Moultrie Products
Elk hunt gear list
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
molsonarcher 06-Nov-22
molsonarcher 06-Nov-22
Scoot 06-Nov-22
molsonarcher 06-Nov-22
yooper89 06-Nov-22
KSflatlander 06-Nov-22
Jethro 06-Nov-22
molsonarcher 06-Nov-22
orionsbrother 06-Nov-22
Jethro 06-Nov-22
Beendare 06-Nov-22
peterk1234 06-Nov-22
PushCoArcher 06-Nov-22
molsonarcher 06-Nov-22
ultimag 06-Nov-22
Mule Power 06-Nov-22
LUNG$HOT 07-Nov-22
Sivart 07-Nov-22
Shaft2Long 07-Nov-22
Mule Power 07-Nov-22
molsonarcher 07-Nov-22
JTreeman 07-Nov-22
JohnMC 07-Nov-22
Groundhunter 07-Nov-22
[email protected] 07-Nov-22
DonVathome 08-Nov-22
Bow Bullet 08-Nov-22
SoDakSooner 08-Nov-22
Kurt 08-Nov-22
BoggsBowhunts 08-Nov-22
bigeasygator 08-Nov-22
[email protected] 08-Nov-22
molsonarcher 08-Nov-22
peterk1234 08-Nov-22
Kurt 08-Nov-22
molsonarcher 08-Nov-22
JTreeman 08-Nov-22
bowhunt 08-Nov-22
bowhunt 08-Nov-22
c3 09-Nov-22
molsonarcher 09-Nov-22
From: molsonarcher
06-Nov-22
I am looking for suggestions and advice here on a fairly comprehensive list for a backcountry elk hunt next fall. This will be an archery hunt at high elevation in the month of September. I am a complete novice when it comes to both elk hunting and backpacking in for a hunt. I will be purchasing all the gear i need, and want to make sure i have adequate items to make the most of the trip, and to keep some level of comfort from the elements.

Gear that i am looking for advice/recommendations on is as follows:

Sleeping quilt(not a mummy bag) Either the western mountaineering astralite or the enlightened equipment enigma. Both have solid reviews and are available in multiple degree levels. Im currently leaning toward the 20degree bags, but am not sure if i need one that cold.

Sleeping pad: Im pretty set on the therma rest neo air x therm max, but am open to others.

Packs: Im looking at the Exo K3. It has a load shelf and expandable bag system, but i am not sure what size would be best. The 4800 or 6400 ci?

I want to make sure i have enough room for all essential gear( clothes, tent, sleeping pad, quilt), as well as room for enough food for 7 days.

Tent: Looking at the Kuiu storm star 2 person and the Nemo kunai 2 person. Both seem to be rated for 4 seasons( again not sure if this is necessary). I am thinking the 2 person models would be adequate for leaving gear in while out hunting, and still leaving enough room for said gear and myself during inclement weather.

We will be hiring a packer to get the elk out(if successful). We dont want to be packed in with too much stuff to move if we dont land on the elk right away, so want to keep things reasonably light, but be quality gear as well. We will be able to come out and restock if necessary, but want to stay in as long as possible and hunt.

If anyone has experience with the gear in question, please let me know. If you have something that works as well or better, please let me know. Any suggestions are appreciated.

From: molsonarcher
06-Nov-22
Items i am currently planning to take and already have:

Inreach, cell with onx maps downloaded, small powerbank for charging,headlamp, flashlight, jetboil mini mo, field wipes, knives, game bags, drybag, paracord, small tarp.

From: Scoot
06-Nov-22
Sounds like you have a very good start on this. Two suggestions- 1) google "bowsite backpack hunt gear" or "bowsite backcountry hunt gear list" etc. and you'll find a ton of examples. Lots of examples available online.... 2) PM me your e-mail address- I'll e-mail you my list. IMO- the two biggest mistakes I see are too much food and too many clothes. Sounds like a fun trip!

From: molsonarcher
06-Nov-22
Thanks Scoot. PM sent

From: yooper89
06-Nov-22
Go with the bigger backpack. You can always make a big bag smaller, but you can't make a small bag bigger.

From: KSflatlander
06-Nov-22
We use the KUIU backpack frame woth 2 bags go the same frame. A 7800 for packing in and out and a 3800 for hunting. Just switch packs out as needed. I use a 0 degree bag anytime in the mountains. It can get cold at night.

I would recommend some trekking poles especially for packing quarters out. The are great for stream crossings too.

From: Jethro
06-Nov-22
Your choices of quilt, pad, and packs are excellent choices. I’d go 20 degree for September. I can’t comment on the tents

From: molsonarcher
06-Nov-22
Thanks for the responses so far. KS I have a set, but forgot to list them. Another reason this thread exists is so I don’t forget anything!

06-Nov-22
I’m a fan of an even colder temp capable quilt. Easy to vent if warmer.

A couple of light things you might consider as “comfort level” additions. Chapstick and super glue. At altitude, my lips get chapped and the skin on my fingers dries out and splits pretty quickly.

From: Jethro
06-Nov-22
Exchange your flashlight for backup headlamp

From: Beendare
06-Nov-22
When buying bags it helps to know if you are a warm or cold sleeper. If you go quilt go warmer than if you go mummy bag. I use my 20 deg mummy bag as a quilt on warm nights. You need 800+ fill when going down- less than that loses loft. The best budget Down bag Ive seen is the Sierra Designs…one of the best is Western Mountaineering.

That xthrm pad and Exo pack is excellent.

Tents; The ones you mention are good…as is The stuff from Tarp Tent and Seek Outside.

From: peterk1234
06-Nov-22
Very good boots would be priority number one for me.

A great pack is number two. Go larger, they all pack down to nothing. I use a 5900. It is also used as my day pack.

Back to the boots. Schnees, crispi, kennetrek, etc. Fairly stiff sole and high quality leather. Great support, sidehills well and can handle the loads you will be carrying. I can't stress how important the boots are. But them now and break them in. Boots determine whether you will be miserable or happy.

From: PushCoArcher
06-Nov-22

PushCoArcher's embedded Photo
PushCoArcher's embedded Photo
I just got done with 14 days of elk hunting in Wyoming. I have a exo 4800 and a 10 degree Enlightend equipment convert quilt and love them both. My nephew has the exo 6400 and I agree with the others the larger size for the little extra money is worth it and when not full they cinch down just as small. Also agree make sure your boots and socks are dialed in I love my Crispi's and darn tough socks. Have you considered water filtration? The playtapus Quickdraw worked well for us this year.

From: molsonarcher
06-Nov-22
Thanks guys. This is great so far.

PushCo exactly what i was looking for. 2 of the items im looking at you just used. That makes justifying the purchase much easier. Boots i have considered but havent gotten to. Living in ohio theres not much chance to try any of the mountain boots here.

From: ultimag
06-Nov-22
good luck mol enjoy your hunt might want to add bear spray and a sidearm (10mm or larger ) to your list

From: Mule Power
06-Nov-22
I’ll second the boots suggestion. Do not go cheap! And believe it when you hear that a good pair of boots WILL be stiff and take 10 times longer to break in than cheap boots. Buy them early and wear them every chance you get.

Have you considered a heat source for your tent? If someone is packing your gear there’s no reason not to invest in a stove. You can leave it at the place the packer drops you and make that your base location. Dry clothes are imperative.

From: LUNG$HOT
07-Nov-22
Molson, good choices and advise so far. Definitely start early on the boot issue. Buy soon and wear often. Break in is super important. Don’t go cheap if possible. This year was my 2nd year wearing my “Schnees Divide Mid mens”. I’ve worn Crispi and Lowa in the past with good results but these Schnees are my favorite so far. Worth every penny. Good luck.

From: Sivart
07-Nov-22
I would wait for EXO's K4 frame thats coming out this Feb. I love my K3, but everything I read and see of the K4 looks like a huge improvement.

From: Shaft2Long
07-Nov-22
It’s probably already been suggested but YouTube backcountry archery elk bag dump and you’ll have literally hours of stuff to look at.

From: Mule Power
07-Nov-22
Have you considered a Helinox chair? At the end of the day it sure is nice to eat in a chair with a back rest.

A good little saw for making some firewood.

From: molsonarcher
07-Nov-22
Mule, no I had not considered bringing a chair. I’m trying to keep the gear to a packable level, since we will be carrying our camp in on our backs. I will look into it though and see how much weight it would add.

From: JTreeman
07-Nov-22
There are hundreds of lists all over the internet/bowsite/YouTube/etc. i probably can’t add a lot to them. I generally find less is more if I’m carrying it, horses are a totally different game. But it sounds like you are packing it in and horses are only for meat packing out. My one suggestion which doesn’t take a lot of planning ahead, is wet wipes. I personally like “dude wipes” good size/weight, Unscented. Good size package for 7-10 day trip IMO. An absolute necessity to me.

For me if I’m carrying it all on a sept elk hunting I don’t need a chair, or a stove (heater), or hand gun (unless griz country), never needed a saw either. I have been guilty as well, but generally think a lot of guys carry too much stuff. Sometimes less is more.

—Jim

From: JohnMC
07-Nov-22
I have heard finding a packer to haul out a elk can be inconsistent. They will pack you out if they are not already busy. Unless you are 100% sure they will be available to pack you out, don't go further in than you willing to haul a bull out.

From: Groundhunter
07-Nov-22
Buy Cameron Hanes book-... give you good direction

07-Nov-22
Add water filtration to the list. Don't discount the idea of a backpacking chair without some thought. After you have gone a week sitting on the ground or a log while in camp, the thought of one may not seem like a luxury anymore.

From: DonVathome
08-Nov-22
I have no problem with a small 1 man tent leaving my gear in it and see no need for a 1 man tent. Also smaller = warmer. Inside a 2 wall one man tent will be at least 10 degrees warmer then outside. Inside a 10x10 wall tent it will be about the same temp. You would be surprised how much your body can warm a small space even in a sleep bag.

A mummy bag can be unzipped and used like a blanket. It can easily get cold at night at that time/elevation. By cold I mean below 20 degrees. I would take a mummy bag.

You can email me for my word gear list and excel spreadsheet for weights.

From: Bow Bullet
08-Nov-22
How far do you intend to backpack in and what elevation will you be at? The further and higher you go, the more ounces matter. In my opinion, a 4 season tent for a September hunt is overkill (at least here in CO). You can save a good amount of weight by going with a good lightweight 3 season tent. I use a Big Agnes Copper Spur 2P. It has 2 vestibules and plenty of room for gear. Plus it's 2+ lbs lighter than your two current choices. Something to consider.

From: SoDakSooner
08-Nov-22
I agree on the tent. I'd look at the Big agnes stuff. Also don't discount the floorless tarp or Tipi style. My Tipi is pretty dang light and packs just as small as a 2p tent. If you have a decent hunting partner he can carry the pole...lol(or you can make one) Ive never used a saw or an ax for firewood. deadfall and low branches that can be broken have always sufficed. I do like the helinox chair. it is nice to have. Plus it's low enough you can use it for glassing as well.

As far as pack size, I used to run around with a Kuiu Icon pro 1800 ci bag. It was ok but just way too small. I picked up a larger bag at 5200 CI and I could pack everything I needed for 3+ days inside the bag. I had a warranty issue and the replacement is a 6000 CI bag and I'm in heaven....lol. Bigger is better. As stated you can always make it smaller.

From: Kurt
08-Nov-22
A few comments, mostly on the replies:

A 4-fold section cut off a Thermarest Z-lite sleeping pad weighs 4 ounces. Its all I ever carry backpacking and with me hunting. It is the chair when glassing and around camp, the pad I take my noon nap on, and where I stand to take my boots on and off before getting into the bag at night. Lighter and more versatile than a chair in my experience.

I've never carried a handgun while bowhunting 35 yrs in CO. Obviously a personal choice but it's not grizzly country.

Never needed a 4-season tent in CO, camp in the trees, not above treeline and you should be OK, just not in the dead trees that might blow over in a windstorm. Had a pretty close call a long time ago when a huge dead spruce blew down 20' from us in a major Flattops area windstorm. Dang scary to hear it start to go and just hope it doesn't land on your tent.

It can snow and turn cold in Sept, or it maybe summer like during the day. Be prepared for either with clothes at the truck but don't overdo the backpacking clothes if the forecast is good for the week.

I like to have a saw at the truck to cut antlers off the skull unless you want a Euro. You don't need a saw to do a gutless method on the meat and take quarters off, rib and neck meat, loins, etc. Nor to remove the lower leg and hoof. You do need to know how to this...an elk is too large to handle any other way. Quick hide removal and getting the quarters hung in game bags in the shade, even on a warm day will get you fine meat. Evaporative cooling will get the temperature down on it during the day and nights are typically cold in the mountains.

Drink plenty of fluids with electrolyte replacements as it's easy to get dehydrated at elevation while working hard.

Good luck, have a great time and bring home some elk meat...best wild meat there is!

08-Nov-22
Best thing you can fit in your pack is a little bit of knowledge and whole lot of "want to"

The best part about the both of them is they both don't cost anything!

From: bigeasygator
08-Nov-22
Well on the way with your gear list and the recommendations above, Matt! A few more thoughts from me.

How many days do you plan on going for? If it's going to be more than a long weekend, I agree a bigger pack would probably be more ideal, especially since they can be compressed fairly easily. Most people overpack with clothes, so definitely an area to watch out for.

Do you have much experience sleeping in a tent? I ask because when I started I tried to go light with my sleep system and suffered. Uncomfortable and/or cold nights really take it out of you. Since then, I take a bigger sleeping bag (both in terms of temp. rating and size) as well as a comfortable sleeping pad. I really, really like the Big Agnes system that integrates the pad in the bag. And for an early season high country hunt, I'm still probably bringing a 10-15 degree bag (perhaps even a zero degree bag) as I can be a cold sleeper. I've learned that the weight penalty for those things is well worth it to me, and I've learned to sacrifice weight elsewhere.

If you have experience with your system and have tested it in similar conditions to what you'll hunt in, you can disregard that advice. I encourage you to try and test your system out before you go if you can to see how well you sleep if you haven't.

08-Nov-22
I always use a zero degree bag. A little much on a 40 degree Sept night but easy to vent. Worth more than gold on the 20 degree Sept nights. I don't always store mine correctly so they lose some loft over the years as well.

From: molsonarcher
08-Nov-22
Thanks for all the advice guys! This is exactly what i was hoping to get out of this thread. Keep em coming. Some great suggestions here that i hadnt thought of, and different gear choices as well.

From: peterk1234
08-Nov-22
Another thought. Not sure if it was mentioned. You're super expensive sleeping bag that is rated too zero degrees is worthless without a properly insulated pad. It's All about the pad. Spend the 200 bucks for a good pad with a proper R factor. Trust me on this one.... and the boots. :)

From: Kurt
08-Nov-22
Molson, Your pad choice of a Thermarest Neoair listed in your introductory post post is an excellent pad until it gets really cold, then I switch to the next heavier model (forget name) that gives about double the R rating.

From: molsonarcher
08-Nov-22
Peterk, working on the pad and boots. Kurt, thanks for that info. I will look at the next model up.

From: JTreeman
08-Nov-22
NeoAir Xtherm is the pad I like. Basically all season. If I was doing it again I might get the wide though. I’m running a couple Western Mountaineering sleeping bags, but I also really like my Marmot Helium, I think it’s a great bag at a fair price. I’m not sure on the quilt thing, but I admittedly have not tried one, and quite honesty not particularly interested in trying one.

—jim

From: bowhunt
08-Nov-22
Below is my clothes, gear and food list. I have a Kifaru mountain warrior bag. Great size pack for what I bring with me on up to 7 day trips. Don’t really do anything over 10 days and I make it work

This all works great for me from spring bear season through the end of archery elk season at the end of September.

From: bowhunt
08-Nov-22
Backpack list

Sleep System *Kelty2 person tent (5.5 lbs) 2 of us share/ or seek outside cimarron with stove if bad weather *Thermarest Neo Air Xlite sleep Pad *REI Sub Kilo sleeping bag *Klymit Xpillow inflatable pillow General gear *Hunting tags & ball point pen in zip lock bag with 1 extra zip lock per species if hunting multiple species on trip *Breeze squeeze wind tester *Platapus Big Zip 3 liter water bladder *Black diamond Icon headlam *1 roll toilet paper up to 7 day trips *Glen Berry Thunder Bugle reeds(1 per day) *Phelps gray Amp mouth reeds (1 per 3 days) *Wood Wise external reed cow call *Jet boil stove *Small Giga Power fuel can for jet boil *Spoon *Lighter *Coghlans Fire starter paste *Katadyn Hiker Pro Water filter or Katadyn camp bag filter depending on location *Flip flops to wear at camp *20ft paracord rope(clothes line @camp) *Mole Skin and Leukotape(for blisters) *Tooth brush & toothpaste *Qtips *Non scented deodorant *4 ibuprofen per day (2 in am-2 in pm) *2-3 field tips to shoot bow at spike camp if possible. Some of my spots I can shoot a square of toilet paper in a soft dirt bank. Others no way to do that without breaking arrows. Awesome to shoot if possible. Skinning/ meat hanging/meat care *Bahco 396-LAP 7.5 inch blade hand saw *Havalon knife with 6/8 xtra blades *Gerber Metolius EZ Open knife *6 Carabou Gear 20x38 game bags, trash bag,30ft paracord all vacuum sealed together. Clothing packed in backpack *Stocking cap *Smart wool gloves(2 pair if long trip/wet weather) *1 pair KUIU Aattack pants *1 KUIU 125 Ultra Merino LS Crew T Shirt *1 pair KUIU calf high merino socks *KUIU Ultra Merino zip off bottom *KuiU Ultra Merino 145 zip t #Kuiu gator #Kuiu chugach Nx rain pants/jacket #First lite puffy jacket #KUIU Peloton zip jacket

#items dependent on weather forecast. If doing 7-10 day trip, weather forecast not reliable for that length of time after second week of September in high country and all items are packed.

*3 packets instant oatmeal vacuum sealed *1 or 2 cliff bars *1 cups bear naked granola granola, 1/2 cup instant milk, *2 Starbucks via *2 powdered pedialyte/Gatorade packets *Mountain house meal for dinner *1 oz jerky *1/4 cup mixed nuts

From: c3
09-Nov-22

c3's Link
Here's an Excel spread sheet you can modify to put in all your gear you'll need. I got the original for this from buckT4 years ago when this place was the archery information network still.

Any way it's a great tool to add up what all your gear will weight and as a check list to make sure you have everything before you head out.

It's pretty old and not manufacture specific, but you can modify it to sort out your exact gear requirements.

http://www.c3di.com/images/archery/backpack-hunting-list.xls

Cheers, Pete

From: molsonarcher
09-Nov-22
Thanks C3!

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