Critique me... Late Season Elk (Montana General) Spike Camp Gear List

BuckeyeRifleman

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Alight, my turn... This is a late season spike camp gear list for the Montana General. We hunted this area in 2019, plan to hike back to an area approx. 3 miles back and day hunt from there. So extra clothing depending on weather could be left at camp. We learned hard that it can get COLD even earlier in the rifle season. Got down -15F at one point during our trip last year. We plan on having four, with a 8 man SO Tipi and SXL stove. I'll take the tent and split the pole, stakes, and stove among the others. Plan is to get in 36 hrs before the opener with four days of food. If the hunting is good, one guy can get more food from the truck. If its bad, hike out and plan to find another area to hunt.

This is everything minus the rifle. Things I could ditch... Rain paints? Maybe puffy pants if the weather is warmer? With the Axis pants I might be able to get away without them. Already ditching gaiters due to the water proof lower leg on the Axis. If the forecast calls for super cold I might swap the Umcompagre with my Chamberlain Puffy which is a 7 oz penalty.

For bear protection I might pick up a Glock 29 at some point for an ~8oz weight savings, but the Glock 20 will do. Yeah, I know its heavy, and I have a rifle, but I am better with a pistol up close where most bear encounters happen, and I'd hate to be leaned over an elk quartering it with my rifle up against a tree or something.

So here it is, open to any criticism. 36 lb Base Weight. 13lbs worn to include the Bino Harness and pistol. Expendables 11.5 lbs. Rifle isn't listed but that really can't change at this point so it's a mute point.

https://lighterpack.com/r/5gqqtl

So critique away, I've got a little bit of experience but I am always willing to learn!
 
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bsnedeker

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Going into the backcountry without puffy pants and rain pants would be a bad idea in my opinion, especially if you plan on spending any time glassing. You will want the warmth and the windproofness provided by both of those. It snowed during the first week of September this year.

Have you had 4 guys with gear, a stove, and firewood inside that 12-man tepee before? Seems like that would be tight to me, but you have the extra tarp so you could probably use that for stashing extra gear/firewood.

List looks good to me.
 
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BuckeyeRifleman

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Going into the backcountry without puffy pants and rain pants would be a bad idea in my opinion, especially if you plan on spending any time glassing. You will want the warmth and the windproofness provided by both of those. It snowed during the first week of September this year.

Have you had 4 guys with gear, a stove, and firewood inside that 12-man tepee before? Seems like that would be tight to me, but you have the extra tarp so you could probably use that for stashing extra gear/firewood.

List looks good to me.
Yeah if anything the only thing I might realistically ditch would be the rain pants... Only considering it because of the waterproof seat, knee and lower leg of the axis pants. I’m too much of a fan of the puffy pants to leave them at the truck.

DST tarp can always be used if the sky opens up to where rain pants are necessary, and like you mentioned will probably be used for gear back at camp as well. Great piece of gear that never leaves my pack!

I also plan on hauling the sleeping bag with me most of the time, prepared to bivy for the night in case of emergency or to “put them to bed.” I’ve learned that your bag is as much of an emergency item as anything else late season.
 

bsnedeker

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Yeah if anything the only thing I might realistically ditch would be the rain pants... Only considering it because of the waterproof seat, knee and lower leg of the axis pants. I’m too much of a fan of the puffy pants to leave them at the truck.

DST tarp can always be used if the sky opens up to where rain pants are necessary, and like you mentioned will probably be used for gear back at camp as well. Great piece of gear that never leaves my pack!

I also plan on hauling the sleeping bag with me most of the time, prepared to bivy for the night in case of emergency or to “put them to bed.” I’ve learned that your bag is as much of an emergency item as anything else late season.
I wear my rain pants with my puffies quite a bit when I'm sitting still. I almost never use them when it's actually raining...to me they are primarily used to block wind when I'm glassing. Just something to think about.
 
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BuckeyeRifleman

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I wear my rain pants with my puffies quite a bit when I'm sitting still. I almost never use them when it's actually raining...to me they are primarily used to block wind when I'm glassing. Just something to think about.
Very true... I didn’t use them a ton last year. I honestly should’ve more often due to the points you listed above. It was mostly just laziness of having to throw TWO pairs of pants on when I stopped to glass. I did have issues with the knees on my FL guide pants soaking through in snow hence the switch to axis pants.

Another item I might ditch is the Spotter. At 25 oz it’s not exactly light, I use the binos 95% of the time anyway. Not a trophy guy so any elk will do. Probably still useful to have on our scouting day though to pick apart those far drainages. Might just get left at camp occasionally.
 

jt4

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I’m the last person on here to give advice about what to take, but it looks like you’re taking 2 of the exact same jacket with the uncompadre and the atom LT.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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BuckeyeRifleman

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I’m the last person on here to give advice about what to take, but it looks like you’re taking 2 of the exact same jacket with the uncompadre and the atom LT.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The Atom LT is much lighter than the Umcompagre. It's more of a mid weight piece that can be used as an outer layer for colder hikes or stalks. Combined together I should be good for glassing into the teens. Colder than that I'll take the Chamberlain.
 

S.Clancy

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Here's what I take for pack in mule deer hunts in mid to late November in MT. List includes everything but water. The "shelter" is a teepee and stove split 2 ways. I've used this list down to ~ -10F, prob could have gone lower. I use a +15F sleeping bag and layer my puffy layers when the temp dips below that. I personally would never pack in a day and a half before opener, but to each there own.
 

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BuckeyeRifleman

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Here's what I take for pack in mule deer hunts in mid to late November in MT. List includes everything but water. The "shelter" is a teepee and stove split 2 ways. I've used this list down to ~ -10F, prob could have gone lower. I use a +15F sleeping bag and layer my puffy layers when the temp dips below that. I personally would never pack in a day and a half before opener, but to each there own.
Just curious why not? We did the same in 2019 (hiked in day before) and got into elk. Pressure was there but mostly from outfitters on horseback where we were. We considered going later but kind of figured “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
 

S.Clancy

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Just curious why not? We did the same in 2019 (hiked in day before) and got into elk. Pressure was there but mostly from outfitters on horseback where we were. We considered going later but kind of figured “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Several reasons:
1. I wouldn't waste a vacation day or 2 when I couldn't hunt.
2. You run a real risk of affecting animal behavior in the area if your in there that far before. At the very least I would put your camp somewhere that elk are very unlikely to be and keep your scent trail to a minimum.
3. In my opinion it would be better, if you are set on going in a day and a half early, to day hike multiple areas looking for elk or elk sign then head into the one that was the best. Still, try to keep your impact to a minimum.

That's just my opinion tho. FYI, we generally pack in the night before opener.
 
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BuckeyeRifleman

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Several reasons:
1. I wouldn't waste a vacation day or 2 when I couldn't hunt.
2. You run a real risk of affecting animal behavior in the area if your in there that far before. At the very least I would put your camp somewhere that elk are very unlikely to be and keep your scent trail to a minimum.
3. In my opinion it would be better, if you are set on going in a day and a half early, to day hike multiple areas looking for elk or elk sign then head into the one that was the best. Still, try to keep your impact to a minimum.

That's just my opinion tho. FYI, we generally pack in the night before opener.

All valid points... thanks for the input. We hiked in the morning prior in 2019. Only scouting prior to that was OnX. Started setting up camp not too far from a glassing knob and started hearing chainsaws from a horse camp not 400 yards away:-/

We identified a better camp location from last year and have a pretty good idea where we are going to go and (hopefully) where the elk will be. If last year is an indication they should still be a distance away, I was hoping to get in late afternoon two days prior so we had time to set up a decent camp and still a full day to glass the surrounding drainages. But we will see... timeline wise with the drive included that might be hard to pull off. You brought up some valid points as to why we might want to just get out morning prior.
 

SIerrahotel83

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The Atom LT is much lighter than the Umcompagre. It's more of a mid weight piece that can be used as an outer layer for colder hikes or stalks. Combined together I should be good for glassing into the teens. Colder than that I'll take the Chamberlain.
This is exactly the type of information I was coming here for today, I am trying to decide if I should replace my Atom LT with an Umcompagre, as in I need a newer jacket the Atom, or rather atoms get relegated to usages where I don't care how nice they are, but are getting rough looking
 
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