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Thread: Newbie needs your expertise!!!

  1. #1

    Default Newbie needs your expertise!!!

    I am going to be moving to Elmendorf AFB in about a year and I am looking forward to doing something that I have always dreamed about...back-country hunting. Now I haven't ever done it before but I have been reading posts on this for a while now and here's a list that I have come up with in regards to gear. Critique my list and tell me what I don't know or have overlooked please!!! Any and all wisdom is appreciated!!!
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  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Well, if this is specifically a hunting list, there are a few things you're missing. First and foremost, you'll need some game bags. How many depends on what you're hunting, but at least a few. I'd also carry some nylon cord - at least 25-50'. It's useful for hanging meat in trees, and there are a thousand other potential uses depending on situation. Also, binoculars are a must. A spotting scope does not replace binoculars. It is very difficult to glass large areas with a spotting scope or rifle scope. The game should be located with binocs, then judged with a spotting scope. I carry Nikon Monarch 10x42. A bit of weight, but well worth it. Oh...and what about a camera? You'll want to record the memory for sure.

    Other things that I noticed:

    -Knife set - How big is the set? I carry two folding knives. I sharpen both well before I leave home and do not carry a sharpener. This is at odds with what other hunters do, but two sharp knives have always been enough for me.

    -Pillow - I don't carry one, but just use my clothes. That being said, I barely use one at home either. If you need it, bring it, but it's one thing that I forgo.

    -Bear can - Probably a wise idea, but I don't carry one. I do most of my hunting in the mountains and just don't worry too much about bears. I sleep light and carry mostly freeze-dried food, so it's not much of an issue. If trees are available, I'll hang food 20' up.

    -Water - 3 liters is overkill if ample water sources are available. I usually carry somewhere between 1-2 liters.

  3. #3
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    Default Couple thoughts

    1. How about a signal mirror?
    2. A compass to back up the GPS?
    3. Space blanket?
    4. Roll of surveyor tape?
    5. Some duct tape?
    6. Cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly?

  4. #4
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Cool these may be usefull

    1. insect repellent and mosquito head net
    2. small sewing kit
    3. toilet paper in ziploc bags
    4. scouring pad & dish soap

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that the previous guys are wrong - not at all - but there are a few things they mentioned that I don't carry while backpack hunting. If hunting from an ATV, I'd take everything they mentioned and then some, but not when weight matters.

    I don't take dish soap or scouring pad. I can deal with dirty dishes, and most of my meals are freeze-dried which you eat right out of the bag and then burn the trash. Actually, the only thing I carry as far as dishes go is a fork and a titanium coffee cup.

    I don't use mosquito repellent. 99% of people think I'm nuts, but I hate the feel of that stuff on my skin and it's damaging to lightweight waterproof gear.

    I don't take a compass or signal mirror, though they're not bad ideas. Most of my backpack hunting is in the mountains, and I navigate by landmark. I never have carried a GPS either, though that is changing.

    I do, however, carry toilet paper. Oh, and duct tape is a good idea for blisters. I never get any, but my wife does. We take 10' feet off a roll and make a little folded mini-roll out of it.

  6. #6
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    I don't use mosquito repellent. 99% of people think I'm nuts, but I hate the feel of that stuff on my skin and it's damaging to lightweight waterproof gear.
    I really don't like using it either ..however, depending on wind and what time of year it is most hunters that kill animals need it or you'll get eaten alive while your cleaning-up your animal for transport.....oh, that reminds me, take some latex gloves along I find them a must on bears and really helpful if you don't bring soap!

  7. #7

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    Well, these are definitely things that haven't thought about. 1-2 liters of water instead of three? I haven't ever been there so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but is water in the southern part of Alaska (which is where I think I will be doing most of my hunting) plentiful enough to get away with that? In most western states you have to carry a bear can to keep food in, but is this required in AK? Brian, you say you don't carry one instead you would opt for freeze dried food. By that I assume you mean some commercial variant of the MRE? If I did take an MRE that comes with a heater would the stove really be necessary?

    Coaldust, it looks like your suggesting a small survival kit. I'm thinking that's not a bad idea but if carrying a SPOT tracker and I use that to call in help in case of emergencies, then would this be necessary?

    BTW, thanks for the help y'all, please keep it coming I'm soaking it up!!!!!

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default read more...

    I have an ACR Terrafix. I love it. But it is no replacement for a survival kit (and skills). Take the SPOT if you want, but don't think of it as a replacement for anything.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...acr+&noImage=0

    Mountain House meals are tops. Take an MSR Wind Pro or Pocket Rocket with isobutane cannister. Weighs next to nothing and dinner will be done in minutes. Boil water for the meal, which is made/eaten in the bag. Burn bag in fire, lick spoon, dishes done. Mountain House meals and MSR stove are sold at www.campmor.com

    https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/s...0226&langId=-1

    https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/s...L1BKsJKJzPzCur

    https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/s...0226&langId=-1

    For water, get MSR Dromedary bags. They are great. Take a 32 oucne Nalgene bottle to drink out of. Carry water in the dromedary. Comes in many sizes on www.campmor.com

    https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/s...yW28Hk9g%3D%3D

    Get a high quality pack and a light rifle.

    Get high quality dry bags.

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...+bag&noImage=0

    Have three ways on you to start a fire. Idealy, one of them that can be done one handed.

    http://www.ultimatesurvival.com/prod...product_ID=429

    No bear cannister is required. Use common sense instead. And use lots of it.

    Get an MSR Miniworks waterfilter. It screws to the top of 32 ounce Nalgene bottles and the Dromedary bag. Slick!

    https://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/s...uH9sHMYhCC%2Bh

    Vacuum seal spare socks/trail mix/jerkey/fire starter. Packs small in your pack and is waterproof. Extra M&M's for calories.

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DG

    You may benefit from some books on wilderness skills/medicine, survival books, etc... There are some great Alaska specific hunting books as well. The knowledge in some well chosen books will help you have safer and more productive hunting trips. Check out the store here on the forum.

    Have a back up plan for you back up plan.

    Most importantly, don't listen to strangers on online forums. Ha ha.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Book

    Below is a link to one of Marc Taylor's books about hunting Alaska. He frequents the forum as well. This is from the store on the forum. In case you have not seen it, look up top. Click "Store" and then select "hunting". There are five pages of books/dvds. Marc also has a part two to the book below. His book would be a great place for you to start.

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...ecf924e795eab3
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    Well, these are definitely things that haven't thought about. 1-2 liters of water instead of three? I haven't ever been there so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but is water in the southern part of Alaska (which is where I think I will be doing most of my hunting) plentiful enough to get away with that? In most western states you have to carry a bear can to keep food in, but is this required in AK? Brian, you say you don't carry one instead you would opt for freeze dried food. By that I assume you mean some commercial variant of the MRE? If I did take an MRE that comes with a heater would the stove really be necessary?
    In most spots water is more than plentiful. 2 liters is plenty in most cases. The only time I had an issue with water was when I was hiking ridgelines packing a sheep out. I eventually had to drop off the ridge about 500' to find a trickle of water, but otherwise I was fine. Typically the problem in Alaska is too much water!

    Take a look at the previous member's links to Mountain House meals. That's what I was referring to with the freeze dried comment. They're not like MREs in that they are dry. Add boiling water, wait five minutes, enjoy. For a stove I use the Jetboil cooking system. Again, when weight isn't an issue I'll take more gear for real meals, but when hunting with a pack all I need to do is cook water.

    As previously mentioned, bear canisters are not required. They don't hurt, but too much weight in my opinion. I'd rather just bring a dry bag and hang my food in a tree if available.

    Lastly, Bear Buster's comment about bug repellent when cleaning an animal is valid. Keep it off your hands, as you don't want it on the meat, but yeah...the bugs can get crazy bad when cleaning an animal.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Below is a link to one of Marc Taylor's books about hunting Alaska. He frequents the forum as well. This is from the store on the forum. In case you have not seen it, look up top. Click "Store" and then select "hunting". There are five pages of books/dvds. Marc also has a part two to the book below. His book would be a great place for you to start.

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...ecf924e795eab3

    Thanks for the heads up on this. The book will be ordered shortly.
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  12. #12

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    Since this is a backpacking list here's some things I would not take or would change:

    Cookset, leave that stuff behind and bring a lightweight titanium pot. You will more than likely be eating Mtn House and all you need to do is heat water, not cook anything.
    Bear can, I never pack one and I don't know anyone else that does either. Your food will be freeze dried and vacuum sealed so there shouldn't be any odor problems as far as food goes.
    You've listed 3 liters of water, again, you don't need to carry that much water if your packing a water filtration system. Take a 20 ounce lighweight aluminum "lined" water bottle. I just found out about those and will be getting a couple and tossing all my Nalgene bottles out.
    Thermarest Prolite 4 sleeping pad, 22 ounces for the regular size.

    Things I'd add:
    50ft of 550 cord.
    TAG bags - 1 set for sheep
    Wyoming Saw - You probably don't really need it but I like to carry mine everywhere I hunt.
    Bino's - Whatever you normally use.
    Small tarp

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    Take a 20 ounce lighweight aluminum "lined" water bottle. I just found out about those and will be getting a couple and tossing all my Nalgene bottles out.
    I've seen these out and about, but just figured they were a yuppie fashion accessory. Are they actually better than Nalgene bottles? Why?

  14. #14

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    I was talking with MArc Taylor about them since he had them in his store. He was telling me about a study that was done on plastic bottles. Seems that there is some kind of chemical in them that can cause cancer, don't really know all the particulars about it but that's all I needed to hear. I also heard that Nalgene will be making the aluminum bottles as well. The one's Taylor has are really light so I will probably get a couple from him. They run about $12 a bottle and the bigger bottles are a little more.

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    We have used polycarbonate for over 50 years with no evidence of a safety concern in humans. The FDA firmly supports that it has been, and remains safe to use. Nalgene, baby bottles and various other containers have been made of polycarbonate for decades. There was an accidental discovery in Cleveland about ten years ago where they found some birth defects in mice. It was linked to the leeching of the chemical bisphenol-A (more commonly called BPA). Apparently, the washing practices of the water bottles caused/increased the rate of leeching of the BPA and it was absorbed into the endocrine system of the mice. Hence, the birth defects. NO harm to any human in 50 years of use with food/drink for humans. Want a challenge that will take a while? Find one case where human health has been affected by bisphenol-A in polycarbonate. I won't be throwing out my Nalgene bottles anytime soon. Below is a link for some additional info.

    http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/technical/bpaInfo.html
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    By AKhunter45: I just found out about those and will be getting a couple and tossing all my Nalgene bottles out.


    Hey John, instead of throwing those Nalgene bottles out, bring them to work and I'll swing by and pick them up!

    2 liters is plenty of water, Brian is spot on that finding water is not a problem. 550 cord is a must, Mountain House are a lot lighter than MRE's, and getting a Jetboil to go along for boiling the water is a very good investment. Last year I spiked out on a goat hunt and that's the only cooking item we brought for three days. We didn't have a problem at all.

  17. #17

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    You don't want those bottles, their old and all scratched up from years of heavy use. They'll make good storage containers for misc hardware and such...

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    Member KRS's Avatar
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    And.... they say that aluminum is linked to alzheimers.

    Sounds like everything will kill us eventually

    KRS

    Oh, and a Katadyn Hiker Pro mini water filter doesn't require you fill up nalgene bottles or remove a hydration bladder/unscrew the lid/and then fill it up. The hiker pro plugs right into your bite valve adapter and you pump water up the drink tube..... slick!

  19. #19
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have the Katadyn Hiker (not the pro) I think the only functional difference is the screen over the filter. Now I have to drag it out and check to see how it works with the camelbak! Do you "pro" users like the screen? I think I can buy the pro internals and retrofit it if it is that much of an improvement.

  20. #20

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    KRS, the aluminum bottles are lined so your not drinking water that taste like metal!

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