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gear recommendation

Old 06-11-2019, 01:56 PM
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smitty0538's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 61
Default gear recommendation

can anyone recommend a decent 2 person type tent that would be lightweight enough to pack in on foot in the northern Rocky Mountains for a 10 day elk hunt at the end of September ? One that wont cost more than the rest of the trip (lol) I was shocked to see how much some of these tents cost. budget is a couple hundred or less . Also looking for lightweight sleeping bag recommendations also .
thanks in advance
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,712

Hey if this is going to be a "one and done" type hunt why not simply go to Wal-mart and pick up two of these. One for you and your friend to sleep in and another for storing your gear or eating in.
Spray it down real good well before the season with Camp Dry Silicon spray and also buy a couple 8'x10' tarps for over the top or on the ground for extra weather protection.
Its no canvas wall tent but it is easily packable and should be sturdy enough for you hunt and then some. You can always buy one now and give it a test run. The price sure won't break you. After the test run, if its not what you want, use it to store you gear and search for a different one.

Last edited by bronko22000; 06-12-2019 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:21 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Waldorf Maryland USA
Posts: 668

Top of the line (4 season) for backpack tents for hunting is Hilleberg. If you are only going to hunt in September Big Agnes Copper Spur 2, but if you plan in the future to hunt October and November spend the money and get Hilleberg Kaitum 2.

There are cheaper options but they come with weight.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 36

For the sleeping bag, check out ( )I purchased a 15 deg. down bag that was refurbished for around $55.00. Highest quality bag I've ever used and extremely cheap. They have a few different options but I would definitely recommend buying a refurbished one if you are trying to save a buck.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:46 AM
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you gain experience , over time by making choices and having to live with the result,
of making those choices (at least temporarily)
conditions under which your forced to camp ,
travel and hunt will of course be different in every area,
clothing, tents,sleeping bags, back-packs, boots, jackets,
that might be acceptable in some areas will be woefully lacking in others.
obviously youll want a decent quality sleeping bag, keep in mind if its rated a bit colder than the temps youll see,
its not likely too be a problem, in that you can always unzip or partly open it to loose some potential warmth,
but if its not warm enough you can be in for a miserable hunt trip.
avoid the bargain priced crap, look for triple stitched seams, thick well built straps pads zippers on tents and back packs
down fill is useless if it gets wet,, boots should be broken in well before a hunt,
back packs should be loaded with a 50-60 lb bag of sand .
inside triple thick plastic trash bags and used actually walking around for a few hours MINIMUM,
to get the straps and pads adjusted correctly , and find defective parts before any hunt.
any tent should be set up and hosed down prior to a hunt to find and repair leaks
theres always more expensive equipment available, more expensive may not be better.

sno-seal works well to water proof and soften boots
scotchguard sells water proof fabric spray

Id strongly suggest a good quality pack frame back pack with good hip and shoulder pad straps

Last edited by hardcastonly; 07-24-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:43 AM
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on my first serious mule deer hunt in the area near modoc and the warner wilderness in norther california
(1969) Id packed a sears sleeping bag rated at 10F it was pathetic and near useless,
after two nights freezing my ass off I went into a local sporting goods store and purchased
a second bag rated at zero degrees and used that as an outer bag over my existing sears bag and got a decent nights sleep,
it was easily -10F where we hunted.
the tent we used was from REI a three man 4 season dome tent, Im still using it 50 years later
I used a mil spec alice pack on the first trip it was sold after the hunt, have tried several packs since.
a good arctic rated camo parka, a high quality long sleeve bulky sweater , several pairs of wool socks
boots with cleat soles that are one size too large to allow double socks,and a down vest are a good value,
if you hunt in below zero temps, snow that first trip totally covered the tent over 2 feet deep,
once the snow fell, it insulated the tent and made temps at night far more pleasant.
btw a 6 pack of beer left on a stump expanded and cans ruptured due to the low temps
btw even in that low sub zero temp the browning 78 single shot rifle I used worked fine

Last edited by hardcastonly; 07-24-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Kansas
Posts: 14

I spent a night in the Black Diamond Beta Light last summer in Rocky Mountain National Park. We pitched it over moist ground and had some condensation but the walls are so steep, it does not drip inside. My friend is large and we had no trouble fitting inside with gear. We even cooked a meal inside while all hell broke loose outside, not one drop in the shelter. Great tent and the easiest I have ever pitched. Stake down the corners, crawl underneath and prop up with the trekking poles. I replaced the stakes with MSR needles, total weight 1lb 3oz.
As for a sleeping bag, I think a mummy bag is going to be best, keeping more of your own "body heat" closer to you, but otherwise, I don't have a preference. Marmot, North Face, Western Mountaineering... there are all good. As for now I use Mountain Hardwear 20 degree synthetic bag, about 2 lbs.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:30 AM
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Im always rather amazed when we bring new hunters out of state on hunting trips, out too the rocky mountains
invariably, theres several almost expected flaws with the equipment, being used or prep for the trip,

(1) most of them can shoot excellent groups off a bench rest,
but in most cases they could not hit a coke can from a rapidly acquired field position,
at 100 yards if their lives depended on doing so.
only after a few days does the concept of using a bi-pod and sling seem viable to most, of them

(2) many have no idea how to use a compass or gps or topo map,
if they get more than a 1/2 mile from camp in rough country , they get disorientated,
and have difficulty walking directly back to where we camp.

(3) almost everyone is not in physical condition to handle higher altitudes, walking up a steep grade,
covering a 1/4 mile at 8000-10000 ft altitude
is a far different level of stress than doing the same thing at 200-1500 ft above sea level
(this is especially true of the florida new guys)

(4) bring chap stick and aspirin, and drink lots of liquids
fail to do so and youll soon realize why I suggested that.

(5) break in and test your boots and back-pack very thoroughly before the trip,
and have a back-up plan , a rifle cleaning kit and basic tools to work on your weapon,
if your primary rifle , archery equipment or scope fails
being 2300 miles from home with a rifle with a broken scope, or mounts and no back-up
or iron sights is frustrating, I can,t begin to count the times my back-up rifle saved some guys hunt.

(6) buy a sleeping bag thats rated for colder temps than you expect, freezing your ass off is not a good way to spend your nights,

(7) carry a day pack with a warm vest and rain poncho, and a cell phone with a back-up battery,
and anything else you may need.

some basic thoughts
(now admittedly I hunted mostly rugged canyon country for elk and mule deer, for the last 50 years,
so some ideas may not apply where you hunt)
(1) do the required research prior to the season, to locate a good area with a reasonable game population
talk to the local biologist and game wardens, and local ranchers if you can.
learn to shoot quickly from field positions use a sling and bi-pod.
(2) get and study topo maps and purchase area aerial photos, use both extensively
learn what elk eat, where they find cover, bed and locate the areas that provide the potential escape routes
locate the logging road access, and major camp sites, use the other hunter pressure too your advantage,
knowing where elk will avoid helps you limit the areas you need to glass.
(3) assuming your in decent physical condition, physically get out into areas ,
use a GPS to locate terrain choke points to glass for game,learn to recognizes tracks, and the age of elk droppings
scout on foot,in locations on the topo map's that indicate the location has potential.
(4)spend the time glassing the better potential areas, if you don,t see elk in 45 minutes, move to the next likely area to glass from
, and repeat, dawn till dusk until you see elk.
if you don,t see elk in two days move your camp to a different area and altitude
(5) once you've located legal shoot- able ELK use binoculars and your topo map info,
to move into range, as you cover ground to close the distance, while watching the terrain , maintaining your cover,
limiting noise and planing a route that limits your scent reaching the elk.
(6)move into range, reevaluate the game,frequently, watch for sentry cows and outlaying bulls ,that might spoil the stalk,
use your optics and once in range use your weapon of choice to take the elk ethically.
its not easy but its not complicated, it takes persistence and a willingness to get out away from the local road access.
(7) dress and process the game, transport it to the truck pack in zip loc bags and dry ice as fast as possible
heres a quick memory jog list, for MY hunting day pack
(you sure may not need everything,
but it may jog your memories or cause you too think.)

(remember you might be forced to stay out over night, & weather is unpredictable)
skinning knife
compact blade sharpener
area topo maps
cell phone (car charger and/or back-up batteries)
several lighters
several mil surplus trioxane heat tabs
granola bars
rain poncho
2 gallon zip lock bags
small block & tackle hoist & rope(50 ft parachute cord)
spare ammo
heavy hoodie jacket
large plastic tarp
other meds
lip chapstick
water purification tablets, or filter/pump
down vest
pack of wetnaps
toilet paper
emergency food

spare boot laces
compact bore cleaning rod/brush

anything that could get screwed up if you fall in a creek like medicine, licences, cell phones etc.
gets double zip loc bagged

emergency's do occasionally happen

Last edited by hardcastonly; 07-26-2019 at 05:39 AM.
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