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#3587817 - 02/14/14 07:02 PM Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight?
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Alright, first gear weigh in for a 7-8 day, backpack style (no spike camp) CO Elk hunt. Actual gear came in at 44.23 (without bow), 48.63 with bow, but there are still have a couple of unknown variables.

*Food: I estimated 10 lbs for 7-8 days including coffee. That's a bit heavy, as 1 lbs per day is the usual goal, but I know I'll need it. I just don't perform well without sufficient calories.

Some of these things, I'm looking to cut corners. In others, I need to cut corners, but I can't afford the upgrade. For example, my sleeping bag comes in at 3.2 lbs. It was "Ultralight" by the standards of 1999, but the equivalent bags today are coming in at a little over a pound if you're willing to shell out $400+ (that' upgrade won't happen this year). Same thing on the down jacket, mine (that I also bought in 1999) came in at 20 oz. Newest models are running 9 oz. Those to upgrades alone would save me almost 3 pounds, but I can't afford it.

What can I trim and what looks heavy? Since we'll be hunting with full packs and covering extremely difficult terrain, I need to trim down to 40 lbs. I can probably compromise on a pound of food, possibly 1.5 lbs, but I know I am going to be more than 7 lbs. Expected Temp range is 30-80 degrees


Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 7
Boots: 30
-----
707.75 oz/ 44.23 lbs

Bow: 68.8

Total: 776.55/ 48.53 lbs
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3587886 - 02/14/14 07:44 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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I'd ditch the extra base layers, neck gaiter, extra boots, outer pants, and down jacket (unless you sleep in it).

I'd also replace the rain gear with a poncho (http://www.golite.com/Poncho-Tarp-P885.aspx) 7 ounces compared to 34.4. All you do with rain gear is put it on to wait out a storm, then take it right back off. This is assuming you're wearing leg gaiters, which are a necessity.

Make sure you pack enough variety for food. Otherwise, you'll just be starving yourself while you pack around a bunch of carp you can no longer stand to eat. I've returned with food on every single one of my trips.

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#3587898 - 02/14/14 07:53 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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Your pack weighs almost 8 pounds. Next to the sleeping bag this is probably the most expensive thing. You should be able to cut 2.5 pounds here with an upgrade.

http://www.rei.com/product/844652/rei-xt-85-pack#specsTab

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#3587906 - 02/14/14 07:58 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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Add a pair of Crocs for camp shoes. You'll thank me later.
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#3587908 - 02/14/14 07:59 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
I'd ditch the extra base layers, neck gaiter, extra boots, outer pants, and down jacket (unless you sleep in it).

I'd also replace the rain gear with a poncho (http://www.golite.com/Poncho-Tarp-P885.aspx) 7 ounces compared to 34.4. All you do with rain gear is put it on to wait out a storm, then take it right back off. This is assuming you're wearing leg gaiters, which are a necessity.

Make sure you pack enough variety for food. Otherwise, you'll just be starving yourself while you pack around a bunch of carp you can no longer stand to eat. I've returned with food on every single one of my trips.


None of the clothes, assesories or boots are "extra." I'm wearing those, and am counting the total weight I am carrying (and wearing). My resistance to ditching the rain gear is in the case we get socked in with rain for several days or the entire trip. I have considered the poncho though -might could make that decision depending on the forecast. Another Problem with a poncho is it's difficult to bowhunt in and doesn't breathe very well.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3587959 - 02/14/14 08:40 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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Add leg gaiters, Tylenol Pm, earplugs, extra lighter (first aid kit), TP, baby wipes (these can be dried and rejuvenated with a couple drops of water), and 2 pairs of merino wool boxers (burn 1 on day 4).

Tylenol PM and earplugs are to keep the bears away. The Colorado mountains will be completely silent in September, not even bugs will be making noise. You will hear leaves drop. This will solve that problem for you. I wear earplugs anytime I'm backpacking in black bear country anymore. Besides, you've already survived a shark attack, what's the chance of you being attacked by a bear?

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#3587979 - 02/14/14 08:58 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
Add leg gaiters, Tylenol Pm, earplugs, extra lighter (first aid kit), TP, baby wipes (these can be dried and rejuvenated with a couple drops of water), and 2 pairs of merino wool boxers (burn 1 on day 4).

Tylenol PM and earplugs are to keep the bears away. The Colorado mountains will be completely silent in September, not even bugs will be making noise. You will hear leaves drop. This will solve that problem for you. I wear earplugs anytime I'm backpacking in black bear country anymore. Besides, you've already survived a shark attack, what's the chance of you being attacked by a bear?


Yeah, looks like I forgot to add the weight of TP, wipes (plan to dehydrate most of them), and merino boxers. I was just planning on one pair. Is that a mistake?
Tylonel PM -good idea. I'll probably bring multivitamins, too. I do have some gaiters, I'll have to check their condition, though.

As I'm inching closer to 50 lbs, I've got to start cutting. We were talking about sharing a stove and pot which would cut 5-10 oz, but we had also discussed splitting up some to cover more ground.

Pack: I would like to upgrade to a Stone Glacier pack, but I doubt it's in the cards this year. Will that REI pack carry exceptionally heavy loads (100 lbs +) for meat hauling? That's my concern with a "budget" pack. They are fine on 60 pound loads, but come up short when hauling heavy loads.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588083 - 02/14/14 10:51 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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I would start training pack goats right now, they can carry about 40lbs each and if you get hungry you of all people will know how to cook one.

I say take all that gear on a 2 day hike here in TN (go to the Smokies). You will then see what non hunting essiantials you will need.

Socks are a good investment too, merino wool, keep a clean pair to sleep in.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3588096 - 02/14/14 11:15 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
I would start training pack goats right now, they can carry about 40lbs each and if you get hungry you of all people will know how to cook one.

I say take all that gear on a 2 day hike here in TN (go to the Smokies). You will then see what non hunting essiantials you will need.

Socks are a good investment too, merino wool, keep a clean pair to sleep in.


Planning on doing a 2-3 day backpacking trip in the Ozarks to test a couple of things, mainly the tarp system. I also want to see what I can do with some backcountry food. I have an idea I want to experiment with, just need to test it out. If it works, it could potentially give me the calories I need at minimal weight.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588334 - 02/15/14 09:01 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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When I hiked from GA to the Smokies a couple years ago I ate a fraction of the food I brought but used just about everything else. Like Buzz said, you will likely return with food and typically it is the heaviest thing you pack.

I wish you luck with the food experiment, if you can shave weight there and still keep your nutrition and hunger pains at ease then you will do good.

X2 on crocs, super lite weight and your feet will love you. Plus they are good for water crossings. I strap mine on the outside of my pack.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3588495 - 02/15/14 10:52 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Camp Shoes: This is a hotly debated topic amongst ultra light backpackers and hunters these days. Some guys are carrying the 5 Finger Shoes and similar and you can get some of those that weigh only 5 ounces. I've been out of the backpacking game for awhile, but I never carried camp shoes in the past even though some of my partners did. For creek crossings, I always removed my insoles and socks and crossed the creek in my boots. For camp, I'd either walk around with my boots unlaced or barefooted. I can definitely see the allure of having camp shoes, but it seems like a luxury. They are also redundant. If I can figure out how to get below 40 lbs, I'll reconsider, but right now, its all about seeing where I can cut weight and not add it. The Softshell jacket is my current target. I could replace it with a 2nd merino shirt and shave close to a pound. Theoretically, if we are on the move, I won't need a jacket, maybe my rain jacket to cut the wind. I'm wondering if I could get by with a single Merino shirt + rain jacket + down jacket (when needed). That's a tough one, I feel like I need a midlayer option. The down jacket is too warm to move in. Hmm.

I hear you on getting burned out on food items, though, I don't recall ever returning from a trip with excess food. At the same time, thinking back, I don't recall much of the details of eating on backpacking trips. I guess when you are just backpacking and don't have the weight of hunting specific gear, you have a little more latitude. Other backpacking trips for me were climbing trips, where we were also hauling climbing gear in with us. Those were usually very heavy packs going in and out, so I reckon we just ponied up on that end and hauled the loads. We would set up a camp and climb in an area for several days at a time in the backcountry. I remember snacking on a lot of jerky, dried pineapple and macadamia nuts.

So, anyway, my idea for dealing with food is to make a batch of Pemmican. A cupcake portion is socked full of protein and gets you ~500 calories. I was thinking that I could get by, at least on a certain number of dinners, merely by eating a piece of pemmican and mixing a ~3,000+ calorie, super concentrated drink with a mixture of protein powder, hydrate and recover mix, and quality sports drink mix (Cytomax or similar). Theoretically, I could have a ~4,000 calories meal, socked full of protien, simple carbs, and vitamins in just a few ounces. The theoretical problems with a meal such as this is that it will take you 20-30 minutes before you start to feel full. Psychologically, you ate a cupcake and a drink after a long day of extreme excursion. The question is, psychologically, will that do it? I was thinking that I could alternate dinners with that and Mountain House (or similar) meals, meaning that I would not be eating cooked food on half of the night out. Sounds good in theory, but I need to experiment with it first. With a selection of nuts, dried fruit, jerky, and homemade power bars to get me through the day, I think I could stay within the 1 lbs per day range, but cutting corners like that is the only way I am going to be able to do it. Under those conditions, My body is going to scream for 5,000+ calories a day and that's all there is to it. Also, my body seems to draw energy best from fat and protein sources. Lately, I've really only been eating a single, small cup of steel cut oats or a single sweet potato as my only sources of carbs each day. Energy levels are great and I've been training hard. In order to stay strong and keep my energy levels up, I'm going to have to figure out how to achieve that with minimal weight. So, the pemmican + super concentrated drink seems like the most direct and lightweight route from A (food) to Z (optimal performance).

If that doesn't work out, it will be back to the drawing board. I know that a lot of hardcore guys are ditching stoves altogether these days, but I ain't going anywhere or doing anything without a cup of coffee in the morning and that's non negotiable. I as on a 7 day+ backpacking trip in WY with my dad back about 12 years ago, or so and our stove crapped out on the 2nd morning. My dad said "oh, well, I guess we'll do without and said, "No way. You go ahead and I'll catch up." I left my pack and trail rain back out, jumped in my dad's truck, drove to Jackson Hole, bought a new stove (and drank a cup of coffee), drove back, trail ran my way back in, put on my pack and started hiking. I caught up with my dad's camp late that night. I don't remember how many miles that was exactly, but I was to say it was around 35 miles. I know we were at least 10 miles in when the stove crapped out. Hey, I'm serious about having my cup of coffee in the morning ;\)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588566 - 02/15/14 11:55 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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I reconfigured the weight lay out. A lot of people don't count the weight of the clothes they are wearing or even their optics. IMO, weight is weight regardless of where you are wearing/carrying it. My total weight is 10 lbs heavier than my pack weight. You'd have to convince that you wouldn't feel the difference in 10 lbs when gaining a couple of thousand feet of elevation before it would not get considered as part of the weight you are carrying. But, for the sake of clarity (and for the fact that it looks lighter on paper):

Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 2
-----

Base Pack weight: 598.2/ 37.38 lbs


Bow: 68.8

Clothes/Optics:
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
Boots: 30
Socks: 4

109.65 / 6.8 lbs

Grand Total: 776.65/ 48.54
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3588790 - 02/15/14 03:38 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Pack: I would like to upgrade to a Stone Glacier pack, but I doubt it's in the cards this year. Will that REI pack carry exceptionally heavy loads (100 lbs +) for meat hauling? That's my concern with a "budget" pack. They are fine on 60 pound loads, but come up short when hauling heavy loads.

The REI XT85 is an awesome hauler. It can easily handle more weight than I am comfortable carrying. Do a search on Bowsite or Rokslide for info. Several forum members use it and have posted about it. By cutting off some unnecessary parts, it can be trimmed down to below 5 pounds.

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#3588814 - 02/15/14 03:59 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
A lot of people don't count the weight of the clothes they are wearing or even their optics. IMO, weight is weight regardless of where you are wearing/carrying it.

You won't catch me doing this. I don't weigh anything anymore. My pack weighs what it weighs and I've got to carry it no matter what. Don't get me wrong, I've done enough of this that I could probably tell you what it is within a couple pounds. But, I'm more concerned with being able to be somewhat comfortable and enjoying myself more while on a hunt.

I'm a tent person and I want 2 hot meals a day. It's what helps me hunt to the best of my ability. Although this year I may become a tipi person and pack a wood burning stove with me. I've been on hunts where I've been miserable, lost focus, and blew opportunities. No more.

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#3588847 - 02/15/14 04:28 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D
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#3589192 - 02/15/14 09:08 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D


That's how I figure it...I could easily make it a few days if I became lost or ran out of chow. At some point this summer I'm gonna take the tipi and stove plunge. That way I can carry a lighter bag and more chow The Mystery Ranch 6500 I have weighs nearly 10 empty.

A person could just about drive themselves nuts trying to cut weight. I have read where guys have cut the edges off of their maps, toothbrushes in half and God forbid....1 pair of drawers. Powder and baby wipes only work for so many days.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3589212 - 02/15/14 09:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Poser, you seem very analytical over this, you actually seem like the ultralight backpackers I met on the trail. I for one try my best within my budget to cut as much weight as possible but I also feel if you can train and prep yourself for a heavier weight you give yourself a huge advantage. I also loose the fun when I think to much about it.

My feet are my life source, therefore good boots, merino socks, and crocs are a must. No way you can let your feet breath and boots dry some by wearing them in camp.

For food, I have tried everything for the most part but nothing like ramen noodles to make you feel full and give you that quick endorphin like feeling. Then I take supplements, energy dense bars for the nutrition side. Food is a highly debatable topic as well, but knowing your body (like you do) is key. I can survive 5 days in the backcountry with 2,000 cal or less per day, water is my key element. Ramen and a snickers bar can carry me 20 miles in the mountains, when I get back to town a micro brewery and brick oven pizza joint is my first stop.

Bottom line is this; you will cut all that weight then hopefully at the end of the hunt you will be packing out more weight than you ever imagined. A nice mature bull elk aint skinny by no means.

What is your favorite backpacking coffee? I like the starbucks via, its my splurge when I go hiking.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3589218 - 02/15/14 09:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
I'm also developing a new concept over the winter. I have established a solid layer of energy around my midsection. I figure if I can keep this until my hunt, I can easily handle less food. \:D


That's how I figure it...I could easily make it a few days if I became lost or ran out of chow. At some point this summer I'm gonna take the tipi and stove plunge. That way I can carry a lighter bag and more chow The Mystery Ranch 6500 I have weighs nearly 10 empty.

A person could just about drive themselves nuts trying to cut weight. I have read where guys have cut the edges off of their maps, toothbrushes in half and God forbid....1 pair of drawers. Powder and baby wipes only work for so many days.


Kuiu is releasing a new series of packs next month. The Ultra 6000 which weighs in at 3.9 lbs. price, surprisingly, cost is $350. That being said, there has been criticism of their Icon series packs. Though, for the weight, price point and the ability to seperate the pack from the frame for meat hauling, it's definitely one to consider. The Stone glacier and Kifaru packs are all in the $600+ range.

As far as weight goes, I'm definitely off the "light is right" philosophy, if you can afford it. Shaving ounces anywhere you can by cutting tags off clothes, sawing toothbrushes in half etc all add up.

Have you guys seen the "Wooby" trend to save weigh on full sleeping bags?
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3589223 - 02/15/14 09:36 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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what are your plans if you take an elk? At the time of yr you are going, you wont have a large time frame to get an 800lb animal out. Believe me, I know. Packing in sounds great, but without horses or mules, getting meat out is a monster of a job if packing out on pack frames. We hike in from our main base camp daily, 3-5 miles, but many times when we have taken Elk we had to get them out that day, and head down the mountain to get them to a processor. If warm at all, the black flies and yellowjackets will cover the meat. Meat bags are a must, as well as skinning as quick as possible. Just keep this in mind, because if you pack in deep in bow season, you will lose meat unless you have 5-6 people in great shape that have pack frames, and are able to get it out asap. Had a buddy that went a couple yrs ago by himself, packed in several miles, killed a nice 5x5, and lost over half the elk due to warm weather, and no help. Going light is great with horses, but you have got to be in daily range of a vehicle during bow season, in the event you have to get a elk out. Now, during gun season, mid Oct. onward, yes, much cooler, usually some snow, meat can be hung, more time to get it out. One tip, if you must hang meat, hang it in dark timber, much cooler, keep the sun off it. Just trying to help you out. Ive been 16 yrs, we've took 30 plus elk. Wish you the best. My last advice, take plenty of water, or you wont make it. You cant drink enough.

Edited by tickweed (02/15/14 09:42 PM)
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3589232 - 02/15/14 09:51 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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I have a friend who has an Icon pack. I haven't had the chance to fiddle with it much. With my MR bag, it will carry far more than I can physically tote up and down a mountain. I have seen the Wooby bags but I'm a cold sleeper. I have a Big Agnes Storm King and I sleep just fine in it. If it wasn't so big, I'd carry my Cabelas Alaskan -40 bag, but it doesn't compress down to about the size of a mini fridge.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3589239 - 02/15/14 09:56 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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3 of us toted a cow out in one trip, about 3 miles. We had to help each other up as we all had about 100+ lbs of elk and gear. I agree whole heartedly on having a plan to get an elk out. Another thing is that if you aren't familiar with horses and tack, then you have no business trying to figure it out when you get to the trail. It is a disaster waiting to happen.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3589273 - 02/15/14 10:40 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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I have not heard of the Wobby, had to look it up. But I do use a liner in my REI down radiant bag, which by the way is awesome! IMO their is nothing better in its price range.
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3589475 - 02/16/14 09:05 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
1shot1kill
4 Point


Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 404
Loc: unicoi county tn us

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I went on the second rifle hunt in 2013. If I had it to do over I would have left the insulated clothing at the house. They are nice in the early mornings but you will warm up quick when you start putting the miles in. Also if you have insulated boots such as Rocky Bearclaws etc, ditch them, use a lightweight 6" waterproof hiking boot with good socks. Make sure you take extra pair of socks, and mole skin. I took my GPS also and didn't use it just added weight, all you need there is a good topo map and compass. If you do decide to take your GPS I have a 24K Topo Colorado base map if your interested. Good luck on your hunt
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#3589532 - 02/16/14 10:05 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
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Mud Dauber
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Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker


Bottom line is this; you will cut all that weight then hopefully at the end of the hunt you will be packing out more weight than you ever imagined. A nice mature bull elk aint skinny by no means.

What is your favorite backpacking coffee? I like the starbucks via, its my splurge when I go hiking.


Yeah, my plan is to be uninhibited by my pack weight on a daily basis while
hunting, though I intend to train for hauling heavy loads of 100+.

Coffee: Yeah, the via is lightest. I do a have silicone coffee maker setup that's light, but the ground coffee itself adds up if you are talking more than 3-4 days. That is a total luxury, but I'll probably go with the Via on this trip, Seems to be the best quality vs. weight ratio, don't you think?
_________________________
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3589565 - 02/16/14 10:40 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
what are your plans if you take an elk? At the time of yr you are going, you wont have a large time frame to get an 800lb animal out. Believe me, I know. Packing in sounds great, but without horses or mules, getting meat out is a monster of a job if packing out on pack frames. We hike in from our main base camp daily, 3-5 miles, but many times when we have taken Elk we had to get them out that day, and head down the mountain to get them to a processor. If warm at all, the black flies and yellowjackets will cover the meat. Meat bags are a must, as well as skinning as quick as possible. Just keep this in mind, because if you pack in deep in bow season, you will lose meat unless you have 5-6 people in great shape that have pack frames, and are able to get it out asap. Had a buddy that went a couple yrs ago by himself, packed in several miles, killed a nice 5x5, and lost over half the elk due to warm weather, and no help. Going light is great with horses, but you have got to be in daily range of a vehicle during bow season, in the event you have to get a elk out. Now, during gun season, mid Oct. onward, yes, much cooler, usually some snow, meat can be hung, more time to get it out. One tip, if you must hang meat, hang it in dark timber, much cooler, keep the sun off it. Just trying to help you out. Ive been 16 yrs, we've took 30 plus elk. Wish you the best. My last advice, take plenty of water, or you wont make it. You cant drink enough.


Tickweed,

Good question. My plan, as of right now, is to train for hauling heavy loads. I've started focusing on some Olympic lifts: deep squats, snatch, deadlift, thrusters etc to build core strength. I also rigged up this 50 lbs "pill" for my backpack. I intend to make 2 more of them and do some training with up to 3 of them:



While my focus on gear is to shed weight and be ultralight so that I am unhindered while hunting, I plan to be able to deal with hauling 100+ pound loads of meat over difficult terrain. They area that I am looking at, it appears that it is possible to be within 5 miles of a road most or all of the time. Given that, we could potentially split up and one of us bring the vehicle around to a point closer to the meat.

I usually skin, quarter and pack whitetail out of the woods. In fact, this past season, I did that with every deer I killed even when hunting on private land and could have driven up to or very close to the kill site. I did that primarily just to get better and more efficient at it. I've definitely experience the green flies and yellow jackets before, even in November. I've also experienced black flies out West (not in relation to meat, unless you are talking about the chunks of meat they'll bite off your head! ), so that's definitely a consideration, but yeah, the plan would be to get the meat bagged and hanging. From there, I'd say our first priority is getting the meat out, so even if we have to leave our gear and come back later a day or 2 later for it, we'll ferry meat, possibly splitting up and relocating the truck to a closer location is applicable. Also, based on what you told me in the past, I think we'll look at going later in September rather than earlier.
_________________________
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#3589568 - 02/16/14 10:43 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: 1shot1kill]
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Mud Dauber
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Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: 1shot1kill
I went on the second rifle hunt in 2013. If I had it to do over I would have left the insulated clothing at the house. They are nice in the early mornings but you will warm up quick when you start putting the miles in. Also if you have insulated boots such as Rocky Bearclaws etc, ditch them, use a lightweight 6" waterproof hiking boot with good socks. Make sure you take extra pair of socks, and mole skin. I took my GPS also and didn't use it just added weight, all you need there is a good topo map and compass. If you do decide to take your GPS I have a 24K Topo Colorado base map if your interested. Good luck on your hunt


I don't think I would use insulated boots unless I were hunting in the Winter in AK. Nothing worse than having sweaty feet when its cool out. I'm going to go with Zamberlan Guides. I have a pair of Vasques that I've had for a number of years, they still have a bit of life in them, but I think I'll retire them from hardcore use.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3589572 - 02/16/14 10:51 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
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Mud Dauber
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Posts: 13547
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I have a friend who has an Icon pack. I haven't had the chance to fiddle with it much. With my MR bag, it will carry far more than I can physically tote up and down a mountain. I have seen the Wooby bags but I'm a cold sleeper. I have a Big Agnes Storm King and I sleep just fine in it. If it wasn't so big, I'd carry my Cabelas Alaskan -40 bag, but it doesn't compress down to about the size of a mini fridge.


You own a -40 degree bag ? That's like what you sleep in at Camp 5 on Mt Everest. I have -15 Degree down bag from my Alpine days. That thing is toasty, but even at colder temps, I never felt like I needed a bag that warm. I sleep pretty warm. Put me in a mummy bag and zip it up, and I'll start roasting. Very seldom do I sleep all night with a mummy bag fully contained. Maybe the first 20-30 minutes to get it warmed up.

My partner has a MR bag and he loves it.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3589949 - 02/16/14 06:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10828
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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Not sure what kind of socks you have, but I wear a pair of these every day. I've worn them for up to 20 days straight. It's the only pair I wore hunting in wyoming this past season. Only time I took them off was at night when I put on super thick poly socks to sleep in.

http://www.swiftwick.com/pursuit-seven-black-9627-prd1.htm
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#3589962 - 02/16/14 06:44 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I have a friend who has an Icon pack. I haven't had the chance to fiddle with it much. With my MR bag, it will carry far more than I can physically tote up and down a mountain. I have seen the Wooby bags but I'm a cold sleeper. I have a Big Agnes Storm King and I sleep just fine in it. If it wasn't so big, I'd carry my Cabelas Alaskan -40 bag, but it doesn't compress down to about the size of a mini fridge.


You own a -40 degree bag ? That's like what you sleep in at Camp 5 on Mt Everest. I have -15 Degree down bag from my Alpine days. That thing is toasty, but even at colder temps, I never felt like I needed a bag that warm. I sleep pretty warm. Put me in a mummy bag and zip it up, and I'll start roasting. Very seldom do I sleep all night with a mummy bag fully contained. Maybe the first 20-30 minutes to get it warmed up.

My partner has a MR bag and he loves it.


That cabelas bag is the cats azz. I cannot sleep in clothes hardly. Getting all twisted up and then I'm awake more than I'm sleeping. When we hunt from the truck and come back at night, that's the only real time the bag gets used. 2 falls ago in Colorado it never got below 20 at night and I think I can describe as what it feels like to be a pig in a blanket. The MR pack is well worth the money IMO.

What kind of pack is that in the picture? Looks like an Eberlestock.
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#3590019 - 02/16/14 07:15 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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UPSman,

That is the Erbelstock X2 which is my Whitetail pack. I'm actually going to send it back to the company next month for some repairs. I've give it a good beating in the last couple if years and some of the tension straps are partially or fully torn. I think some of that damage was from plowing through thickets.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3590134 - 02/16/14 08:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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100 lbs in an X2 will put that pack to the test. I would ask to see if they would reinforce the stitching on the shoulder straps. Nothing would suck worse than a strap tearing loose 5 miles from the truck with a pack loaded with meat or antlers. I have a friend who had a sitka pack ( one of the smaller ones ) take a crap on him while carrying out a black bear hide and skull. He described it rather colorfully.
_________________________
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Benjamin Franklin


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#3590562 - 02/17/14 09:23 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
100 lbs in an X2 will put that pack to the test. I would ask to see if they would reinforce the stitching on the shoulder straps. Nothing would suck worse than a strap tearing loose 5 miles from the truck with a pack loaded with meat or antlers. I have a friend who had a sitka pack ( one of the smaller ones ) take a crap on him while carrying out a black bear hide and skull. He described it rather colorfully.


That's not the pack I'll be taking out West. -not quite the capacity I need for a backpack hunt. They do claim the pack is fully capable of handling Elk quarters though. Erbelstock makes pretty nice packs, but they tend to not be on the Ultralight side of things, actually, far from it. I've noticed that on the Long Range Hunting Forum, those guys are all Erbelstcok or nothing for spike and base camp hunting. They are definitely tough packs that should last for years of use, but the weight of their material + all of the bells and whistles really add up. Also, most of their packs do not offer adjustable torsos. This X2 is a little short for me, actually. I can adjust the pack to ride a bit lower on my back and its fine for day hunts (though not optimal weight positioning for heavy weight), hauling out Whitetails etc, but I wouldn't want to use it for heavier loads on multiday hunts.

Hunting packs: Its hard to have just one that does it all....
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3590636 - 02/17/14 10:17 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Alright, first gear weigh in for a 7-8 day, backpack style (no spike camp) CO Elk hunt. Actual gear came in at 44.23 (without bow), 48.63 with bow, but there are still have a couple of unknown variables.

*Food: I estimated 10 lbs for 7-8 days including coffee. That's a bit heavy, as 1 lbs per day is the usual goal, but I know I'll need it. I just don't perform well without sufficient calories.

Some of these things, I'm looking to cut corners. In others, I need to cut corners, but I can't afford the upgrade. For example, my sleeping bag comes in at 3.2 lbs. It was "Ultralight" by the standards of 1999, but the equivalent bags today are coming in at a little over a pound if you're willing to shell out $400+ (that' upgrade won't happen this year). Same thing on the down jacket, mine (that I also bought in 1999) came in at 20 oz. Newest models are running 9 oz. Those to upgrades alone would save me almost 3 pounds, but I can't afford it.

What can I trim and what looks heavy? Since we'll be hunting with full packs and covering extremely difficult terrain, I need to trim down to 40 lbs. I can probably compromise on a pound of food, possibly 1.5 lbs, but I know I am going to be more than 7 lbs. Expected Temp range is 30-80 degrees


Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 7
Boots: 30
-----
707.75 oz/ 44.23 lbs

Bow: 68.8

Total: 776.55/ 48.53 lbs



What kind of water filter do you have? I know there are some lighter options out there (Life Straw is one I've read about, but never tried. That's probably the most minimalist available, besides the tablet approach). Either way you go, be sure to have some water-treating tablets as a backup. I've heard of too many filter-failure stories. Or, look up the ratio of drops of bleach per gallon, and you could use that instead for a cheap fix that takes up almost zero space.

Is the bladder like the Camelback kind? You might just carry one of those half-size water bottles for on-the fly drinking and lose the bladder weight.

The trekking poles are an odd thing for weight consideration...when you are walking, the pole is resting on the ground half the time and you aren't actually carrying it, per se. That's over a pound of pseudo-weight right there :). Another thought from a guy that carries a walking/shooting stick sometimes...could you get by with just one, or would that knock you off balance too much? I understand why you prefer two...

I second the rain gear comments. If I plan on hunting in actual rain, I will bring my breathable suit, but it is not particularly light. Another option might be to only carry the legs, and use a good poncho for the upper and lose that part of the weight. Just throwing out ideas.

Lastly, I know very little about stoves, since I've never used the backpacking styles. How long is 8 ounces of fuel supposed to last? Is it the Sterno-based kind, alcohol, or what? Could you rig your setup to work with a small wood fire in a pinch (as a fall-back plan, not as primary)?

Best of luck!
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#3590694 - 02/17/14 10:43 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Just as food for thought...

My cousin hunts "way back there" in Colorado for elk almost every year. He's a game warden in Perry County, TN. I know that he has contacts with folks at the closest town, and has hired a guy with a pack mule or two to help him get his elk out in times past. That's something you might look into - get someone's contact information, and then if the weather gets warm, you could use that as a fall-back plan instead of trying to make 4 or 5 long trips.
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#3590729 - 02/17/14 11:14 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Alright, first gear weigh in for a 7-8 day, backpack style (no spike camp) CO Elk hunt. Actual gear came in at 44.23 (without bow), 48.63 with bow, but there are still have a couple of unknown variables.

*Food: I estimated 10 lbs for 7-8 days including coffee. That's a bit heavy, as 1 lbs per day is the usual goal, but I know I'll need it. I just don't perform well without sufficient calories.

Some of these things, I'm looking to cut corners. In others, I need to cut corners, but I can't afford the upgrade. For example, my sleeping bag comes in at 3.2 lbs. It was "Ultralight" by the standards of 1999, but the equivalent bags today are coming in at a little over a pound if you're willing to shell out $400+ (that' upgrade won't happen this year). Same thing on the down jacket, mine (that I also bought in 1999) came in at 20 oz. Newest models are running 9 oz. Those to upgrades alone would save me almost 3 pounds, but I can't afford it.

What can I trim and what looks heavy? Since we'll be hunting with full packs and covering extremely difficult terrain, I need to trim down to 40 lbs. I can probably compromise on a pound of food, possibly 1.5 lbs, but I know I am going to be more than 7 lbs. Expected Temp range is 30-80 degrees


Empty Pack: 126.4
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 11
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 12.5
XLite Sleeping Pad: 12.5
Soft shell Jacket 24
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 35.2 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Tent stakes: 2.1
Stove: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 12
Fuel: 8
*Kill Kit: 30 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 7
Boots: 30
-----
707.75 oz/ 44.23 lbs

Bow: 68.8

Total: 776.55/ 48.53 lbs



What kind of water filter do you have? I know there are some lighter options out there (Life Straw is one I've read about, but never tried. That's probably the most minimalist available, besides the tablet approach). Either way you go, be sure to have some water-treating tablets as a backup. I've heard of too many filter-failure stories. Or, look up the ratio of drops of bleach per gallon, and you could use that instead for a cheap fix that takes up almost zero space.

Is the bladder like the Camelback kind? You might just carry one of those half-size water bottles for on-the fly drinking and lose the bladder weight.

The trekking poles are an odd thing for weight consideration...when you are walking, the pole is resting on the ground half the time and you aren't actually carrying it, per se. That's over a pound of pseudo-weight right there :). Another thought from a guy that carries a walking/shooting stick sometimes...could you get by with just one, or would that knock you off balance too much? I understand why you prefer two...

I second the rain gear comments. If I plan on hunting in actual rain, I will bring my breathable suit, but it is not particularly light. Another option might be to only carry the legs, and use a good poncho for the upper and lose that part of the weight. Just throwing out ideas.

Lastly, I know very little about stoves, since I've never used the backpacking styles. How long is 8 ounces of fuel supposed to last? Is it the Sterno-based kind, alcohol, or what? Could you rig your setup to work with a small wood fire in a pinch (as a fall-back plan, not as primary)?

Best of luck!


Crosshariy.

My current filter is an old MSR pump. I intend to upgrade to Sawyer Squeeze Filter which weighs 3 ounces: http://www.rei.com/product/837824/sawyer-squeeze-water-filter-plus#descriptionTab
It comes highly recommended on the RockSlide forum.

Yes, the Bladder is a CamelBack bladder. Having the water constantly available means you end up drinking more water and staying hydrated. I've been using bladder systems for 15 years or so and find them to be well worth it when on the move.

I'd still consider the trekking poles weight that one is carrying. In some or many cases, I may have my bow in my hand, which means the poles would be on my pack. The trekking poles become worth their weight on steep and technical downhill, especially in the case of hauling heavy loads such as meat. There are lighter poles on the market, but having a pair with twist locks as opposed to screw locks is critical for heavy weight. If you were just backpacking, you could go with a trimmed down pair.

As far as rain gear, I scored the lightest rain gear on the market during a holidays sale. I have had a chance to test it in some harsh conditions both hunting, hiking and running and found it to be excellent on the breathability front. Its also pretty good at cutting wind and given that CO conditions can produce sustained ~60 mph winds, often for consecutive days, I think a full rain suit is much more ideal than a poncho. I think I'm going to ditch my soft shell, especially in that case, I'll need somekind of shell for protection from the wind, might as well be my rain jacket which is 18.9 oz. As of right now, I'm feeling pretty confident on this front. My partner, however, is planning to go the poncho route, so, if we are faced with harsh conditions, should be an interesting comparison. (current pack weigh in presently has me lighter than him, too).

Stoves: I have a couple of camping stoves. For this trip, I think we'll go with the propane blend cannisters as it is the lightest option. In general one 8 oz. canister of SoPro fuel will be sufficient to boil water for two people over four days. Each person carries one 8 oz cannister, we should be good. Wood burning stoves are an option and are becoming popular again with the ultralight crowd. There are a number of new wood burning stoves on the market and certainly something to consider, though they are not as cheap as you might expect. You also have to plan on gathering wood, which, on a dark to dark hunt is another task to deal with. Its a tradeoff for sure.

So, all in all, on my list above, I think I can cut close to 2 lbs by swapping my softshell for a 2nd merino shirt and upgrading my water filter. If I upgrade my pack, I'll get another 5 lbs right there, so that gets my pack weight closer to 30 lbs than 40, and my total weight right around 40. My goal is to shave to get my total weight at 40 lbs. I feel like 40 lbs is a weight that I can move with very comfortably even on extreme terrain and I can effectively hunt with it on my back. With those upgrades, a total of $400, the only item I may end up cussing at is my sleeping bag. I'm going to try washing the bag and see if the weight lightens a bit. Its become a bit compressed over the years and the loft may lighten up.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3590736 - 02/17/14 11:17 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
Just as food for thought...

My cousin hunts "way back there" in Colorado for elk almost every year. He's a game warden in Perry County, TN. I know that he has contacts with folks at the closest town, and has hired a guy with a pack mule or two to help him get his elk out in times past. That's something you might look into - get someone's contact information, and then if the weather gets warm, you could use that as a fall-back plan instead of trying to make 4 or 5 long trips.


do you know what the cost is on that? with a few planned upgrades, I'm going to be cutting it close on my budget. My plan is to do the actual trip for $1,000. "Actual trip" is tag, fuel and incidental costs while on the road. Gear upgrades, I'm looking at as long term purchases so that I can do annual DIY hunting trips for $1,000 or less. I'm guessing that having a mule team on call is no cheap affair.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3590756 - 02/17/14 11:29 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Via is by far my favorite instant coffee, it is pricey of course but I have yet had any better. It is lite weight, only negative I could find would be the empty packets you have to deal with, not that it is a major issue either.
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#3590770 - 02/17/14 11:45 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 4764
Loc: Shelby County

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I wish you the very best of luck Poser. My own experience all of which is during the first rifle season in NW Colorado-Meeker/Craig area is of little value because of the temperature difference. However:

You cannot imagine what it is like camping at 7,000 feet and then walking 4 miles a day minimum up hill and down. The best physical shape you can get in is gonna be key to happiness.

Splitting expenses 3 ways is the only way you are going to keep under your budget.

In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.

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#3590779 - 02/17/14 11:58 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
I wish you the very best of luck Poser. My own experience all of which is during the first rifle season in NW Colorado-Meeker/Craig area is of little value because of the temperature difference. However:

You cannot imagine what it is like camping at 7,000 feet and then walking 4 miles a day minimum up hill and down. The best physical shape you can get in is gonna be key to happiness.

Splitting expenses 3 ways is the only way you are going to keep under your budget.

In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.


1988? Yeah, I'd expect $1,000 or more today, don't you think? If I had mules and were on call by hunters who I knew were spending $$$ anyway, and I was expected to show up to a location at any given time, I don't think I'd consider it for less than $1,000, probably more in the $1500+ range and that would still be condition dependent.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3590903 - 02/17/14 02:01 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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Registered: 08/29/99
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Maybe I missed but what unit are you hunting?
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#3590915 - 02/17/14 02:12 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
Maybe I missed but what unit are you hunting?


I think we are going with 74.
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#3590960 - 02/17/14 02:57 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
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A lot of cost will depend on the cost of gasoline at the time of the hunt. $1000.00 will be cutting it close, that's only a hair over $400.00 after your either sex tag and license. Groceries, gas, food out and back, maybe a motel one night, or two. You are doing a great job planning, and getting in shape. I look forward to your opinion after you have packed your bull out. I promise, no matter how great a shape a person is in, being from the flat land hurts. You will be fine, and have the time of your life.
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#3590972 - 02/17/14 03:11 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
A lot of cost will depend on the cost of gasoline at the time of the hunt. $1000.00 will be cutting it close, that's only a hair over $400.00 after your either sex tag and license. Groceries, gas, food out and back, maybe a motel one night, or two. You are doing a great job planning, and getting in shape. I look forward to your opinion after you have packed your bull out. I promise, no matter how great a shape a person is in, being from the flat land hurts. You will be fine, and have the time of your life.


Yeah, $1,000 may be a little tight, but we'll be splitting gas, so that should be more in the $200 range. One of the landowners of a property that I hunt has a ($800,000) condo in Gunnison that we can use on the way in and out of the mountains to get a night's sleep, shower, acclimate for a day, secure our laptops etc. So, conceivably, I should be able to get it done on that budget.
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#3591241 - 02/17/14 06:30 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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Let me check my maps. We have hunted 71 and 711 but nosed around in 74 a little I believe. You taking 40W all the way to Gallup NM? The drive from Gallup to Cortez is mind numbing. There is a reason they gave it to the Indians....Its like the face of the moon, there isn't a dang thing there.
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#3591259 - 02/17/14 06:38 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Crosshairy
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Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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I'll try to find out about the cost of pack-out mule service. I don't have his number handy, so it may take a while.

As far as your sleeping bag goes...
Can you tell if the fill material is what is especially heavy? I've actually heard of people modifying their sleeping bag by either cutting out fill material in certain spots (e.g. If you sleep on a pad, you might feel ok about pulling fill out of the bottom section), or replacing it with lighter, more efficient filler. Might be something to look into if you feel like the shell material is reasonably light.

Also, consider filling a weather balloon with helium and attaching to your pack. That's worth a pound or two there... \:\)
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#3591310 - 02/17/14 07:03 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
UPSman
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IF you are hunting NF, you have to use a person that is licensed to run pack animals (in the area you are hunting) if you use them to pack an elk out for you. Outfitters get testy over this. We used Blue Mesa Ranch to rent horses one year and he could not personally bring his animals onto NF land where we were hunting because of Tenderfoot outfitters having the licensing rights (for lack of a better term) in that area.
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#3591406 - 02/17/14 08:13 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
I'll try to find out about the cost of pack-out mule service. I don't have his number handy, so it may take a while.

As far as your sleeping bag goes...
Can you tell if the fill material is what is especially heavy? I've actually heard of people modifying their sleeping bag by either cutting out fill material in certain spots (e.g. If you sleep on a pad, you might feel ok about pulling fill out of the bottom section), or replacing it with lighter, more efficient filler. Might be something to look into if you feel like the shell material is reasonably light.

Also, consider filling a weather balloon with helium and attaching to your pack. That's worth a pound or two there... \:\)


The most appropriate bag I have for this trip (I have 3), is a TNF "Ultralight" long, down bag from 1999. Even though it's not treated, I'm guessing the surface material is the weight on this bag. The same model of bag is now lighter, though they probably use lower quality down then the they did in the 90s. Not sure if I would cut into it at this point. Now, my synergic bag that I've had since the early 90s, I suppose I could weigh it and potentially mess with its fill if it indeed has potential -good idea, actually.
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#3591872 - 02/18/14 08:54 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
tellico4x4
6 Point


Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 940
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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.


Have used various outfitters in CO over the past 25 years and this cost hasn't changed much at all. I just took a look at an Outfitters website that I have used in Meeker area, and they still only charge $250.00. Of course, you have to quarter the elk and get it down to a trail that is accessable by horse. If you have ever spent days packing an elk out on your back a piece at a time, the cost of hiring it done is money you won't regret spending.

I ran into a guy one time that was back packing an elk out who was a hurting puppy. Due to the almost vertical terrain he was in, and having about 100 lbs in pack, he had ripped two toenails off in his boots coming down the hill to trail. He still had about 4 miles to go to the trailhead.

Find an outfitter that does drop camps in your area, and I'm sure he'll be glad to pack an elk at a reasonable cost. Most of those guys are on the trail(s) daily packing anyway and are happy to get a few extra bucks for very little additional work. Adding an empty horse to a pack string is no big deal to them.

Secret is to get a method of communication set up before heading into the boonies. I had one of those SPOT gadgets one time that I used on a solo trip. You could pre-program a few messages into it. I set one up that went to my wife that had my packers phone number in it. That did two things in that it let her know that I was still alive, and when she called the packer, he already knew where to meet me.


Edited by tellico4x4 (02/18/14 09:03 AM)
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#3592393 - 02/18/14 04:00 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tellico4x4]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
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 Originally Posted By: tellico4x4
 Originally Posted By: DaveB
In 1988, pack mule service was $300.00 IF this or that or the other conditions were met. Out of reach for me at the time.


Have used various outfitters in CO over the past 25 years and this cost hasn't changed much at all. I just took a look at an Outfitters website that I have used in Meeker area, and they still only charge $250.00. Of course, you have to quarter the elk and get it down to a trail that is accessable by horse. If you have ever spent days packing an elk out on your back a piece at a time, the cost of hiring it done is money you won't regret spending.

I ran into a guy one time that was back packing an elk out who was a hurting puppy. Due to the almost vertical terrain he was in, and having about 100 lbs in pack, he had ripped two toenails off in his boots coming down the hill to trail. He still had about 4 miles to go to the trailhead.

Find an outfitter that does drop camps in your area, and I'm sure he'll be glad to pack an elk at a reasonable cost. Most of those guys are on the trail(s) daily packing anyway and are happy to get a few extra bucks for very little additional work. Adding an empty horse to a pack string is no big deal to them.

Secret is to get a method of communication set up before heading into the boonies. I had one of those SPOT gadgets one time that I used on a solo trip. You could pre-program a few messages into it. I set one up that went to my wife that had my packers phone number in it. That did two things in that it let her know that I was still alive, and when she called the packer, he already knew where to meet me.


Yeah, I've heard that the Spot devices are a popular choice. Check this thing out: https://www.meetearl.com/ -super cool and cheaper than most high end GPS units by Garmin or Magallan.
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#3592955 - 02/18/14 10:39 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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That is neat, I wouldnt mind checking in to this a little bit more. Wonder if the some of the GPS chips/downloads are compatible?
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#3608045 - 03/05/14 02:31 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Hey poser I'm in the same weight shaving boat. Have you considered selling your current sleeping bags and pack to up grade? You may be able to get enough money out of those to get lighter weight gear with minimal or no extra cost. I use backcountry.com and backcountrygear.com mostly for gear. 850+ fill power goose down is going to shave weight considerably. I've got a heavy Dana Design that I may not be using cause the sucker weighs nearly 9lbs dry. When I was in Kansas City cabelas I bought their alaskan I frame pack that is about 5.5lbs. It cost only $140 and feels surprisingly good with 40lbs corn loaded in it. Do you have a spreadsheet set up? If you would I could email you mine and all you have do is insert the item weight in ounces and it will automatically convert everything to lbs/ounces (not lbs/tenths). It also automatically highlights everything in red that is > than a pound.

Edited by ghosthunter (03/05/14 02:34 PM)
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#3608178 - 03/05/14 04:56 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Hey poser I'm in the same weight shaving boat. Have you considered selling your current sleeping bags and pack to up grade? You may be able to get enough money out of those to get lighter weight gear with minimal or no extra cost. I use backcountry.com and backcountrygear.com mostly for gear. 850+ fill power goose down is going to shave weight considerably. I've got a heavy Dana Design that I may not be using cause the sucker weighs nearly 9lbs dry. When I was in Kansas City cabelas I bought their alaskan I frame pack that is about 5.5lbs. It cost only $140 and feels surprisingly good with 40lbs corn loaded in it. Do you have a spreadsheet set up? If you would I could email you mine and all you have do is insert the item weight in ounces and it will automatically convert everything to lbs/ounces (not lbs/tenths). It also automatically highlights everything in red that is > than a pound.


Yeah, I have the spreadsheet from the Rokslide forum. -pretty useful.
I have decided that I'm definitely upgrading my pack to a ultralight sub, 4 pound pack.

Sleeping bag: I could probably some decent money for my -20 degree bag. The present version of it lists for $999. I think it was $450 back in 1999. Hmm. That may be the last thing I deal with as my weight shaving situation has improved somewhat. I'll post the updated list soon.
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#3608190 - 03/05/14 05:08 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
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What pack you getting?
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#3608205 - 03/05/14 05:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
What pack you getting?


Considering the Kuiu Ultra 6000 that launches this month. 3.9 lbs, $350.
http://www.rokslide.com/easyblog/entry/western-expo-kuiu-ultra-6000-pack

I was looking hard at the Stone Glacier and Kifaru packs, but the price tag puts them both out of my league.
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#3608346 - 03/05/14 08:23 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Wow!! That's incredible to get a pack that light. Definitely something I'll be interested in. I hope you get it. I'd like to hear all about it. Keep us posted.
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#3608387 - 03/05/14 09:19 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Wow!! That's incredible to get a pack that light. Definitely something I'll be interested in. I hope you get it. I'd like to hear all about it. Keep us posted.


Yeah, there were complaints with their first generation of packs, but, apparently they have been solved on the 2012 and later Icons. Being their second pack design roll out, hopefully these come off with no problems. I've seen pics on the KUIU Instagram page of the weight tests on the frame and it is pretty impressive.
If you look around that the hunting specific pack designs, 2014 is definitely the "year of the pack" with lots of new carbon fiber frame designs, ultralight and capable of carrying up to 150 lbs loads.
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#3608620 - 03/06/14 07:43 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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Man, you guys are serious.
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#3609050 - 03/06/14 03:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
ghosthunter
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Registered: 11/30/04
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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
Man, you guys are serious.


You bet! My pack was like 56 pounds last year and I swore never again😉
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#3609073 - 03/06/14 04:11 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
 Originally Posted By: tickweed
Man, you guys are serious.


You bet! My pack was like 56 pounds last year and I swore never again😉


I agree. The difference between a 40 pound pack and a 50 is HUGE. While its not rocket science to get a 7 day pack under 40 pounds for backpacking, throwing in gear for hunting takes some careful consideration to stay under 40 lbs.
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#3609229 - 03/06/14 07:43 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Registered: 11/30/04
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Currently I'm under 32 lbs minus water.
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#3609254 - 03/06/14 08:17 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Currently I'm under 32 lbs minus water.


Where are you going hunting and what?
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#3609265 - 03/06/14 08:29 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Colorado elk. This will be my
Third trip this coming September.
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#3609347 - 03/06/14 09:26 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Colorado elk. This will be my
Third trip this coming September.


Cool, we'll have to talk more.
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#3609834 - 03/07/14 01:29 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Registered: 11/30/04
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What are you carrying to cut wood if anything at all?
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#3609839 - 03/07/14 01:36 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
What are you carrying to cut wood if anything at all?


Not planning on cutting any wood. Do you usually build a fire in Sept?
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#3609905 - 03/07/14 03:12 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Always. I absolutely love fires. Helps me relax in the evenings. And it does get chilly at night. I've currently got a 21" sven saw that weighs 13.1oz but am looking at a little buck saw that they claim weighs 3.95oz.
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#3610249 - 03/08/14 06:16 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
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Registered: 11/30/04
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Also, don't forget a windicator. It's nearly a must.
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#3610310 - 03/08/14 07:51 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Also, don't forget a windicator. It's nearly a must.


Oh, yeah. I keep that in my optics harness -it may not have made the list, but its in there.

Do you use the fire for cooking in place of carrying a stove?

Also, if you are not familiar, Titanium Goat makes some ultra lightweight products at reasonable prices: http://www.titaniumgoat.com/products.html

Their cheapest Bivy sack is only 6 oz and $85. Granted, this is not a fully waterproof bivy, more of a water resistant, extra protective/warmth layer for your sleeping bag.
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#3610859 - 03/08/14 10:35 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Registered: 11/30/04
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Do you have horses lined up
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#3611069 - 03/09/14 10:14 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Do you have horses lined up


No, planning on humping meat out on our backs.
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#3611119 - 03/09/14 11:35 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
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Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Always. I absolutely love fires. Helps me relax in the evenings. And it does get chilly at night. I've currently got a 21" sven saw that weighs 13.1oz but am looking at a little buck saw that they claim weighs 3.95oz.


I have a wyoming saw, perfect for cutting wood and bone. Never know when you might need to cut some limbs for whatever reason; splint, fire, meat pole, shooting sticks, blind, etc.

To each his own, but if I was camping in a elks backyard and onto some animals I would not build a fire. Smell is their #1 defense and in CO lots of hikers and hunters and when a elk smells smoke they may vacate out of habit.

But I love a fire at night too so it would be hard not to build one. I usually just hike a bit in the mornings from my camp spot so I dont worry about bumping anything.
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#3611134 - 03/09/14 11:51 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Do you have horses lined up


No, planning on humping meat out on our backs.
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Do you have horses lined up


No, planning on humping meat out on our backs.


That was my plan the first hunt until we killed and realized how difficult that was going to be. We had to use horses. No way the two of us were going to be able to get the meat off the mountain in the heat without loosing it. My game plan involves lining a horse up. You can rent horses out there.
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#3611137 - 03/09/14 11:55 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Always. I absolutely love fires. Helps me relax in the evenings. And it does get chilly at night. I've currently got a 21" sven saw that weighs 13.1oz but am looking at a little buck saw that they claim weighs 3.95oz.


I have a wyoming saw, perfect for cutting wood and bone. Never know when you might need to cut some limbs for whatever reason; splint, fire, meat pole, shooting sticks, blind, etc.

To each his own, but if I was camping in a elks backyard and onto some animals I would not build a fire. Smell is their #1 defense and in CO lots of hikers and hunters and when a elk smells smoke they may vacate out of habit.

But I love a fire at night too so it would be hard not to build one. I usually just hike a bit in the mornings from my camp spot so I dont worry about bumping anything.
I'll check out for that saw, thanks. As for the fires we try not to camp right in them. We make a little spike camp then walk to where want to start hunting. The fires don't seem to be hurting us. We hear elk bugle in the night.
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#3613175 - 03/11/14 02:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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This doesn't address cutting bone, but Gerber makes a retractible hand saw (a bit safer than a folder, in my opinion) that weighs maybe 4 ounces and will slice through smaller limbs. I've cut 4" diameter trees down with it several times without much difficulty.

Also, the price is right!

I'm pretty sure this is the same one that I have...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/830534/...er-handle-black
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#3620845 - 03/19/14 06:42 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
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Poser---

Kuiu is running a sale right now. The 5200 and 7200 are marked down.

https://store.kuiu.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1852
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#3620930 - 03/19/14 08:00 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
turk870
6 Point


Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 665
Loc: centerville

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
Poser---

Kuiu is running a sale right now. The 5200 and 7200 are marked down.

https://store.kuiu.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1852
just saw that, they are still higher than the new ultra.i do like the pockets on the icon.the ultra is lighter.been bouncing both of these packs around my head(the price point is good)also been looking at stone glacier,and kifaru.think im going to try for a high country early season mule deer hunt in co.the kuiu with the price is in the lead,i still have an under quilt and a top quilt to buy.but since I can disguise this as backpacking nassisaties think I can get them with minimal lip.

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#3620997 - 03/19/14 08:55 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: turk870]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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Me personally...I'd roll with the icon before the ultra. Before I spent the coin I'd take a serious look at a one of the Paradox packs. One of the company owners is out of middle Tn and they are getting very good reviews from the guys running them.
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#3622122 - 03/21/14 09:18 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
Poser---

Kuiu is running a sale right now. The 5200 and 7200 are marked down.

https://store.kuiu.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1852


Saw that, but still think I'm going to go with the Ultra.
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#3623948 - 03/23/14 11:06 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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Got my tarp shelter in and set it up this morning. It uses two trekking poles as the main supports.



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#3631711 - 03/31/14 01:09 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Crosshairy
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Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
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I meant to post this the other day...

Google "aerogel in sleeping bags"

have you ever heard of it? It's a material that we are starting to use in industrial insulation applications at the refinery, and I suspect that variations on the material will be used for all sorts of things in coming years. Coolest part - it's a great insulator, and the lightest solid material known to man.

Haven't looked into the cost, but I wonder if you could re-work your equipment and save a ton on weight.
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#3631753 - 03/31/14 01:47 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Interesting. I looked it up and found this:

When it comes to outdoor gear, aerogel holds tremendous potential. A mere 3 millimeters of aerogel insulates better than a layer of goose down 10 times as thick. But there’s one big hurdle to overcome before aerogel starts appearing in ultralight, ultrathin, and ultrawarm winter gear. Conventional forms of aerogel are relatively stiff and inflexible, which makes it problematic for use in gear like clothing and sleeping bags that require a soft and flexible drape to provide warmth and comfort.

I'm guessing that technology will change over time, though.
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#3637371 - 04/06/14 07:53 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
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Loc: chattanooga

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Nice set up😉
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#3653549 - 04/23/14 06:02 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Crosshairy]
turk870
6 Point


Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 665
Loc: centerville

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poser,you get your ultra yet.i wound up ordering a kifaru longhunter with bikini frame.they had a sale on the bag.shouldnt have to wait too long since they have the bag on hand.now just have to get an under quilt
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#3653783 - 04/23/14 10:13 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: turk870]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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Registered: 08/29/99
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Poser...heads up if you're wanting an Ultra 6000.
http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads...age#Post8805137
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#3653989 - 04/24/14 08:38 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: turk870]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: turk870
poser,you get your ultra yet.i wound up ordering a kifaru longhunter with bikini frame.they had a sale on the bag.shouldnt have to wait too long since they have the bag on hand.now just have to get an under quilt


No, not yet. I probably won't have anymore extra gear money until later in May. IRS set me back. My buddy just put a order in for the Kifaru + bikini frame.
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#3653993 - 04/24/14 08:39 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
Poser...heads up if you're wanting an Ultra 6000.
http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads...age#Post8805137



Appreciate it, but don't have the extra cash at the moment. I do, however, have a individual free shipping coupon from Kuiu that is good until June, so should be able to get the same deal.
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#3706966 - 07/10/14 04:31 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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Well, after months of diligent research and changing my mind multiple times on which one to spend the money on, I ended up going with the Exo Mountain Gear 5500: http://exomountaingear.com/pack-features/

For awhile, I was convinced to go with Stone Glacier, but the latest reviews of the Exo in relation to the price point sealed the deal. Literally, everyone is raving about this pack. There is a video on the site of a 250 pound load test. http://exomountaingear.com/videos/

While I'll never put 250 pounds in it, I've definitely been training hard to deal with loads up to 150 pounds. The reviews on the Kuiu packs just aren't adding up. Everyone says they are fine up until 60 pounds, but seem to have too much flex for heavy loads and "extreme" loads over 80 pounds have been getting terrible user feedback. There is also a questions of durability.

The Stone Glacier is a solid choice, but coming in about $100 higher than the Exo. My partner went with the Kifaru, which is also a solid choice, but with the upgrades, he dropped quite a bit of cash. I tried the pack on with weight and its a solid design, but I'm not a huge fan of the tubular, butterfly storage system. I went down that road with my Erblestock pack. I prefer a single, large compartment.

The Exo uses a titanium frame. http://exomountaingear.com/frame-features/

Stone Glacier and Kuiu are carbon fiber. Kifaru uses a mixture of aluminium, titanium and wood. Mystery Ranch also was a consideration for awhile, but not being a hunting specific pack, it does not have a meat load shelf. It is however rated for extreme weight. You may have to ditch the contents of your pack in order to haul meat with it. Its going to be a month before the pack is ready to ship, but that should still give me enough time to get it properly fitted and dialed in.

Man, hunters never had it so good with pack options. 2014 is the year of the hunting pack with multiple boutique, American made companies putting out well designed, products using high end materials.
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#3707375 - 07/11/14 07:20 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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Poser, when are you going?
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#3707416 - 07/11/14 07:48 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
Poser, when are you going?


Leaving on the night of 9-18, arrive afternoon of 9-19, acclimate (9,000 feet) that night and 9-20, hunt 9-21 thru 9-28.
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3707770 - 07/11/14 05:11 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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That's a good looking pack. I haven't heard of them until now. Hopefully you will get to tote some meat and horns out of the Rockies with it.
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#3707779 - 07/11/14 05:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
That's a good looking pack. I haven't heard of them until now. Hopefully you will get to tote some meat and horns out of the Rockies with it.


Its a relatively new company and the packs are only available direct from the manufacture. In fact, if you didn't pre order, there are waits on the packs as they manufacture in batches. The 2014 Pre orders went out back in May, with the 2nd batch just shipped a couple of weeks ago. Next round is August, which may be the last batch to go out before hunting seasons start to open up. With the first shipment, a bunch of guys were able to test the packs out on spring bear hunts.
There was some buzz about them last year, but the 2014 model is getting raved about.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3711015 - 07/15/14 04:31 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Latest weigh in. I shaved some more weight on the sleep system by going with a lighter air mattress (7.9 oz). There is still a bit of speculation and give or take on a couple of specific weights, especially with regards to food, but looks like I'll definitely come in with a pack weight of less than 40 lbs, which has been my goal all along.

Empty Pack: 82
Sleeping Bag: 51.2
Tarp Shelter: 29
Trekking Poles: 18.8
Water Filter: 3
Sleeping Pad: 7.9
2nd Merino shirt: 9
Down Jacket: 20.5
Food: 160oz
Firstaid kit: 10
Water: 70.4 (2 liters)
Bladder: 6 oz
Rain gear (top & bottom): 34.4
GPS w batteries: 5.4
headlamp w/ batteries: 3.2
Spare batteries: 6
dry sacks: 3
Pot/cup/spork: 6
Fuel: 8
Lighter: .4
*Kill Kit: 24 (game bags, knife, 550 cord)
socks 2
Toothbrush: 1.2
wipes/TP: 8
-----

Base Pack weight: 562.2/ 35.13 lbs (including 2 liters of water)


Clothes, boots and optics:

Merino Base layer pants: 9.1
Merino Base Layer shirt: 8
Outerwear Pants: 18.5
Gloves: 2.6
Merino Neck gaiter: .75
Merino hat: .75
Hat: .75
Optics + Harness: 35.2
Boots: 132
Socks: 4

210.9/ 13.8 lbs

Total load out: 48.3 + Bow (4.5 lbs)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3711062 - 07/15/14 05:32 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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Loose the toothbrush. You may be fooling yourself by saying you will use it now, but in reality you may brush your teeth once, at best, in a week. Loose the neck gaiter, you won't wear it in September. I used to always take one, but after half a dozen trips and never taking it out of the pack, I no longer bother.

ADD A GOOD CAMERA!!! Yes, I did shout that. Don't keep it in your pack. Make a pouch or buy one and keep it within reach. Take hundreds of pictures. If nothing else, it will slow you down. And, that's a good thing.

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#3711524 - 07/16/14 07:41 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Buzzard Breath,

I see where you get your name from
I have always brushed my teeth on backpacking and backcountry trips and don't see why I wouldn't in this case. (I don't have a dental care plan and haven't been to the dentists in over 10 years, so I try to take care of my teeth).

On the neck gaiter, I was actually thinking that it may come in more handy for keeping the sun off the back of my neck. The treeline in the area we will be in is right around 12,000 feet, which is a lot of UV exposure. But, yeah, under normal temperature range for Sept, it doesn't seem to be a necessary piece of gear for insulation. Its just a thin piece of merino that weight less than an ounce. If I end up breaking 40 pounds with my pack weight, it will be on the list of weight savings, though I'd probably need to add in some sunscreen or a brimmed hat to protect my head and neck from UV. Hmm.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3711596 - 07/16/14 08:37 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
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 Originally Posted By: Poser
On the neck gaiter, I was actually thinking that it may come in more handy for keeping the sun off the back of my neck. The treeline in the area we will be in is right around 12,000 feet, which is a lot of UV exposure. But, yeah, under normal temperature range for Sept, it doesn't seem to be a necessary piece of gear for insulation. Its just a thin piece of merino that weight less than an ounce. If I end up breaking 40 pounds with my pack weight, it will be on the list of weight savings, though I'd probably need to add in some sunscreen or a brimmed hat to protect my head and neck from UV. Hmm.

I never thought of that. I come back from every one of these trips with my neck, face and hands sun burned. I tell myself that I need to pack sunscreen the next time, but never remember.

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#3712128 - 07/16/14 07:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Great list!!! I'm definitely going to go over it more thoroughly. Thanks for posting. What water filter are you using that weighs only 3oz?
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#3712131 - 07/16/14 07:45 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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What game bags are you using? And maybe I missed it but what stove?
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#3712544 - 07/17/14 09:59 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Great list!!! I'm definitely going to go over it more thoroughly. Thanks for posting. What water filter are you using that weighs only 3oz?


I'm using this Sawyer system: http://www.campsaver.com/squeeze-water-filter

You have a couple of options with it.

There are 3 different sized bags that you can use to scoop water up and then drain through the filter into your bladder. If you look at the 2nd pic, you'll see the filter installed on one of the bags.

Your other option, is to install the filter on your bladder hose and use it as an inline filter. Under this scenario, your bladder would contain the dirty water and would be filtered on the way to your mouth. You could also fill up secondary bottles from your bladder system.

The filter will also fit the mouth of most retail water bottles.

I intend to use the filter and the smallest (.5L) bag, which is a 3oz combo. My partner is using the same filter as an inline setup, which is a little lighter. I don't like the idea of carrying dirty water in my bladder. I also intend to carry 2 bag/bladder style water bottles (32 oz wide mouth and a 16 oz). Those will be for extra water storage if we decide to camp in one spot for more than 1 night. That will also give me a bottle to mix drinks. I'm going to carry some "Energy & Focus" mix as well as some concentrated, dried greens. I eat a couple of bowls of greens daily and, given that my body is used to getting that much fiber, I don't want to cut that off suddenly, so I'll get my daily greens in liquid form. -good source of vitamins and minerals, ultra lightweight, too.
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It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3712563 - 07/17/14 10:11 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
What game bags are you using? And maybe I missed it but what stove?


I use Alaska brand game bags. I've tried different ones and these are my favorites because of the amount of stretch: http://www.santanaoutdoors.com/alaska-game-bags/

For a stove, we're running a Jetboil, which will be a shared load: http://www.campsaver.com/flash-pcs-stove

Its not the lightest on the market, but the ease of use + the speed at which it boils water is a fair tradeoff. -being able to boil water in 90 seconds saves a considerable amount of fuel, so that saves weight of some, but not all, of the lighter systems. Its a tough choice and you have to consider how many times a day you will be boiling water. If there are 3 people sharing a stove and you are boiling water 9x a day (3x at breakfast, 3x at dinner) over the course of 7 days, then that is 63 boils total. If you're talking about a 90 second boil time vs. 3-4 minutes, then that fuel expenditure will add up considerably (not to mention time spent waiting to have coffee in the morning).

Here is a comparison chart that will make your head explode: http://zenstoves.net/StoveChoices.htm
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It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3712678 - 07/17/14 12:36 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Here is my sleep system. I have a 1 oz sheet of Polycro for ground/moisture protection in my floorless shelter and then I'm running a newest generation of 3/4ths length Thermarest. These things have improved considerably. I have a first generation one that is MUCH heavier and less comfortable. This one weight 7.9 oz. I plan to lay my head on my pack and from the knee down will be directly on the polycro. I'm a side and stomach sleeper so this should work fine.




I really wish I could afford to upgrade my sleeping bag. While this thing was top of the line way back in 1999, its fairly heavy for its warmth ratio by today;'s standards. A lot of guys have gone to using "quilts" in the early season, which is essentially a modified sleeping bag with no head insulation or zipper. You just wrap up in it like a blanket. You can get those down to around a pound. I'm halfway tempted to break out my wife's sewing machine and cut and re stitch this bag back up as a quilt to shave some weight. My bag is weighing in at 51.2 (though, I recently washed it, so it may be a little lighter). You can run a quilt for ~20 oz, or a newest generation 30 degree bag for 26-30 oz. That's a big weight savings.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3713182 - 07/18/14 04:39 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Thanks for all the info. I purcashed one of those sawyer filter and keep it in my fly fishing vest and drink from river without using the bladder. I haven't tried it inline with my water bladder deal. I currently use a katydyn pump, which I love but is a little heavy. The sawyer seems to be I little difficult to guzzle water if you're dying a thirst but I've only use it to drink straight from the river with the supplied straw. I may see how it works inline with my bladder. Nice thing about the pump is you can get water from a little puddle that otherwise you couldn't scoop up. My first trip to Colorado me and my hunting buddy had to get water from a hole in a rock that has water in it.

I really like your setup. Thanks. I may have more questions cause that's an extremely light setup.
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#3713349 - 07/18/14 10:13 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Ghosthunter,

Yeah, my old filter system is a Sawyer pump weighing in at a hefty 13oz. That thing will also give you a workout
But, yeah, the bag system isn't ideal for super dry areas with shallow water sources, though you can use it like a straw as your described. If you have abundant water sources such as lakes and streams, it is ideal.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3713440 - 07/18/14 01:19 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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Your sleeping bag will be just fine. The time of yr you are going, it probably wont be really that cold. Ive hunted the rifle hunts many yrs in mid Oct., and even then it can be warm. After this first trip, you will see its not really that big of a deal. One thing you might, and probably wont need at mid Sept, is a set of chains for your truck.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3713485 - 07/18/14 02:34 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
Your sleeping bag will be just fine. The time of yr you are going, it probably wont be really that cold. Ive hunted the rifle hunts many yrs in mid Oct., and even then it can be warm. After this first trip, you will see its not really that big of a deal. One thing you might, and probably wont need at mid Sept, is a set of chains for your truck.


Yeah, I just wish that bag were lighter. Its the 400 pound gorilla in my ultralight approach.

I think we have the snow chains covered, but thanks for reminding me. I'll double check on that. I know we talked about it once. It would be unusual for any meaningful snow in Sept, but it certainly has happened before. Shoot, I was in Yosemite once and it freakin' snowed in July!
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3713628 - 07/18/14 07:47 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Maybe it's been mentioned already but how are you planning to get the meat out if you down one?
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#3713641 - 07/18/14 08:10 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Maybe it's been mentioned already but how are you planning to get the meat out if you down one?


Man up and pack 100-150 lbs loads for 1-3 trips, depending on the amount of meat, terrain and distance. -been training for that.
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#3713664 - 07/18/14 08:51 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Is this your first trip?
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#3713695 - 07/18/14 09:27 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Is this your first trip?


Yep. Total greenhorn.
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#3713873 - 07/19/14 09:38 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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I thought I was gonna pack the meat out on my first trip till we actually downed one and reality set in. But we had bout 6/7 miles to go. How far you gotta go?
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#3713941 - 07/19/14 11:41 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I thought I was gonna pack the meat out on my first trip till we actually downed one and reality set in. But we had bout 6/7 miles to go. How far you gotta go?


I don't know. We're going to be nomadic in our hunting style. I'd expect at least 5 miles, though we may be able to reposition the truck a bit closer to us if necessary. We've been training hard for carrying heavy loads on steep terrain -lots of hill repeats, stair wells and trails with heavy packsaddles well as conditioning workouts, endurance, and strength training. I've done backcountry climbing trips before, so have some experience with heavy packs (climbing gear + bivy gear) at elevation.

I'll also add that we have both invested in a high end, meat hauling packs, fully capable of hauling heavy to extreme loads. Most packs on the market, even most of the mid-grade hunting packs designed for meat hauling (Badlands, Erblestock, Tenzing etc) get poor grades in the +80 lbs load as they just flat lack the suspension or, in the case if Erblestock (I've packed many Whitetails in one), have a poor load lifter design that becomes painfully obvious once you exceed 60 lbs.

Did you end up calling a mile team in?


Edited by Poser (07/19/14 12:29 PM)
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#3714004 - 07/19/14 02:01 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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We ran into some gentlemen that had horses who helped us. We coulda got the meat off the mountain on our backs but we woulda had done it in the dark cause of the weather being so hot in mid day. It woulda taken two trips and I don't know if the remaining meat would've survived. I didn't want to risk the meat going bad,plus we woulda lost a few extra days of hunting caused it woulda consumed up time getting the meat back to the truck. Just a side note... I'm not sure where you're hunting but the blow flies were terrible where we where. And those alaskan game bags ain't gonna stop them from blowing eggs all over the meat and ruining a lot if it. This year I will have TAG bags.
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#3714097 - 07/19/14 05:20 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
UPSman
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A good liberal dose of black pepper will keep the flies off your meat. 100lbs of backpack is a stinkin' load in the mtns. I looking forward to a post hunt review of what worked for you and what didn't. Trust me...if you shoot an elk (and I hope you do) you will be cussing that thing 100 times if you hafta to carry it any kind of distance or thru a blowdown ;\)
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#3714103 - 07/19/14 05:23 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
A good liberal dose of black pepper will keep the flies off your meat. 100lbs of backpack is a stinkin' load in the mtns. I looking forward to a post hunt review of what worked for you and what didn't. Trust me...if you shoot an elk (and I hope you do) you will be cussing that thing 100 times if you hafta to carry it any kind of distance or thru a blowdown ;\)


Yeah, I was thinking about black pepper. I've heard that chili powder works real well, too.
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#3714185 - 07/19/14 08:02 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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You got a saw for firewood?
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#3714219 - 07/19/14 09:40 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
You got a saw for firewood?


Wasn't planning on messing with a fire unless we have Backstraps to cook.
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#3714303 - 07/20/14 07:26 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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We always build a fire in the evenings and sometimes in the morning. Helps warm the body and soul. And we did eat some fresh tenderloin over it! 😊
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#3714335 - 07/20/14 08:56 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
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I just ordered me a regular length neoair xtherm. Backcountrygear has them in sale.
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#3714354 - 07/20/14 09:50 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I just ordered me a regular length neoair xtherm. Backcountrygear has them in sale.


Sweet. I think you'll like it. You'll be amazed how light that thing is.
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#3714357 - 07/20/14 09:54 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
We always build a fire in the evenings and sometimes in the morning. Helps warm the body and soul. And we did eat some fresh tenderloin over it! 😊


Yeah, it sure sound comforting. I'm just not sure if it will be so practical for September when we'll be moving camp on a daily basis. Because we'll be setting up and tearing down each night and morning, I doubt we'll have time to mess with a fire. Usually, on backpacking trips, I don't build a fire unless we set up camp early and I'm just killing time. In this case, any available daylight time should be spent hunting. If we were base or spike camping, I totally would plan on building a fire, though.
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#3714374 - 07/20/14 10:35 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
And those alaskan game bags ain't gonna stop them from blowing eggs all over the meat and ruining a lot if it. This year I will have TAG bags.


Meant to ask you. I do have one tag bag, but there doesn't seem to be too much of a difference between them and the Alaska brand bags. How do they perform differently? I was just looking at a ultralight Tag kit for boned out meat. Its about $50, which is pricey for game bags. If its the difference between having fly larva or not, I'll definitely add it to my upgrade list, I just didn't realize there was much a difference.

On a side note, isn't it amazing how quickly flies and bees show up to your kill site, even on a cold november morning. It blows my mind sometimes that the pretty much the moment you cut into a deer, green flies show up. Its like, what were these flies doing 5 minutes ago, how did they get here so quick, and what are they even doing out on a cold morning?
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#3714383 - 07/20/14 10:56 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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I've never seen a tag in person so I can't speak from experience but only from reviews. Those flies out west are different than our flies. The will lay a lot of eggs fast and you can literally see the eggs all over your meat. Does the tag you have appear very porrissed?
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#3714387 - 07/20/14 11:04 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I've never seen a tag in person so I can't speak from experience but only from reviews. Those flies out west are different than our flies. The will lay a lot of eggs fast and you can literally see the eggs all over your meat. Does the tag you have appear very porrissed?


Seems about the same as the Alaskan, just a different material, though, The Alaskan bags are much more stretchy and that stretching may allow the flies to get at the meat. I suppose that, if you were hanging the bags, you could hang the bags by tying directly to the the bone rather than the bag and you won't get that stretch. That, of course, assumes, that you weren't boning out. I know a lot of guys like the Caribou brand bags as well.


Edited by Poser (07/20/14 11:10 AM)
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#3715166 - 07/21/14 02:08 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
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Today: Temperature in
Denver is 91 degrees and the humidity is 17%.
Vail is 80 and 23%.
Gunnison is 76 and 33%


I'm thinking, Mr. Poser, that water is gonna be a problem for you no matter what filtration stuff you carry. I would have a LOT in my vehicle. An awful lot.

By now you have looked at the USGS maps, Google earth & others. When you shoot an elk you MAY wanna have the straightest trek to your camp/vehicle. Grab a map and dry run a few scenarios. Camp is here, elk dead over there, can I get back this way? No, dramatic elevation drop must be a cliff. Here? no, box canyon. Here, no, river, well maybe. Just an idea. You may want to just plain walk back the exact way you came in.

Link to traffic cameras more or less: http://www.cotrip.org/m/cameraDtl.xhtml?id=10085&rd=32


Edited by DaveB (07/21/14 02:22 PM)

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#3716244 - 07/23/14 07:51 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
Today: Temperature in
Denver is 91 degrees and the humidity is 17%.
Vail is 80 and 23%.
Gunnison is 76 and 33%


I'm thinking, Mr. Poser, that water is gonna be a problem for you no matter what filtration stuff you carry. I would have a LOT in my vehicle. An awful lot.

By now you have looked at the USGS maps, Google earth & others. When you shoot an elk you MAY wanna have the straightest trek to your camp/vehicle. Grab a map and dry run a few scenarios. Camp is here, elk dead over there, can I get back this way? No, dramatic elevation drop must be a cliff. Here? no, box canyon. Here, no, river, well maybe. Just an idea. You may want to just plain walk back the exact way you came in.

Link to traffic cameras more or less: http://www.cotrip.org/m/cameraDtl.xhtml?id=10085&rd=32


Good suggestion. I've been doing that a bit: picking points A and B randomly and then examining how one would navigate between them. It may be possible, in some cases to send one person back to the truck to reposition it to a fixed point.

As fr as water, I'm seeing what appears to be ample water sources on the map. A friend I mine hunted mule deer pretty close (general area) and said they didn't have water difficulties. That being said, he's from AZ. I plan to carry a 3 L bladder + two 32oz bag/bottles, so, at maximum capacity, I can have 164oz of water.

-noted on keeping a cache of water at the truck. I've had some heinous experiences of the years if running out of water. I have a Story about dunkin my head in a mule trough at the Grand Canyon an another about drinking the water from a tuna can, but too dehydrated to actually eat it. Severe dehydration is a terrible thing.
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#3716250 - 07/23/14 07:56 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
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We pack water in each day as we hunt into our area, and stash extra at certain points, so its there if we need it.
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#3717170 - 07/24/14 07:58 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
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Mud Dauber
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I know a lot of guys carry a piece of closed cell foam for a glassing cushion. If I'm counting ounces, how important of a piece of gear is that? I do have an old Ridgecrest I could cut, or I could just sit on my pack. I've never done the hours of glassing thing before, but I sure need a pad for turkey hunting. Thoughts?
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#3717236 - 07/24/14 09:25 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
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Good question because I never carried one. Wanted to, needed to. Sitting on frozen ground and in 3-8 inches snow, yeah, you need something. Summer time I just do not know. May want to consider something inflatable. I like to stand. Sitting just seems to reduce what you can see.
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#3717905 - 07/24/14 09:10 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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I have a shorty Z mat that I carry for when it's wet and snowy. It makes a difference when you just don't want a case of the wet butt. This would work well also.
http://www.rei.com/product/829881/therm-a-rest-z-seat-pad

...or an old piece of foam b!tch (military sleeping pad) would do just fine also
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#3717995 - 07/25/14 04:47 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
ghosthunter
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I love to carry a little pad. Small weight for comfort. Each to their own.
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#3717996 - 07/25/14 04:48 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
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What's your bow setup? How many arrows you carrying?
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#3718356 - 07/25/14 04:45 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
What's your bow setup? How many arrows you carrying?


It's a bowtech pro40 from 2004. Long axle length, especially by today's standards. Next time I upgrade, I'll choose a lightweight bow. Mine isn't bad (aircraft aluminum) but the long axle length means more surface area = more weight. I'll probably carry 6 arrows. My bow is in the shop right now getting restrung and tuned. I plan to spend some time shooting with a pack on and with a elevated heart rate (burpees) once I have it back.
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#3718498 - 07/25/14 09:15 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
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I like to sit in brush or next to a tree, so I use the natural stuff laying around to sit on. Glassing is a all day adventure, but my patience is lacking so I never sit still very long. I also use a top layer to sit on if its not too cold out.
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#3718505 - 07/25/14 09:29 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
AT Hiker
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call the forest service and ask about stock tanks in the area, they are good water sources in a pinch.
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#3723080 - 08/01/14 01:36 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I've never seen a tag in person so I can't speak from experience but only from reviews. Those flies out west are different than our flies. The will lay a lot of eggs fast and you can literally see the eggs all over your meat. Does the tag you have appear very porrissed?


Seems about the same as the Alaskan, just a different material, though, The Alaskan bags are much more stretchy and that stretching may allow the flies to get at the meat. I suppose that, if you were hanging the bags, you could hang the bags by tying directly to the the bone rather than the bag and you won't get that stretch. That, of course, assumes, that you weren't boning out. I know a lot of guys like the Caribou brand bags as well.


I ended up ordering a set of Tag Bags. I got the set of BOMB bags which are smaller and lighter than the standard Elk bags -designed for boned out quarters and weight 10oz for the set.

http://www.pristineventures.com/products/game-bags.html

This new set was conceptualized by hunting expert, Aron Snyder. He's a renowned backpack hunter who goes the distance and comes back heavy. He's always wanted a smaller set than our standard 24" X 44" TAG bags, so he asked us to make the perfect set for hunters who de-bone their game to shed weight on long packouts. His harvests usually include big mule deer, trophy elk, and the BOMB pack comes in a 10-oz stuff sack with 6 bags inside, ready to use for seasons to come.
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#3723093 - 08/01/14 02:02 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
call the forest service and ask about stock tanks in the area, they are good water sources in a pinch.


I've studied the Topo map and Google earth. There seems to be an abundance of alpine lakes at the higher elevation at and near the treeline. There are several on the topo that appear to be permanent as well as a few on Google earth that may dry up from time to time. These are snow melt fed lakes. Studying the time stamped pics that people have uploaded on Google Earth, there seems to be an abundance of water in Sept. Several of the major drainages all seem to have creeks that flow regularly. There is a water tank in the area, but it is right next to a river anyway (its on a railroad track).
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#3723124 - 08/01/14 03:01 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
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In the yrs. Ive hunted in Colorado, most of the watering sign Ive seen was done at nite. If you get into an area with fresh elk sign, and the Bulls aren't bugleing, the best method I've found is to set up, keeping wind in mind, and do some calling. Sit in one spot for 30 minutes, if not successful, move into another area a little farther. Elk are very social animals, and many times you will be sitting there, and then hear them walking as they come in looking for you. Be prepared, because it can happen quick. When sitting up, make sure you have a good field of view in all directions, have an arrow nocked, pre estimate yardages. Get a good elk call, I use a hoochie mamma by Primos. Soft mews, chirps are great. If you get into an area with Elk, that aren't pressured, you will hear some bugleing. Play the wind, take your time, and remember, hes probably got cows with him. You can beat their eyes, ears, but not their noses.
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#3723144 - 08/01/14 03:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
In the yrs. Ive hunted in Colorado, most of the watering sign Ive seen was done at nite. If you get into an area with fresh elk sign, and the Bulls aren't bugleing, the best method I've found is to set up, keeping wind in mind, and do some calling. Sit in one spot for 30 minutes, if not successful, move into another area a little farther. Elk are very social animals, and many times you will be sitting there, and then hear them walking as they come in looking for you. Be prepared, because it can happen quick. When sitting up, make sure you have a good field of view in all directions, have an arrow nocked, pre estimate yardages. Get a good elk call, I use a hoochie mamma by Primos. Soft mews, chirps are great. If you get into an area with Elk, that aren't pressured, you will hear some bugleing. Play the wind, take your time, and remember, hes probably got cows with him. You can beat their eyes, ears, but not their noses.


Since it would be difficult to draw a body while seated on the ground, do you usually stand up in a situation like that?
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#3737284 - 08/19/14 12:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
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Poser-
You gone?

Just a friendly have fun, kill a big one, pictures are very important, wish i was there.

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#3737419 - 08/19/14 02:42 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
tickweed
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I usually build a nice blind, where I can be hide good, maybe try and sit on a log, or stand. Elk aren't hard to move on, especially if you can see them coming before they get on top of you.
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#3737471 - 08/19/14 03:24 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
Poser-
You gone?

Just a friendly have fun, kill a big one, pictures are very important, wish i was there.




Still about 4 weeks out.
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#3738432 - 08/20/14 04:17 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Hey Poser what's your final bag weight?
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#3738506 - 08/20/14 04:54 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Hey Poser what's your final bag weight?


Probably should have this finalized this weekend as I'm still messing with my food, but as of today:

Pack weight: 35.47 lbs

Optics, weapon, worn clothes, boots and trekking poles: 14.97 lbs

Total load out: 50.45 lbs

28% of my bodyweight.


Next year, I intend to upgrade to a sub 4 pound bow. My current bow, quiver and arrows came in at over 6 lbs which is heavy. That being said, I didn't have ultralight backpacking in mind when I bought it. Switching my sleep system from a mummy bag to a quilt (sub 20 ounces) is also on the 2015 upgrade list. Those two items alone should drop me ~6 pounds.
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#3739088 - 08/20/14 07:20 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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I think my final weight including water and bow strapped to the pack should be right at about 42lbs.
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#3740111 - 08/21/14 01:28 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I think my final weight including water and bow strapped to the pack should be right at about 42lbs.


That's pretty dang light if you are counting everything. How long are you going out?
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#3740178 - 08/21/14 02:10 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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8 days
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#3740179 - 08/21/14 02:10 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Yes that's everything except the clothes I'm wearing.
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#3740323 - 08/21/14 04:17 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Yes that's everything except the clothes I'm wearing.


That's pretty good. Sounds like we're pretty close if you count total load out. I always think about it terms of whether you are wearing it on your feet, your head or on your back, you are hauling it up the mountain

Sometimes you'll see guy's gear lists and they are bragging about 25 pound load outs, but don't count their weapon, water weight, optics etc. You pick your feet up all day and you can definitely tell the difference between a 5 pound pair of boots and a 2.5 lbs pair.

I just weighed out my food and came in at 9.85. I think I'll fill that extra .25 lbs out with jerky.

Breakfast: Granola+dried fruit+dried milk+whey protein:
-first 3 days is about 300-350 calorie breakfasts.
-last 4 days, I increased the portions to get 400+ calories
(thinking here is that I'll have some initial loss of appetite due to altitude and/or, I'll need more fuel the last few days than the first few days).
Coffee (starbucks vias) -may bring 2-4 extras in case we get caught in a storm or decide to brew up while glassing.

Lunch and snacks: Is presently about ~1,000 calories of pemmican, Promeal bars, some jerky (probably add more), almond butter, energy gel shot, Energy and Focus drink mix, Hydrate & recovery drink mix, superconcentrate of greens and fruit drink mix (1 serving = daily intake of fruit and veggies -I intend to drink 2. I presently eat leafy greens with 2 meals day + several pieces of fruit, so hoping I can compensate for that loss of daily fiber \:\/ ).

Dinner: Dehydrated meals (assorted brands) + 4 desserts (thinking I will use them the last 4 nights or spread them out depending on appetite). 800-1400 calorie dinners, depending on desert. I don't think I'm going to predesignate my dinners for certain days like the lunches. Rather, I'll just have a selection to chose from depending on my mood. I'm afraid that certain meals may sound repulsive or at least seem less than appealing with a little altitude nausea. I've been lucky in the past with this regard, but you never know who altitude if going to affect you. None of the American and Italian style dehydrated ever sound appealing to me so I end up taking all of the ethic options: Curry dishes, sweet & sour pork, jerk chicken, Southwestern Masa & Beef etc. I tend to like the Alpine Aire brand options better than Mountain House.

I shouldn't have a problem getting 2500 calories each day, but I have a feeling that once any altitude symptoms wear off, I'm going to go to bed feeling hungry. I'm guessing I'll come out of the mountains 7-10 pounds lighter with that caloric intake. At home, I generally eat more in the 3500-4000 calorie range.

What do you have packed up for food?
_________________________
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Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3740553 - 08/21/14 08:30 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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I should have paid more attention to how you have cut your weight. Looks like I'm going back to the West Elk Wilderness area for 3rd season. My happy butt is gonna end up having a heart attack. Have walked the last couple of nights with 50 lbs in my MR 6500. First off, it's hot at 10 pm and 2nd I'm nowhere in shape to do this.
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#3740577 - 08/21/14 08:49 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I should have paid more attention to how you have cut your weight. Looks like I'm going back to the West Elk Wilderness area for 3rd season. My happy butt is gonna end up having a heart attack. Have walked the last couple of nights with 50 lbs in my MR 6500. First off, it's hot at 10 pm and 2nd I'm nowhere in shape to do this.

Whenever I go into a hunt that I've not fully prepared for, I just tell myself that slower is smarter!

Poser, you may to acclimate your body to eating processed foods a couple weeks before leaving. I've had issues with that in the past. It can be like eating a giant block of cheese for a few days.

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#3740895 - 08/22/14 08:50 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I should have paid more attention to how you have cut your weight. Looks like I'm going back to the West Elk Wilderness area for 3rd season. My happy butt is gonna end up having a heart attack. Have walked the last couple of nights with 50 lbs in my MR 6500. First off, it's hot at 10 pm and 2nd I'm nowhere in shape to do this.


It seems like delivery guys are usually in pretty good shape from running up and down steps and being on their feet al day. Do you drive a feeder truck or other non delivery route?
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3740906 - 08/22/14 09:05 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Buzzard Breath
 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I should have paid more attention to how you have cut your weight. Looks like I'm going back to the West Elk Wilderness area for 3rd season. My happy butt is gonna end up having a heart attack. Have walked the last couple of nights with 50 lbs in my MR 6500. First off, it's hot at 10 pm and 2nd I'm nowhere in shape to do this.

Whenever I go into a hunt that I've not fully prepared for, I just tell myself that slower is smarter!

Poser, you may to acclimate your body to eating processed foods a couple weeks before leaving. I've had issues with that in the past. It can be like eating a giant block of cheese for a few days.


Yeah. I'm kind of worried about that. Too bad nobody makes dehydrated paleo meals. I thought about experimenting with homemade dehydrated meals, but, after doing some research, I found that most people find it just to be way too much work, especially in the experimentation phase. If you spend 30-50+ days a year in the backcountry, it would probably make sense financially to make you own meals ($7-$10 a pop would add up quick). I selected the least processed options as possible, but virtually all of them rely heavily upon grains and rice of which I eat very little.

I did find a company out of New Zealand that makes culturally appropriate dehydrated meals for that part of the world: http://www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz/bcc/

These 3 in particular:

Chicken Tikka Marsala
Moroccan Lamb
Roast Lamb and veggies

However, there is no distribution in the US so you would have to pay overseas shipping, which would be too $ unless you had a few people go in on an order.
That being said, comparing ingredients, I did find Alpine Aire to be generally less processed than Mountain House. Some people do complain about it being salty, but I didn't find it to be so. I think they use more salt to make up for lack of preservatives: http://www.rei.com/search?query=alpine+aire
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3741170 - 08/22/14 01:57 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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West Elk Wilderness. Been there many times. Beautiful country. Poser, have you ever been out West at all?
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#3741215 - 08/22/14 03:06 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
West Elk Wilderness. Been there many times. Beautiful country. Poser, have you ever been out West at all?


Yeah, I used to be a climber back in my 20s. I did backcountry rock and alpine routes in WY, CO, CA and WA. Also did numerous fourteeners and up to 18,500 feet of elevation. -been out in the backcountry for up to 10 days. Though, this is my first attempt at hunting out West.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3741392 - 08/22/14 06:32 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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New pack finally arrived. -dropped 70 pounds in the meat shelf pretty much right out of the box and it felt pretty good. I still need to tweak some adjustments, but, the titanium frame transfers the load directly to the hips very well with zero vertical flex. Side to side, the pack moves very well, there is plenty of clearance around the elbow for drawing, and the frame does not get in the way of your head when bent over or crawling.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3741421 - 08/22/14 07:18 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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Roast Lamb or Moraccan Lamb would be awesome on a backcountry hunt. I personally just stick with Mtn House because I've eaten a ton of them over the years and know which ones agree with me and which ones don't. Beef stroganoff and sweet and sour pork are probably my favorites. Chili Mac guts me to the point I need 3 hands in the middle of the night. One to unzip the sleeping bag, one to open the tent, and another to grab the tp as I run as far away from camp as I can get in the dark.
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#3741454 - 08/22/14 07:44 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Hey Poser what pack you get.

My food consist of cranola and coffee for breakfast, half a mountain house breakfast skillet for lunch, and mountain house assorted for dinners and chocholates and jerky snacking throughout the day.
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#3741576 - 08/22/14 09:12 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
Exo Mountain Gear 5500



Loaded with 50 pounds in the meat shelf and another 25 in the bag:
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3741713 - 08/23/14 05:02 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Sharp looking pack. Never heard of that brand.
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#3741803 - 08/23/14 08:26 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: UPSman
I should have paid more attention to how you have cut your weight. Looks like I'm going back to the West Elk Wilderness area for 3rd season. My happy butt is gonna end up having a heart attack. Have walked the last couple of nights with 50 lbs in my MR 6500. First off, it's hot at 10 pm and 2nd I'm nowhere in shape to do this.


It seems like delivery guys are usually in pretty good shape from running up and down steps and being on their feet al day. Do you drive a feeder truck or other non delivery route?


I'm a pkg driver here in Knoxville...an out of shape pkg driver. I'm in decent shape I suppose, but I could be in a whole lot better if I didn't hate being out in hot weather like I do.

Those packs do look nice.
_________________________
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#3742207 - 08/23/14 06:03 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
A friend of mine turned me on to these Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. They are significantly lighter than the standards. Expensive though: almost $10 for 4 AA. The lithiums dropped my GPS weight over an ounce, about the same for my headlamp and shaved almost 4 ounces off my spare batteries. I'd highly recommend switching to these batteries if you are looking to shave ounces.

Combed through my first aid kit and reduced it to some sterile bandages, anesthetic wipes, 5 feet of duct tape (wrapped around a credit card), IBUprofen and Advil PM.

These changes + a few others here and there dropped me just below 35 pound pack weight (including 2 liters of water). Total load out (everything including boots and worn clothes) of 49.72.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3742763 - 08/24/14 10:20 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Poser thats a really awesome weight for everything!! Good job😉

Edited by ghosthunter (08/24/14 10:21 AM)
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#3742769 - 08/24/14 10:22 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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I just received my OR rain jacket. It weighs 6.3oz. My total raingear weighs 12oz!
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#3742789 - 08/24/14 10:46 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I just received my OR rain jacket. It weighs 6.3oz. My total raingear weighs 12oz!


Dang, that's light! Which OR line do you have? My raingear is over twice that weight and still considered ultralight.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3742797 - 08/24/14 10:57 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Helium II.
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#3742799 - 08/24/14 10:58 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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And I got a ghost whisper down jack and that sucker is awesome. Weighs 7.8oz I think.
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#3742803 - 08/24/14 11:06 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
And I got a ghost whisper down jack and that sucker is awesome. Weighs 7.8oz I think.


Yeah, I've got to upgrade to lighter insulator next year. I have a TNF down jacket from the mid 90s (when they were still a real outdoors company) that has held up well over the years despite mistreatment and abuse. I use it for stand hunting on cold days. But, it weighs about 20 oz for 700 fill, which is kind of heavy by today's standards, especially since you can get 800+ fill in the sub 10/12 oz range.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3742877 - 08/24/14 12:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
turk870
6 Point


Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 665
Loc: centerville

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I wound up with a 2nd season muley tag(mid October)still have a few things to buy(upgrade)wound up getting a kifaru longhunter pack with the bikini frame(love this pack so far)ordered a 4man tipi and titanium wood stove from seekoutside(thanks rockchucker30),was going to take the hammocks but since my wife is going I wanted to make sure she was comfortable and it will be nice to be able to dry clothes out if needed.the wife is ordering stuff almost daily im realy going to have to keep an eye on what she packs,so she don't try to take too much stuff
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#3742945 - 08/24/14 01:33 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: turk870]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: turk870
I wound up with a 2nd season muley tag(mid October)still have a few things to buy(upgrade)wound up getting a kifaru longhunter pack with the bikini frame(love this pack so far)ordered a 4man tipi and titanium wood stove from seekoutside(thanks rockchucker30),was going to take the hammocks but since my wife is going I wanted to make sure she was comfortable and it will be nice to be able to dry clothes out if needed.the wife is ordering stuff almost daily im realy going to have to keep an eye on what she packs,so she don't try to take too much stuff


Those stoves look very cool. I like the tipi design as well. My partner has the Kirau pack. Its a rock solid, bomb proof and proven pack.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3743250 - 08/24/14 08:35 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
WMAn
8 Point


Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 1226
Loc: Williamson County

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Poser have you seen these http://www.epicbar.com . I saw these and one other paleo protein bar at whole foods recently. Given any more thought to pemmican?
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#3743549 - 08/25/14 08:02 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: WMAn]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: WMAn
Poser have you seen these http://www.epicbar.com . I saw these and one other paleo protein bar at whole foods recently. Given any more thought to pemmican?


Yes, I have seen and tried those. They are pretty good. These ProBar Meal bar are pretty good and I am taking several on this trip. I really like the Superberry and Greens flavor. Its 380 calories in 3 oz.

I didn't get around to making any pemmican, but I did buy some commercial pemmican for this trip. Its 400 calories in 3 oz blocks. I got fruit & nut flavor and a couple of coconut ones.

Breakfast: Granola+dried fruit_+dried milk+ whey protein. Starbucks Via. 450 calories/ 3.2oz

lunch and snacks: Pemmican, ProBar, 100 cal serving of almond butter, venison & buffalo jerky, 1 energy gel, 2 servings green infusion drink mix, dried fruit, 1 serving Energy & Focus drink mix, 1 serving Hydrate & Recover drink mix. 1610-1700 calories/ 10.7-11.2 oz (depending on variation)

Dinner: Various dehydrated meals (Mountain House, Alpine Aire & Backpackers Pantry) + dehydrated dessert. 7-10 oz depending. 800-1200 calories
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3745234 - 08/26/14 02:04 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5235
Loc: Mississippi

Offline
GL on your upcoming hunt!

I'm leaving Sat for opening week out there, but I'm too much of a sissy to eat granola and dehydrated meals for a week straight. Therefore, I'll be tent camping and just hiking in daily to the hunting grounds. But I'll be eating steak and monster brown trout for supper every evening \:\)

Long term forecast has the weather is looking a little milder than normal for next week. Lows in the upper 30's and highs in mid 60's. I was hoping for some nights in the mid 20's to get them talking a bit earlier.

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#3745486 - 08/26/14 07:21 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: megalomaniac]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

Offline
You must be hunting way up there to them kinda temps.
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#3746137 - 08/27/14 02:15 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
WMAn
8 Point


Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 1226
Loc: Williamson County

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: WMAn
Poser have you seen these http://www.epicbar.com . I saw these and one other paleo protein bar at whole foods recently. Given any more thought to pemmican?


Yes, I have seen and tried those. They are pretty good. These ProBar Meal bar are pretty good and I am taking several on this trip. I really like the Superberry and Greens flavor. Its 380 calories in 3 oz.

I didn't get around to making any pemmican, but I did buy some commercial pemmican for this trip. Its 400 calories in 3 oz blocks. I got fruit & nut flavor and a couple of coconut ones.

Breakfast: Granola+dried fruit_+dried milk+ whey protein. Starbucks Via. 450 calories/ 3.2oz

lunch and snacks: Pemmican, ProBar, 100 cal serving of almond butter, venison & buffalo jerky, 1 energy gel, 2 servings green infusion drink mix, dried fruit, 1 serving Energy & Focus drink mix, 1 serving Hydrate & Recover drink mix. 1610-1700 calories/ 10.7-11.2 oz (depending on variation)

Dinner: Various dehydrated meals (Mountain House, Alpine Aire & Backpackers Pantry) + dehydrated dessert. 7-10 oz depending. 800-1200 calories


Here is the other paleo bar I saw at Whole Foods:

http://store.paleosimplified.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1820
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#3746230 - 08/27/14 03:46 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: WMAn]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
Thanks, WMAn. We have a new Fresh Market in our neighborhood, but I didn't see either of these options available. Whole Foods is out East and I seldom go out that way, but I'll look for both of these next time I'm out there.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3747721 - 08/29/14 06:45 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
RockChucker30
Spike


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Tennessee

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I'm down to about 52 lbs skin out weight including weapon, clothes, watch,shoes, etc.

Pack weight right now is 39 lbs including 2 liters of water and food for 7 days. I can push that down to the 32-34 range, but I started reaching my rebound point, where I'd rather hump the extra weight and be assured of a good nights sleep, plenty of food, etc.

Here is a really good blog post on how to cut weight for a BP hunt.

http://seekoutside.com/ultralight-hunting-kit-primer/

You've got to look at your base weight, the big three of Pack, Shelter, and Sleeping gear. Of those pack weight is the most important because you will always be wearing your pack, while other gear can get left at camp.

My Paradox Evolution 4800 with a Hydro Talon weighs right around 4 lbs. I could take a Unaweep and get down to the low 3's but I'm pretty comfortable with my choice.

Poser, there is a place in CO that makes dehy Quinoa backpacking meals. There are a few other boutique freeze dried places that make paleo friendly foods too.

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#3748088 - 08/29/14 01:18 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: RockChucker30
I'm down to about 52 lbs skin out weight including weapon, clothes, watch,shoes, etc.

Pack weight right now is 39 lbs including 2 liters of water and food for 7 days. I can push that down to the 32-34 range, but I started reaching my rebound point, where I'd rather hump the extra weight and be assured of a good nights sleep, plenty of food, etc.

Here is a really good blog post on how to cut weight for a BP hunt.

http://seekoutside.com/ultralight-hunting-kit-primer/

You've got to look at your base weight, the big three of Pack, Shelter, and Sleeping gear. Of those pack weight is the most important because you will always be wearing your pack, while other gear can get left at camp.

My Paradox Evolution 4800 with a Hydro Talon weighs right around 4 lbs. I could take a Unaweep and get down to the low 3's but I'm pretty comfortable with my choice.

Poser, there is a place in CO that makes dehy Quinoa backpacking meals. There are a few other boutique freeze dried places that make paleo friendly foods too.


Good link. The Enlightened Equipment 20 degree quilt is actually on my upgrade list for next year. A 20 oz quilt would cut my bag weight by neary 60% and bring my entire sleep system (shelter, bag, pad) down to 3.5 lbs.

Sounds like we are pretty close in weight. My pack is right at 4 pounds and I'm real happy with its capabilities. I almost went with the Stone Glacier, but the user reviews coming back on the new Exo pack + the price point really sold me on it.
_________________________
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#3748100 - 08/29/14 01:23 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
RockChucker30
Spike


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Poser

Good link. The Enlightened Equipment 20 degree quilt is actually on my upgrade list for next year. A 20 oz quilt would cut my bag weight by neary 60% and bring my entire sleep system (shelter, bag, pad) down to 3.5 lbs.

Sounds like we are pretty close in weight. My pack is right at 4 pounds and I'm real happy with its capabilities. I almost went with the Stone Glacier, but the user reviews coming back on the new Exo pack + the price point really sold me on it.


I've got an EE Rev X 20 degree quilt and will probably take my Western Mountaineering Antelope 5 degree bag instead even though it weighs 20 oz more. I sleep cold, and getting good sleep is extremely important. That's what I call the rebound point…I can logically go lighter, but don't really want to.

If you're ever in Middle TN and want to test drive a Paradox Pack, let me know. I'm one of the owners.

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#3748125 - 08/29/14 01:50 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: RockChucker30
 Originally Posted By: Poser

Good link. The Enlightened Equipment 20 degree quilt is actually on my upgrade list for next year. A 20 oz quilt would cut my bag weight by neary 60% and bring my entire sleep system (shelter, bag, pad) down to 3.5 lbs.

Sounds like we are pretty close in weight. My pack is right at 4 pounds and I'm real happy with its capabilities. I almost went with the Stone Glacier, but the user reviews coming back on the new Exo pack + the price point really sold me on it.


I've got an EE Rev X 20 degree quilt and will probably take my Western Mountaineering Antelope 5 degree bag instead even though it weighs 20 oz more. I sleep cold, and getting good sleep is extremely important. That's what I call the rebound point…I can logically go lighter, but don't really want to.

If you're ever in Middle TN and want to test drive a Paradox Pack, let me know. I'm one of the owners.


Cool, I'll take you up on that. -checking on the website now. I really like the minimalist aspect of the bags. Looks like they have a good angle on the load lifters, too.

BTW, I did look around for some more Paleo friendly options for backpacking. I saw that Paleo-To-Go had some dehydrated meals, but the selection was limited and none of them sounded particularly appealing to me. As stated somewhere earlier in this thread, I originally planned to make my own meals, but the clock kind of ran down on me and I didn't get around to experimenting enough. I did look at some organic/gluten free options as well, but, again, none of the menu options sounded particularly appealing in a backcountry setting. Do you have any recommendations for the boutique dehydrated meal companies? I think that, with my current options, I'm still ok (as in, I don't think my body will retaliate). The carb intake is pretty much limited to rice, masa and granola. I avoided prepared dinners with any type of legumes (for obvious reasons... ) I don't do strict Paleo, but I do have my body pretty well conditioned to relying on fat (rather than carbs) as the primary energy source. Given the terrain that we'll be on out there, I'm going to be at such a daily calorie deficit, that a few hundred calories of grains isn't going to change that reliance on fat for energy.
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#3748236 - 08/29/14 04:44 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
RockChucker30
Spike


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Tennessee

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If I remember right Packit Gourmet has some fairly paleo friendly meals. Cache Lake has some dehydrated sweet potatoes that are really tasty.

Doing your own isn't hard at all. I'm not really strict paleo either, just mostly. I'm doing a Quinoa meal with diced tomatoes, onion, corn, black beans, tuna, and spices. Dehydrate that and it comes back pretty nice. Chili also does good.

I made Pemmican this year to take. Got grass fed beef lard from US Wellness meats and then dried deer jerky till super dry. Powder the meat and add to the melted fat with some spices. Makes kind of a cookie that packs about 200 cal / oz and is pretty tasty.

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#3748265 - 08/29/14 05:47 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Posts: 13547
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Cool. I'll check those out. I have pemmican packed for my daily lunches. WMAn turned me into it last year when we went bear hunting
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

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Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3748789 - 08/30/14 12:31 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Posts: 13547
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Spent some time organizing and packing this morning. After all these weighted training hikes I have been doing, putting on my actual pack weight feels incredibly light. This is everything. Food is in the 2 dry bags at the top. Down jacket is in the cranberry colored dry bag in the middle. Sleeping bag is in the one on the right.
-still need to cut my map up a bit.

_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3750889 - 09/01/14 07:54 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
RockChucker30
Spike


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Tennessee

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I'll probably be doing that this week as well. I prototyped a new bino cover today and will probably do a couple iterations of hipbelt pockets tomorrow, along with either Insanity or hill sprints, or both. Good times.
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#3751121 - 09/02/14 04:56 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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I wish I could bring myself to use only that sawyer filter cause they are so light. But I love the quickness of my katydyn pump.
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#3751213 - 09/02/14 08:07 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
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 Originally Posted By: RockChucker30
I'll probably be doing that this week as well. I prototyped a new bino cover today and will probably do a couple iterations of hipbelt pockets tomorrow, along with either Insanity or hill sprints, or both. Good times.


I've heard some guys talking about this new bino harness design by Alaska Guide Creations: http://www.journalofmountainhunting.com/blazing-trail---kurt-racicot-and-stone-glacier-packs.html

I have the Sitka harness. For the most part, it is ok, but there is a couple of things about it I really do not like. For example, the back harness is only half mesh. The other half is solid so that they could slap the logo on there. Stupid addition of weight. Also, you can't turn the corners of the lid zippers with one hand. They snag. Also, being a slender guy, there isn't enough adjustability in the vertical tension (from the shoulders) in relation to the horizontal (under the armpits), meaning that I have to strap it down to my chest a bit tighter than I prefer (interferes slightly with heavy breathing) to really keep in from bouncing around when moving fast and/or over difficult terrain.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3751217 - 09/02/14 08:12 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
I wish I could bring myself to use only that sawyer filter cause they are so light. But I love the quickness of my katydyn pump.


That's definitely a time tested filer. I used to use a Sawyer pump (13oz), but it didn't have near the pressure or pump action of the Katydyn and became kind of a workout to use after a few minutes.

The only other thing with the Mini is that it is a bit delicate. If you allow it to freeze with water inside, its done. So, you have to blow it out each night and place it in your sleeping bag or pillow if you expect the temps to drop below freezing.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3751766 - 09/02/14 06:43 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
RockChucker30
Spike


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Tennessee

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Poser, I'll be using a Rick Young UL bino harness this year. The problem with the RY is the same that the Crooked Horn has....it bounces if you run or move fast. The FHF harness I have does better in this regard, but could be much improved with a bit different strap placement.

What I did was to make an X-Pac bino cover that is a hybrid elastic and webbing. It holds the binos in place even when running, but has enough give to access them very quickly. Plus X-Pac (which our packbags are made from) is completely waterproof, so I won't have to worry about rain in the eyecups.

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#3756165 - 09/07/14 11:41 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: RockChucker30]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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Ultralight dental hygiene kit. I took 12 shots of toothpaste and let them dry out for a week on wax paper. Then I dusted them with baking soda to prevent them from sticking together. Total kit weight: 1.2 oz

_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3756182 - 09/07/14 12:21 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 08/29/99
Posts: 7576
Loc: Powell Tn

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You've gone off the deep end.....lol
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#3756185 - 09/07/14 12:26 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
You've gone off the deep end.....lol


Hey, I've never had a dental care plan in my adult life, so I try to take good care of the chompers. This entire kit weighs less than a travel size tube of toothpaste.
You know the old saying: "ounces = pounds / pounds = pain"
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3756388 - 09/07/14 05:42 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 4764
Loc: Shelby County

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Poser-Ummm, i'm thinking, maybe a slightly newer toothbrush would be okay? I don't think newer ones are necessarily heavier.

But to important stuff::::Thread somewhere said frost at 9800 feet in Colorado last weekend. You checking your intended area daily?

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#3756452 - 09/07/14 06:45 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
Poser-Ummm, i'm thinking, maybe a slightly newer toothbrush would be okay? I don't think newer ones are necessarily heavier.

But to important stuff::::Thread somewhere said frost at 9800 feet in Colorado last weekend. You checking your intended area daily?




Let bit of snow above 10,000, but its warming back up this week. At our starting elevation of 9,300, its getting to 50 degrees all week with lows in the high 30s.

and, hey, that toothbrush has another week left in it \:\) (I didn't want to saw up my new one)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3756801 - 09/08/14 06:54 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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 Originally Posted By: UPSman
You've gone off the deep end.....lol
Amen.
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The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3756907 - 09/08/14 08:49 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
DaveB
10 Point


Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 4764
Loc: Shelby County

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My own Colorado elk hunting experience was I burned through calories and sleep. I was always hungry, nearly always cold, and I could sleep at any time. Always First gun season.

I know you are headed NW soon, best of luck. Ha Ha wait till you put one on the ground. I crawled INSIDE the chest cavity of my elk. They be big.

PS. take some extra mem chips for you camera

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#3757117 - 09/08/14 12:12 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
My own Colorado elk hunting experience was I burned through calories and sleep. I was always hungry, nearly always cold, and I could sleep at any time. Always First gun season.

I know you are headed NW soon, best of luck. Ha Ha wait till you put one on the ground. I crawled INSIDE the chest cavity of my elk. They be big.

PS. take some extra mem chips for you camera


I talked with a guy who had been into our intended area. The area is very steep, no doubt. We chose this area because there is no access from the top. Our thinking was that most people don't want to hunt uphill and its steep enough to keep most people out. The idea here is escaping pressure.


As for elk hunting. We were in there in September and already had snow.I wouldn't plan a trip past first season or you maybe staying up there for awhile. If this gets you going then by all means get it done! But there are "easier" yet remote places to hunt elk in Colorado.

-"the elk there will be somewhat high in elevation, if no snow is present, at least 8500 to 10,000 ft."

Question: I had a couple of initial glassing points picked out to give us a good survey on the area. They are mostly at 10,500-11,000 elevation. Going with what big of information I have (looking for elk in the ~9,000-10,000 elevation range), do you guys have any general suggestions for bivy elevation? Should we generally try to camp at a lower elevation than where we expect to see elk? Is it generally a bad idea to bivy at or near the elevation of the glassing points?
*note that we will be entirely mobile, hunting with camp on our backs and not fixed to any one particular bivy site. Obviously, terrain is a huge factor, but, given the mobile option, there is no need to expend anymore energy than necessary getting from camp to glassing point each morning. Is there a philosophy of minimum camping distance from the area you intend to hunt? If we want to avoid camping in the middle of where we expect to see Elk, what should we be looking for in a bivy site for the night?

Also note: we will be acclimating for 2 nights at 9,000 feet before heading into the backcountry.

Question 2: Is this a sound plan?
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#3757155 - 09/08/14 12:52 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Just got back from Yellowstone, one day it was 80 and the next we had snow and it didnt get above 38. We also had numerous thunderstorms pop up during the day, without warning, and they got pretty nasty with hail.

I would bivy below tree line, in some type of natural shelter and away from a quick rising creek (crick if your from the West).

Camping near your glassing point is a great idea, as long as it is not in the wide open. This allows you extra sleep and to glass up until dark and have a short walk back to camp. I would also consider wind too, you dont want your scent blowing down into a park.
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#3757177 - 09/08/14 01:13 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
Just got back from Yellowstone, one day it was 80 and the next we had snow and it didnt get above 38. We also had numerous thunderstorms pop up during the day, without warning, and they got pretty nasty with hail.

I would bivy below tree line, in some type of natural shelter and away from a quick rising creek (crick if your from the West).

Camping near your glassing point is a great idea, as long as it is not in the wide open. This allows you extra sleep and to glass up until dark and have a short walk back to camp. I would also consider wind too, you dont want your scent blowing down into a park.


There are groves of trees in this area up to 12,200 feet or so. -small forested areas broken up by scree slopes. There is a spot, for example, where it looks like we could glass down into a drainage from 12,000 feet and bivy just below it in a protected pocket of tree as 11,800 feet. There's a tiny alpine lake there, too. That being said, some of the area at this altitude looks more like goat and sheep country than elk country, however, I did read that elk have been killed in this general area up to over 13,000 feet during archery season.
_________________________
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#3757907 - 09/09/14 06:58 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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12000 is going to be really high. At 12000, you will have very little, if any plant life growing. Mainly rocks and dirt. the Elk will probably be a little lower, in the Aspens, where the grass is, until a frost kills it. If the elk aren't vocal, it will be a lot tougher to find them, especially if the leaves are still on the Aspens. Glass at first daylite, that will be your best chance. Without much pressure, you should hear some bugleing.
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3757946 - 09/09/14 07:45 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: tickweed
12000 is going to be really high. At 12000, you will have very little, if any plant life growing. Mainly rocks and dirt. the Elk will probably be a little lower, in the Aspens, where the grass is, until a frost kills it. If the elk aren't vocal, it will be a lot tougher to find them, especially if the leaves are still on the Aspens. Glass at first daylite, that will be your best chance. Without much pressure, you should hear some bugleing.


Tickweed,

What's your advice on bivy location in relation to glassing point & hunting grounds? Try to keep camp at least a half mile away and at a different elevation?
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3760364 - 09/11/14 08:25 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
12 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 5070
Loc: medon,Tn.

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I would stay at least a half mile out of my hunting area. I always sit at several higher points, which offer a good view of a lot of acres, right at daylite. I glass, or listen for Bugling or cow talk. Then I make my move. The Elk will bed up at the higher elevations, usually by 9 am or so, and then will move down late in the evenings, and at nite. The better grass will be in the lower pockets, where the frost hasn't killed it. You should be there during the rut, or close, and maybe the Bulls will be active. Elk tend to stay and use the same areas as long as they don't have a lot of pressure, or a big change in weather, hot and dry, snow. in my opinion, they really aren't hard to hunt, as long as you are on them. Now, with that being said, it could be hit or miss.

Edited by tickweed (09/11/14 08:26 AM)
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3764437 - 09/15/14 03:58 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
John3
4 Point


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 397
Loc: West TN

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Almost time poser, what's the final weigh in looking like?
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#3764471 - 09/15/14 04:39 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: John3]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: John3
Almost time poser, what's the final weigh in looking like?


Pack weight with 2 liters of water is 34.73lbs

Clothes, boots, Optics and Bow is: 14.97lbs

Total: 49.9lbs
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3767226 - 09/18/14 08:41 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
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Loc: Tennessee

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Drove about 17 hours straight though last night. Arrived here in Gunnison about 6 am. I'm waiting for the wildlife office to open so I can grab my tag and then head up The road to Crested Butte (9300 ft) to spend the next 24-36 hours acclimating. Nice chill in the air. 39 degrees here at 7500 feet. May have some storm fronts rolling in this weekend.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3767267 - 09/18/14 09:05 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1672
Loc: East

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I was wondering if you'd left yet. Good luck!
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#3767290 - 09/18/14 09:31 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Buzzard Breath]
John3
4 Point


Registered: 02/08/12
Posts: 397
Loc: West TN

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This thread has been going so long I almost feel like I'm on the trip! Good luck
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#3767314 - 09/18/14 09:51 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: John3]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
Just talked with a game warden. Hurricane spinoff headed this way on Sunday. Supposed to get "interesting" at high elevation. Should be fun

Edited by Poser (09/18/14 04:12 PM)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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#3767380 - 09/18/14 11:10 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
elkman
4 Point


Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 495
Loc: wayne county tn

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best advice i can give you, for the most part is if you dont think you are being aggressive enough on your calling and tactics, you prolly aint.
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#3767408 - 09/18/14 11:56 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
thetoolman
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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Just take with a game warden. Hurricane spinoff headed this way on Sunday. Supposed to get "interesting" at high elevation. Should be fun


Did you ask what his idea of "interesting" would be? LOL Have a safe trip and hope you tag a good one.
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#3767495 - 09/18/14 01:37 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: thetoolman]
Tennessee Lead
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Good luck Poser and stay safe!
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#3767631 - 09/18/14 04:20 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: thetoolman]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: thetoolman
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Just take with a game warden. Hurricane spinoff headed this way on Sunday. Supposed to get "interesting" at high elevation. Should be fun


Did you ask what his idea of "interesting" would be? LOL Have a safe trip and hope you tag a good one.


Appreciate it. Sounds like it could get nasty. I've been feeling really solid at 9300 all day today. I haven't been to sleep in about 36 hours (driving, trying to get last minute work details out of the way etc). Think I'm going to sleep as long as I can tonight, hopefully 9-10 hours and then, assuming I don't have anykind of headache in the morning, head into the backcountry about 12 hours early to try and get a jump on this storm front.

BTW, the wildlife officer was initially not too happy about me not having my physical hunters ed card. I had the number, but you are apparently supposed to have the original. A little schmoozing with her and she warmed up to me and called TWRA who verified my credentials. Kind of got got the feeling that, on a bad day, they might send you on your way without a Elk tag if you can't produce the hunters safety card.
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#3767894 - 09/18/14 08:46 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
Deck78
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Man that's awesome you're soon to be in the thick of it. Good luck bro!
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#3769852 - 09/21/14 02:15 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
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Anyone hearing anything from out West?

I believe he for sure got some rain, coulda been snow depending on how high up he got.

Weather looks okay--the bad cold is to his east. Close, but eastward.

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#3771726 - 09/23/14 02:38 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
Deck78
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I heard he got eaten by a bear but that could be another poser! \:\)
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#3774811 - 09/26/14 08:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Deck78]
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Mud Dauber
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#3774861 - 09/26/14 09:16 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
UPSman
TnDeer Old Timer
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Frigging sweet! How's the pack holding up? Better yet, how are doing physically? Nothing like the high country. Good luck!
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#3775261 - 09/27/14 10:34 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: UPSman]
ghosthunter
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That's beautiful country! Let us know how you do. I returned last week. I struck out. Plenty of chasing but couldn't close the deal. That muzzle loader hunt backed them off some. I won't do that again. The high country is tough. One of the guys in our group said that this was the dumbest bleepty bleep thing he has ever done.
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#3775616 - 09/27/14 05:32 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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#3775856 - 09/27/14 08:40 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
timberjack86
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Nice!!
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#3776105 - 09/28/14 04:52 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: timberjack86]
ghosthunter
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I guess you get cell sevice from time to time? Are you seeing any? Hearing any?
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#3776366 - 09/28/14 09:57 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
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Mud Dauber
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Just got back home. Been up for 40+ hours. We didn't get an elk but we sure had a good adventure. I'll have the full story in the next few days.
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#3776440 - 09/28/14 11:40 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
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Ok. Rest up 😉
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#3776602 - 09/28/14 03:30 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
turk870
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Is that a tilly hat ,I love mine the wife even got one she liked mine so much
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#3776630 - 09/28/14 04:05 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: turk870]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: turk870
Is that a tilly hat ,I love mine the wife even got one she liked mine so much


I'm not sure. That is my one of my partners in that pic. On certain days, you certainly did need protection from the sun. In a earlier thread, we discussed neck gaiters and, let me tell you, I never took mine off the whole trip. On hot days, I tucked it under my hat to keep the sun off my neck. I used it to wipe sweat from my forehead. I also sleep with it on as a doo rag every night and bundled up with it to shield the wind and cold air when glassing.
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#3777041 - 09/28/14 09:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AndyW
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Was all the Crossfit and training you did prior to the trip enough, or do you wish you'd done more?
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#3777411 - 09/29/14 09:09 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AndyW]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: AndyW
Was all the Crossfit and training you did prior to the trip enough, or do you wish you'd done more?


You could always benefit from being in better shape on a trip like that. Since you don't fully acclimate in a week, you really spend most of that time just overexerting your body to perform the tasks at hand. While we all 3 experienced side effects of altitude such as trouble sleeping, loss of appetite (particularly the 2nd and 3rd days when we were camped at 12,000 feet), I was pretty proud of how well all 3 of us performed. Our first .4 miles was 2,000 feet straight up. We encountered lots of scrambling and 4th and even some 5th class sections of rock and we had periods of time when we were climbing hard in the 150-170 heart rate zone for hours at a time -front pointing on super steep terrain and slamming trekking poles into the ground like mountain axes just to stay glued to the steep hillside.

Days 3 and 4 were rough for me. I started getting a deep cough and was having lung congestion issues. I hadn't sleep very well, appetite was minimal, my urine, despite my best efforts to keep it clear, had taken on a very acidic odor, and my muscles had stopped recovering due to lack of sleep and the fact that my body was fighting to keep from getting sick. I probably should have taken it easy there as getting sick would have been bad, but I pushed through it, climbing on sore legs and hips and, once I started feeling better, I felt like there was nothing that I couldn't handle on days 5-7.

So, yeah, I think we were all 3 as well prepared as we could have been during the 8 months we had to train. The HIIT workouts really paid dividends when it came to operating in the higher heart rate zones. Just being used to sucking wind that hard on a daily basis really made most everything we encountered feel like another "just another workout." Having been used to working out with sore major muscle groups from consecutive days of full body workouts prepared me to know exactly how far I could push myself in a depleted state in the mountains.

Now, if I could have felt as strong as I did on days 5-7 the entire hunt, it would have been awesome. I was sleeping through the night without medication, ravenously eating every calorie and had "given in" to the idea of climbing hills. -just breathe and climb until you reach the top.

So, unless you have a couple of weeks to fully acclimate, the best advice I can give is to train much harder than you think that you need to because, when you get in the mountains, you'll be operating at 35-50% of your peak conditioning back home. The more time you spend suffering through intense workouts, sucking wind and plowing through on the verge of puking, the better you'll perform in a severely depleted state in the mountains.

So, yeah, I felt that I got "enough" training in during the months that I had to prepare. I'll be better prepared next year. The biggest difference is that I need to psychologically dig a little deeper into the workouts. Its the relentlessness of the mountains that get you. -working so hard to gain elevation only to watch an elk effortlessly cover that same ground in a matter of seconds. Or, the real kicker: Hitting an elk with your range finder at 210 yards the looking at your GPS to discover that 210 yards requires a 1,000 feet descent into a gorge and then a 2,000 foot climb to get to where the elk is standing (210 yards away). Being able to mentally cope with that kind of distance, sucking it up and going for it even though you know that the chances of that elk still standing there in the 2-3 hours its going to take you to cover 210 horizontal yards, better yet, the fact that you have less than a 1% chance of actually killing that elk that is 2010 horizontal yards away..... being able to go for it without questioning yourself is likely the difference between a successful hunter and a unsuccesful hunter (me) in that terrain.
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#3777524 - 09/29/14 10:29 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
DaveB
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Did you see other hunters?

Would have getting horse-backed in (Day 1 climb) have really helped?

Any bugling going on?

See any Mule Deer?

Sounds like a great experience.

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#3777669 - 09/29/14 12:28 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: DaveB
Did you see other hunters?

Would have getting horse-backed in (Day 1 climb) have really helped?

Any bugling going on?

See any Mule Deer?

Sounds like a great experience.




We saw no other hunters or any sign other hunters in any of the areas we hunted. No trash, no tracks, no fire rings. I did glass a camp with pack llamas that was a couple of miles from our camp 2 and also spotted a wall tent that looked like it was an outfitted camp in a meadow several miles away from camp 2. With the exception of our last camp, we were not anywhere where there was any flat ground to speak of, so I think that was a big factor in not seeing other hunters. High angle sleeping ain't so much fun and you definitely can't put paying clients in that situation. If you pay $3,500, you expect flat ground. \:\)
Even a slight slope can be uncomfortable for sleeping.
One my my partners slept in a hammock system which was great for the terrain. Me and the other guy were usually left with picking a tiny surface area where elk and mule deer had been bedding down for years, leaving a "dish" that would keep you from rolling out of your tent or sliding down the hill. The tradeoff being that you would have to sleep with a bit of body tension and your sleeping bag began to smell like a musty mule deer.







Horseback. We had to cross some 4th and 5th class rock outcroppings that horses would not have been able to negotiate. We could have taken pack horses in from a different way to the general area, which would have been about 10 miles, however, the drainage that we got on elk in likely would not accommodate horses. I think you would have had to still pack the meat to the top or bottom if using horses. Llamas may have been able to handle the terrain, though.





Bugling was limited between 5pm and 9 pm the entire week. Never once heard a bugle outside of those hours. The problem with those hours is that it was only the last 2 hours of daylight meaning that the elk had often moved by the next morning. They also tended to be found near the bottom of drainages at that time of day, which made for difficult to impossible stalking conditions with the thermals dropping. The mornings usually found them higher up, which, once the thermals started rising, allowed us to take a stab at coming in from above, but this was a tremendous amount of work and was usually based off the previous night's observations since the elk wouldn't bugle in the morning and tended to stay bedded down until the evening.

Mule Deer. Saw plenty of them. If we had tags, all three of us could have tagged out, possibly by the end of day 2. They were everywhere and used the same general areas and trails as elk, but we never saw elk and mule deer in the same immediate area. It seems like they keep away from each other.
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#3777832 - 09/29/14 02:29 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
AT Hiker
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Sounds like you had one heck of an adventure. Do you plan to go back to the same area next year? I would also suggest researching the area for mule deer, you might be able to draw that tag in a reasonable amount of time...or it might take you 15 plus years!!!

Look forward to the whole story.

**Would you go back during the same time or early/later? Im not familiar with CO, but in parts of WY the bugle really picks up mid Sept. I have a friend in Vail and on Labor Day weekend he heard some bugling.
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#3777836 - 09/29/14 02:32 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: DaveB]
megalomaniac
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He was in some PRIME muley country based on those pics. That's were the archery hunters kill the 180"ers in that unit.

A little too steep and not as much grass as I'd be looking for when elk hunting, however. (although it probably would be a prime spot once the elk had had enough pressure on the more gentler sloped grass fields above timberline)

I can't believe you went up 2000ft elevation in 0.4 miles.... I would have fallen and come back east of the MS river in a body bag... that is TOO steep for me! BTW, you heard about the mountain goat hunter that died a couple weeks ago from a fall just north in the Maroon Bells?

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#3777877 - 09/29/14 03:08 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
Sounds like you had one heck of an adventure. Do you plan to go back to the same area next year? I would also suggest researching the area for mule deer, you might be able to draw that tag in a reasonable amount of time...or it might take you 15 plus years!!!

Look forward to the whole story.

**Would you go back during the same time or early/later? Im not familiar with CO, but in parts of WY the bugle really picks up mid Sept. I have a friend in Vail and on Labor Day weekend he heard some bugling.


We were out there the 19th through the 26th. Though there were some cold evenings, nights and mornings, most of the days got warm, a couple of them got hot. Towards the end of the week, I believe that it was unseasonably warm across much of CO. I'm not sure if I would go more than a few days earlier simply because I want to avoid the excessively hot weather. Hunting that remote, we need a window of a couple of days to get all of the meat out. I probably won't go any earlier than the 15th in the future.

As far as the unit, I think we will probably go back there. We covered a lot of ground and got pretty familiar with the area. Its definitely not the most desired unit for Elk and, supposedly, the numbers are dropping there, but it seems to be an area that we can work with as far as lack of other hunter pressure. I think we're going to put in for the first rifle segment next year which is the first week of Oct. -seems to have high drawing odds. We are definitely considering the mule deer aspect as well.
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#3777886 - 09/29/14 03:14 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: megalomaniac]
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Mud Dauber
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 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
He was in some PRIME muley country based on those pics. That's were the archery hunters kill the 180"ers in that unit.

A little too steep and not as much grass as I'd be looking for when elk hunting, however. (although it probably would be a prime spot once the elk had had enough pressure on the more gentler sloped grass fields above timberline)

I can't believe you went up 2000ft elevation in 0.4 miles.... I would have fallen and come back east of the MS river in a body bag... that is TOO steep for me! BTW, you heard about the mountain goat hunter that died a couple weeks ago from a fall just north in the Maroon Bells?


Yeah, I think you are right on the pressure aspect. There are such remote, inaccessible areas of that mountain chain, that the elk move into to escape pressure. I was really surprised at how easily the elk handled rock outcroppings. I would look at a face and think that it was too "mountain goat" looking to be any elk and then, I would realize that the whole herd is spread out over the face.

BTW, they also give out a generous amount of sheep and goat archery tags for that area, supposedly because its so rugged that there are few actual attempts and very little success. I spent some time glassing the peaks in the hopes of seeing either (sheep or goats), but to no avail. I'd shake the hand and buy a beer of any hunter who can bowhunt sheep and goats in the terrain that was above us. You'd almost have a death wish. I did read about that goat hunter who died. He was an active member of a different forum that I read.
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#3778058 - 09/29/14 05:35 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
tickweed
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I also agree, a little to steep, and not enough grass for elk. Poser, you are elk hunting, not sheep or goat hunting. LOL I was pulling for you to be successful, especially after all the effort, but there's always next yr. Knowing you, I wouldn't bet against you. Regardless, a great trip. Nothing like camping in the high country.
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#3778316 - 09/29/14 08:25 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: tickweed]
AT Hiker
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I try to follow this guy, pretty cool DIY hunter like us.

http://soleadventure.com/

Check out his page, scroll to the bottom and there is a 1 hour long video. I started to watch it today but got busy, but it is supposed to be a really well made video of CO public and elk hunting.
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#3778916 - 09/30/14 09:37 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


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 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
I try to follow this guy, pretty cool DIY hunter like us.

http://soleadventure.com/

Check out his page, scroll to the bottom and there is a 1 hour long video. I started to watch it today but got busy, but it is supposed to be a really well made video of CO public and elk hunting.


I follow his blog and social media as well. One thing that I have noticed about his Elk trips is that he seems continuously runs into other hunters. Curious what the relationship between bad luck and decision making is when it comes to avoiding other hunters in OTC units. Obviously, if you can't scout an area, you have no real knowledge of who goes up there and how many outfitters run pack animals into an area. One thing that I looked for in a unit was lack of favorable terrain for hunters to camp on.
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#3779170 - 09/30/14 12:42 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
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Mud Dauber
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We had been awake for 40+ hours, but our drive West had been seamless. After spending 24 hours at 9000 feet, we decided to go ahead and push into the backcountry a half day early. Even though we planned on spending 48 hours acclimating, we all knew that we couldn’t resist the lure of the mountains and had packed extra food accordingly. After a couple of hours of hairpin turns, mountain passes and suspension-breaking, forest service roads, we stood at the base of our objective: A mountainside leading to a 12,600 foot pass and, hopefully, a steep drainage full of elk while lacking in hunting pressure.

Our mountain ascent started with a decent down a steep creek bank and across the water. Some scrambling plus a couple of fifth class rock climbing moves later, we began the 2,000 foot elevation grind in a mere fourth of a mile and, much to our surprise, we were in Elk and Mule deer sign almost immediately. After the initial 2,000 feet, the topography began to soften with a series of benches that were separated by steep sections of elevation gain. After 4 hours or so of climbing, we set camp 1 up on an exposed ledge. We were awaken just a few hours later when a herd of elk attempted to pass directly through our camp. The first couple of hours of daylight were spent glassing and listening for bugling before breaking camp down and continuing our push up the mountain. We found more reasonably fresh elk sign and encounter our first mule deer (21 yards) on the way.






camp1



In an effort to go directly to the top, we elect to take the more technical high ground and push over the mountain pass. A scree slope, some scrambling, and hard front pointing with our boots into elk and mule deer tracks combined with aggressive trek poling (yes, that is a verb!) in very steep alpine grass, we clear 12,600 feet and drop down 600 feet to make camp 2. Not a lot of options for flat ground up here, so we do the best we can, which means that us two ground sleepers our resigned to sleeping with a bit of body tension to keep ourselves in place. The other member of our party used an ingenious hammock system which seemed well suited for the terrain. Night 2 gave us relentless rain, freezing rain, snow and hail all night. Our 4:30 am wake up call was ignored due to lightning. Once we got going, we split up in an attempt to cover some ground in the immediate area. I glass early from the mountain pass and spend the mid-morning stalking my way downhill through the alpine forest. Despite elk sign, I only encounter mule deer.


















camp2

During the afternoon, Robert and I pair up and do an exploratory investigation of the drainage on the other side of the mountain. In an effort to stay above the elk, we try to stay just higher than the elk sign, but this takes more effort than we anticipated. We end up traversing dicey slopes clutching handfuls of grass for balance and having to make technical, fifth class moves to get over and around exposed rock outcroppings. The effort comes up a bit short on providing the vantage point we had hoped for and dark clouds, heavy thunder and impending rain sent us reversing these moves in a hurried manner. The speed was both a relief (less time in the danger zone) and stress inducing. With a background as a climber, I find the rock to be stimulating and enjoyable while some of the grassy traverses with potential cartwheel falls into scree fields to be a bit harrowing.










This more subdued terrain to our NW is where we glassed other hunting camps. We expected there to be hunters in this area.



After another night at camp 2 with heavy rains, we break camp in the morning rain and descend into the upper third of the steep drainage to our East. With the weather socked in, we establish camp 3 at 11,600 feet. Due to the heavy storms and humidity, much of our gear is wet and the weather is looking to become increasingly bleak. Brett sets to the task of starting a fire while Robert and I spend some time stalking downhill in a hail storm. In the early afternoon, we began to see hints that the sun might just break through and we spend the next hour watching the sun battle the clouds and cheering as if this battle is a sports event. The sun finally breaks through and it is glorious! We shed our wet clothes and spread our gear out on any exposed surface, taking full advantage of the drying and warming power of the sun. Though our relief from the bad weather was not to last, 90 minutes of direct sun was all we needed to ensure that we were set for a comfortable night. Brett takes off around the rim of the drainage while Robert and I push for the top. Lung congestion and a cough has become increasingly bothersome and, though I push through the weather and altitude to get to an exposed ridge, I pay for that ascent with a poor nights sleep and a body that is just barely hanging on the verge of sickness. For the second afternoon in a row, we hear bugling well below us between the hours of 5 and 9 PM.


location of camp3


camp3






Gaiters were an indispensable piece of gear. Trekking poles also paid off big time. Neck gaiter was worn 24/7 -slept with it as a do rag, kept the sun off the back of my neck on hot days, bundled up with it for cold glassing sessions.


The next morning, Brett returns to the opposite of the drainage to descend 1,000 feet while Robert and I drop into a deep creek gorge and then reclaim our elevation for a 1,500 foot stalk down the opposing North side once the thermals began to rise. Though we encounter no elk, we find some of the very freshest and most direct sign of regular herd travel. The downhill stalk was steep, often requiring the assistance of a trekking pole for secure footing. After meeting up, we ascend to 10,500 feet and establish camp 4. After some cold hours of glassing, we encounter a herd of elk who move onto the East face of the drainage, about a 3rd of the way up. We make plans for the morning and continue to observe and listen as light fades.








camp4




4:30 comes early and, even though our plan involves waiting for the thermals to begin to rise before getting aggressive on these elk, we hope to be ready and have eyes on them at first light. Unfortunately, the elk appear to have moved off the face, or, if they are there, we are unable to see them in the thick aspens. As was our experience all week, there was no AM bugling.

Once the thermals begin to rise and carry our ascent up the mountain, we began our ascent angled towards a rock outcropping that sits at a diagonal and slightly higher than where we saw elk the evening before. The drainage here is steep. [censored] steep. Our ascent is much more technical and slowgoing than we expected. We spend much of our time climbing and scrambling on all fours while trying not to knock loose rock off on each other. My two partners enter into a “spirited” debate about where we are and where we should be. We get set up by mid afternoon with Brett bugling from above with Robert and I set up to intercept on the path of least resistance between us and where we suspect the elk may be hiding. Our calling yields no interest so we began stalking while traversing the mounting. In terrain this severe and thick, stalking is a frustratingly difficult task. I end up taking a hard fall during this process. After checking myself over for injury, I decided it best to quiver my arrow for the more technical sections of the mountain as an encounter with a broadhead during a fall could be trip ending.



While descending, we get separated in the Aspen thickets. The terrain is increasingly steep and we are forced to commit our entire body weight to the branches of Aspen saplings just to continue down. Like clockwork, the elk began to respond to our bugling at 5 PM. The bulls are spread out on the opposing face. We descend as quickly as we can while trying to cause minimal rockslides, but this is an impossible task. Descent at this point is more a matter of controlled falling by means of trusting our lives to sapling limbs than anything else. As I reach the bottom portion of the drainage, I look up to find the herd bull, a mature 5x3, standing 2,000 feet above me scanning the terrain below him like a mountain goat. The bull is firmly perched on a rock outcropping, surrounded by high angle (80-85 degrees), alpine grass slopes that drop off into 90 degree rock ledges. I was amazed to see an Elk moving so dominantly in what was clearly goat country. In fact, I had dismissed the idea of elk using that portion of mountain altogether. I watched him for 10 minutes or so, trying to run the math on a way to get up there where he is while there is still daylight. It is impossible. Despite being less than 300 yards away, getting to the elk would require a 1,000 foot descent and a 2,000 foot climb. Finally, he loses interest and trots off, traversing those steep, grassy slopes with ease. Some of the subordinate bulls continued to bugle from various perches in dark timber of the same face. The day was both exciting and entirely defeating. We were certain that we had blown out the North side of the drainage and the South side was so steep and complex that there is no way we could attempt it without positioning ourselves on top; A task which would easily take a full day just to reposition. The general feeling was that we had gambled big time on the Elk remaining on the North side and that these same elk had used the severe terrain to defeat us. While we could have doubled down on that area, the concern became the clock (we were running out of days), the distance from the truck and, most importantly, the terrain between us and the truck. We would easily need 2 full days to get elk meat out of the hole we were positioned in. We made the decision to head up out of the drainage the next morning. With full packs on, the difficulty of potentially recovering meat uphill and out of the drainage became a harsh reality. Despite feeling recovered from my brief sickness and even feeling strong, the mountainside was relentless. After dropping into the other side, we spent some time stalking through the alpine forest, encountering more mule deer along the way. We set up Camp 6 on an exposed ridge at 11,700 feet (the first flat ground we sleep on) and spent the evening doing more stalking.






sleep system: .3oz sheet of plastic + 7 oz upper body sized inflatable pad.

Used my pack as a pillow base and would stuff my down + any extra merino layers jacket into a stuff sack for a pillow. The 29 oz Mountainsmith shelter offered plenty of room for gear.


camp5




spent about 30 minutes each day filtering water for drinking, cooking, coffee, and sports drinks.



On the morning of day 7, we again waited for the thermals to begin rising, split up and, over the course of several hours, stalked our way downhill. This ended up being a very hot day, especially as we dropped altitude. Once we descended the benches, we strapped our bows on our packs and pointed our feet downhill to polish off this last 2,000 feet of drop. I descended this section so quickly that I got a nosebleed. The last obstacle between us and the truck is a creek. Instead of wasting time picking my way across trying to keep my feet dry, I take the plunge in the thigh deep water and knock the crossing out in no time.

That night we ate dinner twice (beers with both) and spent time in a hot tub drinking bourbon.
We’ll be back next year.




Obviously backpacking hunting is not for everyone. Combining your experiences as an ultralight backpacker with the concept of ultra light hunting is not as easy as a marriage as one might think. If you lack experience in either or both departments, this could be an even more difficult concept. Despite striping our gear to a minmimum and using extremely simple shelters, methods of meal preparation and a bag full of ultralight camping hacks, it was surprising how much time we spent dealing with camp on a daily basis. Not to say that a DIY basecamp or spike camp does not come with its own list of daily chores and tasks, but backpack hunting seems to have the highest tradeoff in terms of comparing benefits vs. consequences of different types of backcountry hunting. You will give up the most in terms of comfort and will require the highest level of physical conditioning in order to carry and hunt with camp on your back on a daily basis. At the same time, this approach allows the hunter the greatest range and ability for improvisation. For the out of state DIY hunter with no ability to scout an area for sign, outfitters and other hunters, the choice seems obvious, however, the execution of this method of hunting is something that will continue to appeal only to a small fraction of hunters. After all, you’re going to spend just as much time obsessing over the weight of your sleeping bag as you will sighting in your weapon.

Backpack hunting is not “backpacking” because you are often going into places based upon the movement of animals instead of the path of least resistance or aesthetics. You may end spending your time in a craggy hell hole rather than next to a nearby scenic river. You have to get up earlier than normal in order to break camp. You can easily overextend yourself in terms of distance from your vehicle. There are many things that can wrong, more decisions to be made on a daily basis. More decisions means more bad decisions. Additionally, you are not thinking solely in terms of “hunting” mode as you have many “backpacking” decisions to deal with. At the same time, this is a close as the modern hunter can get to the nomadic hunter gatherer experience without going intentionally primitive. It could be argued that contemporary equipment makes that type of experience impossibly modern, however, we are merely translating this experience into the modern world, not reenacting an experience from the past.

Backpack hunting maintains about a 60/40 hunting to backpacking (“camping”) ratio. Basecamp hunting, particularly if outfitted, maintains more of a 90/10 ratio. Your chosen method of backcountry hunting will reflect more of what you want out of your experience than anything else. One method does not guarantee success or outcome over the other, but the different methods do offer totally different experiences of backcountry hunting. In a contemporary setting where the hunting world has been entirely conquered, the next step in the hunting experience is to repeat what has already been done in improved style, means and manner; to move lighter, faster and further to accomplish the same ends and to do solo what in the past has taken large groups. Why strap on 40 pounds of gear for seven to ten days and hunt an animal that could just easily be hunted to and from a vehicle on a daily basis in a different area? Because it is a different experience.
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#3779212 - 09/30/14 01:30 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
infoman jr.
10 Point


Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 4387
Loc: Elizabethtown, KY

Offline
Great story and pics. Are you considering hunting a little tamer ground next year? It seems like your terrain was a limiting factor in making ground on bulls.
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#3779251 - 09/30/14 02:03 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: infoman jr.]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
Great story and pics. Are you considering hunting a little tamer ground next year? It seems like your terrain was a limiting factor in making ground on bulls.


Think we are going to see about getting a rifle tag for the same unit for the first, either sex segment. If not, we'll likely hunt the same area and terrain OTC, but maybe not the same unit. There is a steam driven train that runs from Durango to Silverton daily. It makes two stops for water where backpackers can get on and off. We might use the train to get into the backcountry and then take it from there. The downside is the train runs at the very bottom of a DEEP canyon meaning that you have to hike thousands of feet to gain elevation. The plus side is the pack out is all downhill back to the train. I did some research and a few hunters have used this method but the elevation gain is still a huge deterrent despite the convenience of the train. Most guys want to be able to park on top and immediately hunt downhill. That's just the way that it is.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3779287 - 09/30/14 02:55 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
infoman jr.
10 Point


Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 4387
Loc: Elizabethtown, KY

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
Great story and pics. Are you considering hunting a little tamer ground next year? It seems like your terrain was a limiting factor in making ground on bulls.


Think we are going to see about getting a rifle tag for the same unit for the first, either sex segment. If not, we'll likely hunt the same area and terrain OTC, but maybe not the same unit. There is a steam driven train that runs from Durango to Silverton daily. It makes two stops for water where backpackers can get on and off. We might use the train to get into the backcountry and then take it from there. The downside is the train runs at the very bottom of a DEEP canyon meaning that you have to hike thousands of feet to gain elevation. The plus side is the pack out is all downhill back to the train. I did some research and a few hunters have used this method but the elevation gain is still a huge deterrent despite the convenience of the train. Most guys want to be able to park on top and immediately hunt downhill. That's just the way that it is.

Gotcha. A group of friends goes to CO at least every other year and packs into a base camp on horses. They've enjoyed very good success in early September with bows. Hunting with your camp on your back would be tough.
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#3779298 - 09/30/14 03:14 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: infoman jr.]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
Great story and pics. Are you considering hunting a little tamer ground next year? It seems like your terrain was a limiting factor in making ground on bulls.


Think we are going to see about getting a rifle tag for the same unit for the first, either sex segment. If not, we'll likely hunt the same area and terrain OTC, but maybe not the same unit. There is a steam driven train that runs from Durango to Silverton daily. It makes two stops for water where backpackers can get on and off. We might use the train to get into the backcountry and then take it from there. The downside is the train runs at the very bottom of a DEEP canyon meaning that you have to hike thousands of feet to gain elevation. The plus side is the pack out is all downhill back to the train. I did some research and a few hunters have used this method but the elevation gain is still a huge deterrent despite the convenience of the train. Most guys want to be able to park on top and immediately hunt downhill. That's just the way that it is.

Gotcha. A group of friends goes to CO at least every other year and packs into a base camp on horses. They've enjoyed very good success in early September with bows. Hunting with your camp on your back would be tough.


Yeah, horses are a common way to do it though, you definitely want to be very familiar with horses before attempting to use them in the mountains. Bringing your own from the East would be expensive and a lot to deal with. Renting horses is expensive and you have to tend to them daily. Using an outfitter is another common way. They'll pack you into a camp by horse then come back for you in a week. Those types of outfits generally start about $3,000 per person and go up. I did my entire hunt for about $900 (fuel + tag).
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3779331 - 09/30/14 03:52 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
infoman jr.
10 Point


Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 4387
Loc: Elizabethtown, KY

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser

Yeah, horses are a common way to do it though, you definitely want to be very familiar with horses before attempting to use them in the mountains. Bringing your own from the East would be expensive and a lot to deal with. Renting horses is expensive and you have to tend to them daily. Using an outfitter is another common way. They'll pack you into a camp by horse then come back for you in a week. Those types of outfits generally start about $3,000 per person and go up. I did my entire hunt for about $900 (fuel + tag).

These guys use an outfitter who owns the horses. They call down with a sat phone if they kill one, and the outfitter brings up the horses, pack the meat out, and have it packaged by the processor by the time they are off the mountain. Their fee is $1600 for 10 days. Pretty reasonable.
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#3779370 - 09/30/14 04:52 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: infoman jr.]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
 Originally Posted By: Poser

Yeah, horses are a common way to do it though, you definitely want to be very familiar with horses before attempting to use them in the mountains. Bringing your own from the East would be expensive and a lot to deal with. Renting horses is expensive and you have to tend to them daily. Using an outfitter is another common way. They'll pack you into a camp by horse then come back for you in a week. Those types of outfits generally start about $3,000 per person and go up. I did my entire hunt for about $900 (fuel + tag).

These guys use an outfitter who owns the horses. They call down with a sat phone if they kill one, and the outfitter brings up the horses, pack the meat out, and have it packaged by the processor by the time they are off the mountain. Their fee is $1600 for 10 days. Pretty reasonable.


$1600 total for the service or $1600 per person?
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3779619 - 09/30/14 09:05 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5235
Loc: Mississippi

Offline
Great writeup/ story!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it... almost felt like I was there, and definitely felt the pain you were going through!

A couple of observations for next year....

When you go past 10,000 feet to camp, the risk of altitude sickness increases exponentially for every 1000ft elevation gain. Camping at 10k feet is a piece of cake... stay at 12k feet for several days without descending and you are going to feel it (as you did on the 3rd day). See a doctor and get Daimoxx next year if you are going to spend the night above 11k. Personally, I use a combo of Dexamethasone (steroid) plus Celebrex (potent anti-inflammatory to reduce muscle fatigue and joint pains) plus Nexium (to prevent stomach ulcers from the steroid plus NSAID combo). I'm usually sucking wind the first day, but then feel like superman after that. I'm not a big medicine person (it's very rare I would even take a Tylenol during the rest of the year), but I learned after the first trip out west that it makes a WORLD of difference.

You were definetly too steep for big numbers of elk. The big herds prefer to feed in large grass meadows at night, usually just above timberline, then feed downhill into the timber as the sun comes up at the beginning of the season. Most elk I've seen don't prefer to pin themselves against the vertical rock walls where their only escape route is down through danger into the timber at lower elevations. They like to have the option of escaping up over the top of more gentle slopes, or move downward to have multiple escape routes.

Look at the grassy hitop slopes in pics #10 and #11 in the background. Those tops make me drool. Guarantee they were loaded with elk at the opening of the season.

Once the season progresses, the elk get pushed off the gentle slopes and down into the smaller hidden meadows on benches down in the timber. A few will also get pushed up to locations you were hunting.

I find it easier to post up at daylight below the elk right at timberline. The elk are usually above you at that point, easy to spot, then start to move down into the timber. The initial downhill thermal allows you to move to either side to intercept them on the way down. If they get below you before you get to them, then you have to wait till the thermal reversal around 8-8:30 to start moving down into the timber after them and try to catch them going to bed or water.

So how far to go in to get on elk and away from the pressure of other hunters?

From what I've heard (and I'm NOT an expert... only done this 8 or 9 trips), the 'sweet spot' is around 1.5-3 miles in or so... less than that and you encounter all the day hunters; more than that and you start encountering all the outfitters and drop- campers. But honestly, a couple other hunters during archery won't really affect your hunting unless they are complete idjits or azzholes.

Yes, the weather was unseasonably warm... that is what killed the bugling action I suspect. if you were hot, the elk were miserable. Of course, the fact that the population has been reduced by 2/3 over the past 5 years doesn't help.

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#3779856 - 10/01/14 07:22 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: megalomaniac]
Deck78
6 Point


Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 766
Loc: hipster hollow

Offline
Righteous story and pics! I love how hard y'all pushed it for an encounter! Next year!
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#3779920 - 10/01/14 08:21 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: megalomaniac]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: megalomaniac
Great writeup/ story!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it... almost felt like I was there, and definitely felt the pain you were going through!

A couple of observations for next year....

When you go past 10,000 feet to camp, the risk of altitude sickness increases exponentially for every 1000ft elevation gain. Camping at 10k feet is a piece of cake... stay at 12k feet for several days without descending and you are going to feel it (as you did on the 3rd day). See a doctor and get Daimoxx next year if you are going to spend the night above 11k. Personally, I use a combo of Dexamethasone (steroid) plus Celebrex (potent anti-inflammatory to reduce muscle fatigue and joint pains) plus Nexium (to prevent stomach ulcers from the steroid plus NSAID combo). I'm usually sucking wind the first day, but then feel like superman after that. I'm not a big medicine person (it's very rare I would even take a Tylenol during the rest of the year), but I learned after the first trip out west that it makes a WORLD of difference.

You were definetly too steep for big numbers of elk. The big herds prefer to feed in large grass meadows at night, usually just above timberline, then feed downhill into the timber as the sun comes up at the beginning of the season. Most elk I've seen don't prefer to pin themselves against the vertical rock walls where their only escape route is down through danger into the timber at lower elevations. They like to have the option of escaping up over the top of more gentle slopes, or move downward to have multiple escape routes.

Look at the grassy hitop slopes in pics #10 and #11 in the background. Those tops make me drool. Guarantee they were loaded with elk at the opening of the season.

Once the season progresses, the elk get pushed off the gentle slopes and down into the smaller hidden meadows on benches down in the timber. A few will also get pushed up to locations you were hunting.

I find it easier to post up at daylight below the elk right at timberline. The elk are usually above you at that point, easy to spot, then start to move down into the timber. The initial downhill thermal allows you to move to either side to intercept them on the way down. If they get below you before you get to them, then you have to wait till the thermal reversal around 8-8:30 to start moving down into the timber after them and try to catch them going to bed or water.

So how far to go in to get on elk and away from the pressure of other hunters?

From what I've heard (and I'm NOT an expert... only done this 8 or 9 trips), the 'sweet spot' is around 1.5-3 miles in or so... less than that and you encounter all the day hunters; more than that and you start encountering all the outfitters and drop- campers. But honestly, a couple other hunters during archery won't really affect your hunting unless they are complete idjits or azzholes.

Yes, the weather was unseasonably warm... that is what killed the bugling action I suspect. if you were hot, the elk were miserable. Of course, the fact that the population has been reduced by 2/3 over the past 5 years doesn't help.


Great info and thanks for adding it to this post which, from beginning to end, has become a very informative primer for any member looking to do their first Elk hunt.

Distance. At our furthest distance, we we're only 4 miles from the truck. Granted, that 4 miles would have basically taken an entire day to cover. The Outfitted camp and pack llamas that we saw, even though they were hunting a couple of miles away, had come in a less direct way, but had covered about 8-10 miles, so your theory appears to hold true in this case.

As for the Elk themselves, we really only had our experiences hunting whitetail on public land to base our best guesses on so we were looking for an out of the way/overlooked/underappreciated/isolated/difficult-to-access area that whitetails always seem to end up in when under pressure. I had no illusions of finding the "motherlode" of unpressured elk casually grazing in open meadows during daylight like cattle (though, magazines and TV shows would often have you believe this is the case). I guess what we were looking for is a group of elk or elk in huntable numbers that nobody else was after.

So, the question is, if going OTC, are you better invested to look in more conventional areas where you are certain to run into other hunters, but possibly with more elk running around, or go for a more hard-rabbled experience with less elk, but what you do have, you have to yourself? That's a tough question especially for the novice elk hunter who may have no idea just how many people they can run into at all levels of penetration: Day hunters at sub 1 mile from access, deep hunters at 2.5 miles +, and outfitted/horseback hunters with unlimitied range.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3779941 - 10/01/14 08:36 AM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
WMAn
8 Point


Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 1226
Loc: Williamson County

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
So, the question is, if going OTC, are you better invested to look in more conventional areas where you are certain to run into other hunters, but possibly with more elk running around, or go for a more hard-rabbled experience with less elk, but what you do have, you have to yourself? That's a tough question especially for the novice elk hunter who may have no idea just how many people they can run into at all levels of penetration: Day hunters at sub 1 mile from access, deep hunters at 2.5 miles +, and outfitted/horseback hunters with unlimitied range.


Based on no personal experience whatsoever, I think you have already answered your question with next years plan - Go Back With a Rifle.

With a bow, I believe the low elk numbers and difficult terrain are a disadvantage even with light pressure. Opportunities will be fewer and more difficult to capitalize on.

But with a rifle, fewer opportunities matters less because of your increased range. Plus the increased pressure that comes with everyone else being armed with a rifle may push more elk into the harsh terrain and create even more opportunities.
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#3780180 - 10/01/14 12:17 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: WMAn]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

Offline
Awesome write up and thanks for sharing!

I thought I was insane and crazy when it comes to pushing myself...looks like there are more and more of us morons who take it to the next level to have the adventure of our dreams!

I have always been told elk retreat to the nasty stuff, not always far far away...just somewhere most hunters would not consider packing anything out. A couple places I mule deer hunt in WY are this way, only surrounding landowners have the easy access...other than that hiking in is the only way (horses could not navigate either).

Question; did you use the CO G&F website to help in planning your hunt, specifically the area you chose? CO OTC elk hunting is likely my next addiction that I am about to start. Part of my planning philosophy is going to be looking for areas with high elk numbers and moderate public land access, harvest ratios are not to important to me because archery is such a low ratio I think they are irrelevant (rifle is another story of course). I basically want an adventure with a realistic chance to get into elk; cow, bull, spike...whatever is legal. For OTC hunts the "trophy" is about the least important thing to me.
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#3780236 - 10/01/14 01:11 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
infoman jr.
10 Point


Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 4387
Loc: Elizabethtown, KY

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Poser
 Originally Posted By: infoman jr.
 Originally Posted By: Poser

Yeah, horses are a common way to do it though, you definitely want to be very familiar with horses before attempting to use them in the mountains. Bringing your own from the East would be expensive and a lot to deal with. Renting horses is expensive and you have to tend to them daily. Using an outfitter is another common way. They'll pack you into a camp by horse then come back for you in a week. Those types of outfits generally start about $3,000 per person and go up. I did my entire hunt for about $900 (fuel + tag).

These guys use an outfitter who owns the horses. They call down with a sat phone if they kill one, and the outfitter brings up the horses, pack the meat out, and have it packaged by the processor by the time they are off the mountain. Their fee is $1600 for 10 days. Pretty reasonable.


$1600 total for the service or $1600 per person?

That's per person.
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#3780253 - 10/01/14 01:27 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: AT Hiker]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: AT Hiker
Awesome write up and thanks for sharing!

I thought I was insane and crazy when it comes to pushing myself...looks like there are more and more of us morons who take it to the next level to have the adventure of our dreams!

I have always been told elk retreat to the nasty stuff, not always far far away...just somewhere most hunters would not consider packing anything out. A couple places I mule deer hunt in WY are this way, only surrounding landowners have the easy access...other than that hiking in is the only way (horses could not navigate either).

Question; did you use the CO G&F website to help in planning your hunt, specifically the area you chose? CO OTC elk hunting is likely my next addiction that I am about to start. Part of my planning philosophy is going to be looking for areas with high elk numbers and moderate public land access, harvest ratios are not to important to me because archery is such a low ratio I think they are irrelevant (rifle is another story of course). I basically want an adventure with a realistic chance to get into elk; cow, bull, spike...whatever is legal. For OTC hunts the "trophy" is about the least important thing to me.


I hear you. We did look at the site some, but its almost too much information and everyone has access to the same info. In the end, we just zeroed in on an area of the state where we liked the terrain (I.e. "this would be awesome terrain to hunt in") and then picked an OTC unit in the general area that was big and had large areas of public land that were unbroken by private property. When we looked at the elk migration overlay, it showed that the area we looked at was not on the migration route. The migration route through our unit passes through an area with lots of access roads. That fact lead us to conclude that was where the pressure was. Basically, we went in on the assumption that "elk live everywhere, not just where the map says they concentrate" and "at least some elk will move to areas where hunters are not." Basically, we used the info to figure out where everyone else would be hunting and then looked for a specific area where we thought that no one would be hunting based upon the same info.

If you try to statician your way into success on OTC units, I do think you will drive yourself crazy. I would suggest hunting in terrain that you like and are physically capable of hunting in. So long as the stats aren't unusually low, I wouldn't worry about them so much. I read a book on public land elk hunting http://www.amazon.com/Public-Land-Hunting-Matthew-Dworak-ebook/dp/B00F100MUW (the author is a member of a backpack hunting forum I follow) and it basically said "look at the map and find where all the squiggly lines jumble together. That is where the elk are and the hunters are not"
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#3780580 - 10/01/14 06:40 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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Hey Poser how did you like using the sawyer water filter?
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#3780645 - 10/01/14 07:19 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
Hey Poser how did you like using the sawyer water filter?


I liked it. My partners used the same filter but as an inline setup on their bladders. They were much faster than me at the time of collecting water because all they had to do was dunk their bladders (they filtered as they were drinking). I, on the other hand, had to filter the water for my bladder. I also had 2 32oz bladders -one for rehydrating meals and coffee and another that I mixed recovery drinks and green infusion (basically a concentrate of greens, fruits and vegetables in powdered form). To filter enough water to fill all 3 up would take me 30 or so minutes. I think my partners got annoyed since they were ready to keep going in 2 or 3 minutes.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3780737 - 10/01/14 08:07 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: Poser]
ghosthunter
10 Point


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 3712
Loc: chattanooga

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How would they fill their bladders? Just dunk them under water? A lot of the water sources I used were shallow streams making it a pain to dunk a bladder under and get full. I'm open to ideas. That would shave a good bit off my weight if I could ditch the pump.
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#3780808 - 10/01/14 08:32 PM Re: Backpack Elk Hunt: Where to Shave Weight? [Re: ghosthunter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

Offline
 Originally Posted By: ghosthunter
How would they fill their bladders? Just dunk them under water? A lot of the water sources I used were shallow streams making it a pain to dunk a bladder under and get full. I'm open to ideas. That would shave a good bit off my weight if I could ditch the pump.


Yeah, they just dunked the openings in their bladders or, on small streams, found a little waterfall. Using the bag like I did, you would be able to filter even in the smallest streams, just might take awhile to fill the bag up. The kit comes with 3 sized bags: a 16 oz, 32 and 64 oz. I carried the 32 os, but may go with the 64 next time just to save time once I get the bag filled. Its a little bit tedious, but I don't mind it. I just feel a bit guilty when others are waiting on me and I'm much slower than they are.
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

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