes that don’t smell.

Lightweight camp shoes or crocs – to change out of your boots or waders when the day is done, and for those late-night bathroom runs.

Cut-resistant gloves – to wear over your nitrile gloves when field dressing game – protects against cutting fingers. Keeping cuts clean in the field is a pain in the ass.

Trekking poles – a HUGE help when navigating uneven terrain with a pack full of meat.

8-10 Rings (1.5 to 2” diameter) used to partition game bags when you put multiple pieces of meat in the same game bag. Put a piece of meat (neck meat, backstrap, etc.) in the game bag, slide a ring over the bag to create a separate section that holds only that piece of meat. Put another piece of meat in, and repeat. Helps keep meet cleaner and dryer, which helps reduce any spoilage in the field. I used to just tie knots between the separate sections of a bag, but knots take up a LOT of the bag’s usable space.

Tyvek Meat Tarps – Cut an 8’x8’ Tyvek sheet, and soak it in the clothes washer for a few hours. Then run it through one wash and rinse cycle, the soaking and wash/rinse will remove the annoyingly loud crinkly noise. You will be left with a cheap lightweight tarp that can be used to lay quarters and other pieces of meat on when you are field dressing an animal, helping to keep it clean and dry. We have each hunter take one tarp in their backpack; that way if we shoot a caribou a couple of miles away from camp, we can use the multiple tarps to set game bags on as we shuttle the animal back to camp in half mile increments or so.

We also use one Tyvek tarp under the tent, and one inside the tent, as support to the thin groundcloth that comes with most tents these days.

Empty 32-oz Gatorade Bottles – 1 for each hunter to use as a nighttime piss bottle. Beats getting up in the middle of the night to pee outside when it’s raining and the wind is blowing!

Large Unscented Trash Bags – We use these when we are packing meat, to keep blood and meat off of our packs to the extent possible.

Newspaper – Take a full sheet of newspaper, compress it just enough to shove inside your boots at night. In the morning, your boots will be dry when you put them on.

Hand Sanitizer – Who doesn’t have hand sanitizer these days? Use before preparing food and eating, or after field dressing or deboning animals.

Baby Wipes – An 80-120 pack should work for 3 hunters. Nice to wipe hands after a restroom visit, and also nice to wake up and give yourself a quick once over with 1-2 baby wipes before getting dressed in the morning.

Electric Tape – To place over your rifle muzzle, lots of little twigs and leaves in the AK backcountry.

Glow Sticks – 1 per night. If an animal happens to wake you from a deep sleep, it’s nice to have your bearings within the tent as opposed to waking up in the pitch dark. They don’t give off enough light to disrupt sleep in our experience.

Pocket Shears – To help clear away small branches and bushes as you are clearing a spot for your tent.

Man thanks! I forgot about the glow sticks and the ring idea is genius! I’ll for sure start using that on most hunts!! And the newspaper is another awesome tip I didn’t even know about!


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