Caribou Gear

a new flatlander to the forum

chris_l

New member
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
14
Location
michigan
Hey everyone looking to change it up from the usual chasing whitetail and waterfowl around in the fall and try some archery elk hunting. We purchased a preference point for Colorado this year and are going to give it a try in a year or two, giving us time to accumulate the gear to do so. We would like to backpack into a remote area to try and get away from the major crowds. From what I am reading in some areas this is almost a must. So my first question is what is some of the gear we should purchase to get started, we don't really want to break the bank not knowing if it's something we will want to do over and over again. Any help is appreciated thanks.
 

Muskeez

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Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
1,690
Location
NW Iowa
I was in your shoes 2 years ago. The guys here have taught me a lot and I still have plenty to learn. We have done 2 years of archery elk in CO. First of all, YES, it is something you will want to do again! So, buy decent stuff as you can. Boots that love your feet are a MUST, non-insulated for Sept. with Smartwool socks. I have tried a few different boots and hiking shoes and my feet have been shot by the end of the week. This year I invested in great quality mountain boots and am in the process of breaking them in. You can't use any new gear if your feet can't get you there. We also bought quality packs right away and have been glad we did. Overall the less each piece of gear weighs the more it will cost. There is a ton of reading that you can do here if you use the search tab for each piece of equipment you want to learn about. Happy planning!
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,668
Location
Wyoming
dont just buy gear, buy quality! start with boots and a pack and start getting into better shape, do local weekend hikes/camping and find what works for you...
 

mixedbag

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
Boots and quality sleep pad and bag are a must.You need good rest after running mountains all day,and boots are an obvious.Thats where I'll put down the most money.Alot of good lightweight tents and packs.Jetboil for cooking your mountain house dinner,and water pump to get clean water.Train your legs and core exercises.
You will do WAY better going for elk in Wy or Mt imo,and you can get your elk point for Wy from July till end Sept online for $50.A couple points in Co will get you ion decent spots in Co without a million guys.I've never had to go any deeper then 2 miles to get into good elk hunting so don't think you need to go 6-7miles.Remember, you need to get elk meat out in the heat in Sept so closer is better if you can find elk.Elk aren't anything like whitetail!!!They are in groups and not scattered everywhere so learn to read elk habitat or you'll burn your energy on low producing areas.I've ALWAYS had good luck on google earth searching out high northslopes with open meadows and water close by and a good 1/2 mile to a mile from a walking trail.Research the units your interested in with population and success rates on fish/game websites.Cross check your spots with a phone call to the local biologists to confirm your areas.They can be very helpful out west compared to how they act out east
 

deer_shooter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
1,821
Location
Southwest Pa.
Welcome!
Go once and you will want to go every year., that is a given.
I'd buy points in Wyoming and hunt Colorado on an OTC tag......this year. Montana has great opportunities too, but I've yet to explore them. Tons of info here on tag strategy an preference points.
Buying "average" gear to get by to see if you like western hunting is a waste of money. After the first trip you'll be planning the next one on the drive home and deciding what gear to upgrade. As already stated, buy the absolute best boots you can get that fit you - Lowa, Kenetrek, Hanwag, etc. Binoculars are your very best friend, don't skimp. Invest in a quality pack and you'll never regret it. Spend wisely on a quality sleep system also.
IMO a GPS is a necessity too. Enjoy the planning, it's all part of the fun.
 

putm2sleep

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
2,559
Location
Colorado
Don't want to break the bank!????
Get a new hobby!

Ask a dude here what they spend a year on just gas -
Trips to scout, camp, test, glass, site in, break in boots and gear
Hunt and hunt another species.
I bet it's over a grand closer to 2k.

You can re-sale great gear!
 

mixedbag

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
That last point made was a good one.Great gear holds a good resale value.Cheap stuff is garage sale material at best
A great way to get in shape and learn to use a gps is doing that geocaching stuff.A gps is a must have for sure.You will end up far from camp most days unless you carry it on your back
 

chris_l

New member
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
14
Location
michigan
That was is hard about living in michigan not a lot of retailers carry this type of gear to try out. I have been looking at Lowa Baffin boots and Eberlestock just one pack. I like the different spike bag option not completely sold yet. It seem a lot on here like the Mystery ranch and exo packs might look at those also.
 

buckykm1

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
528
Location
Vicksburg, Michigan
Welcome to the Forum.
you will find most of the guys very helpful here.
you are in for a awesome adventure, there is nothing like Elk hunting, you will probably be hooked on it for life, I know I am.
We are almost neighbors.

Kevin
 

recon6036

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
1,561
Location
U.P. of Michigan
Glad to see another Michigan member.....welcome aboard. This October will be my 5th trip out west and I plan on going every year.. Like others have already mentioned, get a good pair of boots and a decent pack then head west.....don't wait! Every year I add at least one item to the gear list. I can just about guarantee you will be hooked after your first trip. Just be prepared.....hunting in Michigan will never be the same after hunting out west!
 

Gr8bawana

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Joined
Jul 14, 2013
Messages
4,335
Location
Nevada
Welcome... make the gym your best friend.. training hard makes for a lot easier hunt....
Matt

I agree 100% with this. It's not possible to be in too good of shape for elk hunting especially if you happen to get lucky and need to pack one out on your back.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,590
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
That was is hard about living in michigan not a lot of retailers carry this type of gear to try out. I have been looking at Lowa Baffin boots and Eberlestock just one pack. I like the different spike bag option not completely sold yet. It seem a lot on here like the Mystery ranch and exo packs might look at those also.

The Baffins are great boots if they fit your foot type. I'd buy a used pack any day of the week before I bought an Eberlestock, but that's my opinion.
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,590
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
Also, I don't think backpacking in is a prerequisite for a good hunt. In fact, your first year or two I would advise against it. You can find plenty of elk within a mile or two from the roads.
 

WIbiggame

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
361
Location
Wisconsin
I was in your shoes 2 years ago and just bought a great pair of boots (Mendl Perfekt 10s) and used my whitetail stuff from home (Wisconsin). Also bought some USGS maps and hit the mountain. HOLY CRAP was I under prepared.

"Flatland" hunting stuff will not work its heavy gets wet and stays wet. I took last fall off from chasing elk to save some money and buy quality stuff from the ground up (minus boots). I would recommend a good pack that is adjustable and fits your torso. Also you cant go wrong with getting good mountain clothing (Sitka/Kuiu) I went with Kuiu but I know people with Sitka and love it. I also have a Kuiu IconPro 5200 pack and an 1850 daypack.

Have done a couple dry runs here over a weekend with my brother and anything that stayed in the pack on 2 trips has since been banished from the pack. Also get in the gym, and wear your loaded pack as much as possible. I have gotten some weird looks mowing my lawn with a 50lb pack on.
 

mixedbag

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
I also think good clothes are a must.I use Sitka and love the stuff for hunting the west.Not great treestand gear for the east but a must have for moving around the Rocky Mts.I upgraded things after each season out west.You'llhave at least 2k into gear when your all said and done.But you don't need all that for your first trips.If you spend a grand on some things this year that are most important and then go hunt and see what you need for yourself.Everyone has a different comfort level.I know a lot of guys just put a tarp up to sleep under but that's not for me.Archery talk has a great classified section for buying used gear and you'll save a bunch of money
You WILL go back after your first trip;its that much fun
 

windymtnman

Active member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
396
Get a good quality packframe. My Cabela's Alaskan model suits me well.
Another thing I learned years ago, is that just because a pair of broke in boots feel good on level ground, don't always assume they won't give you blisters in steep country. Blister's can pop your bubble, (pun intended) if you have a lot invested in a hunt. Safeguard against them, and carry some clean socks and moleskin.
 

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