Backpacking newbie. Gear questions

DoubleR92

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Jan 1, 2021
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12
Hey guys I’ve been hunting my whole life but never spent more than one or two nights in a tent backpacking in somewhere. I’m getting more into doing high country hunts and just going on hiking trips for extended periods. Looking for a good sleeping bag and pad for underneath. I have a lightweight cot already but just want a good solid bag and pad. I live in PNW so hot in the summers and can get cold in the winters.
Also looking for recommendations on a good 2-3 man tent.
Thanks everyone!
 

rokslide1616

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Jan 14, 2021
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For pad I would look at Sea to Summit, Nemo or Thermarest. I tried a Thermarest Neolite and it was super crunchy sounding, I believe Sea to Summit and Nemo construct their baffling so it isn't as noisy. I have a nemo now (alpine I believe is the name). Otherwise thermarest makes a great pad. Look at r-value's for insulation on the pads.

bag - look at big agnes or nemo makes some nice ones as well. You may also wan to consider a quilt, katabatic or enlightened equipment are great.
 

Wapack

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Jan 7, 2021
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70
I would consider if you want to go synthetic or down. Pros and cons to both. Im guessing you deal with a lot of moisture and condensation were your at? Then Weight, and budget. I like the Neo air x lite pads . There crinkly for sure but it doesn’t bother me. It might you? Cold weather winter camping comfortably in my experience is a whole other gear set up.
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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4,084
Welcome.

Good pad advice above. I would add klymit to that list. If you are only going to buy one, consider a winte/insulated version. They cost and weigh a little more but they will serve better in cold wether.

Very happy with my Nemo forte bag. In the PNW I would think hard about synthetic for moisture and rain. I also have an EE bag that is great but it costs 2x as much as my Nemo and it doesn’t actually perform all that much better.

For tents, a good backpacking tent is going to be fine. 3 season is a place to start but won’t handle big snow. 4 season is fine but heavier, more expensive and stuffy. I would hit your local REI or outdoor store and look at some models. Buy something bigger than you would think for hunting. More gear needs more space so basically halve the capacity if you want room to spread out.
 

Carrot Farmer

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Apr 19, 2020
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270
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Central Oregon
Here’s my setup.... buy once, cry once

Big Agnes Anvil 15*(downtek) oversized 80” at shoulder, love it
Big Agnes AXL? Insulated ....3.5”, super comfy
Kifaru Sawtooth, love it only used in Oct w/o stove


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

UT_Hunter

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Feb 11, 2018
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164
Location
Central Utah
As far as your sleep system goes that will all depend on how you like to sleep and what time of year you plan to hunt. All the pads recommended above are great options, get a higher R value if in colder weather or a wider pad if your a stomach or side sleeper like me.

As far as the bag goes find out if you want synthetic or down each have their pros and cons so find out what’s best for you. Wouldn’t hurt to consider a quilt over a bag as well.

Like stated above if you just want a basic 3 man tent head to your local sporting goods store and take a look at what they have and get a well trusted brand. Again this will all depend on what season you plan to hunt. Could also go the tipi route their lighter weight and have the option for a stove. I personally run a 2 man seek outside for earlier seasons till October then when it’s batten down the hatches I run a hiliberg 2 man.
 

archp625

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Jan 17, 2018
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1,460
Location
St. Joseph, Missouri
Hey guys I’ve been hunting my whole life but never spent more than one or two nights in a tent backpacking in somewhere. I’m getting more into doing high country hunts and just going on hiking trips for extended periods. Looking for a good sleeping bag and pad for underneath. I have a lightweight cot already but just want a good solid bag and pad. I live in PNW so hot in the summers and can get cold in the winters.
Also looking for recommendations on a good 2-3 man tent.
Thanks everyone!
What is your budget on three items you asked about. I think some people get sticker shock on here when people start recommending items. If you gave us a budget that would keep people more in line on what they recommend.
 
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DoubleR92

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Jan 1, 2021
Messages
12
What is your budget on three items you asked about. I think some people get sticker shock on here when people start recommending items. If you gave us a budget that would keep people more in line on what they recommend.
Umm honestly not really sure on budget? I was just hoping to get some good quality items recommendations and then just kind of go from there. I do know though for higher quality gear come a higher price tag so I am open to really any suggestions
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
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53
Location
Heart of sheep country British Columbia
If you are backpacking in I would loose the cot no need if you have a pad. less weight to carry in. I would check out for a used sleeping bag where you can find them in excelent shape for a fraction of the price, Make sure you get a pad thats rated for colder weathe has to do with thickenss of pad as well some are made of material thats extremley noisy when your sleeping bag moves around on it. can get very irritating. easy to check when your shopping just rub your hand on it or crinckle it se what happens. My sleeping bag is down filled compresses to a smaller size than synthetic bags. I use the same bag in winter and summer i just let the zipper open up som,e for the warmer weather. ive been hunting sheep for decades and never had an issue with my bag re getting wet. if it happens you just gotta dry it out.
 
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DoubleR92

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Jan 1, 2021
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Welcome.

Good pad advice above. I would add klymit to that list. If you are only going to buy one, consider a winte/insulated version. They cost and weigh a little more but they will serve better in cold wether.

Very happy with my Nemo forte bag. In the PNW I would think hard about synthetic for moisture and rain. I also have an EE bag that is great but it costs 2x as much as my Nemo and it doesn’t actually perform all that much better.

For tents, a good backpacking tent is going to be fine. 3 season is a place to start but won’t handle big snow. 4 season is fine but heavier, more expensive and stuffy. I would hit your local REI or outdoor store and look at some models. Buy something bigger than you would think for hunting. More gear needs more space so basically halve the capacity if you want room to spread out.
Awesome thank you for all those suggestions I’ll check those out!
 

archp625

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Jan 17, 2018
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1,460
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St. Joseph, Missouri
Umm honestly not really sure on budget? I was just hoping to get some good quality items recommendations and then just kind of go from there. I do know though for higher quality gear come a higher price tag so I am open to really any suggestions
My recommendation is to buy the best bag you can afford first. Do not skimp on this. This will make or break your hunt. First figure out if you want a synthetic or down bag. I do not have a ton of experience with synthetics. If you are looking at a great all around down bag get a Western Mountaineering Badger. Its super warm and lightweight.

For a good pad look at the R value. The higher the number the warmer the pad. I was to say one of the warmest and lightest is the Thermarest XTherm. It has a R value close to 7 I believe.

For shelters I do not think you can beat SO. Their quality is awesome and they are light. They have several different models depending on what you are wanting to do.

If you are wanting to base camp and not backpack camp this all becomes cheaper. You can get a warm bag for less money. Just the weight goes up.
 

schwaf

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May 9, 2019
Messages
81
Location
CO
I agree with the guys here that recommend buying the best you can afford. Nothing kills motivation faster than crappy sleep.

Western Mountaineering bags are generally accepted as top tier bags, but personally I don't have $600 to spend on that. I recommend hyke and byke bags. Excellent hydrophobic down bags for a very reasonable price. Good quality. If you got lots of money to invest, WM is a good bet, and Stone Glaciers bags look excellent as well.

Pads are a bit personal based on how you sleep, but I like Nemo and Sea to Summit pads. Thermarest are also good. Klymit are alright and the least expensive, but definitely not as nice as the others. I've used pads from all 4 brands. After years of dealing with inflatables and all the cons, I now carry two pads. A nemo switchback closed cell pad, and an inflatable pad, either nemo tensor, or s2s comfort plus depending on season and what I feel like using. The closed cell is an extra pound and bulk, but it makes a huge difference in the hunting months. The moisture in the pad from my breath freezing, cold temps deflating the pad, and cold ground sucking my body heat is something I couldn't deal with anymore. I sleep like a rock now and its worth every ounce. I don't have to worry about leaks anymore either, because I always have one good pad. An inflatable or closed cell with the cot sounds pretty plush too. That set up, I'd go closed cell for sure.

Plenty of great tents out there. I use the Nemo Hornet 2p for myself. Remember with backpacking tents to subtract a person for comfort. 2p = comfortable 1p. 3p = 2p. Get something where you can spread out and sit up without touching the walls. I like having 2 vestibules and entrances too. I don't really like the floorless tipis either. I think they're overrated unless you got a hot stove and an extra large tent, and extra people to help carry it. Floored shelters for me. I like being clean and not rolling around in mud. I recommend spending some money here for a premium lightweight tent.

 
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DoubleR92

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Jan 1, 2021
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12
I agree with the guys here that recommend buying the best you can afford. Nothing kills motivation faster than crappy sleep.

Western Mountaineering bags are generally accepted as top tier bags, but personally I don't have $600 to spend on that. I recommend hyke and byke bags. Excellent hydrophobic down bags for a very reasonable price. Good quality. If you got lots of money to invest, WM is a good bet, and Stone Glaciers bags look excellent as well.

Pads are a bit personal based on how you sleep, but I like Nemo and Sea to Summit pads. Thermarest are also good. Klymit are alright and the least expensive, but definitely not as nice as the others. I've used pads from all 4 brands. After years of dealing with inflatables and all the cons, I now carry two pads. A nemo switchback closed cell pad, and an inflatable pad, either nemo tensor, or s2s comfort plus depending on season and what I feel like using. The closed cell is an extra pound and bulk, but it makes a huge difference in the hunting months. The moisture in the pad from my breath freezing, cold temps deflating the pad, and cold ground sucking my body heat is something I couldn't deal with anymore. I sleep like a rock now and its worth every ounce. I don't have to worry about leaks anymore either, because I always have one good pad. An inflatable or closed cell with the cot sounds pretty plush too. That set up, I'd go closed cell for sure.

Plenty of great tents out there. I use the Nemo Hornet 2p for myself. Remember with backpacking tents to subtract a person for comfort. 2p = comfortable 1p. 3p = 2p. Get something where you can spread out and sit up without touching the walls. I like having 2 vestibules and entrances too. I don't really like the floorless tipis either. I think they're overrated unless you got a hot stove and an extra large tent, and extra people to help carry it. Floored shelters for me. I like being clean and not rolling around in mud. I recommend spending some money here for a premium lightweight tent.

Wow thank you for all the information and the links. Super helpful! I’m going to check those out
 

Jdather10

Newbie
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
3
I agree with the guys here that recommend buying the best you can afford. Nothing kills motivation faster than crappy sleep.

Western Mountaineering bags are generally accepted as top tier bags, but personally I don't have $600 to spend on that. I recommend hyke and byke bags. Excellent hydrophobic down bags for a very reasonable price. Good quality. If you got lots of money to invest, WM is a good bet, and Stone Glaciers bags look excellent as well.

Pads are a bit personal based on how you sleep, but I like Nemo and Sea to Summit pads. Thermarest are also good. Klymit are alright and the least expensive, but definitely not as nice as the others. I've used pads from all 4 brands. After years of dealing with inflatables and all the cons, I now carry two pads. A nemo switchback closed cell pad, and an inflatable pad, either nemo tensor, or s2s comfort plus depending on season and what I feel like using. The closed cell is an extra pound and bulk, but it makes a huge difference in the hunting months. The moisture in the pad from my breath freezing, cold temps deflating the pad, and cold ground sucking my body heat is something I couldn't deal with anymore. I sleep like a rock now and its worth every ounce. I don't have to worry about leaks anymore either, because I always have one good pad. An inflatable or closed cell with the cot sounds pretty plush too. That set up, I'd go closed cell for sure.

Plenty of great tents out there. I use the Nemo Hornet 2p for myself. Remember with backpacking tents to subtract a person for comfort. 2p = comfortable 1p. 3p = 2p. Get something where you can spread out and sit up without touching the walls. I like having 2 vestibules and entrances too. I don't really like the floorless tipis either. I think they're overrated unless you got a hot stove and an extra large tent, and extra people to help carry it. Floored shelters for me. I like being clean and not rolling around in mud. I recommend spending some money here for a premium lightweight tent.

New to this as well... I checked out those bags might just have to go that route, thanks. I picked up a q-core slx, wondering if I did ok there though not many recommending that on this thread. Also looking at possibly getting a 2p Hornet, hubba hubba or maybe a copper spur, hopefully I can stay under 400 on the tent. Not many stores around me carry this kind of gear so putting hands on is tough... Wondering if any of those would also work for summer camping with the miss.
 

fort fireman

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Aug 3, 2015
Messages
409
I have a 20 degree slumberjack bag. I like it but I can’t take anywhere near 20 degrees. If it’s going to be anywhere near freezing g or below I go with my big Agnes 0 degree diamond park bag. My pad is a big Agnes insulated pad that fits down in the bag sleeve. I can’t remember the name though. I like them both but like I said the slumberjack is rated for more than it can handle I believe.
 

schwaf

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Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
81
Location
CO
New to this as well... I checked out those bags might just have to go that route, thanks. I picked up a q-core slx, wondering if I did ok there though not many recommending that on this thread. Also looking at possibly getting a 2p Hornet, hubba hubba or maybe a copper spur, hopefully I can stay under 400 on the tent. Not many stores around me carry this kind of gear so putting hands on is tough... Wondering if any of those would also work for summer camping with the miss.
I've not used Big Agnes pads personally. I've read reports of leaky valves for some, but it's the internet, so I'd take that for a grain of salt. Definitely make sure to test all your gear before you actually need it for hunting. I have a spare pad in the truck just in case.

IMO, if you want a 1-2 person tent and some comfort, go with the MSR hubba hubba. It's about 1 lb heavier than the others, but it's free standing, has larger vestibules, a rain fly with better coverage (which is better during the cold seasons), and more room. It seems to me that the materials are slightly more durable than the Nemo too. I once took my 80 pound, 4'5" niece backpacking and thinking there's no way I would want a full size human sharing my Nemo with me. It was already cramped with a child, and I'm not a huge guy either. If I could only have one do-it-all tent, it'd be something like the hubba hubba. That 1 lb difference is negligible for the versatility of a bigger tent.

You can buy it on back order here for a good deal: https://www.campsaver.com/msr-hubba...MI0brRnLLw7wIVUL7ACh2lswQ8EAQYASABEgI6MvD_BwE
 

schwaf

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CO
I have a 20 degree slumberjack bag. I like it but I can’t take anywhere near 20 degrees. If it’s going to be anywhere near freezing g or below I go with my big Agnes 0 degree diamond park bag. My pad is a big Agnes insulated pad that fits down in the bag sleeve. I can’t remember the name though. I like them both but like I said the slumberjack is rated for more than it can handle I believe.
It's the outdoor industry's dirty open secret that most sleeping bags are rated way below comfort level. The ratings are the "survival" rating, so your bag will probably keep you alive at 20* and comfortable 10-15* warmer than that. There's also no standard measure, so the ratings are pretty arbitrary. I think it's a good idea for outdoorsmen to own at least 2 bags, one for warm and cold weather. Or just a 0* bag and open it up when it's hot.
 

Jdather10

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Feb 18, 2021
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I've not used Big Agnes pads personally. I've read reports of leaky valves for some, but it's the internet, so I'd take that for a grain of salt. Definitely make sure to test all your gear before you actually need it for hunting. I have a spare pad in the truck just in case.

IMO, if you want a 1-2 person tent and some comfort, go with the MSR hubba hubba. It's about 1 lb heavier than the others, but it's free standing, has larger vestibules, a rain fly with better coverage (which is better during the cold seasons), and more room. It seems to me that the materials are slightly more durable than the Nemo too. I once took my 80 pound, 4'5" niece backpacking and thinking there's no way I would want a full size human sharing my Nemo with me. It was already cramped with a child, and I'm not a huge guy either. If I could only have one do-it-all tent, it'd be something like the hubba hubba. That 1 lb difference is negligible for the versatility of a bigger tent.

You can buy it on back order here for a good deal: https://www.campsaver.com/msr-hubba-hubba-nx-tent-2-person-3-season.html?_iv_code=Z65-TBK-MSR0041-10316&utm_source=google&utm_medium=surfaces&utm_campaign=shopping feed&utm_content=campsaver&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0brRnLLw7wIVUL7ACh2lswQ8EAQYASABEgI6MvD_BwE
Right on, I will for sure be testing all my stuff out beforehand. You have any thoughts on the SO Eolus with a nest? About the same price range as the hubba and about the same size. See.s like it pitches pretty high so not sure about using it for archery elk in CO. Big fan of made in the USA...
 

justinspicher

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Dec 27, 2012
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Colorado
I am a cot guy as well, but wont use a pad. They always seem to have a hole in them shortly after I get them and they never hold air for me. I also hunt in the colder seasons so they are also just full of cold air anyway and that doesnt help me get any warmer. Instead of an air pad, I will generally run a foam pad, which Ive also used for glassing. I use quilts, but more specifically a “convert” quilt by Enlightenment Equipment that can be used as a bag, quilt or blanket. I have both a 30* down and synthetic version. Location will determine which bag I bring unless its going to be real cold I will bring both. These pack down way better than a 0* bag.
 

schwaf

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May 9, 2019
Messages
81
Location
CO
Right on, I will for sure be testing all my stuff out beforehand. You have any thoughts on the SO Eolus with a nest? About the same price range as the hubba and about the same size. See.s like it pitches pretty high so not sure about using it for archery elk in CO. Big fan of made in the USA...
I've not used or seen the Eolus in person, but SO makes quality products. I've hunted with a friend who used a silvertip tipi, and slept a night in a cimarron with a friend. I can see the advantage of single wall tipi tents in certain situations, but not enough for me to make the switch. They are very snow and wind resistant, can use a stove inside, and can wear your boots in. That, to me, is where the advantages end. With the cimarron, we set up while it was raining, so the inside, outside, and ground were wet. Everything got muddy, and even though I had a ground cloth, my gear still got pretty dirty. I had to be very careful not to roll off my pad or my sleeping bag would get wet and muddy. A lot of condensation built up, and with essentially no venting, everything got damp. The vertical walls were inches from my face and body, so I always had to be mindful not to touch them to avoid getting soaked from the inside. Every point must be staked down, so you have to be mindful of the soil you camp on. That also leads to a relatively large footprint, so finding suitable camp is a little harder. The poles centered inside the tent is valuable real estate that I found to be somewhat cumbersome. I prefer to sleep in the middle of my tent, away from the walls. I found it much easier to misplace my gear when it blends in with the weeds. I liked the idea behind floorless tents, but wasn't a fan when I actually used it. Without a stove, what's the point? And with a nest, why not just use a double wall tent with more room and comfort? I can see myself using a floorless tent under very specific conditions, but it's not for me as my main tent.

Granted, this is just the opinion of one guy who is willing to carry two pads haha. Everyone's got their own camping style, but I'd rather "rough it" by carrying extra weight than sleeping like shit.
 
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