what are your top 3 items not to cheap out on?

sk1

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I would imagine many opinions will be fairly similar, but what are your top 3 important items to get right the first time, buy once cry once, or whatever you want to call it. The most important items to save a little extra to spend your money on and avoid that bargain item.

1 - boots - cant get into the back country without boots that fit and function properly
2 - backpack - the boots get you to the back country, but you need a reliable pack to get your gear in and animals out
3 - binos - while you might have good boots, they sure can save you a lot of miles!

i thought about number 3 being a good sleeping bag, but i figure you can always go mid-range and if necessary layer clothes, what are your top 3 items to go big or go home on?

To maybe clarify the question even more, I am looking at this from a budget perspective, if you couldn't afford to buy the best of everything, what would be the most important 3 to save and spend extra on to you
 

Travis Bertrand

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1) weapon whether it be your bow or rifle
2) optics- there's no replacement for having quality optics
3) clothes- I never understood the importance of this until the last few years and I would never wear substandard hunting clothes again.
 

7mag.

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Buckley, Wa.
1. Boots
2. Pack
3. Optics

I've wasted a lot of money realizing the importance of the quality of these items.
 

shaun

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Same but I would also add sleep system. If you can't sleep good how do you expect to preform
 

Beastmode

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Shasta County, CA
In the order of importance
1. Boots
2. Pack
3. Optics

I know the OP was 3 items but I would definitely add sleep system and clothing
 

RosinBag

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Optics to find the animals....
Weapon to put them down....
Pack to get them out...

I can suffer with bad boots, clothes, shelter, etc. but I can't kill without my top three.
 

mtnkid85

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Beartooth Mtns, MT
In no paticular order.

1. Boots & socks- Duh, you need to be able to get in AND out. Take good care of your feet, fresh socks are the one thing Ill pack extra of.
2. Clothes - This is what I consider your first layer of "Shelter" keeping comfortable lets you consentrate on everything else
3. Food -It is worth it to figure out and fine tune how to properly fuel your body while in the back country. Youll hunt harder, longer, stay warmer and keep your pack lighter.
 

KMT

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1. Boots, boots, boots
2. Clothes - wool first layer. Mountaineering quality outerwear - camo isn't important to me here, especially if looking for waterproof outerlayer.
3. Pack - I always thought I had a good pack (Badlands 2800) and it still very dependable. But after I got my Kifaru DT3, I realized much easier it is to pack out heavier loads (+/-100 pounds).
 

swat8888

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Alaska
1. Boots
2. Shelter (tent/bag/bivy)
3. Clothing

Optics aren't on my list because a $3000 spotting scope won't save my life, quality clothing and shelter will. $500 boots won't save my life either but their main purpose is prevention of slips/falls/etc. in the first place.
 

Becca

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1. Footwear... Must be proven to get you where you want o go, while carrying what you need to carry without causing undue blisters or otherwise destroying your feet. But as long as they work for your feet, they don't have to cost a fortune. While I love my Hanwags, I have probably put at least as many miles on my Salomon trail runners, and actually find them superior for some types of trips (early season scouting and packrafting to name two).

2. Insulation layer/ Raingear-- not all your clothing has to live up to quite the same standard (I have been using $20 nylon fishing pants for years), but the layers responsible for keeping you warm and dry are essential IMO. In AK, depending on where you go it could snow even in July, or be 34 degrees and pouring. Good insulating Puffy clothes and good quality rain gear are a must for both comfort and survival.

3. Backpack-- Must be comfortable enough to get you and your essential equipment where you intend to go, AND back out again. Must be well built so that it can can haul out the max load your body is capable of without hurting you too much or falling apart. If the pack in is miserable you won't go as far, or want to pack anything extra back out.
 

HellsCanyon

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While none of my gear is really "Alpha" grade, I have to have quality Boots, Optics, Pack, Clothes, and Food...

Mike
 

Mckinnon

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With my budget I have to cheap out on everything. Haha. But I always buy the best boots I can afford.
 

Slim Jim

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Boots- everything you do depends on your feet.
Pack- like Becca said, if pack in is miserable, you will not want to venture out or pack anything back out.
Optics- if you can't locate them, you can't hunt them.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Pack - has to get me, my gear, and animal out reliably and as comfortably as possible.
Shelter - has to keep me safe from the elements.
Sleeping bag - could be the difference between a rough cold night or a good nights sleep. Or it might be the difference between an uncomfortable cold night, and waking up dead in the morning......yea that was dramatic sarcasm with some truth sprinkled in.

I have found boot/shoe fit to be the most important thing to keeping my feet in good shape irregardless of pricing.
 

Ross

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Liberty Lake, WA
1.Boots - if your feet dont go you dont go.......dont have to be the highest $$, but well designed and comfortable for your feet.

2.Good glass goes a long way. Don't see the critters you dont have a hunt.

3.Clothing allows you endure the various elements presented by morther nature and sometime she is not so nice. The longer you can stay afield the greater your opportunities.
 

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