Have you ever wanted to hunt away from the road? Go a little farther from the pickup or main camp? Growing up in South Dakota I never really got to experience this very thing. I would generally go out with friends and family and spent a lot of time in the pickup or walking draws, and getting picked up at the other end.
It wasn't until I moved to Montana I got to experience hunting from a camp. My first experience was finally in 2008 when I drew a very coveted rifle elk tag on the Custer National Forest. I was lucky enough to score on a great bull the first morning out. I also had camped out of a small tent a couple of times with my brothers if we ventured a long ways from home, but elk camp was the first time in a large canvas tent.
In 2010 it would be my first trip to the mountains of Montana, when my Brother Todd drew a mountain goat tag. This was also where I figured out when you think you are in decent shape, try going after mountain goats and you will find out what kind of shape you are actually in. It will be a trip I will remember for the rest of my life. Although it wasn't my hunt it was still very special to me getting to share time on the mountain with my brothers as Kirk came as well. We backpacked in around 8 miles. After hiking in we set up camp. This is where I got my first true taste of a camp away from any amenities. After this trip I began to collect gear that would be vital to make camping like this just that much more comfortable.
In 2012 Todd and I went elk hunting and did the same sort of set up camping away from the pickup and trail head. I scoured the internet looking for sources for backpacking, and found a great source at www.kenetrek.com. They have an equipment list on there that assisted me greatly as I began the process of getting ready for the fall hunt. Some items I had and some I did not. I will list the things I take along for a hunt that can sustain you for approximately 5 to 7 days.
My list consists of the following:
This pretty much sums up what I will pack for an extended stay. It may seem like a lot, but it isn't bad when you get everything packed up. It also helps if you are hunting with other people as you avoid doubling up on items and you can split the weight. With everything in my pack it weighs roughly 45 to 50 lbs.
I hope this will help anyone who has ever wanted to hunt a little farther from the road. I'm not an expert at backpack hunting, but enjoy doing it and gain more experience each year. One of the biggest keys to hunting away from the road and main camp is to find water. If you can't find water your hunt will be over before it gets started. Here are some pictures of my empty pack and equipment and then what it looks like fully loaded.