FUTURE Gear List Comments/Critique

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
Hello Rokslidees, Roksliders?

I am brand new to hunting, heck i have never even been camping before, therefore i have no hunting/camping gear. I am planning/hoping to go elk hunting here in New Mexico next season.
I made a list of gear of what i think i need. I would greatly appreciate any comments, insight or advice as well as what what does and doesn’t work with each other from the items on this list.
Also was looking to see if any of you could tell me the order to buy things in. Im assuming the rifle, so i can get some trigger time in. I been shooting guns close to 10 years so i know the basics/fundamentals of shooting. Just never actually shot a live animal. Thank you kindly for your time and i appreciate any comments or criticisms you may have.

Gear i have already purchased:
Leupold BX-4 10x42, RX-1600i
Badlands Bino D Mag bino case
Field Optics Research Promax FT-6229C

Gear i would like to purchase:
OUTDOORSMANS
Bino Stud, Bino Adapter, Pistol Grip, Quick Release Panner

NEMO
Longbow pad, Scout bag, Fillo Elite pillow, Kodiak tent, bag liner

FIRST LITE
Bottoms:
Kiln boxer brief, Kiln long john, Obsidian merino pant, Boundary stormtight pant
Tops:
Wick short sleeve crew, Kiln long sleeve crew, Kiln Hoody, Ridgeline QZ pullover, Vapor rain jacket, Corrugate guide jacket

MSR
Guardian, WindBurner, Dromedary bag 10L
Stone Glacier R3 5900 frame+pack
Garmin 66i, Gopro Hero 9, Pelican 250QT cooler, Goal Zero Nomad 50, Dark Energy Poseidon Pro, Caribou Gear Game Bags, Folding Saw, Paracord, Spool Tool, Fire Tinder,
Leupold GR 12-40x60, Remington 700 .308
Trijicon Credo 2-10x36 or Tenmile 3-18x44
 

JR Greenhorn

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
19
If you're familiar with shooting but you've never been camping, I would focus on that first. I would spend as many nights out camping as you can between now and hunting season.

I would make the sleeping bag the priority, and then probably a tent. A few household blankets folded in half can be a stand-in for a pad, at least for getting started. Even with my insulated inflatable pad (I really like mine from Sea to Summit), I take a Ridge Rest foam pad to put under it whenever I can justify carrying the extra bulk.

You can bring a household pillow for a while just to get out there. It's fussy to find the right camping pillow anyway (I'm on my third in recent years, and still not sure about it). A sleeping bag liner is definitely more of a nice-to-have instead of a need, but I do take my silk liner every time, year round.

You can bring ready-to-eat food or cook over a campfire until you get that stuff bought. You don't even need a backpack right away if you start camping a short carry from your vehicle.

10L of water should get 1 person through a weekend, but is over 20lbs to carry in. Still, it'd be enough to get by without a pump/filter for a while. Speaking of pumps, I haven't liked what I've used from MSR (although I haven't used the Guardian). Depending on your water source, a carbon filter is pretty nice to have. The First Need XLE is the best pump filter I've found, despite its unfortunate styling.


You must have a considerable budget, as those are some higher priced and hunting specific choices. It's certainly possible to get out camping with lightweight, high performing gear without spending quite that much. You must be planning to pack in to camp. Solid gear choices, though.


Even if you do have an unlimited budget, the most valuable thing is experience. As you get out and use your gear, you'll find what works for you and what doesn't. Go camping until you have your own system dialed, then you can focus on the hunt when it's in season.
 
OP
Rail505

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
I was thinking the rifle would be a good first buy, but what you said about camping makes much better sense now that you mentioned it.
Just looked up the First Need purifier, seems to do everything the MSR Guardian does at half the cost, will continue researching it.
To be honest i thought 10L was overkill. I usually go by gallons and that does seem like a little bit. What im worried about is there being a river/water source nearby that i can pull water from. I guess that comes down to experience, like you said, and knowing that area/knowing what to look for.
Budget isnt as big as i would like actually. But i have learned from the “firearms” world, “buy once cry once” I still remember the frustration of cheaping out on an optic or a piece of gear, only for it to break/not work correctly a month down the road with light use.
Now that you mention it, this may take me a bit longer than i calculated to buy all this, if i do go this route.
Thanks for this info JR Greenhorn, you gave me lots to think about
 

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,494
Location
BC
This is an interesting post, you're in an interesting position. There is alot for you to learn all at once, as previously mentioned, I'd start working on getting comfortable with camping asap. My advice would be start with car camping with your backcountry kit and then start venturing out on 1 night, then multi night trips. You'll build confidence while decreasing your chance of putting yourself in a bad situation. Once it's time to hunt, you wont be wasting time, energy or brain power on how to eat, sleep and survive.

I don't know what type of shooting you currently do, but the 2nd thing to practice is shooting from field positions, not just off a bench at a range. Any position you feel you may shoot from, practice it, until you know what position works for you in what situation.

Read everything you can on how to hunt Elk, or take one of the online course, they are very helpful. Elk101 or Roe Hunting Resources are the 2 that have helped me.

Once you get that all sorted out and as the season approaches, learn how to process an animal in a field. Ensure you have the knives and accessories to handle it.

Learn how to read a weather forecast for the area you are in.

A couple notes on gear.

Once you have the bare necessities, buy it slowly, thru experience, there is alot of gear sold on this site and elsewhere that is barely used, as it wasn't needed (I may or may not be guilty of this).

If you already have outdoor gear, then use that for now. You don't need dedicated hunting clothing or camo. If you have to get choosy due to budget, I'd look at saving money in this area first, lots of great outdoor gear available without going to a dedicated hunting brand.

Split a 10L bag of water into 3+ bags, it'll allow you disperse the weight more evenly, you can day hike with 2-3l and leave the rest at camp and also if one leaks, you dont lose all your water.

If you're going to eat Mountain House or an equivalent, eat it at home for awhile, get your digestive system used to it while you have running water and a toilet. Once your body is used to it, it's no big deal. But until then, it can be a problem for some people.

250l cooler is positive thinking, it'll also be 500 pounds when its full. I'd split that into a few smaller more manageable sizes, heck even 100l cooler is bloody heavy for 1 guy. I've bought coolers on trips once I was successful.

You probably dont need a spotting scope, unless you have a specific antler requirement to meet.

2-10x is plenty on a hunting rifle, keep the scope set at 2x until you have a reason to bump it up. I shot my Elk this season at 15 yards, and if it had been at 10x I would have seen nothing but hair and not had a clue where on the animal I was looking.

The adrenaline from your first animal is usually pretty intense, especially if you don't have a mentor to help you. The 2x power will minimize the shakes. Ensure you are well within your comfortable shooting range and ensure you have a rock steady position.

Most guys I know use their phone instead of a dedicated GPS. I'll add an inReach Mini if no cell coverage.

Hopefully that helps. Good luck, I find the process almost as much fun as the hunting.
 
OP
Rail505

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
I agree, thanks for this great advice guys.

tdot, you are right, i usually shoot “long range” from a bench. I do need to get confortable with shooting in awkward positions such as on the floor, off a bag or off a limb from a tree.
yes, next on my list while in quarantine is learn the “anatomy” of an elk, such as where is the kill zone, how to cut up and process an elk and process the meat for storage in a freezer.
I always get caught up in the gear aspect of everything, i forget that skill is of upmost importance. Like you mentioned with the clothing, ill be sure to save the clothing aspect for dead last.
Thanks for the tip on rifle scope, didnt take that in to consideration. Ill stick with the 2x low power scope.

So what size and how many pelicans do you recommend i get, that i can fit 1 full elk thats been quartered?
 

tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
1,494
Location
BC
So what size and how many pelicans do you recommend i get, that i can fit 1 full elk thats been quartered?

I'm not the best person to ask that. I bring a deep freezer and put the whole quarters into that. My 7 cuft deep freezer is full from one 6x6 elk, though there is alot of wasted space, as the quarters dont nest perfectly together. Once the meat is fully processed, it takes 1/3 the deep freezer. I'd guess that if you broke the quarters down, or deboned them, that you could get away with either 2x 100l or a 90l and 100l. How you keep them cold will also decide how much space you use. Gallon jugs frozen solid take up alot more space then cube ice.
 

Honyock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
204
1. Get good boots that fit your feet. If you're feet aren't moving, you're not hunting. Don't let cheap boots ruin your hunt.
2. Buy once, cry once. You'll save a lot of money on optics, boots, etc. if you will just buy the best quality you can afford the first time. There's a reason why high end glass is expensive.
 
OP
Rail505

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
1. Get good boots that fit your feet. If you're feet aren't moving, you're not hunting. Don't let cheap boots ruin your hunt.
2. Buy once, cry once. You'll save a lot of money on optics, boots, etc. if you will just buy the best quality you can afford the first time. There's a reason why high end glass is expensive.
Man i totally blanked on footwear thanks for that
 

jblam

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
28
What an exciting time - learning a new skill set is really amazing. Starting at so close to zero, you may want to consider hiring a guide. I know DIY is the rage right now, and there are so many resources available online that this might be the first time in history you can learn to hunt without leaving your desk, but once you are out there, it’s a different story. Many guides have 50% of the gear you need - tent, spotting scope(s), inreach, camp kitchen kits, etc. They also will teach you in one day what 6 months of interneting will teach you.

Included in the pros of a guide are a greater likelihood of success, higher odds keeping meat in good condition, and most importantly...your personal safety. My first big game hunt was a joke. I did everything wrong. I hired a guide the next year and laughed the entire hunt at how bad my first attempt was.

In summary, a guide costs...5k(?) for elk, you’ll spend half that on stuff the guide has and you don’t need yet. Book one now for next year and you can bug them for an entire year with questions!
 

fwafwow

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
1,188
Location
GA
I agree with all of the above advice.

You might try looking at some of the posts in the Lightweight Zone - not because you should focus so much on minimizing weight (I made that mistake last year for a DIY elk hunt in CO), but because there are many posts of packing lists, and one of those might prompt you to consider something you would not have thought about otherwise. There are also some posts in this and other forums from folks who took their first trips and then post about things that worked, what didn't, and other tidbits of advice of what to bring that they forgot or had not thought of. (Most of those posts, such as in the elk forum, include "rookie" or "newly" in the title. I did one of those after 2019, and if you can't find it, I can send it to you.)
 
OP
Rail505

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
What an exciting time - learning a new skill set is really amazing. Starting at so close to zero, you may want to consider hiring a guide. I know DIY is the rage right now, and there are so many resources available online that this might be the first time in history you can learn to hunt without leaving your desk, but once you are out there, it’s a different story. Many guides have 50% of the gear you need - tent, spotting scope(s), inreach, camp kitchen kits, etc. They also will teach you in one day what 6 months of interneting will teach you.

Included in the pros of a guide are a greater likelihood of success, higher odds keeping meat in good condition, and most importantly...your personal safety. My first big game hunt was a joke. I did everything wrong. I hired a guide the next year and laughed the entire hunt at how bad my first attempt was.

In summary, a guide costs...5k(?) for elk, you’ll spend half that on stuff the guide has and you don’t need yet. Book one now for next year and you can bug them for an entire year with questions!
My wife’s boss (dentist) has offered to take me on my first hunt ever so if if everything goes according to plan, I will have have show me the way.
 

jblam

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
28
My wife’s boss (dentist) has offered to take me on my first hunt ever so if if everything goes according to plan, I will have have show me the way.

Nice! Well that gives you a huge head start. Get those boots (I love my kenetrek mountain extremes), and start wearing them now. Dry feet are happy feet when breaking in boots, change your socks at least once an hour the first few times you wear whatever you choose!
 
OP
Rail505

Rail505

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
53
Hey guys, something else i thought of. I am getting a big check from something that occured at a previous job 6 years ago. I should be getting about 3800, would it be wise to take about a grand from that and what i make off the BX-4, and buy a set of like new EL or used SLC? If my calculations and plan plays out right, going off the above list, i would buy all the nemo gear, all the outdoorsmans gear, a rifle, backpack and a Swaro bino when the check comes. Just wondering if the SLC or EL are really worth the price of admission. Or should i keep the BX-4 and upgrade my bino’s in a few years to the Swaro’s? If i go the Swaro bino way now, i probably wont be buying a spotter for 4 or 5 years from now.
 

forealboreal

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
512
Location
Northern Wet Coast BC
Realistically what is top priority for you? If you aren't going deep and truly don't really know what you would like as you haven't had a ton of time out back I would say start slow. Don't get set in this idea of it has to be all this one brand only.

Optics wise I would say buy you can afford. Also look through a bunch of glass before you do it. You'll use binos way more than a spotter in most cases. I went from Zeiss Conquests to ELs (just before they announced the NL) and the difference is huge. Zero regrets, still go wow when I glass with them. The NLs are beautiful though. There will be some excellent EL deals used if you keep you eyes out.

I thought I wanted all the outdoorsman gear and I realized I was quite happy with the simplicity of the Sirui T025 and the ball head that came with it. Recently picked up a Dead On Industries mount for my ELs as well which is super simple to use. Way cheaper than an outdoorsman system.

Pack advice, I would honestly say check out a Kifaru. I've went though two generations of Kuiu suspensions and know why the kifaru suspension is superior to anything on the market.

Rifle, Pick your poison on all the merits that check the most boxes for you. Lightweights get a bad rap as your bench technique has to be on point and it takes some getting used to.

Sleep system wise. Depending on your climate synthetic sleeping bags are cheap and dame well bulletproof. Tent wise, after owning a few other tents and now moving to the Hilleberg route, I understand why these have the price point and repulation.

This is stuff you can accumulate over time, don't go broke or in debt over gear, there is always new or better stuff coming out. Plus you might change your mind after doing a few trips on your perspective of what you truly want/need.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,136
Man, the backpacking part makes it significantly more complicated. I would say don’t let this site fool you into thinking most elk hunters do it out of a backpack because most don’t. You can get by very cheap car camping and dial in your backpacking gear as you get things figured out.

As far as your list goes, I would find different rain gear. I haven’t owned the vapor series but the boundary stormtight jacket was a complete POS. Started leaking like a sieve with mild rain when it was barely used.

A thin merino layer is nice against your skin, but multiple layers of merino just becomes heavy and doesn’t dry fast.

Outdoorsmans stuff is mostly overpriced and overrated IMO. I’d get a field optics research bino adapter, lighter, much cheaper, and I prefer them to the outdoorsman system I currently have.

Dedicated gps is a thing of the past, get a garmin inreach instead for sending messages without service, SOS, and a backup gps. Use your phone as a primary gps.

Pack looks good. It can be pretty different person to person but Stone Glacier xcurve is the favorite of what I’ve owned followed by exo k2 > exo k1 > seek outside revolution > Kifaru gen 2 duplex
 
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