Quality boot gaiters are an essential piece of gear for any hunt.
Lightweight boot dryers can save your hunt!
In the realm of backcountry adventures, meticulous gear planning can be the difference between a memorable trip and a challenging ordeal. While many focus on the basics, some crucial items often fly under the radar. In this article, I’ll explore essential backcountry camping gear that might not be on everyone's packing list, but can significantly enhance safety, comfort, and overall enjoyment during extended hunting trips.
For years, some adventurers opted to ditch the medical kit to lighten their backpacks, relying on just a couple of bandages. However, wisdom has prevailed with age and, with that, the emphasis on the importance of a comprehensive medical kit. Prioritizing safety by packing a well-equipped kit ensures readiness for unforeseen challenges in the wilderness, preventing minor issues from escalating into major problems.
While some might consider waterproof gaiters unnecessary for hunting, they can prove indispensable, especially in the rugged terrains of the West. Navigating creek crossings becomes far more manageable with gaiters, eliminating the need to strip off the boots and creating wet blister-prone feet. From morning wet grass to deep snow, well-built gaiters are a must have for hunters in my opinion, ensuring a more comfortable and protected experience in challenging conditions.
Carrying a diverse set of tools and tapes is invaluable for backcountry repairs. A compact repair kit, equipped with a couple of Allen wrenches and a range of tapes, can be game-changing.
From fixing down jackets, tents, and pack rafts to addressing air pad issues, the versatility of this kit is indispensable. Including Allen wrenches tailored for in-field bow maintenance or rifle repair adds practicality. With essentials like gear aid patches, Tenacious Tape, Leuko tape and a bit of Tyvek tape, this compact repair kit becomes a lifesaver when the unexpected occurs in the wilderness.
Always ensure you pack an additional rangefinder battery. If you’ve experienced the inconvenience of having a rangefinder die at a crucial moment, you won’t want to be without a backup battery.
Having a backup water treatment is crucial — regardless of whether you use a filter, pump or SteriPEN. Opt for a lightweight solution like water treatment tabs or Aquamira drops to ensure you're prepared for any unforeseen challenges in maintaining a safe water supply.
For a backcountry archery hunt, I’d strongly advise carrying an additional bow release. The inconvenience of hiking back to the truck or, worse, having to drive home due to a lost release is something you want to avoid. Given the likelihood that your bow release will one day decide to play hide and seek with you, having a spare ensures you're not left frustrated. Trust me on this one.
Forget the days of Vaseline-soaked cotton balls for fire starting. Nowadays, it's crucial to carry high-quality fire starters that burn hotter and longer, ensuring a fire swiftly — even in extremely wet conditions. Consider packing Esbit tablets or trioxane tablets for those moments when a fire is needed urgently. While fires may be easy in ideal conditions, having reliable fire starters ensures you get the job done quickly when conditions aren't perfect.
In today's world, everything seems rechargeable – from headlamps and phones to GPS devices and SteriPENs. Carrying a compact, lightweight solar charger becomes almost indispensable for maintaining power during extended hunting trips. The anxiety of having only 5% battery left on your Garmin Inreach or other GPS device dissipates with the assurance that a small solar charger can keep your electronic devices fully charged throughout an extended hunt, especially when paired with a power bank.
Dealing with wet feet and boots is simply no fun at all. Enter Grakksaw, a company offering a remarkable lightweight and portable boot dryer. When paired with a hot tent, this combo is a game-changer.
Say goodbye to the morning ordeal of putting on damp boots. For just an additional few ounces, these boot dryers eliminate that discomfort entirely.
Micro spikes are often overlooked due to their weight; however, they have proven indispensable countless times in navigating steep, wet mountains out West. Whether negotiating the slick wet alpine huckleberry fields during fall bear hunting or traversing steep, slippery rocky slopes in Alaska, a durable set of spikes has consistently ensured my safe return to camp. The added weight is a small price for the security they provide in challenging conditions.
In the past, tarps weren't a regular in my packing list, relying, instead, on the quick setup of a tent. Yet, experience has shown the value of a lightweight tarp, especially in steep mountains. The flexibility to erect a tarp swiftly in any environment proves very handy when unexpected rain squalls roll in. Beyond weather protection, a tarp also keeps you in the game as you can continue glassing no matter the weather. Not only used as protection from weather, a tarp can also be used to keep your meat clean from dirt and debris. It is a versatile and practical addition to any backcountry kit.
While the essentials are crucial, these often overlooked items can make a significant difference in the success and enjoyment of a backcountry hunt. Whether enhancing safety, providing comfort or ensuring preparedness for unexpected challenges, these gear additions deserve consideration when heading out on your next adventure.
Don’t forget that you can shop for endless gear options for your next hunt at GOHUNT!