Long-term planning and building up backcountry gear

cohunter14

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Jan 19, 2016
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Regarding boots, don’t ever buy a pair without being able to try them on first. Boots are such a personal thing. What feels great for one person could feel awful to the next. My best pair of boots happen to be a cheaper pair of Under Armours, but they fit perfect and have lasted years. On the contrary, I’ve bought more expensive boots without trying them on, only to be disappointed in the end.

Good boots that fit well are more important than any other piece of equipment in my opinion. Bad boots can lead to a miserable experience, and if your feet hurt, are wet, etc, you aren’t going to be hunting very hard or covering much ground.
 

CoStick

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Many of the best elk hunters wear jeans and carry quarters out on their shoulders. Experience is more important than equipment, certainly helps to get nice stuff but not at the expense of missing time in the backcountry,
 

trophyhill

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Lightweight backcountry camp chair (like helinox, but the generic ones are mostly fine too) will change your life glassing or just hanging out in camp. Hiking poles for the pack out. Also you'll almost live in the bino harness so make sure it doesn't slap you in the face every time you tie your boot laces. Also, if you're solo, definitely get a PLB like a garmin inreach mini or spot - hunting takes you off trail into rugged remote terrain away from people - an experienced solo hunter / firefighter died in WA elk hunting this year.

That's just off the top of my head - there are some great pack dump videos on youtube.
I bought the REI Flexlight version in 2015 and what a great investment that was. No more aching tailbone and uncomfortable sit downs at camp. Eating while sitting on the ground, rock or log just plain sucks after a long day of hunting the elkwoods. I'll take the 1 pound or whatever the weight penalty every time to be comfortableat camp. These small comforts WILL help you outlast the competition and keep you fresh. A great sleep system is vital as well. When your body feels good you are able to focus on killing. When your body hurts, your mind is not 100% focusing on killing.
 

trophyhill

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Many of the best elk hunters wear jeans and carry quarters out on their shoulders. Experience is more important than equipment, certainly helps to get nice stuff but not at the expense of missing time in the backcountry,
Im sorry but i have to call bs on that. Though it may have been true prior to the advent of clothing designed specifically for the task, not so anymore. I cant think of an instance since I've been hunting elk since '08 and backcountry since '15, where ive ran into any great hunter wearing blue jeans. And I've ran into a few. Have fun climbing deadfall in a pair of tight fittin jeans........i did run into a guy in the Gila 1 year who was hunting out of camp with his bow wearing jeans, a jean jacket, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. He was packed up and gone after only a few days. Without seeing anything. Can it be done? Of course. I certainly wouldnt be giving that advice though......
 
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CoStick

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May 18, 2021
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Im sorry but i have to call bs on that. Though it may have been true prior to the advent of clothing designed specifically for the task, not so anymore. I cant think of an instance since I've been hunting elk since '08 and backcountry since '15, where ive ran into any great hunter wearing blue jeans. And I've ran into a few. Have fun climbing deadfall in a pair of tight fittin jeans........i did run into a guy in the Gila 1 year who was hunting out of camp with his bow wearing jeans, a jean jacket, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. He was packed up and gone after only a few days. Without seeing anything. Can it be done? Of course. I certainly wouldnt be giving that advice though......
Many of my hunting friends wear jeans but they are numerous generations deep Coloradans. They are very successful. The point was to not spend too much money on equipment and spend more time in the field. Most people probably already have functional equipment in their home.
 
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Styksnstryngs

Styksnstryngs

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Many of my hunting friends wear jeans but they are numerous generations deep Coloradans. They are very successful. The point was to not spend too much money on equipment and spend more time in the field. Most people probably already have functional equipment in their home.
I think the point of me buying gear is because I have limited time in the field. If I have time in my schedule to make it out for a week, not buying gear isn't going to change that.
 

CoStick

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I think the point of me buying gear is because I have limited time in the field. If I have time in my schedule to make it out for a week, not buying gear isn't going to change that.
Not buying a bunch of gear could fund a couple in person scouting trips which might be beneficial.
 
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Styksnstryngs

Styksnstryngs

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You've described me to a T. I'm out of vacation days and have scouted, hunted, upgraded some gear, bought some gear and ready to start again January1

The one thing i stress when seeking work is 2 weeks in September and 1 week in January. Thankfully i work for a great company and manage to squeeze some more time off.

Yeah, I'm kinda lucky that I'm actively avoiding building a family for a few different reasons, so I won't really have many responsibilities to get in the way of my hobbies. Hopefully I can find a job in the archery industry, if not I'll figure something out.
 
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Styksnstryngs

Styksnstryngs

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So, I got a little bit of extra scholarship money that will fund a pack and boots. I'm thinking I'll wait to see if a used frame in my size pops up, or buy a duplex light next time kifaru has a sale. For the bag, I'm still stuck on what my best option would be-- I'm planning on camping pretty near my car, and hiking out from there every day, but have a light enough camp setup that I can go in deeper if I have to. Would something like a camp bag + Stryker XL work, where I have all my camp gear in the camp bag and leave it at my tent and hike out with the Stryker, or should I look at one bigger bag that I can cinch down? Not stuck on kifaru by any means, I was looking at the stone glacier minimalist combo of frame and dry bag too.
 

Dos Perros

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Whatever you decide on pack bag, be sure to also have made your decision on down vs synthetic sleeping bag, as that piece of gear is the most voluminous, and a synthetic is twice as much volume as a down bag of the same temp rating.
 
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Styksnstryngs

Styksnstryngs

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Whatever you decide on pack bag, be sure to also have made your decision on down vs synthetic sleeping bag, as that piece of gear is the most voluminous, and a synthetic is twice as much volume as a down bag of the same temp rating.
Kelty cosmic 20 synthetic bag-pretty big, but not as big as some synth bags. For a 1 week trip, what do you think minimum pack bag volume is gonna be with that? Pretty small tent, sleeping pad on the outside of pack.
 
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