planning your backcountry hunt, the primary focus of the plan—besides finding
animals—is to locate perennial water sources; Springs, creeks, etc., Water location
scouting through research with maps, hydrologists, game biologists, and
on-foot, is the key to the success of
your backcountry hunt.
your camp in proximity to animals is usually the number one goal; not camping
too close as to displace the animals, but close enough to be in the hunt.
water sources close enough as not to spend hours in travel or pump time, should
be a goal as well. Typically the higher in elevation you go, the fewer water
choices you’ll have. Some regions of the world actually have more water-sources
the higher one travels, so careful study of the area you hunt will dictate the
necessary water-logistics for your back country hunt.
you’ve located water sources, the planning hasn’t ended. HOW you go about the collection is another item that needs serious
consideration—before the trip. Develop a “system’ for the various places you
hunt, as rarely will one type of water-“system” work for all areas.
you carrying a filter/purifier? Is it the light-weight version utilizing
chlorine or Iodine tabs? Are your water sources high mountain flowing streams,
with little need to treat at all? Are you carrying Drom™ bags to store water to
lessen the impact of water collection time? Using a straw-in-a-bottle type? Is
it your first time using the technology? Hope you tried the technology before
you stepped-foot into the wilderness, as an unforeseen problem can end your
consideration to your elevation and the “quality” of your water source is very
important. One hunt I’d planned for a desert Mule deer hunt, I shied-away from
due to the amount of cattle fouled spring sites. Finding safe, clean water just
wasn’t going to happen, making the amount of water I’d have to carry from my
vehicle too big of burden.
by asking friends, their likes and dislikes; where they hunt—desert or
mountains; do they use iodine? Are you allergic to iodine? Weight a large
you’ve settled on a “system,” try before you get out to where you hunt, and be
sure to maintain the “system,” to avoid freezing, bacteria growth, or other
issues. I just replaced my MSR filter/pump, purchased in 1987, after diligent
maintenance. I remember pumping at least six gallons on a remote Alaska caribou
hunt, without changing the pre-filter. It pumped nearly a hundred gallons in
its life time, I hope I get that kind of life out of my newest filter.
idea of back country “Rambling,” as Mr. Patrick Smith, Founder of Kifaru, calls
it, is increasingly appealing to many folks. But, now-a-days anyone with a GPS
unit can travel for many weeks over all kinds of country. But, what occurs when
the GPS is inoperable or the batteries die? Do you know how to navigate without your GPS? In country
you’ve never been in, or seen in daylight? How about in the dark, or when fog
or heavy snows set in? How competent
are you at travel without a map and/ or compass?
above reasons, I believe, are why there aren’t more folks sharing the back
country. These are some reasons back
country travelers get lost. But, personal navigation is just that—personal—we
need to take personal responsibility if we are going to go beyond the Green
gate. If we are going to travel in
the back country away from modern conveniences, then we need to know how to get
back to the trailhead. Make the effort to learn just the basic skills, and the
back country becomes an endless wilderness that has no boundaries.
a former search and rescue volunteer, I know of a story of a group that was
lost in the Cascades’ of Central Oregon.
They were able to “call 911” to report they were lost, and when an
intervening Sheriff’s Deputy asked if they had a GPS unit, the answer was “Yes,
but we don’t know how to use it!”
similar call to Central Oregon’s 911center a year later revealed that the
“family,” still had not learned the basics of GPS operation, as they requested
“rescue” again, from nearly the same location. The obvious point being, “know your equipment, how to use
it, or stay home.” No, they weren’t fined!
you don’t have the necessary navigation skills, even staying on the roads and
trails can lead to an overnight in the back country. Always carrying the twelve essentials is an
absolute. One Central Oregon
hunter on an ATV some years ago, decided to drive away from camp—on a road—to
dispose of the remaining carcass of a deer. Once down the road he found a likely place to leave the
carcass. The return to camp seemed
simple, but somehow he “couldn’t follow” his own ATV tracks back toward camp,
and spent the night out without any of the essentials. Very cold and lucky to
be alive, the lesson learned is, always carry the 12 essentials!
is a similar story from a trio of Central Oregon snowmobilers’ whom found
themselves stuck in deep powder -- in a whiteout. Having a cell phone did them little good, as they didn’t
quite know where they were; their decision? Light the snowmobile on fire to
send a distress signal. They were
ill-prepared to spend the night with poor clothing choices, and no overnight
equipment—Job security, we call it! Yes, they made it out without injury, but
not because of the smoke-signal!
common belief or “Old wives tale,” is the (Im) practical advice to always go
down, or drop in elevation if disoriented. The reasoning is, “You’ll eventually hit a road.” --Simply
not true, and that strategy can be very dangerous in many locales. I’ll refer
to the “disoriented” hiker versus the “lost” hiker. The difference can be subtle, as many of us have been
“disoriented” for periods of time, but not truly lost. The difference in the decision tree for
one is different than the other; I’ll try and explain. The “disoriented” hiker
still may have bench marks or landmarks at his/her disposal, where the “lost”
hiker has none.
“how do you stay found?” What might seem to be straight forward advice to some
is a crooked path to others, but I’ll try to give some basics:
- Never “ramble’” or go
anywhere without the Twelve Essentials— Google “The Ten Essentials,” plus,
GPS/cell phone or equivalent GMRS/FRS-radio. Know your hunting partners
frequencies/radio test/have a communication plan.
- Always take a compass,
map, headlamp and fire starting equipment at a minimum—and know how
to start a fire in ANY conditions!
- Sitting down once
lost is a basic premise—that doesn’t always work! This can be the
hardest survival decision a disoriented person may make. There are as many
stories of “bodies found right where they stayed,” as there are from those
that remained moving. It is
dynamic, and there is no way to say what’s right or wrong until the
situation is looked back upon.
- Always tell a reliable
“someone” your itinerary. Leave
a hide-a-key, notes and a map, in your vehicle, of your planned
routing—giving contingencies as best that you can. If you’ve diverted from
your original plan, one has to decide if sitting and waiting for rescue is
the prudent thing!
- Give an idea of your
“communications” plan. That
could be as simple as: “I
have a Fox 40 whistle,” to, “I’ll be scanning on my FRS/GMRS radio—I’ll be
on the air on-the-hour, every-hour, and if we miss communicating, check
back every half-hour.” Carry “good” spare batteries for all electronic
devices. Spares for the headlamp in case you have to find fire wood, or
may need to travel at night, etc.,
- We wouldn’t be
mentioning all of the above if it weren’t for those that have made the
stories; the above lessons speak for themselves, but staying hydrated
and warm are two of the most basic fundamentals of overnight survival—just
add a head lamp to assist you in gathering wood, and your fear factor is
- It goes without
saying, but a Satellite phone or Spot/Emergency Locating Beacon (ELB), is
always an option. Many Alaskans’ “depend” on a Sat.- phone for many daily
trips from remote outposts.
Oregon Pack Works, LLC makes no claims to be an expert in back country
navigation. These above stories and tips are merely that, stories and tips.
Your actual experiences may vary.
Country Bird hunter
long ago as thirty years—I was sixteen, at the time—the “idea” of a back-
country bird hunter was something I desired to do, but finding someone to share
that journey with, was as rare as an albino moose. Today, there is an
increasing trend toward back country hunting in general, but bird hunting? I
savvy bird hunter, as well as the back country big game hunter knows, that many
times the farther back we go from modern human activity, the more plentiful the
game. This trend is developing in
upland bird hunting. The
early-season Ptarmigan, Grouse and Chukar hunter, can “weather” the weather and
camp for two or three days and hunt back country destinations that few people
visit. By staying the night, you’ll find yourself amongst the game the next morning. And if you shoot like me, it might just
take a day or two to kill a limit.
hunt without a dog now that my latest Lab is gone. But, I don’t let being
dog-less thwart my efforts. It’s
only a little lonely without your hunting pal, but take-along a flask, and
after twelve hours of hunting and a nip off the flask, you’ll sleep like a
baby. Of course, the enjoyment and companionship is missing, but find a friend
that has a dog, to truly provide safety and commaraderie.
pack as light as possible for a 36 hour back country bird hunt. Always take the 12 essentials, and if
you camp near water, cleaning those first-day birds, and letting them cool
overnight, just helps them last that much better the next day on your way back
to the car. A foldable “soft-cooler” is also a handy item to carry in the early
you haven’t given it a try, you might enjoy the solitude and all the birds you
can handle, instead of a long hike back to the car at prime hunting light, when
the birds are beckoning—spend it hunting.
And next time, stay out overnight, who knows you too might just become a
back country bird hunter.
the right hunting pack, you can have a good bit of bivy gear and food, plus a
couple limits of birds, and not feel out-of-balance when you spin on some
birds. The enjoyment far outweighs
the minor logistics associated with a two-day bird hunt. Hope I run into you on some distance
bluff in Chukar country this fall.
We can compare gear lists and share a sage brush camp fire and share some
tales of back country birds, and a nip off the flask.
processed my own game for over thirty years. I learned the skill from my father
before I was old enough to hunt big game.
basics of meat care start before going afield for the hunt. The ethical hunter
must have a complete understanding of meat care. This involves knowing travel
times, on foot or horseback; knowing the weather you will hunt in; and having
the proper skills and equipment to clean, transport, and care for your wild
game from the time of kill to the time of processing. As a meat processor, one
should carry a minimum of items to quickly process the animal.
step—observe the smell and look of the animal. If the animal appears sick or
the meat has a foul odor, be wary. There are a few stories of animals unfit to
eat. Contact a wildlife officer if in any doubt. This may be difficult far from
roads, but you don’t want a “wanton waste of game” charge.
are my basic game processing rules.
- Don’t gut the animal
if you don’t have to! Learn to “quick-quarter.”
- Cool the meat as soon
as possible and as fast as possible. Circulating air is the first priority.
Also avoid getting the meat wet. If humidity is high, it will take longer
to cool, unless the temperature is well below 50°F.
- Carry two to three
pair of nitrile or rubber gloves.
- Have a SHARP KNIFE and
a light-weight sharpening device. A sharp knife is both safer and faster
- NEVER cut towards
- Cut from the underside
of the hide-- beneath the hair. Avoid using the knife to cut hair
when possible—this quickly dulls the blade. Better yet, use a “gut-hook”
to cut long lines through the hide, saving the knife blade.
- At all times, keep
meat as absolutely clean as possible. Whenever possible, utilize the hide
or game bags to lay meat on, hang meat on limbs, etc.
- GET RID OF YOUR
COTTON GAME BAGS! Synthetic game bags are lighter weight and far superior
to “pillow cases,” “cheese-cloth” or “cotton duck.” Outdated cotton game bags
have NO PLACE in your pack.
- Don’t carry meat in a
non-breathable bag (plastic garbage or sil-nylon), unless meat has cooled,
and only for short durations (less than four hours). One can bury meat in
very hot weather by utilizing sand bars, creek bottoms, etc. This is a
last resort and can save meat in certain instances. I know of a number of hunters’
this has saved meat for.
- Once home and you’re
processing, the same rules as above apply—Keep it cool and clean—use
Bleach to sanitize cutting boards, etc. Don’t freeze overly wet meat—blot
dry on lint-free paper towels, then use plastic film as your first
wrap—try to press-out all air before wrapping in waxed butcher -paper—this
helps prevent freezer burn.
I’ve had game last ten years.
Packing it Right
Loading a pack properly is part of the fit,
comfort, and enjoyment that any pack wearer and bearer gets out of their pack. The
DIY hunter wants his trip to be predictable and with few problems. But many
times we don’t practice loading or carrying heavy loads—especially heavy
weights such as our gear for an eight-day trip, or boned-out meat.
Pack comfort is made up of three factors:
- FIT: The pack must conform closely to your body. The suspension
must hug the contours of your body. Not too loose, but not too tight—sound
familiar? Shoulder and most importantly hip pads should not be too hard or
thick. Sometimes a thinner pad that can contour better and will wrap
around those hip bones instead of compressing them is the ticket. Internal
stays that are bent to conform to your lumbar contour, as well as the
shape of the lumbar pad, are important so the pack won’t slide down onto
your buttocks. Adjusting the “load adjusters”—found near the sides of the
waist-belt and the top of the shoulder straps—also helps with comfort. But
avoid over-adjusting the pack and changing the basic shape of the vessel. Don’t
bend the pack over by over-adjusting the shoulder straps, as this can
cause some real pain to the front and tops of your shoulders.
- PLACEMENT: The pack must center the weight between your sacrum
(just below the level of your hip bones, or Iliac crest) and your shoulder
blades. Vertical placement is a personal choice—some like the weight
placed low, others like me like the weight higher on the back. As a
firefighter who wears a thirty-five pound air-pack for extended time
periods while performing strenuous acts, I have found that I like that
weight higher on my back with the straps cinched down so the weight can
never throw me off balance—an important factor while on ladders and roofs.
This is also how I haul heavy loads in the backcountry over and through
blow-down tangles. Sometimes I’m five feet off the ground balancing on
horizontal lodge pole trees and can’t be thrown off balance. Find what
works best for you. Sometimes it takes a few hours to know with weights
over fifty pounds.
- PACK LOADING: One can never have a comfortable pack if the load is
placed improperly in the pack. Once the load is placed in the pack,
preventing its migration lower in the pack is key. Internal cinch straps
can help keep the load snug against your back. Load any lighter /bulkier items
below, beside and above the main mass of weight. These items can also help
stabilize the load. Avoid putting heavy items “outboard” if possible. The
farther away from the center of your back, the more strain that can be created.
Utilize the pack’s compression straps to then consolidate the load even
more. If you notice yourself leaning forward or tipping like a tea pot,
reevaluate the load, it may be too much weight.
Drinking water to some is like eating vegetables or going to
the gym. We know we should, but just can’t seem to make it happen. Soda pop or
caffeinated drinks are all some people drink—all day, every day. This isn’t
good for you at home, the office, and it really isn’t good for you in the
mountains. It is work to drink enough water in the backcountry.
Your body is 60% water weight. The human brain is made up of
95% water. Blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body's water
supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with
basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print. Just a 3% drop can equate
to a 30% drop in performance.
Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of
is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without
it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all cell and organ
functions in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for functioning.
- Water serves as a
lubricant. It forms the fluid that surrounds the joints.
- Water forms the base for
saliva Water regulates the body temperature, as cooling and heating is facilitated
by way of perspiration
- Water helps alleviate
constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby
eliminating waste—it’s the best detox agent known
- Water regulates
In addition to the daily maintenance of our bodies, water
also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of
water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%
and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. You lose
close to a liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel
movements. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters
(about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups).
Alcoholic or sugary drinks have no place in the mountains. They
lead to dehydration—the one thing working hard at elevation will do for you
already. If the weather is hot or cold, your body needs water to aid in
digestion and efficient synthesis of nutrients. Drink water at night? Yes! You
may wake up to pee, but you’ll avoid debilitating cramps. Knees aching? Drink
though uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are
unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the
blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition
called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, who drink
large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia.
Rest assured that for most of us most of the time water is
nothing but good news.
previous articles, Calorie Count and Hydration, are two interrelated themes
when we think about human performance (H.P.). And yet, we are usually more motivated to know how to get
the most out of our physical training, than the food and water we drink. This
is the third and final part of three essays about H.P.
hunters, it’s the hour-by-hour stalk or belly crawl. It is the two-day, meat pack-out at the end of five long
days of hunting—before daylight to after dark pursuits. It is performing at
“your” peak; and that is different for everyone.
interesting to note that the military is researching chemical stimulant
effects, as well as many other intangibles. The biggest performance variable I can relate to is sleep
deprivation. When hunting, we may
not pursue animals at night, but some of those very successful hunters actually
“dog” the animals at night, so at sun-up are close for an opportunity, and by doing
so carefully, that herd bull will eventually tire of the “threat,” and expose
himself for the shot.
not researching chemical stimulants. Bugling bulls are enough motivation for
me. I am however, analyzing my
training, diet, mental aspects, and most importantly—recovery and sleep—knowing
the difference between the two, is important. Recovery involves sleep, but just
sleeping is not “active” recovery.
Active recovery is stretching, walking, and rest. A rest “from” training! Let the body
heal and get stronger.
Over-training has far larger and, longer lasting ramifications than not
your feet should be Priority ONE!
Many a trip is ruined by poorly performing feet. If you don’t have good boots, don’t try
out those brand-new boots two-weeks before your trip. Second to your feet, is
just being out-of-shape. Certainly not training your feet has ramifications,
but injuries that limit your performance should be avoided. Blisters are treatable. Strains take
time to heal.
you consuming “enough” calories and the right calories for the stress you’re
enduring. Are you losing ten
pounds or more while in the back country, and, how was your motivation to get
up before dark the fourth morning? Sleeping-in? Certainly mental toughness is
another intangible that is hard to measure. Some have just “trained” their
brain, more than others. It is these “edges” that can be honed with a “training
plan,” for back country hunting.
write your plan down! What isn’t
written usually doesn’t last for long.
don’t start a month before hunting season; start right after last years’ when you were motivated! Write down, “How” you need to train,
based on “How” you felt last year.
Expand on your strengths, Improve, your weaknesses!
review “everything,” from nutrition, sleep, gear, and fitness in your plan. Lastly,
get out there! I’ve found for my
training to last for a full year—and not get bored, I get outdoors; plus I mix
it up. But, there is no better
fitness than “hiking the hills,” doing the EXACT THING you’re going to do on
your trip, to do it better.
DIY hunters have large caloric intake
demands. This article is another
view on foods for performance in the back country. I try to hit the minimum of 100 calories per ounce of weight
carried. It’s tough, and not always rewarding when it comes to food, but I’ve
found a general list of foods that come out to about 2.2# of food per day*, and
are fairly non-perishable. I’d love to have steaks and seafood, but that can
wait until I pack out my animal. Notice that breakfast is my biggest meal, and
it should usually be yours.
- Coffee, Starbucks VIA, 0 +/-cal. ¼ oz. / 6oz. cup = 2 pkts. @ 12oz./day
- Hard-boiled egg….3.5oz. /6 = 70cal. /6 = 420 cal.
- Instant Oatmeal…1.6oz. /8 = 150 cal. /8 = 1,200 cal.
- Powdered milk…..4.7oz. /8 = 160 cal. /8 = 1,280 cal.
- Breakfast Bar……1.5oz. /8 = 150 cal. /8 = 1,200 cal.
- Pastry…………….3.8oz. /8 = 400 cal. /8 = 3,200 cal.
- Luna Bar…………1.8oz. /8 = 180 cal. /8 = 1,440 cal.
- Jerky………………18oz./8 = 90 cal. x 8 = 720 cal.
- Dried fruit (Cherries)
- 70% dark Choc. ….3/4oz. /8 = 110 cal. /8 = 880 cal.
- Peanut butter Granola bar…1.5oz. /8 = 190cal. /8 = 1,520 cal.
- Kaschi Caramel bar….2.9oz. /8 = 290cal. /8 = 2,320 cal.
- Mtn. House/ Back packer’s Pantry Freeze dried meals
- Personal favorites: Spicy Thai; Total Calories = 14,100 before dinner ÷ 7
- Serving size: 2 / 400-1,200 cal. /meal (Sodium count is high!)
*Calorie count is largely dependent on calories burned/physical effort,
plus metabolic rate. I try to eat
“enough” protein, as I don’t want to rob my lean muscle if I don’t eat enough. I
choose to eat fewer calories on the “easy” days, thus I may have spare food.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and especially at night after
With the advent of “Ultra-Light,
this”, and “Extreme, that”, I thought it would be appropriate to address the
growing phenomenon of going lighter.
I like you, probably have a
budget I have to live within, thus limiting the ability to acquire all of the
“newest and lightest” stuff on the market—at least, all at one time.
So, maybe like me, you pick and
choose the items from which to “upgrade” first. Your list may look like mine; Replace
the things that weigh the most first and replace the bulkiest items next,
or vice-versa. The order of things doesn’t really matter.
So, where to start? Going
on-line is always the first place to go. With searches of words such as:
ultra-light hiking, backpacking, etc., I’ve found that Backpackers LOVE STUFF!
But, alas, so do hunters, as we carry many things that backpackers don’t
because few of them are butchering game and carrying implements of death--typically.
So, we can decide certain things that HAVE to be carried in the backcountry as soloists/Hunters.
Now the fun begins. Once you’ve pared-down to the “essentials,” WEIGH IT!
and bulk savings costs, did I mention that?!
So, while you’re weighing
items, I’ll give some tips on how and where I cut back—on weight and bulk--still
knowing that once I’ve started this obsession, it will most likely never end!
- Start with the OLD—typically, heaviest gear first;
- Secondly, reduce bulk
- Thirdly, modify
existing or new gear to reduce weight/bulk;
- Lastly, keep paring-down your list of what you
take—many times; this is the hardest of all, but typically the smartest
way to reduce BOTH weight and bulk! Because, what
you aren’t carrying, doesn’t cost OR weigh anything!!
A ton of articles talk about
reducing the “Big” three:
- Your Pack
- Your Sleeping bag
- Your Shelter
These “Big” three are
typically, the bulkiest and heaviest base-weight items backpackers carry. The
other weights that are difficult to reduce is water, then food.
I have reduced in two of the above
three, but find it near impossible to reduce pack weight that is capable of
hauling heavy weights—like meat—and enough gear, long distances comfortably. My
pack is convertible, and heavier than my old pack, so what I gain in efficiency
(I have fourteen combinations on my back), I loose on the weight category. I’ve
just found that you can skimp on certain things, but a good pack isn’t one of
them! Just carry less stuff, and carry lighter gear,
with less bulk!
Here are some examples of
where I cut down, both weight and bulk—over the years.
- Coffee—I used to carry ground coffee, in a foil pack
with Melitta and filters: Total weight about a pound, plus, bulky for that
Now! Starbucks Via. 1.4 oz. for 12 8 oz. cups No weight
Now you may say, “I don’t
even carry coffee! So I’ve saved something.” Yes, it’s true, but you’ve also missed something. The time
that I just sit still and see the wonderful things in life nowadays, and ponder
things--typically is the first waking minutes when I can not be rushed and
enjoy the view—and I love my coffee!!
Stove/Pot—I used to carry the
Coleman Apex, white gas stove, in a pot and a fuel bottle. Total weight
about five pounds. Lots of Bulk too.
Stove/Pot Now! MSR Ti-Pot
w/Pocket Rocket and two 110 gm. fuel cells. Total weight is 1.5#, bulk is
reduced—so easily halving my weight and bulk. I carry it in the old
Coleman apex pouch. I love
this set up!
Note: I’m not bashing my
friends who carry the JetBoil®, but man, the bulk and weight is too much, in
fact, one friend—also a Coffee Natzi, carries TWO JetBoils®!!
One pound for each JetBoil®—Plus fuel, Plus Bulk!
Think about that stuff!
Get rid of the weight AND the bulk!! My Pocket Rocket,™ is only 3 ounces!
Pads—I used to carry a
closed-cell foam pad—see picture in the Trophy Room Page, with my first
Trad. killed Buck—See the Bags under my eyes? I did get to bed about 0100.
After that horrible nights sleep, I “upgraded” to a Thermarest® lite—1# 3
oz. YES, I added
weight, but reduced a lot of bulk—and now I sleep way better—not
perfectly, but much better—only raising the weight by 11 0z.--with reduced
bulk! This is one of the better trade-offs! Note: also see number 5,
- Fleece—I used to carry fleece. In fact my 8-day gear
list still includes it, and somehow it still finds it’s way along on many
trips. But, I have found MAGIC!
Now! So, what helped me go to a
one-pound sleeping bag--35°F—was the addition of a MontBell® UL Down
Parka, and pants—total combined weight at 14 oz. My fleece pants weighed that alone, plus the bulk
savings is HUGE! Expensive yes, but worth every penny, ounce and the
burning Stove—I love my Para-Stove! In fact, after a LaNiña year in
2004—Watch out for LaNiña in Fall/Winter of 2010—I
changed my whole shelter system, to include the Kifaru Para-stove. I’ll never be cold and wet for very
long, ever again! This, after seven looooong days of hunting in the rain--that
was it. This is one of those tradeoffs. The
stove weighs just over three pounds, but by reducing bulk, and two-pounds from
my sleeping bag; another savings of bulk and two-pounds from my cook stove; and
over three-pounds savings from my old shelter system. This trade off was
So, this is just an example
of where you can go, but remember, personal preference is what it’s all about;
your preferences may NOT match others, so know your preferences, develop a
system, and before long you’ll have reduced weight and bulk—and that makes me
sleep a lot better at night!
1. Lumbar pack: behind mesh pocket--para cord, fire
starter, in baggie tooth paste, deodorant, tooth brush, one t.a.g.-bag, x-bowl,
msr spoon. Two small outside pockets—small items…
in lumbar pack main pocket--compressed in sil dry bag, clothes
consisting of ua underwear, ua socks, rocky base layer top-bottom, ua t-shirt,
ua mid weight fleece, ua jacket, ua beenie.
2. Right side overflow bag:
jet boil flash
msr auto-flow filter
gsi coffee mug
extra jetboil 100g cartridge
4 liter platypus
packable rain jacket
3. Left side overflow:
towel, soap, wash cloth
sea to summit pocket shower
sea to summit folding bucket
energy bars 3 per day in seperate dry bag
in seperate dry bag, breakfast 2 oatmeal per day, 3 coffee via per day plus 1 hot
chocolate per day.
4. Hydro pack: 3
liter source-bladder in rear bladder pocket. Tp plus brunton power pack
waist belt pouch right side, range finder, gps, left side pouch, digital
Sleep system: sits between overflow bags. All in sil-nylon dry bag is:
sea to summit reactor, montbell ul-3 bag, thermarest neo-air, nemo meta 1p
seperate dry bag with mountain house meals for dinner and lunch.
I take the mountain house out of the packages and reseal them individually in
baggies each labeled to save space. I carry two empty pouches to re-constitute
the meals in.
Jim Dean, Prineville, Oregon
Basic Gear List
|Msr Ti pot
||8 freeze dried (2meals) dinners
||BD switchback trek poles
|MSR Pocket Rocket
|2 MSR 110gm. Fuel bottles
||8 Luna bars
||8 Kashi bars
||8 brkfst. Bars
||Croc camp shoes
||8 chocolate squares
||Starbucks VIA French Rst. 16
||small repair kit
|Western Mtn. down bag
||16 oatmeal packs
|Montbell Down jkt.
|Montbell Down pant
||Camo shirt--Hot Weather
||Radio w/ear bud
||Camo shorts--Hot Weather
||1st aid kit
||Fleece jkt.--Cold Weather
||Fleece pants--Cold Weather
|Silnylon meat bags x 2
||Kifaru Super tarp
|Camo Stocking cap
||Kifaru Super tarp annex
|undies x 2
|long john top
|long john bottoms
||Drom Shower bag
||MSR hydration 130oz.
||Nalgene Canteen 48oz