Suggested Gear List for Backcountry Mule Deer or Elk Hunt
When you go hunting for elk or mule deer in the autumn and early winter months, the gear you bring can make all the difference between a successful outing and a few days of cold, soggy misery. With the proper planning, you can stay warm and dry and make your hunting trip an adventure to remember.
The following list of gear is a suggested place to start to make sure you remember the essentials.
- Light Rain Gear – You will absolutely need a lightweight rain coat, and pants. Most high end brands have two levels of heaviness. I suggest the lightest they have.
- Base layers – 5 days worth, so at least three shirts and two pants… these will get dirty and stinky.
- Mid Layer – at least two pants, one coat, and a vest. Sept hunts they should be “unlined” and light and for Oct the pants should be one that is lightly lined and the other that is unlined.
- “Puffy Coat” – a lightweight down (or synthetic) coat is absolutely necessary for storing core warmth.
- Boots – Please be sure to have a good, sturdy, well-built, and quality boot. Make sure the boots have undergone a period of “breaking in”. Your feet are going to carry you and your gear for multiple days in the backcountry. Enough said.
- 3 to 5 pairs of NON-COTTON socks – poly will stink but will wick moisture, wool will provide warmth with less odor. Consider at least using a poly liner sock in the colder temps, they’ll wick sweat and provide cushion and warmth too.
- Light Gloves – 2 pairs please….also consider a lightweight glove liner
- Hat – something with a brim for shading your eyes, like a ball cap.
- Camp Shoes – Crocs or similar, maybe a down booty with a burly sole, anything light and comfortable to give your feet a break at camp.
- Gun – 270 cal or better and extra bullets or Bow with extra arrows in their own case for safety
- at least 6 broadheads (remember in Idaho they require fixed blades… NO EXPANDABLES)
- 1500 cubic inch minimum back pack or larger. Nothing over 4500 is necessary.
- Great Binos 10 x 42 min
- Ultra light tripod to glass from on muley hunts no tripod necessary on archery elk hunts.
- Toiletries (small pack of wet wipes for your backpack)
- Lip Balm
- Blister kit (mole skin)
- 2 headlamps and extra batteries
- Range finder
- Ibuprofen or Aleive
- Hunting license and tag
- Extra casual clothing for traveling
- Batteries for gadgets (headlamp)
- charging battery for your phone or inreach (don’t plan on having signal cause you most likely will not have any.
- Wind checker VERY IMPORTANT to have (bottle of white powder to check wind direction)
- DOWN sleeping bag, 15 degree to 0 degree (if you get cold, get the zero, if you sleep warm a 15 will be great but it MUST BE DOWN for warmth and quality)
- Sleeping pad – pads are rated like sleeping bags for thickness and warmth – do not skimp here, your sleep is important! (If you are coming on one of my personally guided hunts you will not need a bed pad, I will provide you one)
- If you ever struggle to sleep, it will be even harder at elevation. Bring 5mg melatonin to take to help you to sleep.
- Bring synthetic game bags big enough for your critter. Caribou Bags, Tag Bags are the best two. These are required!