My backpack hunt gear list for big game is identical to my gear list for a normal backpacking trip with similar conditions, with the notable addition of hunting-specific items. In this five-post series I list and explain this extra clothing and equipment, and make them available for download.
- Before the shot: Optics and safety clothing
- The shot: Rifle, scope, ammo, and supports
- After the shot: Field dressing & packing out
- Download instructions: a spreadsheet or set of PDF’s
Next month I will be hunting elk and deer during Colorado’s third rifle season. As with my previous fall hunts, this will be a backpack hunt: I will carry an overnight load and have a mobile camp. I’ll be joined by Steve, a friend and running partner.
Essentially, we’re going on a conventional backpacking trip in the Colorado Rockies in early-November — but with the addition of hunting-specific clothing and equipment in the hopes of filling a chest freezer with meat. With the exception of these extra items, my gear lists are exactly the same for non-hunting and hunting trips for this location and time of year.
These lists are also relevant for other US states (e.g. Montana, Utah, Wyoming, California) and other big game like sheep and bear, since needs and regulations vary only slightly.
Backpack Hunt Gear Lists
This four-post series will focus on these hunting-specific items, which I have divided into three bite-sized categories:
Download & edit these gear lists
After I post this complete series, I will make the gear list available for download as a PDF and as a Google Sheet.
Complete backpack hunt gear list
Several years ago I posted a complete gear list for big game hunting in the Colorado Rockies. While it’s still useful, it has a few flaws. It’s:
- Inconsistently organized and formatted with my 3-season gear list template, which I believe is the best on the web;
- Short on selection rationale;
- A few years outdated; and,
- Overwhelming, because it’s long length.
Moreover, I’m slowly replacing full gear lists with more targeted ones that focus on a specific category, like 3-season backpacking stove systems and first aid, foot care, and repair kits. With these focused lists, I can avoid redundancy and make updates more easily. Over time, each category in the backpack hunt gear list will be replaced.
Feedback is welcome
I’m very comfortable with my backpacking know-how, but I’m not an expert hunter. I’m well read and methodical, but that is not the same as decades of hunting experience. I welcome and would appreciate feedback and additional perspectives on my selections and thinking. Thanks in advance.