Getting together gear

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John87

John87

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Jul 16, 2019
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How are the Meindl USA boots? I'm looking at the Vakuum hunter, from the revies i have read, they seem like they would hold up pretty well. BTW, these are not the ones that cabelas used to offer.
 
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John87

John87

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Also, is the Garmin inreach explorer worth it? How necessary is a gps/communicator? If not the inReach, what do you recommend?
 

longspeak74

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Oct 16, 2018
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357
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Wisconsin
Crispi insulated for me, regardless of season. I just change up sock weight and they're bombproof. Can't speak to tents as I sleep in my truck and spike out. Couple pairs of socks, liners and underlayers is all you need.
 

sick_lids

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Aug 19, 2021
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How are the Meindl USA boots? I'm looking at the Vakuum hunter, from the revies i have read, they seem like they would hold up pretty well. BTW, these are not the ones that cabelas used to offer.
I have the ones equal to the ones cabelas had. It was a splurge for deer hunting, I honestly did not like them for deer, too stiff for my liking. Add a pack and steep terrain they became slippers in the elk woods, i went with the 400 gr insulation, feet get warm, but when i stop dont get cold. You wont go far if your feet are tore up, wont last long on no sleep either. A good plan is to have two camps ready, one by the truck, and one for way back, the truck camp should be close to glamping....
 
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John87

John87

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I have the ones equal to the ones cabelas had. It was a splurge for deer hunting, I honestly did not like them for deer, too stiff for my liking. Add a pack and steep terrain they became slippers in the elk woods, i went with the 400 gr insulation, feet get warm, but when i stop dont get cold. You wont go far if your feet are tore up, wont last long on no sleep either. A good plan is to have two camps ready, one by the truck, and one for way back, the truck camp should be close to glamping....
That’s the plan, we are setting up a wall tent at the truck, then carrying a spike camp with us
 

Mikido

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Dec 14, 2020
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113
Go on websites that have good boot return policy (midway USA for example) and order a bunch and try them on that way. I “spent” 2000 in boots and got ones that fit great out the box and barely needed a break in. I also learned no 2 models, let alone brands, fit the same.
 

Frontier Mulie

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Aug 16, 2019
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43
All suggestions above are good. I will tell you what I settled on after a couple years learning what works for me.
1. Lowa Tibet Boots (Uninsulated).
2. Elightend Equipment Sleeping Quilt (packable, light, warm)
3. Kuiu Kutana Rain Gear. Durable and comfortable. Jacket can be worn as shell layer.
4. Trekking Poles. Really helps when packing a load. (Took me a couple years to realize this).
5. Best Bino you can afford. I am running Vortex because of their warranty and their quality/price point.
6. I have the Kuiu Pro pack and love it.

Again this is what has worked for me. Good luck gearing up for next year.
 
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John87

John87

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Jul 16, 2019
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I’ve made some progress in getting gear together, but still have some questions. First, off, how necessary is rain gear in mid to late October at 10-11,000 feet?
Second, I’ve been looking at all different clothing companies, but still can’t figure out what pieces I actually need. Do I actually need a base layer, mid layer, soft shell, puffy, and rain gear? All I read say layers are key, but doesn’t say what layers, lol. Hunting here at home, I usually wear a synthetic base layer, a thicker shirt, and a jacket, but usually hike in just pants and base top. And never take rain gear. But I’m also just a few hours away from the truck.
 

Savage99

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Jan 26, 2017
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418
Location
CO
The hard part with boots is you're going to need to try them on. Everyone's feet are different. A boot one person loves may absolutely be terrible for another. I've tried the Kenetrek Mountain Extremes and my feet hated them. Just something to keep in mind.

This is the real truth. I tried Crispis and was able to return them to my scheels after trying them in the house and then in the field. I was dumb and didn’t stop after the first 100yds uphill (got a nasty blister), also didn’t give them a break in. This year I ordered a bunch of boots and sizes to try on at home (Hanwag’s, Kenetrek’s, etc.). I liked the Mountain Extreme’s enough to wax them and try to break them in. Now I’m selling them after just not being confident in the fit the more I wore them. Since I stopped wearing them I ordered a pair of Hoffman’s and love them so far. No hills yet, but way different fit and feel like a pair of sneakers when I slip them on. I even ordered an insulated pair.

I guess my point is that all the brands you’ve seen people vouch for on here in terms of performance and durability are great, they just don’t all fit the same. Around me places do carry some of the brands, but I didn’t have confidence in the salespeople and just opted to watch videos on how to fit and what makes sense based on my experiences.

I too have a pair of Danner’s, but I never really put them to the test.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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John87

John87

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Bought a pair of Hanwag boots here on classifieds, been hiking in them and love them, especially down steep hills.
 

jjohnsonElknewbie

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Mar 16, 2021
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334
Location
Western Iowa
I agonized over gear for 18 months prior to my first elk hunt a few weeks ago. I worked with our outfitter (Montana native) on what were absolute "must-haves" vs. nice to haves. I think the key is being completely honest with yourself about your long term intentions/expectations. If this is your first ever elk hunt, there are no guarantees that you will go again, and if you do it may not be a yearly thing. So, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on gear for your first hunt.

Guys on here will laugh, but on our 8 day hunt in the Bob (which was the hardest hunting I've ever done in my life) we hiked over 30 miles of scree slopes, near vertical mountainsides, dark timber, you name the terrain we hunted it. During that time, I had amazing luck with a pair of uninsulated 6" Redhead GoreTex trackers that I'd worn the previous pheasant season in Iowa. They were well broken in, and I had cleaned them thoroughly and applied a healthy treatment of leather conditioner/water repellent at the end of last season. Other than this, I didn't do anything special to them and they took everything I threw at them and provided all the support I needed. I used Darn Tough Merino socks the entire trip and this combo paired with Kennetrek Gaiters kept my feet warm and dry throughout. The boots are still right and tight, and I plan to use them again for whitetail and pheasant season in Iowa this fall.

I bring up boots specifically for a several reasons 1) They can be one of the most expensive investments for a first time western hunter ($200-500); 2) they are critically important as they are what connects you to the ground; 3) for some they can make or break a hunt if you have weak ankles, knees, hips, etc...; 4) they directly impact your level of exertion, how worn out you feel after a long day, and ultimately how hard you can hunt over a period of time. With my outfitters blessing (his packing list recommeds Schnees, Kennetreks, or similar) I successfully rolled the dice with a pair of boots that many wouldn't consider for the hunt, but they were perfectly adequate for me. That being said, we used mules to pack out and didn't wear big frame packs for hauling out meat which for some may demand taller and stiffer boots.

I should mention that I'm 6'1 and 225 and in relatively good physical shape for a 46 year old. The money I saved from buying brand new boots paid for my half of the meat processing and one nice dinner during our trip.

*EDIT* The OP also asked about rain gear. This was another item I struggled with, because I had an older soft shell Gore Tex parka and bibs for deer hunting. To make a long story short, after discussing with the outfitter, I left the bibs at home and brought the parka and a mil-tech poncho for our hunt. The poncho was around $60 on Amazon and was phenomenal on a day when it rained and snowed on us all day. Huddled up under a tree with my poncho on top of everything I stayed 100% dry.
 
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Gerbdog

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Jun 8, 2020
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406
Location
CO Springs
Been repeated on here repeatedly and sounds like you found boots you like so i'll skip over that : sounds like you found a good pack, use it at home with weight in it and make sure it remains something you feel like you can spend a long time in under weight.

For the MSR pocket rocket question vs. the jet boil (i assume full cup setup) i've run both ways in the back country and i always figured the pocket rocket would give me more versatility for little to no weight.... and then the brutal honest truth of it was that i didnt need any versatility at all, i just needed to boil water as quickly and efficiently as possible and switched to the MSR full cup set up (basically their answer to the jet boil cup).

The rest of your gear is up to you what you wanna carry for weight. The price tags go up as the weight goes down and the skies the limits on what you wanna get into.

Trekking poles! from experience i prefer the break down poles that fold into 3 instead of the telescoping poles.... my telescoping poles always collapse when i put my weight down on them with another 90 lbs on my back.... those fold into 3 always hold for me.
 

20DYNAMITE07

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Oct 13, 2017
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154
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Portland, OR
Garmin Inreach mini. Mine has been flawless for three years. Really needs to be paired with a good phone tho. Could be a lifesaver, but mostly to keep the wife from freaking out.
I like my mini too... it's also helpful if you hunt with a partner, as you can message each other and share your location when you split up. I imagine other GPS communicators can do something similar, so I don't think everyone has to be on the same device/service to accomplish this.
 
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John87

John87

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Jul 16, 2019
Messages
56
Thank you guys for the input, I have been getting together gear a little at a time, have plenty of time to get it, I believe I have a good start.

Slumber Jack In-Season II tent (9 lbs, but splitting the weight with another guy.)
Slumber Jack Ronin 0 degree bag
Big Agnes Insulated Q-core SLX pad
Jetboil Flash
Grayl Geopress
Platypus 3 liter

I believe I have about everything together, I weighed my pack earlier and was at 45.6 pounds, including my rifle and food. The only other odds and ends are tracking poles and a gps/communicator.
 

mxgsfmdpx

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Oct 22, 2019
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1,591
Location
Central Arizona
Make sure to try on those kenntrek boots that everyone recommends before buying. Absolute garbage fit on my feet and I was expecting to be putting on clouds onto my feet based on what people said online.

You honestly have to test and find gear that works for YOU.
 

jjohnsonElknewbie

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Mar 16, 2021
Messages
334
Location
Western Iowa
Make sure to try on those kenntrek boots that everyone recommends before buying. Absolute garbage fit on my feet and I was expecting to be putting on clouds onto my feet based on what people said online.

You honestly have to test and find gear that works for YOU.
If you have a Scheels nearby, they sell lots of different brands of boot. Kennetrek, Crispi, etc... Try a bunch on and go with fit not price
 

Btaylor

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Jun 3, 2017
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Location
Arkansas
Zoleo would be another option to pair with your phone for communication in no service areas. A fair bit less expensive and in my very limited use, worked perfectly.
 
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John87

John87

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Jul 16, 2019
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56
Here is a list of gear I either have or plan on getting, what is missing or need to go? the tent is being split up with another guy, so only half the weight, I know its heavy, but didn't want to take a chance on a 3 season tent.
This is for 10 days, btw, so the food weight may be much less, if we decide to only pack in for a few days at a time
 
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