Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
LW Backcountry Hunt
Display Avatars Sort By:
Craig M
(cmortensen17) - MLife

Locale: Utah
LW Backcountry Hunt on 11/29/2009 18:08:23 MST Print View

A few photos from a recent multi-day backcountry deer hunting trip where lightweight gear made it possible to have an enjoyable backcountry experience where we saw no other hunters and some amazing wildlife, despite it being less than ten miles from a trailhead and 30 miles from a metropolitan area.

Heading in

Glassing Rugged Country

Black Diamond One-Shot: My Much-Preferred Alternative to a Bivy

Gram Weenie and Trappers Mug (w/foil lid removed), Quietly Doing Their Job

Skull of a large, mountain lion-killed mule deer buck

Here’s a partial listing of the lightweight backpacking gear that helped offset the “heavy” hunting gear, including a nearly 10-pound rifle.

Badlands 2200 (modified, including removing zipper garages, pocket lining, and some excess straps). Though this is a heavy pack compared to current LW offerings, its ability to pack very heavy loads (i.e., 75 pounds of meat plus gear) made it a logical choice.

Black Diamond Oneshot. The temps on this trip were chilly, with overnight temps in the mid 20s with some wind. This little tent did an admirable job of keeping me warm and comfortable. With darkness falling early, I felt especially bad for my pal, whose bivy sack was covered with frost within minutes of rolling it out. The roof of the Oneshot did collect some condensation overnight, but it stayed put on the roof.

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad, wide and long. At 6 ft 2” and over 200 pounds, I have found this pad to be one luxury item I don’t leave home without when the temperature drops. Whatever weight penalty it brings is offset by a sound night’s sleep. In contrast, my pal brought a trimmed z-rest, and was quick to say in the morning that he would have welcomed the extra weight (and comfort!).

Nunatak Arc Alpinist quilt. Kept my warm all night, thought I probably would have benefitted from my Thermawrap pants sometime after about 3:00 am.

BPL Trappers Mug. Perfect!

Gram Weenie alcohol stove. Ditto

BPL folding titanium spoon. The third piece in a near-perfect lightweight cooking system.

BPL Beartooth merino hoody. I have pretty much lived in this piece this fall.

Manzella liner glove w/grip dot palm. Great liner, especially helpful with trapper mug.

Cloudveil simple shell gloves. For bushwhacking and early morning chill-fending duty.

Patagonia micro puff vest. An oldie but a goodie.

Under Armor Blaze Orange fleece beanie. Combined with a lightweight blaze orange vest for maximum visibility.

Patagonia Houdini – probably the most versatile piece of equipment I own. Mine is patched and stained, but continues to perform flawlessly.

Patagonia Specter Pullover. I am hopeful someone will come out with something soon that weighs as little, fits as well, and performs like this one does…mine is starting to show its age!

Travelsmith supplex pants. Comfortable and tough. Paired with a pair of Capilene or R1 bottoms when needed, these pants have seen duty from desert backpacking to winter snowshoeing.

Patagonia midweight Capilene bottoms --for sleeping and early morning hiking (under supplex pants).

InoV8 Rolite 390 GTX boots. Happily into my second pair of these remarkably sturdy, warm, and light boots.

Leupold and Stevens 10x28 compact “gold ring” binoculars. These aren’t the lightest backcountry optics out there, but they are dead reliable and I rarely hike without them.

North American Arms PUG .22 Magnum pistol. At just over 6 oz, this little sidearm accompanies me on most trips, It is a fun plinker, an able noise maker, and for some reason, I always sleep better in the backcountry with it near me.

Ipod Nano (video) – Increases the enjoyment of the Oneshot tent, especially when it is dark at 6:00 pm. I don’t do it often, but when the winds are howling, and the temperature drops, I have found it supremely satisfying to be wrapped up inside a quilt in a small tent watching a feature movie.

Gossamear Gear Lighttrek 4 Pole (1 ) – Light, comfortable grip, and very helpful on steep traverses with a loaded pack. It also stores nicely in the back pocket of my pack. I only brought one since I carried a rifle in my other hand much of the time.

Edited by cmortensen17 on 11/29/2009 18:11:42 MST.

Pepe LP
(PepeLp) - F

Locale: New Mexico
Backcountry hunt on 12/04/2009 18:11:36 MST Print View

Looks like you had fun. Gotta get a lighter rifle though. This is Backpacking Light after all.

Were the Leupold binocs the only optics you carried? I have a pair of 8*42 Nikons that are sensational, but man are they heavy.

Take care.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: Backcountry hunt on 12/04/2009 18:33:54 MST Print View

I know what you mean about the Nikons. I have a pair of Nikon 12x56 binocs. Best binocs I have ever used and comparable to my fathers Swavaski 10x binocs, but man are they heavy.

I use them mostly for long distance hog hunting at night in moonlight or at dusk dark/early morning.

For walking I use a pair of compact nikon binocs.
I agree on the rifle. A 6# mountain rifle with a pencil barrel and a leupold ultralight scope would be my choice.

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Ul Rifle on 12/08/2009 19:44:07 MST Print View

Great post Craig!

I've got a Kimber Montana .338 Federal ordered along with a Leupold UL 3x9. The rifle is 5 lb 2 oz, the scope 8.8 oz and I'll mount it in a set of Talley lightweights. Should come in at right around 6 lbs with five rounds.

UL really helps when big game hunting. Even when packing monster loads of boned out meat. They way I figure it you carry a rifle a lot more than you shoot it.

As far as binocs for UL hunts I love my Leica 8x20's


Edited by runsmtns on 12/08/2009 19:45:31 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: LW Backcountry Hunt on 12/09/2009 05:02:05 MST Print View

"A few photos from a recent multi-day backcountry deer hunting trip where lightweight gear made it possible to have an enjoyable backcountry experience"

So, a few days after Ryan posts a review of an UL rifle which ignited a flame war and some heavy-handed censorship by Ryan, another BPL staff member posts a review of a hunting trip using heavyweight gear? And is at pains to point out how much comfortable they were than their friend using a cut-down Z-rest?

Is this a deliberate provocation or are you genuinely trying to shift your demographic to the heavyweight gear hunting crowd?

I'll say it again - what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Hunting/Hiking on 12/09/2009 08:24:45 MST Print View

"I'll say it again - what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?"

For you....apparantly nothing, and to each his own, we can all "hike our own hike". Some of us like to place ourselves into wilderness, and interact with the enviroment. For some of us, this includes becoming a consumptive member of the food chain. Being in places where I can feed myself with fish and game, and am yet conversely not at the "top" of the food chain, happens to be how I "hike" UL.

I personaly dont understand people that like to hike in sterile, over populated(human) enviroments, with no bears, wolves, or lions to keep the senses keen, while eating processed food packaged in plastic. But thats how some people do it, and more power to them.

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Hiking & Hunting on 12/09/2009 09:09:55 MST Print View

Most of my hiking is also where I hunt. I still travel as light as possible. Hiking is what I do when I can't hunt.

My freezer is filled with wild elk and sheep that I have hunted. I am a meat eater and therefore take part in the entire process from the killing to the cutting and wrapping to the cooking. I don't just buy meat from a super market that is wrapped in plastic, that comes from God knows where and was fed who knows what.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: LW Backcountry Hunt on 12/09/2009 12:09:33 MST Print View

'll say it again - what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?

Just can't leave it alone.

I like to pick huckleberries when I am backpacking. I consider
that part of hiking. Some fish, some take pictures, some
climb, some hunt. It is all part of it.

Morgan Rucks
(rucksmtr) - F
what is hiking? on 12/09/2009 12:17:01 MST Print View

nice trip report. they got there on there own two feet. thats hiking.

donald buckner

Locale: Southeast U.S.
hike and hunt on 12/09/2009 13:23:08 MST Print View

Great report. I for one would really like to see more reports like this one. I would certainly hope that folks who do not hunt give us some kind consideration. Nobody is trying to provoke anyone. I was first attracted to backpacking light and this website by a search for information on backpacking into the woods away from the crowds with a load I could muster for the primary goal of hunting. I'm not getting any younger, but I want to enjoy the outdoors as long as I can. I've learned a lot of information from this website that will help me in that quest. I also enjoy all types of hiking and camping whether I'm hunting or not.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
cool! on 12/09/2009 14:35:30 MST Print View

Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed the pics and the write-up. Nevermind the negative comments. Those people need to leave their politics at home.

As David said, some people go lightweight so they can afford to carry some heavy equipment. Be it pak-rafters, DSLR photographers, fishermen, etc...

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 12/09/2009 14:37:58 MST.

Bill Poett
( - F

Locale: Santa Barbara
Hike and Hunt and Censor on 12/09/2009 14:39:02 MST Print View

I'll say it again - what on earth does this rubbish have to do with ultralight HIKING?


Why don't you share with us a list of topics that you feel would be acceptable, and we will all do our best to "Hike your Hike".

Is this really the type of community your looking for? Because if it is you might be happier somewhere else.

I for one enjoy learning about others experiences in nature even when their approach is quite different then mine.

Thanks for the Report.


Chris Wood

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Excellent Post- Thank you! on 12/09/2009 17:48:33 MST Print View

I enjoyed seeing this post! I have often wanted to post about my own light-weight Dall Sheep hunts in Alaska. As a guide, I need the best, lightest gear, and enjoy putting it to use in the mountains. It is comforting to know that there is much support and tolerance for "other activities" on this website. I find it ironic that those who oppose this type of content are the same folks who think of themselves as "open-minded" and "enlightened".

For the record, hunting is only ONE of my many hobbies that include; running, backpacking, adventure racing, cross-country ski racing, backcountry skiing, packrafting and other "granola" sports. Goes to show you CANNOT stereotype hunters!

Now Potty Trowels and their use...What an offensive topic! Please do not post any more about this disgusting item and its use. It offends us! lol

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Excellent Post- Thank you! on 12/10/2009 03:26:06 MST Print View

"I find it ironic that those who oppose this type of content are the same folks who think of themselves as "open-minded" and "enlightened" ... Goes to show you CANNOT stereotype hunters!"

Hi Chris

Pretty obviously the dig about "open-minded" was at me. Where, in any of my posts, did I describe myself as "open-minded" or "enlightened"? Or is that just some blanket put-down for anyone you think is a "liberal" (in American parlance - "liberal" means something quite different in Australia)?

The comment about stereotypes is apposite: there seems to be a presumption that anyone who doesn't like guns on this website is some pinko commie socialist who's probably never held a gun ... sadly for that characterisation I grew up on a family farm in Australia and was obsessed with guns for much of my childhood. I also rode out around my rabbit traps before school most mornings and sold the skins for pocket money. And we killed our own meat, so all of the comments about people who buy their meat not being able to criticise hunting don't apply. And my mates and I did hand-loading, shot trap and shot pigs and goats.

But I am genuinely nonplussed by the original report above - it's a hunting report, using heavyweight gear, on a UL hiking site.

As I said at the start, and have said elsewhere, hiking and hunting aren't the same thing. As far as I understand it, this is a hiking website, not a hunting website - and I've had a pile of PMs over the last few days from other members saying the same thing.

If BPL wants to become a hunting website, then it's free to do so but Ryan et al should come out and say so.

Edited by Arapiles on 12/10/2009 04:34:38 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Hike and Hunt and Censor on 12/10/2009 03:28:02 MST Print View

"Why don't you share with us a list of topics that you feel would be acceptable, and we will all do our best to "Hike your Hike".

Is this really the type of community your looking for? Because if it is you might be happier somewhere else."

Hi Bill

I sent a PM to your email address - the PM in your profile doesn't seem to be visible.

Jonathan DeYoung
(jdeyoung81) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Hike and Hunt and Censor on 12/10/2009 06:38:32 MST Print View

D W-

FYI - this was posted in the Other Activities forum. For the purpose of other activities I could discuss things so far off topic from lightweight backpacking and would still be in the right forum for the site.

I am so going to do to do a LW Bow Hunting trip next fall!

Great trip report!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
LW Backcountry Hunt on 12/10/2009 06:47:14 MST Print View

If the article does not interest you, don't click on it. Do you think BPL counts hits on pages? Do they?

Karl Gottshalk
(kgottshalk) - MLife

Locale: Maine USA
LW Backcountry Hunt on 12/10/2009 07:28:33 MST Print View

I don't hunt, packraft, or do off trail bushwacking, but I enjoy all of these articles. I do like photography. Hopefully none of these topics will be removed as they are not about hiking.

Thanks for a very nice article.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
Pack rafting on 12/10/2009 08:24:31 MST Print View


Pack rafting is obviously "hiking", no one is complaining about it not being hiking"

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: LW Backcountry Hunt on 12/10/2009 10:06:16 MST Print View

You already started a thread dealing with this.

Outside the mention of the pads, you
would seem to be off topic and clogging up the discussion.

Edited by oware on 12/10/2009 10:22:39 MST.