Great advice!I’ve been hunting remote Alaska for moose and caribou since 2002, have gone up from Maryland 13 or 14 times, and going back this year. The trip costs a lot with bush flights and airline flights to Alaska, so I have always been cost-conscious about gear.
I use a Ruger bolt action .338 Winchester Magnum, with a Leupold 2x – 8x variable scope – both are more than enough quality to meet my needs. I use a pair of Nikon Monarch 10x42 binos that I paid about $300 for back around 2004 or so, they are still going strong and may never be replaced.
I buy my clothes and boots off Sierra Trading post or Steep and Cheap – be patient and buy off-season, and they have some great deals. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $50 for any piece of clothing, and have never paid more than $115 for a good pair of Asolo hiking boots. I don’t do name brand hunting clothes, I grew up in Alaska and remember hunting in jeans and t shirts when I was a kid. I am still using the hunting pants, shirts, and jacket that I bought for my 2002 hunt. They last a long time if you take care of them.
The other thing I do to save money – I never buy anything the first time I think I want it. If I keep thinking about it, and still want it and have a logical use for it, then I buy it after waiting for a sale. Impulse buys cost people a lot of money that can be used for other gear.
Agree with everyone else on getting quality shoes, sleeping bag, and backpack. Just be patient and watch for sales, they will come…
I use that outdoor edge knife and carry 5 extra blades for it in my pack. Great choice. And, to add to the savings, I just re-sharpen the blades after each use when I get home. Been going for several years now with no added expense.The first thing I do every morning is check out camofire. I have some of the black Ovis merino wool that I like. The short sleeve shirt is itchy as hell when I start to sweat though. Not sure if it’s because it’s a “blend” or what. That’s also where I just picked up that big Agnes sleeping bag. I like Sierra trading post too. I picked up an Eberlestock dragonfly for like $220 a couple years ago. I love the pack but is super heavy. That might be an item I upgrade next year. I got some ajillis game bags on amazon for like $18 that’s I’ve had a couple years and they are holding up. Also thinking about getting an outdoor edge blade changer I have a havalon and I break blades a lot and they are a PITA to change. That outdoor edge has that stiffer spine and probably wouldn’t break blades as much.
I have mentioned this pack a number of times here and on another forum, always get the negative responses and "cold shoulder" because it's "cheap" - I don't have to buy cheap gear, sure I'm always up for a bargain but I also just don't see the value in a lot of the overpriced stuff BUT sometimes I do see the value - I'll research and compare and put THOUGHT into a piece of equipment before I lay the $$ down (I've made PLENTY of purchases I later regretted also) I found these packs on ebay <"Hunting/meat hauling pack">, bought one a long time back and found it to be heads above anything to 2 1/2 X it's cost as a meat hauler and day pack with my original daypack carried in the meat sling, still do AND at least 20 people I've either hunted with as well as 2 established outfitters who can also see the value to "naysayer" aside I'll still say it a darn good pack for over twice the money and as comfortable under load as any out there no matter the price - MY assessment is just as valuable as anyones' and I'll put my "elk quarters packed" record up against ANY ….. and $135 is still more than "chump change" to some of usI have some nice gear and some not so nice. And alot thats way too nice for what I need. Whenever I catch myself thinking I NEED something I always think back to guys like Fred Bear or my grandpas generation. They never had that stuff and they still seemed to get it done. Ill never have Swaro glass budget, how many peoples eyes are even good enough to use Swaro glass anyway to its full potential ?
Anyway , I just piece together stuff as it goes. Merino baselayers a windbreaker and good boots are the most important things so far it seems like for me. Being cold and having sore wet feet ruin a hunt quicker than anything from my experience. You can buy alot of high end Kuiu Sitka Firstlite on the classfieds here or on Facebook for 60 percent of the cost new and it looks or often is brand new.
There’s a few different ones. My wife has a version with event or whatever eb calls it. Weighs about 12oz and has pit zips. So far it’s done well especially for a 2.5 layer.Anybody try the light weight rain jacket from Eddie Bauer? I've seen it on sale for 50% off and it has me thinking...
Don't forget to hit your local military surplus store. I've found some great wool pieces there.