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Old March 24, 2013, 05:48 PM   #7
Lucas McCain
Senior Member
Join Date: March 7, 2013
Location: Callaway, MN
Posts: 332
I have done a least 8 backpack hunts for elk or deer. These hunts were 2-3 weeks long. About 60# is all you will want to handle. Here are some things to consider.
1. I prefer to have the rifle in my hands, under my control, in the event that I fall, I had a better chance to protect it. instead of being on the pack behind me which is the direction you mostly go when you fall. The back pack tends to pull you backwards.

2. I prefer the external frame, which allows me to remove the bags and use it to pack the animal out after the kill. even if you are going to have a packer come and get it, you will want to get it back to your camp in an effort to keep predators off it while you wait. Some external frames also allow to expand the pack upwards using a bow about 1 ft high. This works really well for carrying your sleeping bag, which should be your bulkiest and a fairly light item so it don't affect your balance to a great degree. also pay attention to how may rings can be added to the frame

3. Food, I use freeze dried foods and plan for 2 meals a day. Coffee, salt, pepper. packs of ketchup and also mustard. It helps dress up some of the freeze dried food. Lard, yes Lard. It don't burn as easy as veg oils and you may want to fry up some fish, bird or steaks a couple times. about 1/2 lb. will do.

4. Stove. I prefer the coleman peak, this unit use,s less fuel than some of the others. Plus the storage box is your cook kit. very handy. My party consists of 3 people and we only use 1 pint of fuel for the whole trip. You only really need it if the weather goes bad. What ever stove you choose fill it with fuel, light it and see how long it runs on a tank. and go from there.

5. The frying pan is about 8-10 and I prefer the Blue, with white specks ceramic or glass coated pan. They are light, and clean easy, and if they have something burnt, fill it with sand and scrub it out, the ceramic don't scratch

6. Additional equip: Collapsible candle lantern and a couple extra candles. Buckle style straps of various lengths 12-48 inches. They work better than rope for packing gear and meat. A leatherman tool and about 30 ft of TIE WIRE, which works great for making camp and securing poles. No nails allowed and take the down when you break camp.. Space Blankets, the silver lining works great as a reflector to dry gear and clothes and just to warm up.
A good collapsable game saw is handy, a hatchet is a must and a good game hoist along with game bags. Firestarter kit with permanent match. This is for emergencies when its rainy and everyone and everything is wet.
When you start putting this together you will find out that you don't have much room for extra clothes. When you pack them roll them up tight, and secure them with large rubber bands and pit them in plastic re-sealable bags to keep them dry.

MOST IMPORTANT of all is good boots that are broke in. during a backpack trip is NOT the time to be breaking in new pair of boots. Good fitting quality socks is the second most important item.

And last but not least a small first aid kit. Murphys law applies more than ever on these back country hunts, never forget that, keep that in the front of your mind at all times.

I would like to close with a personal story about one of my 1969 Elk hunts.

It was in Montana, just North of the Yellowstone Park line i the Hellroaring Drainage area. Our base camp was 30 some miles in from the pickups and trailers. It was a horse back hunt, 4 hunters 2 guides and a cook. The second day of season in the evening the hunter, who wasn't horse savvy, was going to head back to camp. In the process of mounting the horse he attempted it from the wrong side. The other hunter was on the correct side of his horse and in the process of climbing aboard but his horse experience was also small. The horse getting mounted on the wrong side shied away hitting the other hunters horse. The commotion caused the hunter to fall/slip down and the horse stepped on his pelvis and broke it. The man couldn't get up, he was showing signs of going into shock. The hunter didn't know the way back to camp so the guide had to instruct the other guy what to do for shock, and go back to camp for help. By this time its dark, the outfitter goes to the accident site, and he sends the guide to go back to the trucks and go get help. It over 30 miles he has to go over the Devils Divide and its switchbacks in the dark. Being very familiar with the trail he got to the trucks about 5 in the morning. Got into town contacted the Sheriff to start rescue efforts. Because this was wilderness area it took time to get clearance to come in with a helicopter and air vac him out. It was over 18 hrs before the hunter was taken out. He healed up OK and made it. He's still kicking and Dean if your reading this it is your story.

I hope I've helped you and given you answers that will help you, enjoy, be careful and Good Luck
If you have time to do it twice, then you have time to do it once right and put your name on it
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