LW Backcountry Hunt
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Dec 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm #1552390Arapiles .BPL Member
Re "what heavy gear", in Craig's words and in ignoring the hunting equipment:
"Badlands 2200 (modified, including removing zipper garages, pocket lining, and some excess straps). Though this is a heavy pack compared to current LW offerings,"
"Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad, wide and long. … 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!)."
"Black Diamond Oneshot."
My Squall Classic is larger and is roughly half the weight – and most of the equivalent Tarptents are lighter too.Dec 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm #1552407Nia SchmaldBPL Member
Please give it a rest. This trip report was posted in a forum called "Other Activities". As such I would think any other activity would be fair game to discuss. No matter how heavy it is.Dec 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm #1552468Craig MBPL Member
Thanks for the comments.
In response to questions about my gear choices: The bottom line is I went with what I had. I wish I had a lighter rifle, but I don’t (and they are expensive), so I brought my trusted Ruger #1. For the last ten years or so, when I have hunted big game, it has usually been with a long bow. I have not been very successful with it, but I have enjoyed the simplicity and weight savings it offers. With two shoulder injuries this year and limited time, bow hunting was out, so I went with my rifle, which was built when hard wood and steel ruled.
Pad: While the first photo shows me hiking in shirt-sleeves, it wasn’t long after the sun set that the temperatures plummeted well below freezing, making that pad the perfect place to spend the long, cold night. While I didn’t sleep in the snow, it was all around. I have not found anything that weighs as little and offers as much comfort for my large frame when the temperature drops as this pad. Perhaps a Neo Air/closed cell combination, but I don’t have one (yet).
Optics: The Leupold 10 x 28 compacts are all I carry. They aren’t ideal in all conditions, but I have found them good enough for most.
Pack – Heavy, yes, but asking any of my UL packs to carry more than 75 pounds of meat/gear, is unreasonable. This pack does it without complaint. In addition, it also has other advantages like the blaze orange “meat shelf” on the back and rifle holder, which are very handy. I found it to be the right tool for the job, weight penalty and all. I have been encouraged to learn that some of the hunting pack manufactures are incorporating principles from lightweight packs into their product lines for 2010.
Tent: The Oneshot is a great tent, and while I do own tarps, bivys, and Tarptents, the cold wind and potential for snow made this a pretty easy choice for me.
As for what gear would I change, not much. I have been at this a long time, and have things pretty well dialed in to what works for me. I could probably lighten the hunting components of my pack some (knives, saw, rope, etc.), but there is a point of diminishing returns there. I could have benefitted from having my Thermawrap pants and a LS insulated top at about 4:00 am, but neither was a show-stopper and it worked out fine. If I was going to be out longer, I would probably look into caching water in the area we planned to hunt. I packed almost a gallon of water, which was tolerable, but just barely.
Hope that helps!Dec 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm #1552482Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Oh man, I'm going to be in big trouble with my affiliation with BPL by DW's definition!
I actually took a pyramid tent with a wood stove, a hatchet (backpaxe), a GSI mini-table, a luxury lite cot, a neo-air (XL size!), a stainless steel teapot, a cribbage board, and a camp chair (hexalite) on my last trek!
All this heavy gear was quite different from one of my SUL trips, but oh let me tell you how much comfort on 14 hour sub-freezing nights this little bit of extra weight buys!
I most certainly carried more weight than Craig :)Dec 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm #1552516David OlsenSpectator
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Here is an idea for a lighter big game rifle that is inexpensive.
NEF Synthetic Handi Rifle.
It also is a single shot. Cost $260 out the door with
tax and FFL check. Added a $30 Williams Receiver sight
and its total weight is 6.5 lbs. Without a scope it
carries in the hand very nicely as you can get your hand
all the way around the gun at the balance point.
It started as a 30-30 but I had a fellow ream it to 30-40
Krag for heavier bullets for feral pigs.
No titanium or carbon fiber.Dec 13, 2009 at 9:45 am #1553260David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Next year, I hope to be in Montana when hunting season does not coincide with the end of a semester of grad school.
I have visions of shooting an elk in the Bob, and packing it down the South Fork on an Alpacka, then hauling it the last few miles past Meadow Creek gorge on my old, neglected Dana. Can't imagine using that pack for anything else these days.
And I'll use the rifle my stepdad built for me, one of my most treasured possessions. Remington Model 700 in .30-06. Glass bedded, stainless, synthetic stock, Leopold scope, fits like an extension of my arm. No idea what it weighs, and moreso than usual I really couldn't care less.
I value the diversity of articles and posts around here. Better than the constant discussion of gear rarely used. D W, I respect your right to your opinion, if not the opinion itself. Holding individuals to unreasonable standards doesn't seem like a productive path for conversation.Jan 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm #1566280Chris HBPL Member
@nxpLocale: Upper Midwest
Craig, thanks for a wonderful post.
I'm a backpack hunter thats currently forced to use "heavy" gear – partially because its all I could afford, and mostly because it was all I was taught. Through sites like this I've got my eyes opened to a whole new world of hunting with out dragging all the weight in with me.
I know what you mean about splitting hairs on your pack gear – the best investment I made this season was a used Mountainsmith pack, and it's so much better than my old battle tank of an external frame. Much, much lighter too!
I'll be going over your gear list, it looks like a great starting road for where I'd like to head.
BTW – great to hear you're an archer! I'm an archery hunter and went traditional 2 years ago – now carrying my 7.5# compound feels like I'm dragging an anchor with me!
I probably shouldn't have joined this site. This won't end well…Jan 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm #1568087Morgan RucksBPL Member
"Better than the constant discussion of gear rarely used."
+1May 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm #1607141Ike MouserMember
ooo a gun! Im soooooooo offended!!!!! (sarcasm)Jun 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm #1618710Michael NealMember
@michaeltn2Locale: Northern Virginia
I think I am going to try this sometime, never hunted before but this sounds cool combined with using some lightweight hiking techniques. The anti-gun comments here only encourages me more :)Dec 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm #1669982Edward ZBPL Member
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
Thwnks for the posting! While we all have our own ultralight minimalist trip set up, we can all relate to tailoring a specific trip for needs. I'd like to see my ula catalyst haul 60 lbs of deer.Dec 2, 2010 at 8:10 am #1670102Andy SchillMember
I hunt, but I've never done a back country multiday hunt before. I can't imagine trying to haul a deer (cut up) out of the back country, but I'm very interested.Mar 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm #1713485Aaron PowellMember
@twp1224Locale: West Coast
For those of you interested I have a Backpack Hunting Gear list that i will share. Just email me and I can send you the Excel spreadsheet. Hunting gear weighs in at a little over 33 lbs for a 3 day hunt. Scouting gear list weighs almost 18 lbs for a 3 day trip. I'm also looking for suggestions to lighten my load, so any input would be appreciated.
[email protected]Mar 25, 2011 at 12:43 am #1714437Eugene HollingsworthBPL Member
…not much else to say. Just jealous. I want to be there. Do that. I love hunting and I love hiking.
Thank you for sharing the photos.
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