New member
Jun 22, 2018
You guessed it, this fall will be my first elk hunt. We are actually going for cow elk, in Wyoming, in mid November. I have been told to prepare for sunny skies to blizzard conditions, 70 degrees to -10 degrees. There will be 4 hunters, 1 - 4x4 crew cab truck with a camper shell. We plan to stay in a hotel the whole trip. This is the specifics of my first elk hunting trip, but I figure many first timers or grizzled vets could learn from this post.

Feel free to list your "must haves" and your "nice to have if you got room in the truck". I'm talking everything from hunting packs, binoculars, spotting scopes, rangefinders, GPS, maps, clothes, boots, knives, games bags, coolers, safety gear, chains for tires, winches, tents, sleeping bags, food, etc....anything is fair game. Share what has worked well for you on previous elk hunting trips, what was a disaster, or what you wish you would have brought...Help us first timers learn from your mistakes....Share what gear you think is extremely important that most people overlook...

I know there are so many different hunting terrains and weather conditions that there is no all inclusive list, so you can be specific or broad as you like. My hope is to get a thread going that will acquire so much information/ideas that rookies and veteran hunters can read through and see something that improves their comfort and success rates on future hunting trips..

PS - For anyone newer than me at this whole "planning an elk hunt" thing (which probably isn't very many people), watch Randy Newberg's bag dumps on youtube. He gives a ton of great information on gear. That is my only contribution to this thread :ROFLMAO:.

Thanks in advance for any tips on hunting gear!


Active member
Feb 9, 2016
Berwick, PA
Hunting with 4 buddies you may not need it put parachute cord is a must quartering alone. Probably wouldn't hurt to have with a friend either for holding legs in the direction you'd like them to cut. Also I use that to tie my bags in trees so I'm not using the rope on my game bags. Tying the pole up for your bags to hang on. It can make shelters with a tarp also.... If you bring it you'll use it.


Well-known member
Aug 27, 2015
E. Oregon
My secret magic rope. You don't have any but its the greatest ever. 1/4'' Will pull out your truck, quad, strap load pack, tarps, tents. It will tie as tight as you want and never ever slip a knot.

A benchmade steep country knife, because there is no better. Completely broke down four elk, including skinning last year. Then they sharpen it for you for free, for life.

Since I don't ever take any drugs from post surgeries or injuries, I may or may not have a few special pain pills in case things go really bad.

boot laces

Gallon freezer bags. You can carry water from a creek or other things you may need

More bullets than you need


Aug 19, 2018
In terms of recovery-type gear for the truck, there are some other good threads on the subject out there....

Here's some of the basic items I always have in the truck on any hunt: traction boards, shovel/ax, basic recovery gear (shackles, snatch straps, tow ropes, etc.), tire repair kit + fix a flat + air compressor, chains (if you're truck can fit them), basic tool kit, extra water/gas/food, first aid

As far as once you leave the truck, a garmin inreach or similar locator device is a must for me for added peace of mind.

SCliving Outdoors

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2018
South Carolina
I travel from the east coast to the west to hunt 4 or 5 times a year. The only time I usually fly is for spring bear. A lot of these trips are also solo.

Below are things I always have in/on the truck.
Snatch block
2 spare tires.
Plug kits
Jack x2
A good air compressor
Jump box
Emergency kit
Extra food
Impact wrench
4' piece of pipe if something gets real stubborn.
Extra water
Extra fuel

Thats regular truck stuff I can think of off the top of my head that goes on every trip. Obviously, thats stuff is more for the travel portion of the hunt then the actual hunt but for me its usually 25+hrs each way. I usually backpack in when I get there but I can't tell you how often Ive used alot of that stuff and I dont drive some old beat up truck. Stuff just happens and sometimes Im a long ways from anything. I also always have an inreach.


Well-known member
Nov 7, 2011
You've probably got most of the big items covered, but a few random things to consider - bring gaiters, both neck and leg. Don't forget your sunglasses. Get a paper copy of the local BLM map, a state atlas, and download offline OnX maps ahead of time. If you'll be able to glass from the vehicle a window mount for your binos is a nice addition. Take some trekking poles and a way to carry your gun hands-free (I like the Kifaru gun bearer). Try to practice the gutless method of processing on a whitetail before your trip. Get in better shape than you think you need to be. Bring a small foam pad for sitting on the ground. Take two pairs of good, broken-in boots and a blister kit. Carry two good headlamps with fresh batteries in them. Since you're staying in a hotel, I would bring processing equipment - cutting board, boning knife, vac sealer. If you get a couple down and there is lots of snow, consider buying a sled for the pack-out. And since you're staying in a hotel and I'd guess close enough to civilization, remember you don't need everything and the kitchen sink...


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2015
Definitely has to be a few packs of lemon-lime Sqwincher…


Well-known member
Jan 30, 2011
Western Colorado
Sunscreen, lip balm, all that. A 3,000 ft tan won't do you any good in 9-10,000 ft sunshine. You can fry quickly at altitude.
Wind checker. They're not just for archery hunting. Spooky previously-hunted elk will wind you and bug out from longer distances than most people believe.
Temp tooth filling putty. It weighs nothing but when you need it, you really need it.
Phone numbers for the local Sheriff's Office, G&F office (field officers if you can get them), USFS, BLM offices. Sometimes it's nice to call a number that is not 911 if you have a question or problem that's not quite an emergency.
Fix-a-flat, truck battery jumper box.
A backup to your backup backup plan for where/how you plan to hunt. Fires, crowds, slides, blizzards, road closures, giant outfitter basecamps can all happen. Not to sound all gloom and doom. From a risk assessment point of view, the odds of any of that are low, but the consequences are high.