Ultralight Backcountry Gear List
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, rifle deer, 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 3500. *Kuiu Icon Pro.. list goes on.
- Sitka Bino Harness bivy with Binoculars 10x42 or 12x50 HD.
- Wool or silk Boxers. (Sitka Merino Boxers)
- 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 / Sitka Stormfront 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) (Ultralight Caribou Game Bags).
- Toiletry Kit- (TP, 1/2 tooth brush, wet wipes, cough drops, Advil PM)
- Sleeping Bag (Nemo Riff 15) / 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 (Peak Refuel & OffGrid Food).
- Range finder – *Bushnell Truth *Vortex Ranger.
- *Leatherman - can’t go wrong without one.
[ELK HUNTING SEPTEMBER] Backcountry Gear List
- Phelps Bugle Tube, elk cow calls (AMP GRAY), 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).
- Sonic- 15 degree Down Sleeping bag . Nemo Sleeping pad- Field Insulated, or Thermarest.
- Sitka Bow Sling (carry in the field and off my pack).
Backcountry Gear List [DEER HUNTING OCTOBER]
- Spotting Scope - Vortex HD Viper 15-45x65
- Butt pad- for glassing
- Tripod - Sirui Carbon Fiber
- Deer Game bags - Caribou Carnivore III
- Ear Plugs - sleeping and for gun
- Sitka Puffy Jacket / face mask (for wind stopper)
- Sitka Gaiters (Keep boots and legs dry)
- Extra shoe soles for making stalks
- Extra Water bladder-limited H20 sources hunting deer.
- Mummy Bag- Sonic Nemo Bag 15 degree
Late Season Archery Deer (November)
- Extra Gloves- Sitka Traverse cold weather
- Spotting scope- Swaroski 25/30x-40-60
- Thermal base layers (stay warmer)
- Sitka Gaiters (Keep boots and legs dry)
- Wood burning stove system (Seek Outside, Lite Outdoors).
Buy health foods - Fuel yourself for the backcountry: lots of high calorie protein rich food with heathy fats. Adventure Athletics EVEREST BARS. Try to keep every ounce of food at 100 calories (2 ounces = 200 calories) I’ll save more information on this for another article.
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).