When is the last time you did a full pack audit? You might be surprised by the amount of unnecessary hunting gear you are lugging around the backcountry. Shedding a few pounds will make your life much easier and help ease the load on long days. Chasing big game across remote areas isn’t exactly a luxury pursuit and minimalist principals will help you preserve energy and travel easier. Focus on the gear that keeps your body temperature stable and dry while helping you close out a tag.
Developing a Pack List
Take out all of your gear and lay it on a table. Make a list of everything you are packing minus food. Next to each item, make a note of the times you have actually used the item. Remove everything that doesn’t see any use. Take a good luck at the items with minimal use and consider their actual importance. Are you carrying a camp chair, bulky tent and extra sets of clean clothing? Ditch the heavy items and replace bulky tents with ultralight options. Tarp style tents that can stand on your hiking poles or bipod are great.
Check Your Weight
Add a note about the weight of each item to your list and add up the total. Hunting tends to require more weight than most backpacking trips due to the need for a weapon, optics, knives/sharpeners, game bags and rope. If you are really serious about stacking up miles in the backcountry, cutting sleeping pads and a few additional luxuries will help. You may even forego the stove and eat dry food during the trip. Ideally your dry pack weight will hit sub 40 pounds
Head out on a few backpacking trips before the hunting season to test your system. Analyzing in the field is the best way to eliminate or update gear. Take along your optics and most of your hunting equipment with the exception of weapons unless you want test them as well. You can always swap a fishing rod for a gun or bow on these trips. Work through all of the gear not being used or being unnecessary.
Keep it Simple
The best packs are simple, comfortable and have a refined system of clothing layers, shelter, tools and food/water delivery. Learning how to navigate and use natural resources to create comfortable bedding and campsites is the more important than having a full load of modern gear.
For information on wilderness hunts in remote, northern British Columbia or hunts for Alberta trophy whitetails, please explore the rest of our website at NorthRiverOutfititng.com. For details or availability, please contact us or call us at 780-675-1942.