Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Figuring out what gear you need for a Do-It-Yourself backpack style backcountry hunt can be overwhelming! There's so many items that you need and they are typically high priced. I want to preface this prior to you reading the list. I didn't start with all of this high quality gear. It's been accumulated over the last 6 years and was built almost entirely from extra money I made working an extra part-time job. My reasoning for saying this is, you can find a way to get the necessary gear that you need with a little hard work and outside of the box thinking. In addition, you just need to make the hunt happen. Buy tags first and worry about the gear later. With that being said, good gear is expensive for a reason and can be more crucial on a backpack hunt, more so than a hunt where you are camping at the truck. It greatly enhances your comfort on the trip and can make you stay out longer.
Here's my list for a 7 day September backpack high country mule deer hunt in the Rocky Mountains. Use it for your reference, but you will need to figure out what works best for you. Get out there in the summer and use your gear on weekend overnight trips with family and friends to get used to how it works. The brands and products that you are using won't matter if you aren't familiar with how they work!
Water Filtration & Storage:
32 oz Nalgene bottle - EAST MEETS WEST
Darn Tough Hunter Midweight Boot Cushion Sock
Marsupial Gear Stretch Web Belt
Crispi Colorado Boots
Maven B.2 9x45 Binoculars Use code eastmeetswest-gift to get a free gift with any Maven optics order!
Release (NockOn Nock2it)
First Aid/Emergency Kit (leukotape, gauze, wipes, ibuprofen, electrical tape, tourniquet, splint, emergency blanket)
Bow Repair Kit (d-loop, serving, allen wrenches)
Gear Repair Kit (patches, etc)
Fire Starting Kit (Bic lighter, Esbit fire cubes)
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Toilet Paper & Wet Wipes
Smith and Wesson Shield .40 Handgun
This list is always changing as I'm tweaking and finding out what works best for me and my style of hunting. I've cut out a lot of the "nice to haves" over the last few years and focused on the necessities. That's true for everything except sleeping. I will NOT cut out my pillow... My total setup with food is 47lbs for 7 days (does not include water). If you have any questions on any gear I use, feel free to comment below!
Note: Most links earn me a small commission. If you use these, I greatly appreciate the support! You can find just about everything in the GoWild link here and save 10% on that gear with code EASTMEETSWEST
Additional Gear Deals:
MTN OPS - Get free shipping on all orders with code BEAUFREESHIP
Check out the video podcast recapping the hunt