View Full Version : I need everything for a back country hunt. How would you spend $1,000?

06-19-2011, 09:27 PM
My dad and I are planning a mule deer hunt to Unit 2B in New Mexico end of October, first part of November. Problem is we have no gear for a hunt like this. So here's my question. If you had $1,000 - $1,200 to spend to get everything you needed for a back country mule deer hunt, late October and early November in Northern New Mexico at an elevation of 6,500 to 7,500 feet, what would you buy of each? We've both got the clothing and the backpacks. We would need a tent, preferably a 3 man, cause we're pretty good size guys, sleeping bags and pads, cooking utensils/ stove, water purification filter, and food. Maybe throw in a spotting scope, we've both got good bino's and guns. How would you spend the money?

06-19-2011, 09:58 PM
Well $1,200 won't buy you a "super scope" but there are cheaper alternatives. For the money I like Mountain hardware tents, look into the skyledge 3p or similar, there are probably better tents made but for $ and weight it would be hard to top. For bags I like Marmot because they are good quality and weight and cheaper than the cadillac brands, I like the sawtooth +15. pads its hard to beat a thermarest z lite, $30 and only 14oz they are not air core pads but they have kept me plenty comfortable. For cooking stuff I use the GSI backpacker and a Primus EtaExpress its a smokin good pot, don't use any of the pots over an open fire though! for the water filter I use a katadyne hiker pro its good quality and filteres great. All that will run you just under $1200 for tent(1)sleeping bags(2)pads(2)and all the rest.

Umpqua Hunter
06-20-2011, 12:02 AM
I'm a big guy (6' 3"). Here as some of my favorites, without regard for budget:

MSR Pocket Rocket stove. Great stove...very reasonable. (Basically used to heat water for coffee, instant potatoes, freeze dried dinners, and instant oatmeal)

Trekking poles are a MUST on a backpack hunt, especially when packing out game! I like Leki Makalu Antishock

You might have clothing, but Arteryx Gamma Light pants are out of this world, for weight, durability and stretch! They are spendy though.

Though I have not used one, I have heard rave reviews for Montbell UL Spiral Down Hugger sleeping bags. Due to the design, and how the fabric is laid out on the diagonal, they are supposed to fit bigger guys through the shoulder better. If I buy a new bag, that is what I will be looking at.

Hilleberg makes some of the best backpack tents, but they are not cheap.

I have used a Steripen for water purification and love it. It uses UV for purification, so no flavor of tablets added to your water, but you carry a bit more weight than if using purification tablets.

Snowpeak Titanium is a very nice cook wear set.

Sleeping pad: Thermorest Neoair (Large). Very light and warm.

One thing that has worked well for me is to pack daily rations into 1 gallon Ziploc bags (one day of rations per bag). Pre-packing daily ration bags makes it easy if you come back to the rig and want to restock quickly. Along with your food ration, include a daily ration of TP, Always Wipes-To-Go (2/day for the backside), Wetones (2/day for the hands and face), and three paper towels. Everything should fit in the Ziploc except for a Mountain House freeze dried meal for dinner. Here are some ideas to make your daily meal rations:

Breakfast - Instant oatmeal
Breakfast - Granola type bars (I like honey oat bars)
Breakfast - Carnation vanilla
Snack - Hard Candy
Snack - Trail mix
Snack - Energy bar
Snack - Beef Jerky
Snack - Nuts
Snack - Hot Chocolate
Snack - Crystal Light small to-go packets (for flavor in your water)
Lunch - Smoked clams or oysters
Lunch - Vacuum packed tuna in foil bags (available at grocery)
Lunch - Small mayo packets (for tuna)
Lunch - Candy bar
Dinner - Instant masked potatoes (these are at the grocery in small foil type bags)
Dinner - Mountain House freeze dried dinner (Pasta Primavera and Beef Stroganoff are good)

06-20-2011, 11:17 AM
Your budget will cover all of the gear without the spotting scope. The scope alone should probably be in the $1000+ range, so lets skip that piece.

Good light three man tent is Big Agnes FlyCreek UL3. Very light , compact, and plenty of room for two guys, but three would never fit. Get a quality sleeping bag rated to at least 10 below, preferably -20F. I'd start with models form Big Agnes here as well, and they also sell sleeping pads. Thermarest lightweight pads are another option. I'll second the MSR pocket rocket above. Not the very best on the market, but very small, lightweight and sufficient. Get a 1.5- 2.0L titanium pot for boiling water and you are set. Plan to eat Mountain house meals and cold foods for lunch and you don't need much else. A MSR miniworks water filter will pretty much use up the remainder of your budget. In fact the list above is probably closer to 1200 than $1K, depending on where it is purchased. Good quality gear will make the trip much more pleasant.

06-20-2011, 05:06 PM
When it comes to treking poles...fancy doesnt make them better. I do recommend them, but you can do just fine with a set of used ski poles usually found for a buck a piece at most garage sales. In a pinch they make great shooting sticks too. If you must, try buying a mono pod from Cabelas for $20. They are made for use for most things. Gun rest, camera mono pod, spotting scope, just about fits em all. And works as a treking pole.
For tents that work and wont break your budget, look for good three season tents that have high bucket style bottoms. Cabelas makes a nice tent for $149.99 thats a one man tent that is under four pounds. You could each have your own tent and still be at less than 3 bills.
I have found that big name brands on the camp stuff brings big prices. If you find what it is that makes the big brand stand out, then look for the same features in the off brands and sure enough, its out there and saves you tons.
REI is a great place also to find alot of items REI labeled that are less than the major brands and provide the same level of provision.

07-18-2011, 08:04 PM
pocket rocket stove, titanium cookset, isobutane lantern a ( stay with one compact fuel source for cooking and lighting),
cabelas sleeping bags (quite good for the $$$, i use a marmot lithium now at $450.00and i'm a big dude 275 lb-52" chest but i started with a cabelas bag), get a camp hanging water filter for everyone to use, 2-collapsible water jugs, thermarest z-rests are great on a budget, cabelas tent....nice thing about the cabelas brand is if it doesn't work for you they take it back. i've never used trekking poles on a hunt, but i always have stoney point shooting sticks on a gun hunt.

07-18-2011, 08:05 PM
also.... mre's are the way to go.

07-18-2011, 09:38 PM
also.... mre's are the way to go.

Bluh. I've ate enough of those in my lifetime, plus a little on the heavy side for my likings

08-13-2011, 09:30 PM
Primus Eta Solo stove, MSR Mutha Hubba tent, and with good binos I would pass on the spotting scope. Don't be hasty. Save up and get a good one. SteriPen for water treatment. Nemo Astro sleeping pad. The Big Agnes pillows are dreamy. Not a backcountry necessity, but if you can handle the extra weight, a better night's sleep will be had. I have 4 Marmot sleeping bags and a couple Big Agnes bags. I would strongly recommend either of these 2 companies.