Building A Backcountry Setup On A Budget.

lg-captain

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Feb 25, 2012
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I posted this on another forum and I have gone through and made modifications and weighed everything. I think this would be a great place to post this due to all the experience here. I have been researching and getting great advice from this and other forums for building a backcountry setup on a budget. I have a solo 10 day archery elk hunt planned in September in Colorado. Elevation will be from 8,000 to 10,000 ft. I have friends that live near the hunting area and have local knowledge. If you guys who have more experience could go through my setup and give any suggestions, that would be greatly appreciated. I want to put this together and give it several test runs before the trip. Thanks to all who have helped.
Jeremy

Item: Weight:
Pack:
Horn Hunter Full Curl System with Spike bag 5000 ci 132oz

Sleeping gear/Shelter:
Go-Lite Shangri-la 3 Fly Sheet 39oz
TNF Cat’s Meow 20 degree bag 44oz
Fleece Bag Liner 8oz
Thermarest Neo Air X Lite 16oz
Thermarest Z Lite 14oz

Clothes:
Sea to Summit 20L Dry Bag 2 oz
1 First Lite Llano Top 8.5oz
1 First Lite Chama Top 11oz
1 First Lite Allegany Bottom 9oz
1 Sitka Gear Ascent Pants 18oz
1 Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket 12oz
1 UA Beanie 1.5oz
1 UA Baklava 1.5oz
1 UA Liner Gloves 2oz
1 Asolo Sasalong GTX Backpacking boots 60oz
2 Pair Smartwool Heavy hiker sock 10oz
1 Pair Smartwool Medium hiker socks 2oz
2 Pair Smartwool Liner socks 4oz
1 Cabelas Space Rain Suit 16 oz

Food/Water:
1 Sea To Summit 20L Dry Bag 2 oz
1 Katadyn Hiker Pro 11 oz
1 2l Bladder 6 oz
1 32 Oz Nalgene 3.5 oz
1 Jet Boil Flash PCS 16 oz
2 Jet Boil Fuel canister 14 oz
1 Snow Peak titanium spork 0.5oz
10 Mountain House 2 Serving Meals 50oz
5 Mountain House Desserts 35oz
10 Elvis Sandwiches (vacuum sealed) 30oz
10 Cliff bars 24oz
10 GU Energy shots 11oz
12 Ostrim 18oz
20 B Stinger Waffles 20oz
10 Wilderness Athlete Bars 20oz
10 Baggies of Trail mix 25oz
1 small bottle of Tabasco 3oz
30 Starbucks Vias 3oz
4 packs Nuun Tablets 10oz
3 Liters Water 105.5oz


Survival/Hunting Gear/Camping:

First Aid kit:
1 gauze 1oz
1quick clot 1oz
1 duct tape 1oz
1 superglue 0.5oz
1 Latex gloves 1oz
1Advil, 1oz
1benadryl 0.5oz
1ztrtec 1oz
1 triangle bandage 1oz

Survival kit:
1Compass 1oz
1 whistle 0.5oz
1fire starter 1.5oz
1 waterproof matches 1.5oz
2 Bick lighters 1.5oz
1Vaseline/cotton balls 2oz
1water purification tablets 1oz
1Leatherman Multi Tool 6oz


1 Allen Wrenches 3oz
1 Havalon Piranta 3oz
1 50ft of Para cord 3.5os
4 Zip ties 0.5 oz
1 Bushnell Rangefinder 8oz
1 Extra 9 volt battery 1oz
1 Zen Ray ED 3 8x43 Binos 31oz
1 Cow Call 3oz
4 Caribou Gear Small Game Bags 14.5 oz
1 Windicator 1oz
1 flagging tape 1oz
1 polarized sunglasses 1.5oz
1 I phone 7 oz
1 Garmin Oregon 450 7 oz
2 AA batteries 1oz
1 Tikka Plus Head Lamp 3oz
1 Extra Set AAA Batteries 1oz
1 Surefire E2E 3oz
1 Extra Set Surefire Batteries 1oz

Toiletries
1 MSR Camp towel 1.5oz
1 Mini camp soap 3.5oz
1 Roll of Toilet paper in a Ziploc 6oz
1 Small Purell 1 oz
1 Travel Toothpaste 1oz
1 Travel Toothbrush 1oz
1 Carmex 1oz
1 Small stick of scent-away unscented deodorant 3oz
2 packs of 20 of unscented wipes dehydrated 2oz
1 Hoyt Maxxis with 5 arrows 112 oz
1 Scotts release 3 oz
1 Map of the area 1oz
2 Trash bags 5oz
Tag
License
Hunter Safety Card

Total ounces 1076oz
Total pounds 67.25lbs

*Total Pack 61.41lbs

* Minus the Llano top, Ascent pants, Liner socks, heavy socks and boots worn hiking.
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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Leave out the firestarter if you have vas/cotton balls also. Looks like a ton of food but that is a personal choice.
 
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You've got some expensive stuff in that list if you're trying to keep the $ amount low.

I agree with dotman...that's a lot O food.
 

dotman

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Send me a pm with your email and i'll send you my list. My 10 day weight is a little less then 40lbs but my pack alone is 7lbs less but it might give you an idea on how to trim some weight. Fyi... Other then pack, sleeping bag and shelter food will weigh the most. I try to keep it around a 1lb a day.
 

Ryan Avery

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One thing that I noticed is the cats meow bag. I used that bag for 2 years and froze my ass off. Aron talked some sense into me and I bought a better bag. 10 days is a long time to sleep like crap. Somethings you don't want to skimp on. Plus if you buy a better bag it will weight less and you can ditch the liner:)

I sold that bag to a friend and he still gives me hell about it.

Ryan
 

dreamingbig

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Feb 29, 2012
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Washington
I am a warm sleeper and I have never been cold in my cats meow. Temps only down to 20f or so. I do have a silk liner in it. That said there are better bags that weigh less but they do get spendy.
 

evan williams

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Colorado Springs
One thing to test!!! Leave the spike bag at home. The wings on the Full Curl combined with the day pack should contain everything and cut down a lot of weight. Especially with everything being put into dry bags.

I personally would leave the bag liner at home...if you are wanting to stay warmer in the sack I would pick up another First Lite Chama top and sleep in that and the Allegheny bottoms. Plus that gives you two merino tops to alternate between should u need to. Nothing against the Ascent pants b/c I love mine BUT I would either look into the KUIU Attack pant or the Kanab First Lite pants. The UA Beanie and Balaclava I would trade in for KUIU or First Lite as well. I am a HUGE fan of Merino Wool over synthetic.

I'd cut out the MH Deserts. What I would like to see is a daily break down of what you are going to eat and the calorie in-take for the day on top of a daily weight! Make sure you are getting enough to maintain energy levels and strength for 10 days b/c plan on tagging the last morning you are out and then having to hike everything out. You want to be able to do that w/o any issues. Remember the 100/1 ratio. 100 calories to every 1 oz of weight. If you aren't getting that done than we need to look at a different source.

On the bag ... my buddy and his wife had theirs one season and ditched them!!
 

ohhiitznik

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Rochester Hills, MI
The spike bag of the full curl is only about 1.5 lbs. Might be worth taking because of the meat shelf it has in it for carrying elk meat!
 
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lg-captain

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Dotman my email is [email protected]. Thanks

I was concerned with temperature rating for the bag. I can still take the bag back. The more i learn the better you are to buy good stuff once and save money in the end.So much for a budget. What bags would you recommend. I am a cold sleeper so I was looking at a WM Badger of WM Antelope. Any other suggestions and why. Im 6'5 so its got to be a long,Thanks
 

larryschwartz

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Annapolis, MD
Jeremy,

You said you were trying to put this together on a budget, how much of this do you already have/what do you still plan to buy?

Also, as others have said, you probably have twice the number of snacks/bars/etc. you might need for eating between breakfast and lunch and dinner. Of course we don't know what your caloric needs are, but I'm glad to hear that you plan a few shakedown trips before you head out on your hunt. On those trips you should not only shake out how well the equipment works for you but also how much of that food you actually need and if it is giving you and your body what they need.
 
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lg-captain

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I have everything listed above except the food. The food weighs in at a total of just over 15 lbs giving me 1.5 lb of food per day. Everything except the ostrim is over 100calorie per ounce giving me 2400 cal a day. I'm 6'5 225 very active and consume 4000 to 5000cal per day so this will be alot less food than I usually take in. I know food will be my biggest weight penalty.

I recently purchased the sleeping bag and could return it. I would rather spend the money now than have a miserable nights sleep. So I have pretty much thrown budget out the window on that.
 

les welch

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Your food is not too much. 1.5# is really only about 2400 calories. Your fine there. I will NEVER go without a bag liner, couple oz's extra big deal. Keeps the bag warmer, and CLEANER. Much easier to rinse out a silk liner than it is to clean a bag!

I have the WM Antelope, works great for me.
 

dotman

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Nate just had a great article recently on food, for the life of me i can't remember which new elk mag he is writting for that it was in, lol.
 
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Les is correct!

If you're consuming 4,000-5,000 a day now, than you better pack more food:)

You will be loosing a pound a day and basically starving yourself if you go from 5,000 to 2,500 and will potentially be burning twice as much calories in the mountains as you do back home.
 

drthornton

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Feb 29, 2012
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Prosper, TX
Agreed, Sleep system is not something you want to skimp on but you don't have to spend $500+ to get a good bag. Most of that extra money is for weight savings(800 Loft Down).

The warmth of the bag is only a piece of the puzzle in getting a good night's sleep. When purchasing a bag you need to consider what kind of sleeper you are. I also see you are big guy so you want to make sure you size properly in both width and length.

I am also a big guy, a side sleeper and very restless sleeper. I really like the Big Agnes System for the integrated pad and wider shoulder girth.
https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Specs/Bag

It's a great time to be buying a new bag...a lot of great deals out there.
 
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lg-captain

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N.C.
Yeah I eat a lot I think the budget comes in do to my grocerie bill haha. I am active all day with my jobs so I burn it all. I got the metabolism of a race horse.

i have been looking at bags. I don't mind spending the money for a good bag. What temperature bag should I get I am a cold sleeper but I know I can we're my base layers. Any recommendations on specific bags. I do not mind spending the money because I know how important my sleep is. I have looked at the down vs synthetic debate so it's tough to choose.
thanks
 

dotman

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I would suggest a 15 or 20, checkout the kifaru slick bag it will save you some coin when compared to a WM and the rating is true.
 
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lg-captain

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I have been looking at the Kifaru Slick bags- the WM Badger or Antalope with Gore wind stopper or not ? - Marmot Plasma or Big Agnes Zirkle because I have a 20 percent off coupon at Rei at the end of the month. I use a 25 inch thermarest so the BA might be out because I believe it only accepts a 20 inch pad. Any suggestions on those bags. If I got the K bag should I go with a 0 or 20. I don't mind spending the money on a sleeping bag. Let me know what you guys think. It will be my biggest investment so I want to get the best.
 

Mike7

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Feb 28, 2012
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Northern Idaho
Looks good, but here are a few "opinions" for whatever its worth:
1) I would forget the Cabelas Space Rain gear. It rips too easily for big game hunting timber (if just sitting in the rain, then the trashbags could even be used). Instead get a cheaper, tough, breathable rain jacket with pit zips like the North Face Venture(?) or Marmot Precip (on sale for $75), don't bring rainwear bottoms, and spend the extra money to buy a Kifaru Timberline...all for less weight and more functionality.
2) I didn't see gaiters on your list? Add OR Croc gaiters!!...worth their weight in gold on days when all foliage is wet even if it is only raining at night. Attach them directly to your legs under your pants and over the top of your socks on really weight days...feels weird at first but keeps water from wicking from wet pants legs down socks and into boots.
3) Consider a couple of small cheap plastic water bottles as backup to an MSR Hydromedary or Drom Lite with drinking tube, and drop the Nalgalene bottle.
4) Bring only 1 or 2 Mountain House meals and make the rest of your meals or at least repackage the rest of the MH meals into ziplocs. I eat my first MH meal and then use the same bag to cook the rest of my meals for the entire trip (no dishes, cheaper, and lighter). This is very slick; just rinse the MH bag, reseal, and throw back in your hanging bear/food bag).
5) I would drop the Quickclot unless you've used it before (i.e. military, etc.) and still think you really need it, but add baby aspirin to your kit if you're over 40 yrs old.
6) The Mountain Laurel Designs Supermid might be cheaper and lighter for a shelter. They will sew mosquito netting around the edges for you so you have a bug proof 2 man shelter with good breathability for a single wall shelter and under 30 ounces.
 
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