Mathews Inc.
Critique my backpacking list?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
Starfire 31-Jul-18
320 bull 31-Jul-18
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
jordanathome 31-Jul-18
missedagain 31-Jul-18
Dirk Diggler 31-Jul-18
B2K 31-Jul-18
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jul-18
WV Mountaineer 31-Jul-18
GrantK 31-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jul-18
jordanathome 31-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jul-18
jordanathome 31-Jul-18
Whocares 31-Jul-18
WV Mountaineer 31-Jul-18
Lark Bunting 31-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jul-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jul-18
jordanathome 31-Jul-18
From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18

Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
I am getting to the point I think I am ready to begin loading all my gear into my bag. Figured I'd get a second set of eyes to give me a quick critique.

*Background: I have only been on a couple backpacking trips, once with my wife for a night and once last year to hunt. We never stayed in camp after packing meat all night so I consider myself a newb still. One thing I know is my pack was WAY too heavy last year. Don't know the final weight but an educated guess after gear, food and water was 60 pounds. We camp two miles from the truck if we can access the road-from-hell but could be 4 miles if the road is wet. So far I am at 35.17 pounds before water and food.

From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18

Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo
Lark Bunting's embedded Photo

From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18
I have 30'of paracord in my Black Ovis mesh kit as well as zip ties and a short pen to sign a tag.

The foods are from last year and NOT finalized yet. (hence my other thread about backpacking food ideas)

Otherwise, would love to get your opinions!

Tom

From: Starfire
31-Jul-18
Well I'll go way out on a limb and say....Looks pretty good to me. I did the same thing. My first backpack elk hunt was at 60lbs, the next year I knocked it down to 45 and your list looks pretty close to mine.

From: 320 bull
31-Jul-18
I like it. You included your bow and some extra that I don't weigh. I skip binos they are not much help where I hunt. I like my pack weight for a three night trip with food and water to start with a 2 and I am usually either there or a touch over. That excludes my bow and anything I put in my pockets like calls, windicator and chap stick. I run a biv sack and lighter pad and bag than you. List looks pretty good to me.

From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18
320 Bull, I added my bow as I am more than likely strapping it to my pack for the hike in. I carried it last year and wished I had strapped it and used my trekking poles instead. The initial climb is steep and it is a consistent up and down from there.

Some of the stuff on there isn't necessary but I weighed everything and made decisions based on use or weight.

I swear at one point last year I was ready to cut the extra couple inches off my boot laces to save a half gram of weight as we were heading back in from the cooler to get another load. I worked out a little differently this year so I feel those 70 pound pack-outs won't be as bad.

From: jordanathome
31-Jul-18
Damn.......looks good from a weight standpoint.

If you are only going out 3 days or so, you could drop the toiletries (leave at the truck to freshen up when you get back to it) other than the wet wipes, saline, and contacts. I know it sounds gross....but really.....do you need all that stuff for a couple days away. I don't. I can scrub my teef with a pine needle or stick until then.

Unless you need the trekking poles for shelter support, or physical issues, I'd leave them at the truck. You can always grab them to help on the 2nd pack out if needed.

10 oz's of tea???? Really? Plus powder drink mix 10 oz? I'd shuffle some of that weight to bring more trail mix or another MH meal or something more substantial. I'd swap 10 ozs of candy for another 10 oz of snickers myself.

Good list....Might add a pair of undies and socks as those take the worst of it and a fresh/dry pair is a sweet thing in the middle of a long hunt. EDIT you have the spare sox and undies......I'm a dork. Ignore me LOL

Otherwise.....think of anything you can come back to the truck to get if you absolutely need it and leave it there. Unless you are over 2-3 miles back....then it becomes an issue of whether it is better to have it because you are pretty darn sure you need it....like extra fuel for stove....or you are packing weight for "just in case". For me "just in case" stuff stays at the truck where I can get it "just in case" I need it.

From: missedagain
31-Jul-18
add a paperback book or something to keep you occupied if you get rained into your tent for a day.

From: Dirk Diggler
31-Jul-18
Pics were hard to read when I enlarge them on my phone. But if you don't have multi-tool on your list I'd add one. Saved my butt more than once!

From: B2K
31-Jul-18
I'd add another pair of spare socks and Underoos...

From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18
Jordan, the food list is not up to date but I didn't redo my snippet in time when I posted that area. Those were estimates from last year. We are doing it much differently this year.

I love my new trekking poles and really need them to take some weight off my hips. Not sure why but I still get bad pain in my hips with 40#. Sucks, but not enough to not go.

I am bringing one extra pair of socks and one extra pair of merino underwear, do you all really htink I need two extras?!

As far as tooth care, YES I am bringing that stuff! Brushing my teeth is like wiping after a sh!t. It's a must do.

31-Jul-18
I'm not seeing your backpack up there. You have to factor that in.

If you really wanted to reduce wt, your tent and sleeping bag are crazy heavy. My combined tent and sleeping bag wt are 36 oz.

How long are you going for? A week? How far in? If you're 3 miles in, it's literally a couple hour walk round trip to the truck to resupply. You don't need all that gas and batteries. Why are you bringing extra underwear? 2 rolls of TP? Bring 1/2 a roll and start with 3/4 inch sticks that dont have any bark on them and do your last wipe with 3 squares and it'll last you weeks. Wet wipe? Dip your junk or a paper towel in a stream.

For first aid, all you really need are a few big bandaids and a 1/2 oz of antibiotic ointment and a few motrin. Anything worse and you have to leave anyways and maybe need a tourniquet which you should be able to drum up from your other hunting stuff. My first aid kit is a few bandaids, a couple packs of Bacitracin, and a skin stapler. Any medical condition beyond what those can handle require you leave the mountains anyways.

Coming from a non-hunting long-distance backpacking background, it astonishes me how much crap hunters put on their backs. My pack for my sheep hunt weighs 35 lbs and that's everything including food.

Every year, people do the PCT from Mexico to Canada and they do it with 25 lb packs with food resupplies along the way because it requires 20 mile hiking days everyday. You're not doing 20 miles a day, 7 days a week with 45 lbs on your back. Their frugality is borne of necessity. The less weight you carry, the farther you can go. It's nice to have all that stuff, but you don't need it.

Most of these duplicates, backups, and comfort items are not necessary.

31-Jul-18
I talked with Nick Muche months ago about this exact thing. I was setting at about 42 pounds for 7 days. That was everything. After talking with him, I realized there was bunch of stuff I didn't need as he was WAY less in a much less forgiving environment. I decreased and stripped stuff and went on some trial runs this late winter, early spring past. I then stripped some more and went on some more camping trips during gobbler season and, while doing some trout fishing and deer scouting. Listen to Ike. He's on the same page as Nick. Just remember, Amenities aren't required for survival.

From: GrantK
31-Jul-18
I'm with Idyll, that's SOOO much stuff for a three or four-day trip... for three days do you need a tent? if the weather is good sleeping under the stars is way better, bivy sack if the weather is iffy, tent only if it's terrible, and at that point are you better hunting out of the truck? two miles in would be a place I wouldn't think about backpacking too, that's a really casual walk with a 7lb daypack... and you're way less likely to run elk out of the area by keeping well clear, camping close is nice but it's easy to blow up the whole area if you are not really careful. for a three day hunt, I would be shooting for no more than 25#.

31-Jul-18
Your pack is at 40 lbs of contents and that doesn't count water and your backpack. Your real pack wt is close to 50 lbs.

Do a 7 mile hike with a 35, a 40, a 45, and a 50 lb pack and take note of how fast you can go and how you feel. Start with 35 and go up. Then set the weight of pack that you want to carry, and start taking things out that you want/need the least till you get to weight.

If you're only going a few miles and you're not going to relocate during your hunt and you're not going to keep your pack on your back while you hunt, then all of this is just academic because going in 3-4 miles with a heavy pack is no big deal, other than the fact that you lose two days getting it in and out. But that's usually not the best way to hunt elk since they can be anywhere and tend to bale and move miles when they do.

From: jordanathome
31-Jul-18
Ditch the boots, clothes, food, hell you don't need anything but a knife and your bow and a way to get safe water......the rest is extra. Go commando. LOL!

(sorry....starting to feel the rut here......brings out my sick sense of humor every year)

31-Jul-18
Actually, the things Jordan listed are really the ONLY things you "need..."

From: jordanathome
31-Jul-18
I know....but I am kinda afraid to go commando not knowing if it is sasquatch mating season or not........

For each you have to decide what is a creature comfort worth the pain of packing in and out.

I went with a heavier hammock system this year over my 1 lb tent system from last year......but damn does that hammock make my day. Worth every ounce. Food.....not so much.....basic fuel and fork the rest. Too much time and hassle and I am sick of hauling it home uneaten. I run out....head to the truck and get more. Wet Wipes.....a must have for me. Gotta have a clean po po. Toothbrush and crap....fork it. Gritty teeth tells me I'm alive. LOL Extra socks and undies....sure......but I probably don't need a really warm hoodie or outer layer so long as I have a base layer, mid layer and rain layer....that will keep me warm and if it don't I have the space blanket.

If I were 6 miles back I would feel differently........

From: Whocares
31-Jul-18
Pretty good list. Sleeping bag and tent does sound heavy. Toiletries seem excessive. You wont be going to a bar at night. Using the wind is your main toiletrie! Less than one roll of bung fodder adequate. First aid kit cut in half. shirt sleeves, belt etc can be used for emergencies. Food list seems a little excessive to me. Mtn House meals pretty filling.

31-Jul-18
Ike hit it. Pack, sleeping gear, and bow puts your weight at 21 pounds roughly. 5 pounds for gps, bino, headlamp, bladder, TP, and water filter system. Add roughly 6 pounds for full bladder and trekking poles and you are at 32 pounds complete. Add 20 ounces of food per day. At 6 days that is 7.5 pounds. That comes to basically 40 lbs for 6 days. You could cut that to 35 next year with a quilt or high dollar down bag and, a floorless shelter.

From: Lark Bunting
31-Jul-18
Great advice and much appreciated! I will definitely look into reducing some items and keep making cuts. I am down 6# from last year on the pack weight (Oh, I have a Kuiu Icon Pro 5200 btw) so I thought I was doing pretty well. It's too late this year to reduce weight on the sleep system. I am not thrilled about a floorless shelter either. We saw SOOO many spiders last year crawling on the trail while packing. I f'ing hate them and do everything I can to keep them out of my tent. Floorless designs sounds like an open invitation!

I see some room for improvement based on the posts though so will take another jab at it tomorrow evening.

Thanks for the feedback!

31-Jul-18

IdyllwildArcher's Link
20 degree quilt. 20 oz.

31-Jul-18

IdyllwildArcher's Link
19 oz tent. The floor/bug net if you want that is another 21 oz.

Those two items cut your bag/tent weight in 1/2. That's like 5 lbs right there. 6 lbs if you can go floorless.

From: jordanathome
31-Jul-18

jordanathome's Link
Lark......consider sports consignment shops for a cheap deal on a good quality bag. We have a couple in Boulder that get some really good stuff but you have to go often and get lucky. Boulder Sports Recycler is my fav. Found a brand new Cabelas Outback Lodge for $120 there.......over $300 new. They always have bags often top of the line.

I used a Nemo 2P tent last year that was mostly floorless except for a quarter floor at one end. Used trekking poles to hold it up. No bug problems but I did have a mouse decide to set up house in my sleeping bag one day......forker.....crapped all over the inside of the bag but didn't chew it up. He was evicted but not with as much prejudice as I intended. I used a silnylon tarp for a floor. I've never been able to keep a few bugs out of a tent...ever.

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