Nov 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm #1242580
A few photos from a recent multi-day backcountry deer hunting trip where lightweight gear made it possible to have an enjoyable backcountry experience where we saw no other hunters and some amazing wildlife, despite it being less than ten miles from a trailhead and 30 miles from a metropolitan area.
Here’s a partial listing of the lightweight backpacking gear that helped offset the “heavy” hunting gear, including a nearly 10-pound rifle.
Badlands 2200 (modified, including removing zipper garages, pocket lining, and some excess straps). Though this is a heavy pack compared to current LW offerings, its ability to pack very heavy loads (i.e., 75 pounds of meat plus gear) made it a logical choice.
Black Diamond Oneshot. The temps on this trip were chilly, with overnight temps in the mid 20s with some wind. This little tent did an admirable job of keeping me warm and comfortable. With darkness falling early, I felt especially bad for my pal, whose bivy sack was covered with frost within minutes of rolling it out. The roof of the Oneshot did collect some condensation overnight, but it stayed put on the roof.
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad, wide and long. At 6 ft 2” and over 200 pounds, I have found this pad to be one luxury item I don’t leave home without when the temperature drops. Whatever weight penalty it brings is offset by a sound night’s sleep. In contrast, my pal brought a trimmed z-rest, and was quick to say in the morning that he would have welcomed the extra weight (and comfort!).
Nunatak Arc Alpinist quilt. Kept my warm all night, thought I probably would have benefitted from my Thermawrap pants sometime after about 3:00 am.
BPL Trappers Mug. Perfect!
Gram Weenie alcohol stove. Ditto
BPL folding titanium spoon. The third piece in a near-perfect lightweight cooking system.
BPL Beartooth merino hoody. I have pretty much lived in this piece this fall.
Manzella liner glove w/grip dot palm. Great liner, especially helpful with trapper mug.
Cloudveil simple shell gloves. For bushwhacking and early morning chill-fending duty.
Patagonia micro puff vest. An oldie but a goodie.
Under Armor Blaze Orange fleece beanie. Combined with a lightweight blaze orange vest for maximum visibility.
Patagonia Houdini – probably the most versatile piece of equipment I own. Mine is patched and stained, but continues to perform flawlessly.
Patagonia Specter Pullover. I am hopeful someone will come out with something soon that weighs as little, fits as well, and performs like this one does…mine is starting to show its age!
Travelsmith supplex pants. Comfortable and tough. Paired with a pair of Capilene or R1 bottoms when needed, these pants have seen duty from desert backpacking to winter snowshoeing.
Patagonia midweight Capilene bottoms –for sleeping and early morning hiking (under supplex pants).
InoV8 Rolite 390 GTX boots. Happily into my second pair of these remarkably sturdy, warm, and light boots.
Leupold and Stevens 10×28 compact “gold ring” binoculars. These aren’t the lightest backcountry optics out there, but they are dead reliable and I rarely hike without them.
North American Arms PUG .22 Magnum pistol. At just over 6 oz, this little sidearm accompanies me on most trips, It is a fun plinker, an able noise maker, and for some reason, I always sleep better in the backcountry with it near me.
Ipod Nano (video) – Increases the enjoyment of the Oneshot tent, especially when it is dark at 6:00 pm. I don’t do it often, but when the winds are howling, and the temperature drops, I have found it supremely satisfying to be wrapped up inside a quilt in a small tent watching a feature movie.
Gossamear Gear Lighttrek 4 Pole (1 ) – Light, comfortable grip, and very helpful on steep traverses with a loaded pack. It also stores nicely in the back pocket of my pack. I only brought one since I carried a rifle in my other hand much of the time.Dec 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm #1550443
@pepelpLocale: New Mexico
Looks like you had fun. Gotta get a lighter rifle though. This is Backpacking Light after all.
Were the Leupold binocs the only optics you carried? I have a pair of 8*42 Nikons that are sensational, but man are they heavy.
Take care.Dec 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm #1550449
I know what you mean about the Nikons. I have a pair of Nikon 12×56 binocs. Best binocs I have ever used and comparable to my fathers Swavaski 10x binocs, but man are they heavy.
I use them mostly for long distance hog hunting at night in moonlight or at dusk dark/early morning.
For walking I use a pair of compact nikon binocs.
I agree on the rifle. A 6# mountain rifle with a pencil barrel and a leupold ultralight scope would be my choice.Dec 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm #1551748
Great post Craig!
I've got a Kimber Montana .338 Federal ordered along with a Leupold UL 3×9. The rifle is 5 lb 2 oz, the scope 8.8 oz and I'll mount it in a set of Talley lightweights. Should come in at right around 6 lbs with five rounds.
UL really helps when big game hunting. Even when packing monster loads of boned out meat. They way I figure it you carry a rifle a lot more than you shoot it.
As far as binocs for UL hunts I love my Leica 8×20's
EdDec 9, 2009 at 4:02 am #1551843
"A few photos from a recent multi-day backcountry deer hunting trip where lightweight gear made it possible to have an enjoyable backcountry experience"
So, a few days after Ryan posts a review of an UL rifle which ignited a flame war and some heavy-handed censorship by Ryan, another BPL staff member posts a review of a hunting trip using heavyweight gear? And is at pains to point out how much comfortable they were than their friend using a cut-down Z-rest?
Is this a deliberate provocation or are you genuinely trying to shift your demographic to the heavyweight gear hunting crowd?
I'll say it again – what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?Dec 9, 2009 at 7:24 am #1551877
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
"I'll say it again – what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?"
For you….apparantly nothing, and to each his own, we can all "hike our own hike". Some of us like to place ourselves into wilderness, and interact with the enviroment. For some of us, this includes becoming a consumptive member of the food chain. Being in places where I can feed myself with fish and game, and am yet conversely not at the "top" of the food chain, happens to be how I "hike" UL.
I personaly dont understand people that like to hike in sterile, over populated(human) enviroments, with no bears, wolves, or lions to keep the senses keen, while eating processed food packaged in plastic. But thats how some people do it, and more power to them.Dec 9, 2009 at 8:09 am #1551899
Most of my hiking is also where I hunt. I still travel as light as possible. Hiking is what I do when I can't hunt.
My freezer is filled with wild elk and sheep that I have hunted. I am a meat eater and therefore take part in the entire process from the killing to the cutting and wrapping to the cooking. I don't just buy meat from a super market that is wrapped in plastic, that comes from God knows where and was fed who knows what.Dec 9, 2009 at 11:09 am #1551979
'll say it again – what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?
Just can't leave it alone.
I like to pick huckleberries when I am backpacking. I consider
that part of hiking. Some fish, some take pictures, some
climb, some hunt. It is all part of it.Dec 9, 2009 at 11:17 am #1551986
nice trip report. they got there on there own two feet. thats hiking.Dec 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm #1552011
@toomanyarrowsLocale: Southeast U.S.
Great report. I for one would really like to see more reports like this one. I would certainly hope that folks who do not hunt give us some kind consideration. Nobody is trying to provoke anyone. I was first attracted to backpacking light and this website by a search for information on backpacking into the woods away from the crowds with a load I could muster for the primary goal of hunting. I'm not getting any younger, but I want to enjoy the outdoors as long as I can. I've learned a lot of information from this website that will help me in that quest. I also enjoy all types of hiking and camping whether I'm hunting or not.Dec 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm #1552043
@hechoendetroitLocale: South Kak
Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed the pics and the write-up. Nevermind the negative comments. Those people need to leave their politics at home.
As David said, some people go lightweight so they can afford to carry some heavy equipment. Be it pak-rafters, DSLR photographers, fishermen, etc…Dec 9, 2009 at 1:39 pm #1552046
@wpoettaol-comLocale: Santa Barbara
I'll say it again – what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?
Why don't you share with us a list of topics that you feel would be acceptable, and we will all do our best to "Hike your Hike".
Is this really the type of community your looking for? Because if it is you might be happier somewhere else.
I for one enjoy learning about others experiences in nature even when their approach is quite different then mine.
Thanks for the Report.
BillDec 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm #1552097
@crwoodLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I enjoyed seeing this post! I have often wanted to post about my own light-weight Dall Sheep hunts in Alaska. As a guide, I need the best, lightest gear, and enjoy putting it to use in the mountains. It is comforting to know that there is much support and tolerance for "other activities" on this website. I find it ironic that those who oppose this type of content are the same folks who think of themselves as "open-minded" and "enlightened".
For the record, hunting is only ONE of my many hobbies that include; running, backpacking, adventure racing, cross-country ski racing, backcountry skiing, packrafting and other "granola" sports. Goes to show you CANNOT stereotype hunters!
Now Potty Trowels and their use…What an offensive topic! Please do not post any more about this disgusting item and its use. It offends us! lolDec 10, 2009 at 2:26 am #1552225
"I find it ironic that those who oppose this type of content are the same folks who think of themselves as "open-minded" and "enlightened" … Goes to show you CANNOT stereotype hunters!"
Pretty obviously the dig about "open-minded" was at me. Where, in any of my posts, did I describe myself as "open-minded" or "enlightened"? Or is that just some blanket put-down for anyone you think is a "liberal" (in American parlance – "liberal" means something quite different in Australia)?
The comment about stereotypes is apposite: there seems to be a presumption that anyone who doesn't like guns on this website is some pinko commie socialist who's probably never held a gun … sadly for that characterisation I grew up on a family farm in Australia and was obsessed with guns for much of my childhood. I also rode out around my rabbit traps before school most mornings and sold the skins for pocket money. And we killed our own meat, so all of the comments about people who buy their meat not being able to criticise hunting don't apply. And my mates and I did hand-loading, shot trap and shot pigs and goats.
But I am genuinely nonplussed by the original report above – it's a hunting report, using heavyweight gear, on a UL hiking site.
As I said at the start, and have said elsewhere, hiking and hunting aren't the same thing. As far as I understand it, this is a hiking website, not a hunting website – and I've had a pile of PMs over the last few days from other members saying the same thing.
If BPL wants to become a hunting website, then it's free to do so but Ryan et al should come out and say so.Dec 10, 2009 at 2:28 am #1552226
"Why don't you share with us a list of topics that you feel would be acceptable, and we will all do our best to "Hike your Hike".
Is this really the type of community your looking for? Because if it is you might be happier somewhere else."
I sent a PM to your email address – the PM in your profile doesn't seem to be visible.Dec 10, 2009 at 5:38 am #1552237
@jdeyoung81Locale: New England
FYI – this was posted in the Other Activities forum. For the purpose of other activities I could discuss things so far off topic from lightweight backpacking and would still be in the right forum for the site.
I am so going to do to do a LW Bow Hunting trip next fall!
Great trip report!Dec 10, 2009 at 5:47 am #1552239
If the article does not interest you, don't click on it. Do you think BPL counts hits on pages? Do they?Dec 10, 2009 at 6:28 am #1552246
@kgottshalkLocale: Colorado, USA
I don't hunt, packraft, or do off trail bushwacking, but I enjoy all of these articles. I do like photography. Hopefully none of these topics will be removed as they are not about hiking.
Thanks for a very nice article.Dec 10, 2009 at 7:24 am #1552256
@joshleavittLocale: Ruta Locura
Pack rafting is obviously "hiking", no one is complaining about it not being hiking"Dec 10, 2009 at 9:06 am #1552282
You already started a thread dealing with this.
Outside the mention of the pads, you
would seem to be off topic and clogging up the discussion.Dec 10, 2009 at 9:19 am #1552286
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
You write: "But I am genuinely nonplussed by the original report above – it's a hunting report, using heavyweight gear, on a UL hiking site."
It's actually, just a forum post. While Craig has written some articles for us in the past and served as one of our section editors, he's not posting this in his role as a BPL staffer, just as a forum user. We don't filter any thread that anyone wants to start, whether staff, or not, and "BPL" didn't endorse this or have anything to do with Craig's post as an organization.
So, your comments might better be directed at Craig, and not BPL, unless you'd like us to start moderating the forums so that we evaluate the merits of each thread that you guys start as members (sic).Dec 10, 2009 at 9:24 am #1552289
What heavy gear would you look to replace?Dec 10, 2009 at 10:14 am #1552317
DW, um, yes. All that heavyweight gear… the BD Oneshot, the Nunatak quilt, the titanium mug, alcohol stove, LT4 poles… gosh, that kind of heavy stuff shouldn't be mentioned on this site! He's carrying lightweight stuff, in a backpack, hiking deep into the backcountry. How is that not backpacking light?
Thanks for the report! We all enjoy traveling the backcountry in different ways, and I'm glad to finally start to see the divisions of "us" and "them" blur. Backpackers and hunters don't typically visit the same shops, but many of their needs are quite similar…Dec 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm #1552365
DW – "I'll say it again – what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?"
BPL Website forums – "OTHER ACTIVITIES: Other activities not specifically related to hiking or camping, or the other Off-Piste forum topics."
To me this "rubbish" as you call it is posted in exactly the right place as far as these forums are concerned. As you can see from the forum description the topics here don't have to be hiking related at all considering Off-Piste on this forum is the equivalent of off topic. Had this been posted in "General lightweight backpacking discussion" then you might have reason to complain about the subject matter.Dec 10, 2009 at 12:37 pm #1552381
"It's actually, just a forum post. While Craig has written some articles for us in the past and served as one of our section editors, he's not posting this in his role as a BPL staffer, just as a forum user."
Then perhaps he shouldn't have "BPL staff" there when he's not acting as one? If a BPL staff member posts then I think it's fair to presume that they represent BPL.
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