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Gear lists for every backcountry hunt. I start the first list with the essentials for all trips then break it down exclusively into each hunt (archery elk, deer rifle, and even November late hunts). Lists will very depending where you hunt (state, terrain, and elevation). There are lots of options and brands out there, I have included a few that work well to give you an idea.

       (Based on Central Idaho backcountry).    

Backcountry Essentials [ALL TRIPS]

  • Trekking Poles - Leki - collapsible with quick flip-lock 
  • Good pair of boots- Scarpa GTX or Crispi guide 10’ GTX.  (Top of list)
  • Camelbak 3LT (water blatter) Platapus 
  • Water Purifier (Katadyn Hiker Pro / MSR Gravity Filter) (MRS micro Trail Shot
  • Good pack with load lifter straps and meat hauling capabilities. *Mystery Ranch Metcalf *Sitka 6200 Mountain hauler *Exo Mountain Gear 5500. *Kuiu Icon Pro.. list goes on. 
  • Sitka Bino Harness bivy with Binoculars 10x42 or 12x50 HD. 
  • First Aid medical Kit – w/ Turnakit
  • Head lamps (two) (Petzl 250 RB)  
  • 2+ Wind detectors (one in pocket and one in side pouch of backpack).
  • Extra Socks / Rain Jacket - Smartwool / Darn Tough / Bombus / Alpaca Wool.
  • OnX Maps.  
  • Survival kit-(Emergancy thermal blanket, lighter, compass, high carb/fat protein bar).
  • *Spot  Gene3 * Inreach - GPS. 
  • Kill kit (tags, tape, paracord, knife) 
  • Toiletry Kit- (TP, 1/2 tooth brush, wet wipes,  cough drops, Advil PM)
  • Sleeping Bag (Nemo Riff) / Pad (Vector 25)  / Tyvex tarp
  • Shelter system - Seek Outside Tipi Tarp, NEMO hornit, Nemo Dragon Fly (2-3pp).
  • Stove for heating water. *JetBoil *MRS Wind Burner. 
  • MSR IsoPro 4oz Canister.  
  • Dehydrated food w/spork /trash 1gal ziplock bag 
  • Range finder – *Bushnell Truth *Vortex Ranger. 
  • *Leatherman - can’t go wrong without one. 

Backcountry Gear List [ELK HUNTING SEPTEMBER]

  • Bugle Tube, elk cow calls, reeds
  • Elk game Bags- Caribou Magnum Elk Pack 
  • 10x42 Bino’s (No spotter needed)
  • Havalon Piranha Edge knife and or Outdoor edge Knife
  • More fat/carbs (food) (more hiking and hauling). 
  • Bow tuning kit (Allen wrench set, extra D-loop string, zip ties, small roll of duck tape).
  • Sleeping Quilt- 30 degree . Nemo Sleeping pad- Field Insulated, or Thermarest
  • Tarantula Deluxe Bow Hook (Hang my bow off belt). 

Backcountry Gear List [DEER HUNTING OCTOBER]


Late Season Archery Deer


Buy health foods - Fuel yourself for the backcountry: lots of high calorie protein rich food with heathy fats. Try to keep every ounce of food at 100 calories (2 ounces = 200 calories) I’ll save more information on this for another article. 

Get a better R rating with insolation for your pad when adding Tyvek. (Lay under sleep pad)  


Frank Church sheep scout trip - 3 day pack

Above all, invest in a great pair of boots, a pack, a weapon, glass, and trekking poles. Then focus on all the other essentials, I learned the hard way in 2012-2014. Years later (in the summer of 2016) I comfortably spent five of those weekends on 4 day scout trips in the Frank Church Wilderness. Most of my elk hunts are 5-7 days straight, 6-8 miles in. Deer hunts are usually 4 days long 6.8 miles in. For my sheep hunt in 2016 we ended up doing 10 straight days for the actual hunt, coving just over 100 miles in the Frank Church Wilderness (Hiked in- flew out). Packs were roughly 65lb to began the trip. Mine was a little over with a 12lb rifle to add to the pack. Food was kept in individual bags for ration purposes. Email me if you want more pictures, advise, or have addition questions. (People are very opinionated, try to be unbiased, try lots of options, and you will find what works for you and for your budget). 

December 20, 2018 by Will Meyers
Tags: Gear List

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