Daypack gear lists

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
I have been going through my before and after daypack gear lists I've kept on my hunts over the last few years. As I began packing a heavier spotter and tripod I have been looking at ways to reduce weight in other areas. Most of my hunts have been to new areas as point creep has me searching for units I can draw on a more regular basis and learn better. I make a list each trip of what gear I pack in the first day of the hunt before I really know what conditions are going to be. I make a second list when I unpack my daypack after the end of the trip and mark what I actually used and what I didn't. Here are the items that seem to always still be there. Not all of them have made it on every trip as I've bought more gear over the years, but this is the closest I can come to an "every trip" list that goes from mountain elk hunts to desert antelope hunts.

I should add before starting that I still pack a fixed blade belt knife. I have used and like the Havalon and Outdoor edge knives, but haven't been able to convince myself not to carry a belt knife. I carry one every day on the ranch and I keep feeling like I forgot it if it isn't hanging there. As I lighten up stuff I lean toward taking out the replaceable blade knife since I'm going to pack the fixed blade anyway. I also carry my main binos, Leica Geovid HD-B's in a Kuiu harness so they aren't included in pack weight. I have earplugs and a cleaning cloth in with them. I wear clothes suited to being active in the weather conditions and rely on the other layers in the pack for warmth.

Clothing:
-Kuiu Kenai zip off bottoms
-Puffy jacket, which depends on weather. Kryptek Aquillo for warmer/drier, Core 4 synthetic for warmer/wet, Sitka waterfowl puffy for cold/wet. Sitka is a pound heavier.
-Kuiu glassing mittens
-Sitka Core lightweight liner gloves
-lightweight camo baklava
-blaze orange ear warmer band (have orange on with hood up)

2.25lbs total w/lighter puffy jacket

Optics:
Swaro STM 65 w/ Outdoorsmans adapter
Outdoorsmans compact medium tripod with pan head, shooting rest, Leica adapter

5.93lbs

GPS:
I phone 5 w/ Onx maps, maps downloaded for expected hunt area
Yeti Venture 30 re-charger pack with cable

.94lbs

Lighting:
Black Diamond Storm headlamp (lock mode to prevent accidental turn on in pack)
Fenix 1 AAA flashlight (back-up)

.31lbs

Misc:
6 rds spare ammo (not counting 4 in gun)
Carmex lip balm
Sunglass hard case (wear sunglasses all the time at work, need them except in low light)
Ceramic knife sharpener steel

1lb

Survival kit, medical, repair
-2 types of tinder, 2 ways to light it, moleskin, bandages, gauze pads, Tenacious tape, trotline cord (makes boot laces or heavy cordage), fishing hooks/line, repair needle, water purifier pills, filter straw, emergency bivy, cotton bandana, map, compass

.93lbs

Game bags
-Alaska elk size bags
1.31lbs

Not counting appropriate food and water for the hunt that's pretty much it that goes full time and survives to the end of the trip. Sometimes I add a separate camera but the I phone handles that pretty good too. It gives me a total weight of 12.67lbs plus food, water, and the pack itself. The pack is 4.5lbs so that gets me to 17.17lbs. With food and water I end up at or a shade over 20lbs depending on how much of each I need. It does not include my rifle or ammo, that's another 7.5lbs but that's weight that's non-negotiable.

How similar is that to everyone else's lists? Thanks for any replies I'm always trying to tweak the list a little more.

I can tell it's the time of summer when I spend to many hours in the tractor haying and the catfish are hitting the spawning nests when I start reviewing all this stuff. To much time to think on stuff during the day and my mind is switching from fishing to hunting already!
 
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fackelberry

Active Member
Aug 27, 2013
276
4
Wyoming
Seems you forgot the MOST important part of a pack! Toilet paper! HAHA, I always carry half a roll in my pack. Just incase the stomach doesn't agree with something. Plus it is another fire starter if needed. But won't be noticeable for pack weight! Just a thought.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
I knew I'd miss getting something copied over from my Excel list to this post, you found the first one at least.

I do actually pack either a package of wet wipes I've left open to dry, a tip I got from here I think, or a roll of blue shop towels cut in half. Both are tougher than actual toilet paper and if the pack gets damp in a rain storm they don't fall apart like regular toilet paper.

On the subject of rain I have a little 1AAA weather radio I pack to camp. If I can get a signal with it I use it to see if I need to pack raingear and a pack cover or not. I don't pack it on a day hunt unless I think I might need it. That plan can backfire but my stuff dries quick if it does and I can often find somewhere sheltered to ride out the rain. I'd rather be damp for an hour than pack an extra 2lbs most times.
 

jroplanner

Member
Jun 12, 2014
70
0
California
Seems you forgot the MOST important part of a pack! Toilet paper! HAHA, I always carry half a roll in my pack. Just incase the stomach doesn't agree with something. Plus it is another fire starter if needed. But won't be noticeable for pack weight! Just a thought.
Lost half of my lucky bandana that way on a cow elk hunt last year...always gotta pack "scope cleaner" (as Dad calls it)
 

NDguy

Active Member
Aug 12, 2016
186
64
Seems you forgot the MOST important part of a pack! Toilet paper! Plus it is another fire starter if needed. But won't be noticeable for pack weight! Just a thought.
Just make sure not to light the used TP on fire right?
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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I would upgrade the ammo to a full box, you just never know if you might need to sight in the scope again. I had a friend just last year that knocked his scope off and if he didn't have 7 or 8 extra rounds he never would of gotten his elk.

On the wet wipes, I place 3 or 4 of them folded up inside of zip lock sandwich bags. This way you don't have to waste any water on them and they should be good for the trip. I also do this with my TP when out hunting away from camp. Enough squares to do the job just in case I have to go. I'll pack at least two zip lock bags with the TP and a couple of wet wipes with me at all times.
 

Never in Doubt

Active Member
Jul 9, 2012
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0
I'm curious if anyone has used the fishhooks and line in their survival kit... I never have. Fish are extremely lean source of food and may not even replace the calories you burn fishing. I'm more likely to shoot an animal for food if in a survival situation. And I'll pack in a little extra food sometimes too.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
Good ideas Jim. I hunt with a friend who shoots the same handload that I do. We have hunted together since we were kids and we do all our applications for western hunts together. Between us we have a full box of ammo and on day hunts we hope we don't both bang our scopes the same day. I'm a stickler for having a rifle well dialed and on a day hunt if I think if I banged my scope to bad I'd likely hike back out to the truck or UTV, shoot the rifle from a road rather than shoot back where I'm hunting.

I always have extra gear in the truck or UTV. I have a Polaris Ranger with a cab that can be locked. I carry a dry bag with a couple days food, water filter, tarp tent & stakes, trekking poles, stove & fuel, Thermarest Z lite pad, sleeping bag, extra days worth of clothes, Cabelas space rain jacket and pants, 4 pairs of socks, underwear, a second Goal Zero venture 30, plus a box of ammo. Also in the back are a couple gallon jugs of clean water and a cooler with some cold drinks and sandwiches. My buddy has a dry bag also set up similar he throws in too. We sometimes end up driving to a different area midday so the cooler of stuff comes in handy, as can dry socks after a long hike. The dry bags stay in the back of the UTV when we are driving then get locked up front while we hunt. I like always having dry gear that close. If I decide to stay out overnight at the trailhead it's there, and if I decide to pack camp somewhere deeper I can stuff the dry bag minus the sleeping pad in between the frame and bag on my daypack. If the UTV has a break-down or other problem I have a couple extra days worth of stuff with me to work it out. It's not the way I would do it if I intended to backpack hunt and it's not my best or most expensive gear in case something gets stolen. It's stuff that has went to a back-up roll as I've picked up better stuff to replace it but that still works fine. It still gives us the option of loading up a spike camp at the UTV any time without going back to base camp and going in further if that seems like the best way to find success.

Among the things under the seat of the UTV are a roll of shop towels and a can of glass cleaner. That way I can replenish my TP supply while I'm there too if needed.

I like having options to fit my plans to the hunt rather than the other way around.
 
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mcseal2

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Mar 1, 2011
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midwest
I'm curious if anyone has used the fishhooks and line in their survival kit... I never have. Fish are extremely lean source of food and may not even replace the calories you burn fishing. I'm more likely to shoot an animal for food if in a survival situation. And I'll pack in a little extra food sometimes too.
I never have out of necessity. I have a little ziplock with a dozen snares made out of longer 45lb cable fishing leaders, a dozen fish hooks and line, and a repair needle to sew with the fishing line to repair gear. It honestly has never been used except to make sure it works. Snares like them have caught a few squirrels and rabbits around home and I know the fishing gear works. I have thought about taking it out, but I weighed it and it's only 1.2oz. For that I'll just leave it in for peace of mind if nothing else.

If for some reason I'm ever hurt in the back country and can't easily get out maybe they will come in handy. I like the snares and fishing gear because they can be used while I'm not actively there watching them as long as I can find bait for the lines and a trail for the snares. Shooting something is definitely an option too but these can be working while I attempt to shoot something, signal for help, whatever needs done. It's something I hope never to need but for the weight I figure it's worth having.
 
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LaHunter

Active Member
Aug 24, 2012
322
0
N.E. LA
good post.

paper maps and compass? I always have these with me when out in the field.
Also, maybe not as critical as toilet paper, but ibuprofen is something I always have with me out west at high elevations.
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
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Wyoming
I always figured the fishing would pass the time if you ever get lost, maybe keep you in the right frame of mind.
 

mcseal2

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Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
good post.

paper maps and compass? I always have these with me when out in the field.
Also, maybe not as critical as toilet paper, but ibuprofen is something I always have with me out west at high elevations.
The compass and map I have included in the survival kit, may not have been the best place to include them but that is where I keep them so they never get forgot.

I always have Aleve in the UTV glovebox on those trips out west and I just take it each morning. Even though I exercise and walk the hills around home with a pack and get in shape I wind up sore. Training in the flatlands I call home and hunting out west are different. Packing Ibprofen is a good idea though for elevation sickness. It hasn't bothered me in the past but it weighs next to nothing and would be a good addition to the survival kit.

I did forget to put the TP in my original list. When I copied stuff from my Excel file I just missed copying that. I carry either a partial roll of blue shop towels cut in half, or wet wipes I let dry. I keep them in a ziplock but if they do wind up getting damp they don't just fall apart like toilet paper, they are tougher.
 
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kidoggy

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Apr 23, 2016
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knife, water, weapon and tags. everything else is a luxury some are willing to pack and some are not.
 

Sawfish

Very Active Member
Jun 9, 2011
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Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
I would upgrade the ammo to a full box, you just never know if you might need to sight in the scope again. I had a friend just last year that knocked his scope off and if he didn't have 7 or 8 extra rounds he never would of gotten his elk.
I will not bore you with the entire story, but I have always carried a full box of ammunition with me when hunting. Many years ago, I got caught in a rockslide while tracking a deer, and broke my wrist and leg in the fall. By signaling with my rifle, I was able to attract the attention of a couple of mountain bikers who contacted the local sheriff. I was retrieved from the canyon by the Seal Rescue Team from a USMC base in the area, just ahead of an approaching rain storm. Otherwise, it would have been a long cold night on the mountain. In addition to signaling, you can remove the bullet from a round and utilize the powder to start a fire on wet days. One item to add to the list is a flint and steel.
 

mcseal2

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Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
Makes sense I hadn't thought of needing ammo for signaling. The flint and steel or in my case, ferro rod and striker, is one of the two ways of starting fire in my survival kit in the pack. I have a smaller ferro rod and striker plus a Bic lighter in there. A second mini Bic lighter is always in my pants pocket.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,166
174
midwest
I split the weight out into categories further to see where the weight adds up at and included everything else I pack on my person instead of in the pack. I didn't include boots or clothes worn as that changes every trip. I also didn't add in my sunglass case or glassing pad, they don't add up to half a pound and I didn't know where they fit. Also I changed the list slightly after reading replies here and on another forum, but nothing major.

Anyway here is how the weight broke down:

Optics 8.75lbs (binos, chest harness, spotter, tripod, shooting rest, adapters)
Rifle 7.56lbs (rifle, scope, ammo, sling)
Pack 4.5lbs
Food/water 3.69lbs (figuring 40oz of water, 1lb food. It will vary greatly depending on the hunt, hard to pin down)
Clothing in pack 2.25lbs
Survival/fire/medical/misc kit 1.48lbs
Electronics 1.14lbs (Dark Energy battery pack, cord, I phone w/ Onx maps)
Meat bags & hygene .67lbs
Knives (2) .6lbs
Ammo .5lbs
Headlamp .25lbs

Total 31.76lbs (with glassing pad and sunglass case)

It made me realize how much I really pack around in optics, it really seems like a lot when I add in the binos and harness. Sometimes I I pack both the 10x and 15x binos and add another 2.75lbs. It's not a good place to skimp on weight though in my view. Optics can save a lot of walking to evaluate an animal and are what help you find the animal in the first place. Only place I could really drop much there is by going to my ED50 instead of the Swaro 65. I probably won't do that except when elk hunting.

I could go to a single Havalon or Outdoor Edge and drop some weight leaving out my fixed blade but I'm not there yet. My real knife is a comfort item to me I guess but I hate leaving it at home.

The food and water number I threw out is just a number but is probably close to what I pack a lot of the time. It depends so much on weather and plans it varies every hunt. I have water purification tablets and a filter straw in my survival kit so I can re-fill if it's needed.

A lighter rifle isn't in the cards either. I like the one I have and I shoot it well. It is just the right balance of light to carry but heavy enough I can shoot it well. It's a M70 action that is heavy compared to many but it's smooth, reliable, and what I've shot most of my life. The barrel is just heavy enough I can shoot it well offhand and it steadies up quick for other rushed shots. It reliably puts 3 shots around 3/4", but more importantly to me it puts the first round from a cold barrel in the same spot. I shot a 3 shot group over 3 days last winter that made a ragged hole, one shot each day. I pulled it out of the safe this summer and the first one on a 100 degree day would have landed right in that hole. I have confidence in the rifle.

Biggest thing I changed from my original post is I replaced the bivy in my survival kit with a Go Lite poncho/tarp I picked up. It was mentioned that the bivy would never get used by a member here and he's right, it's just rode in my pack for years. The poncho is a little heavier, like 7oz instead of 3.8oz, but it's multi-purpose. It can become shade, shelter, or raingear. I didn't always pack the puffy coat and pants like I do now, and I'm less likely to need the emergency bivy while packing them. I'll have to try the poncho out next time it rains and see how well it works. Reviews were good but I want to try it before I trust it. If it sucks I'll probably go to one of the space blankets like he mentioned. I have a few I've used fishing or in the vehicles but always hated how loud they were for hunting.
 
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1998caxj

New Member
Sep 22, 2015
30
4
California via New Mexico
I started carrying a 10X10 piece of 9mil plastic. Its flat and light and great for laying your meat on to keep it clean. 2 yrs ago while hunting 3rd season in NW Colorado, I got caught in some cold wet weather. The plastic really helped making a shelter to stay dry.

Mike
 

Daubs

Active Member
Aug 5, 2016
420
64
Nebraska
Great list mcseal2. I reviewed and updated my day pack before rifle season. I have two basic plans hunting public in the Sandhills of Nebraska:

1. Sit and glass, load up the 2,400 cu. in Cabela's rifle pack with food, water, first aid kit, camp seat, leatherman, headlamp, spare ammo, tenacious tape, emergency bivy, compass, hand-warmers, InReach, Garmin Rino 655T, Zeiss Conquest 10x42's, Leica rangefinder, knife, wet-wipes (ass wipe), poly camp towel, spare gloves. Extra clothing as the weather warrants.
2. Run and gun: Load the following in my blaze pack vest -- InReach, Garmin GPS, Zeiss binos, rangefinder, extra bullets, first aid kit, wet wipes, knife, camp seat.

I hunt alone, so the InReach is with me every step in case of emergency. I always, ALWAYS take the Garmin GPS and mark my truck before heading out. Amazing how easy it is to get lost wandering those Sandhills. I stay in a hotel, and drive in and out every day, so my set up can be a little lighter than others.

I've considered adding a spotter and tripod, but to date I have not found a need. May reassess in the future. Thanks again for the list. Much appreciated.