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EOY ‘23 - What Worked, What Didn’t?

Haglofs rugged mountain pants. They’re called rugged standard pants now, but the things are indestructible. I only wear for rifle hunts because they are too swooshy for archery. But I highly recommend for guys who are tough on pants. No US retailer that I’m aware of, so I ordered mine from euro dealers on eBay. Bought mine in 2019, so not sure best way to get them now. They used to make short inseams as well, not sure on new version. They have side vents, they’re stretchy, and durable. Highly recommend.


 
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...stop. Feathered Friends or western Mountaineering.
He ran a stone glacier while I ran my western mountaineeering 5 degree bag, both of us had no problems this year. I run really cold and my bag has more loft. I think they both are great bags. The western mountaineering is definitely more expensive but I don’t think you could go wrong either way.
 
Worked:
Argali rincon- coming up on 100 nights in it, a few pinholes but most sealed up and my seasons are bout to start.

Exped deepsleep- night 1 my life changed.

Magview-creature comfort but works well, no extra item to pack.

Some gugamechy $70 tripod off amazon- really impressed with it, though it'll make its way into one of the tool trailers as I really like it for my lasers, so I'll be in the market for a replacement.

Marsupial gear harness- swapped out OE chest pack harness to marsupial and couldn't be more pleased.

Didnt/on the way out
BA divide sleeping pad- never a quality issue-just stopped being comfortable for me the past season.

Savage 6.5c- gun/caliber has done nothing but perform but I have a 1 gun per type rule ive been working the past 5 yearS, and going to jump to 35 whelen next season and call it good on rifle.
 
What worked.

The new stuff was.
Big Agnes Echo Park -20 bag.
Nemo Disco 15 degree bag.
Both have been super warm and super comfortable! I just need to upgrade sleeping pads still.

The tried and true.
My old Mod.70 in 243 with 100gr Sierra game kings and the cheap Vortex scope on top. Kills deer.

Old Army issue clothing that I’m almost to fat for now and the First Lite stuff that I’ve liked so much I’ve bought more for myself and for my wife and mother in law.

The cheap Optimus stove and titanium pot.

The Firebox stove and skillet.

The cheap Walmart Nalgenes

Smartwool socks

Allen backcountry game bags

Coleman extreme coolers and Walmart Ozark coolers combined with frozen juice jugs.

Cheap solar powered lanterns and cheap headlamps.

Expensive Surefire hand held lights.

What didn’t really work or what I need to upgrade.

My knives. I suck at maintaining my knives. I really like the idea of Randy’s detachable blade system from Gerber but after using once I found them to be dull and the new blades dull as well.

I went back to the big game Gerber vital and my fixed blade benchmade.

My fitness. Getting winded going up hill and struggling after dragging my buck and trying to lift into the truck. I did much better when I actually went to the gym and did squats and deadlifts.
 
He ran a stone glacier while I ran my western mountaineeering 5 degree bag, both of us had no problems this year. I run really cold and my bag has more loft. I think they both are great bags. The western mountaineering is definitely more expensive but I don’t think you could go wrong either way.
Sizing your bag is going to be as important or more important than the brand. If you are oversizing your bag it will almost always sleep cold, real cold.
 
Worked:

Mystery ranch backpacks can take some major abuse. I carried more weight on it this year than I ever have and it held up just fine. Couldnt ask for more.

Nitecore NU25 headlamp. Super light, plenty bright, good rechargeable battery life.

Morakniv companion. Tried one this year. Super cheap and holds an edge. Will remain in my pack for now.

Black diamond megalite shelter. Picked up a used one just to try something different this year and am pleased by the usable space to weight ratio.

Hillsound armadillo gaitors. Love the zip, and love the lace hook the comes from the underside.

Amazon Innorel carbon tripod. Loving it so far. Especially for the price.



Didn't:

Yes it did, but I'd like to get a better spotter. Using a 85mm razor hd now and its fine, but I'd like to upgrade my spotter at some point.

I found myself in the possession of some Kifaru reusable game bags. I wanted to use them but found myself repeatedly reaching for the disposable Alaskan Game Bags.
 
I’m not sure how you’re attaching your bipod, but if it’s on a pic rail I swapped out to one of these:

SRS Pic+Arca

Works well and the added weight was negligible.
A little nerve racking drilling into my stock but I wanted it closer to the butt of the stock towards the rifles center of gravity. Also had to get some smaller inserts because the ones provided didn’t fit in the ribs of the stock. I’ll probably bed those inserts into the stock with some JB weld and call it good. Excited to give it a go. IMG_0935.jpegIMG_0936.jpeg
 
A little nerve racking drilling into my stock but I wanted it closer to the butt of the stock towards the rifles center of gravity. Also had to get some smaller inserts because the ones provided didn’t fit in the ribs of the stock. I’ll probably bed those inserts into the stock with some JB weld and call it good. Excited to give it a go. View attachment 309170View attachment 309171
I did this with a Spartan adapter and Pic rail. Best damage I’ve done to the rifle. So much more stable when shooting.
 
Yeti GOBOX Collection

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