A DIY Mountain Hunter’s Backcountry Packing Listing

Backcountry packing lists are as distinctive because the hunters that make them, and even amongst mountain hunters, the small print can look fairly totally different. Throughout boards and social media, you’ll discover there are bean counters who may have each ounce listed and accounted for in nauseating element. There are additionally those that seemingly throw a bunch of drugs of their pack and hit the mountains.

The suitable packing record for you’ll depend upon what, when, the place, and the way you’re looking—but in addition in your character. Once I performed soccer in highschool, I had nightmares about forgetting a key piece of drugs (and nonetheless do generally). Moderately than a tangible record, I had a system. On street journeys I’d carry my gear in an previous military duffle bag. I’d put gear within the bag beginning with my footwear and work my approach up—Socks, pants, pads, and many others. Once I completed, I’d dump all of it again onto the locker room flooring and do it once more. I take an identical however much less crude strategy to looking gear.

Each Piece of Backcountry Gear Has a Job

A backcountry packing record isn’t as a lot in regards to the particular manufacturers and kit objects, it’s extra about what you want them to perform. You want gear that may will let you camp and hunt effectively and successfully. Every little thing out of your sleeping bag to the way you prepare dinner your breakfast and deal with water issues.

I’ve by no means labored off a tough guidelines in the case of gear, however I’ll normally make a crude record as I’m gathering what I want for a hunt—normally decrease profile objects like a spoon or rest room paper that I’d neglect. My thought course of is task-oriented, and I’ll assume via the elements of an upcoming hunt and observe the issues I’ll want. I’ll contemplate each piece of clothes for the climate I’d encounter, all of the gear I have to camp, communications, gear restore, looking, and hopefully processing and packing out an animal. The secret’s that each piece of drugs has a job, and solely choose restore or emergency gear isn’t anticipated for use. The rest isn’t price bringing.

Shultz collects water from underneath a rock
Water assortment and storage might be critically essential on a backcountry hunt. Tyler Freel

Weight Is Solely A part of a Backcountry Packing Listing

Sheep, goat, and different high-country backpack hunters are obsessive about ultralight gear. It’s logical. If much less weight is consumed by gear, we are able to pack extra meals for an extended keep or transfer sooner and extra simply with a lighter pack. However ounce counting is commonly over-emphasized, and there’s a stability available between consolation, effectiveness, and minimalism.

My uncles knew an old-time sheep hunter who would hunt with a 25-pound pack. He wore all wool garments (no rain gear) and introduced only a sheet of Visqueen to roll up in at evening. He’d convey a jar of peanut butter and a small bag of dried apricots for meals.

“If it’s important to shit greater than twice in a 10-day hunt, you introduced an excessive amount of meals,” he instructed my unlces.

My uncle Tracy talked about accompanying him on one hunt as a younger and in-shape sheep information. He mentioned he might by no means sustain with previous Invoice. He’d hike for all he was price, solely to search out the place Invoice had stopped and left a few cigarette butts on the bottom.

I’m not as powerful as Invoice, and also you in all probability aren’t both. Regardless of a number of the romanticism across the previous powerful sheep hunters, we’re outfitted to hunt extra successfully than ever. With a lot decrease sheep numbers than within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, we’d like it too. There are sometimes methods to chop weight, however at a sure level you want what it’s essential to get the job accomplished successfully.

A sheep hunter loads up for the day
High quality tenting gear is essential for security and success within the mountains. Frank Schultz

My Backcountry Packing Listing

This can be the primary detailed packing record I’ve written down in 19 years of sheep looking, and thru trial and error, I’ve just about nailed down what I want, don’t want, and what I convey for a bit added consolation. If you happen to cowl your bases with the most important itmes, the remainder are simply particulars. Right here’s what I packed for my 14-day 2022 sheep hunt.

H3 Clothes

Camp Gear

Looking Gear

First Assist

Learn Subsequent: My 3 Favourite New Items of Mountain Looking Gear

Gear Restore, Emergency, and Miscellaneous


If you happen to’re on an prolonged journey, meals will add a big quantity of weight to your pack. It’s widespread to have a pound-and-a-half of meals per day you’ll be out. When attainable, you need the utmost calories-per-ounce, however after a number of days you’ll really feel your physique consuming the meals as shortly as you may get it down. The meals you convey will fluctuate significantly relying on particular person tastes, however right here’s what a typical day’s price of meals seems like for me.

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