what to take in our packs?

gar man

New member
Mar 5, 2003
southwest missouri
o.k. now that we have our tags we are trying to figure out what to take. what kind of water purifer do we take? what kind of food? supplies? our list seems to be getting longer and longer and our packs our getting smaller and smaller. can you guys help out?
Gar Man, are you speaking of a day pack, hunting from a base camp and returning to it each night? Or, a back pack hunt carrying all your gear waaaaay back off the trail on your pack frame???

Makes a difference.

I and my buddies set up a tent camp, hunt from it, and return at night. So I carry a day pack with some items in it. Let us know which method you intend to use.

Great questions from Leanwolf.
KC has a good start...

I always hunt from a day pack. The web site from KC is good but you must first determine your strategy before you choose what to bring.

Leanwolf asked a good question regarding your strategy. If you set up a base camp your pack will be heavy on the way up and on the way back. If you are going to bivey you will need everything as light as possible.

You will need to answer this question before we can help you.

Either way if you are going to pack in. Do NOT bring the Bone saw. Bone the animal out and bring just the meat. You will also need to learn how to cape an animal. There is a little string saw that has two D-Rings on either side that can be used to cut the skull so you only pack the rack. You can use your knife to cut out the whistlers.

i think we will be setting up a base camp, and hunt from there. the one thing i don't want to do is get tied down to one area. i want to be able to pull up camp and move if we have to. one thing you guys have to remember that we have never done anything like this before. we have hunted hard before we have never packed into an area and stayed before. we have ordered our packs the alaskan pack from cabela's the big one.
gar man:

I suggest that you don't jump right into backpack hunting right off the bat without some preparation.

First things first. Do some car camping so you can learn the techniques and little tricks which make things easier. When car camping you can take a lot of stuff and you don't have to worry about weight. But you do have to learn the basic skills like how to start a campfire, how to cook with a camp stove, how to use a sleeping bag, how to setup a tent and how to use it, "leave no trace" techniques, environmental etiquette and tons of other things.

Next do some day hiking. That's when you learn more skills like what works best for your feet, how to use a map & compass, how to go lightweight in a day pack, how much water to carry, what else to carry and what not to bother taking.

After learning those things and enjoying the wilderness from a car camp and day hikes, you will be better prepared to start backpack hunting and will probably enjoy it more.

Here are some suggestions to buy:

1. Buy a very lightweight stove and fuel bottle of there is a chance of poor weather. If it is nice and warm leave this at home and live off the berries and granola or high protein bars, etc.
2. If there is a chance of snow you will need a high end (4 season) two-man tent. Make sure the vestibule is large enough to put your pack and any other crap you do not want rained on. Your other option is use a single man tent that is larger then a bivey bag or if you are in a area that you can use a bivey bag you will not need a base camp at all.
3. Find out how cold it gets in the area you hunt in and buy a sleeping bag to match. You will also need a self-inflatable pad. These come in half, full, or 3/4 length. If you are a tough guy and can find a place that is soft to put up your tent then you can leave this at home. In some states this is worth the weight to pack in.
4. Find a pack that has a daypack as part of the entire pack. You can leave the entire pack at your base camp and hunt with a lighter and quiet daypack. The other option is to get a pack frame and tie everything on it including your daypack. Leave it at the base camp and hunt with your daypack. I like this because I have a large waterproof bag for items I want dry and my daypack, all strapped to my Bull Pac. Some people do not like the Bull Pac but I do. Do not hunt with the pack as it is very loud because it is made of aircraft aluminum. I have hunted with it, but I covered it with the sticky camo felt to make it quieter.
5. You can eat a couple of meals off the land. Bring enough dehydrated food (you add water and heat on your stove) for one meal a day and snack food with high protein. Do not START A FIRE ever. I believe that the elk can smell the order of fire and are very anxious.
6. Very light weight rain gear. Make sure it is rip resistant so it is not destroyed on your first day out.
7. One folding knife (4 inch buck) and one diamond collapsible sharpener. This sharpener fits inside of the handle. I like the buck knife because it is fairly cheap knife if you lose it you will not be too mad (I have lost two of these knives) and the metal they use is hard so it holds the cutting edge longer then most soft metal knives.
8. One map bag to put your maps in and keep them dry. Compas, GPS.
9. You will need bag your toilet paper to keep it dry.
10. I require a toothbrush and a small tube of tooth past.
11. Head lap that uses little energy (LED bulbs). (extra batteries)
12. Carbon spray to remove your odor. After a couple of days of running in the same cloths you will stink…
13. Duck tap (about 30 inches folded on self for easy removal.)
14. 4 game bags (for elk)
15. String saw to cut the horns off the head.
16. I bring 2 – 2 ¼ inch scalpels to cape the elk. (If you loose your knife above you can cape and debone an entire elk with two scalpels. I have done it)
17. 30 feet of parachute cord.
18. Water purifier… I use a purifier that is good to 0.05 Microns (it has been a while since I looked at it). I bought it about 4 years ago and at that time it was the ticket. Look at the crap that you would not want to get and pick something one grade better then that. My purifier screws on top of my water bottle. This allows me to pump the purifier and keep track of the in take hose which is sitting in a creek or puddle.
19. I also bring some powered Gatorade or knock off. Definitely bring some potassium as the first three to four mornings the person who did not take the potassium will be a sore little buddy. If you take it you can make fun them… Good camp humor…
20. Do not bring too much food. Consider it a fat farm you can loose the weight and come home to the wife or girl friend looking better. Then they wouldn’t mind you going out again until your get to that high school weight.
18. If you think you could live without leave it at home…

These are a few of the items that I take. The farthest I have packed in is 12 miles. My buddy shot a bull and it took us two days to pack it out and we had three others fiends who helped us. Identify every morning the size of bull you are willing to shoot and pack out. The first couple of mornings a small 6X6 will do. By the end of the week it has to be in the 340-inch or better range. It is funny how this happens.

As you can tell you must really understand the location you are hunting in and an assumption of what to expect. If the weather is iffy and could turn to poor then bring some really quality clothing. It has saved my life twice and I really mean that… I have one set of King of The Mountain wool pants, Shirt, Jacket and Hat. A buddy of mine took some micro fleece pants and jacket and he got hypothermia and stayed in the tent for three days then packed out. This was my first muzzle loader hunt and I had a bull going when my buddy went to one knee and was getting disoriented. Nice timing…. The other was on a drop camp extraction. The person who came and got us was wearing jeans and a windbreaker with no cloves or hat. He arrived very late in the day had been snowing hard most of the day, by the time we got everything on the horses the snow was about 10 inches deep and getting dark. The wind pickup and you could only see about 10 feet. I was warm and had my GPS was ready to go. There is no better feeling to be in a situation and have the confidence you will come out fine. The moral of these events is to spend the money on the good equipment you might be putting your life in that equipments hands.

Kenetrek Boots

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