Backcountry Hunting Gear List -by Justin Nelson

Backcountry Hunting Gear List -by Justin Nelson

Backcountry Hunting Gear List

When it comes to the backcountry, having a simple yet effective backcountry hunting gear list can greatly increase your productivity. Too much gear and fatigue from extra weight starts to set in after a few days. Not enough gear creates frustration along with an uncomfortable experience. Finding the right balance can be overwhelming and can even take multiple years to figure out. Hunting scenarios are always changing, from different weather conditions, different terrain, or even as simple as adding an extra day or two. Let’s be real, hunting season is only here for a short period of time each year. So evaluating prior experiences and learning from others can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to selecting the right gear to take on your hunt. 

Fact: backcountry hunting gear can be expensive and take several years to acquire. Ultimately going in light and coming out heavy is the motto but can be a challenge if your pocket book doesn’t allow for all the top of the line gear. Finding what works for you and your financial state is important when planning your backcountry experience. Remember, you have to start somewhere. It can take some time to obtain all the necessary gear, so be patient and figure out where you want to start. 

Now it’s time to start sorting and planning what to take. We’ve used our past experiences to come up with a Backcountry Gear List that we feel will be beneficial to anyone getting ready for their next hunting trip. These items are brand specific but can be changed out depending on what you have. All of the items listed are what I currently have and use. As I continue to test gear throughout the year, my list might change and I’ll re-address what I might be taking next season.

Gear List

When starting my backcountry hunting gear list I always start at the pack and work from there. As I go through my checklist, the items I pull go directly into the pack. I put the items in order as I might need them during the hunt. The benefit of having a checklist is simple, you won’t be forgetting that one item that could potentially ruin your hunt. After I’ve gone through each system from, sleep, miscellaneous camp items, water and filtration, clothing, kill kit and food I move onto weapons, optics, etc. Organization is important and can create an efficient hunt. I generally pack for “Normal” weather conditions first. This is my base list where my hunt won’t be affected by severe temperatures, rain or snow. This list is also based on 3-4 days of elk hunting. Extended days usually just result in more food.


  • EXO MTN GEAR 4800 Fusion – 5lb. 10oz.
  • Crib Load Panel – 5.5oz.
  • 2x Hip Belt Pouch – 6.8oz.
  • 3x Stash Pockets – 1.8oz.

Sleep System:

  • Big Agnes AXL Insulated Pad – 12.9oz.
  • Exped Mega Pillow – 6.5oz.
  • Western Mountaineering TerraLite Sleeping Bag 25°F Degree – 1lb. 13oz.
  • Kelty Trailogic TN2 Footprint – 7oz.
  • Seek Outside Cimarron – 2lb. 12oz.
  • Carbon Pole – 12.2oz.
  • Canopy Stakes – 7oz.

Miscellanies and Camp:

  • Phelps Bugle – 12.1oz.
  • Phelps Reeds – .9oz.
  • First Aid Kit – 2.9oz.
  • Camo Paint – 1.5oz.
  • Black Diamond Headlamp – 3.1oz.
  • Garmin Mini – 3.7oz.
  • Pyro Putty – .2oz.
  • Breeze Squeeze – .5oz.
  • Tooth Brush – .2oz.
  • AA Batteries – 3.2oz.
  • AAA Batteries – 1.12oz.
  • Thermarest Z seat – 1.6oz.
  • S&S Backcountry Trekking Poles – 12.6oz.
  • Last Light Solar Charger and Rope Light – 1lb. 6oz.
  • 2x lighters – 4.6oz.

Kill Kit:

  • TUR Carbon Pro knife – 2.6oz.
  • Capra Hunter Ti – 1.8oz.
  • 3x 60A Extra Blades – .6oz .
  • 1/4 Platform Bits – 1.3oz.
  • Game Bags – 14.7oz.
  • Latex Gloves – .8oz.
  • Flagging Tape – 1.1oz.
  • Electrical Tape – .5oz.
  • Plastic Tarp – 1.8oz.
  • Trash Bag – .7oz.
  • 3mm Paracord 25ft. – 1.7oz.
  • Hunting License and Tags – .5oz.

Water and Filtration:

  • Platypus Water Bladder 3 Liter – 4lb. 10oz. (Filled up to 2 Liters)
  • Sawyer Squeeze Filter – 3.2oz.
  • 2x Sawyer 1 Liter Refill Bags – 3.8oz.
  • Platypus 1 Liter Flexible Bottle – .9oz.

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