Solo or partner?
I am currently doing research and starting to purchase some gear to go on my first DIY public land hunt in colorado. I am wanting to do a mule deer hunt in the 2nd or 3rd season. I am a whitetail hunter from western oklahoma. I do not have any backpacking or camping gear. What would you recomend for a sleeping setup? Thanks
Solo or partner?
I will probably have a friend with me, but I am going to gear up as if I was going by myself just in case I end up going by myself.
Here is some of my tried-and-true solo backpacking shelter gear:
Tent: Tarptent Contrail
Sleeping Bag: Big Agnes Zirkel SL
Pad: Thermarest Neoair
The good stuff ain't cheap. I love the Tarptent, because I always take trekking poles as well, and its nice to get dual use out of your gear. A good ultralight traditional tent is the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. However, it is heavier, more expensive, and less roomy than the Tarptent.
I use a big Agnes storm king long bag. My tent is a eureka tetragon that I got as a budget tent but it works well enough I'm not ready to upgrade yet. My pad is a thermarest I think it's called the scout or something like that. I have a closed cell pad I can use as an extra pad but I usually use my crazy creek lounger as a 3/4 pad instead. I also have a fleece liner to make the bag warmer but I haven't needed it yet.
When I was first getting into backpacking, I got whatever was cheap that I could afford. I was younger, and did not have much money so weight did not seem to matter. As I've gotten older I've learned that I'll enjoy my time outdoors in the backcountry the lighter I can make my pack. It's kind of been a work in progress as equipment continually evolves and gets better too. I look for a combination of good performance, comfort with weight in mind especially if I'm hunting and I'm packing out an animal on my back that I killed.
If you have a place in your area that you can rent gear that could be something to look into so you can try backpacking out. There are a lot of good options and ideas here on the forum, "Lightweight" and this one, "Everything Backcountry". I'd also recommend perhaps getting some of the hunting books here on Eastman's, Hunting High Country Mule Deer by Mike Eastman and Public Land Mulies by David W. Long. There is also another one by Cameron Haynes, Backcountry Bowhunting. http://www.cameronhanes.com/store/ba...the-wild-side/
All the books are all jam packed with great information on hunting the backcountry. Each of the books have sections about backpacking and equipment too. They are all well worth the time in reading.
I was thinking of ordereing both of those mule deer books. I seen on eastmans website that they have a combo pack with both books and a DVD for $40 or $50. I think it will be money well spent. There is really no place that rents gear aroud where I am at. There is little public land and not any good places to go backpacking. I am trying to do most of my research on the internet as well as check out the limited selection of gear in the local sporting goods stores.
I think those books are a great start. Public Land Mulies is required reading for the DIY Mulie hunter, for a lot of reasons.
However, I have found forums, and none are better than Eastmans for this, are the best places to find good info on ultralight backpack hunting gear, because it is constantly improving and evolving. A thread like this one can help a lot. Just try to recognize the "honeymoon" reviews from folks with their brand new gear. The best info comes when the shine wears off.
I know that David Long's gear has changed a lot since he wrote his book.
I'll add my bag to the thread, Marmont, Plasma 15, 1 lb 14 oz. I like the bag but the material is so ultra lightweight I'm concerned how durable it will be over time. I'll be upgrading my pad to one Bitteroot Bulls has listed in another thread from a Thermarest Zlite to a Neoair. I use a Outdoor Research Alpine bivy as a solo tent, 1.9 lb. I don't like not having the room to put much in the bivy with me though but it's been a durable tent.
Last edited by Kevin Root; 01-17-2012 at 03:41 PM.