Inside a Hunting Backpack! Essential Gear for Any Hunter
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Inside a Hunting Backpack! Essential Gear for Any Hunter

August 20, 2019


hey guys Scott Reekers here with EASTMANS’ HUNTING JOURNAL and my season is over and I wanted to share with you what’s in
my pack now this is not gonna be comprehensive well we’re gonna go
through there’s all the main parts of what’s inside this pack so let’s get
started and talk about this pack first this is the Eberlestock
Big Top pack this pack packed out an elk and a mule deer this year as well as
went scouting with me on two different occasions and it performed very well the
biggest reason I like this pack so I’m a tall guy Eberlestock makes several
options for tall guys and this is one of them it’s a style of pack where it’s a
big bag attached to an internal frame that gives me functional shoulder lift
functional shoulder lift is key for a guy like me along with the belt that
fits comfortably stays right here on my waist that’s why I picked the big top
primarily next reason is I like this panel loader the next piece that I like
about it there’s plenty of ways to strap it down now let’s take a trip inside my
pack and find out what I took with me this year on the 2018 hunting season alright guys so here is all of the
clothing that I have inside my pack now most of my hunting would be considered
mid to late season I’ll start around September 15th when the snow can start
to fall and it really starts to get wet all the way to that early November
depending on the deer season or how the elk season is playing out and with that
I’ll encounter a variety of things so at any given point you may find me without
one of these pieces or up to all of them just kind of really depending on how the
season is playing out so I’m gonna start with some basics first of all I always
have extra base layer underwear you get wet sometimes you want to change it out
that’s important in the mid to late season you start getting cold from the
outside and most often this is one of those things that gets overlooked a lot
of times people don’t don’t change this if you need to sometimes just one of the
ways that you can actually stay warm also changing out your merino base
layers I use the core series from Sitka that’s exactly what this is so another
piece what comes along with me I have the liner gloves also of my thick gloves
okay I’ve got my cold front gloves that I wear with me just about all the time
my hands get cold regularly that’s you know just nature everybody has their own
their own issues with their clothing system my hands get cold okay so I
always want to make sure that my hands are covered bringing these liner gloves
from citko along makes a huge difference in being able to keep my hands warm so
those are always inside my pack next piece is a favorite that I discovered
last year those of you that followed along on the Instagram story and saw me
wearing this this was like one of my favorite clutch pieces that I have this
is the Kelvin Light Active jacket it is I can’t I can’t speak highly enough
about it it’s just enough insulation to keep you warm when you stop to sit in
glass but then it also breathes and it makes sure that you’re not going to feel
like a wet dog when you sit down because you’re not you’re not completely soaked
it’s not insulation holding in all your sweat there the next piece there we have
is my Cloudburst rain jacket this is a go-to piece that I use it is always in
my pack a few years ago I quit carrying soft-sell gel jackets with me because
most of these breathable rain gear systems function exactly the same and
most of the time you don’t when you’re being really active you’re gonna wear
something like the Kelvin Active jacket you’re not going to wear your softshell
all the time because you’re gonna start sweating those don’t breathe as well
this function is exactly the same way breaking the wind so you may as well cut
the weight there then I also have a mid layer insulation this is also the piece
that we are giving away with our gift subscription this year this is the core
mid-weight t polygiene material it’s synthetic it dries very well is one of
my favourite pieces I’ve worn it now for about two years and it’s it’s fantastic
I can’t speak highly enough for its weight to warmth ratio so that’s one of
the reasons I was in there especially once I get passed out October 1st
October 5th on timeframe because generally the snow kind of comes in
phases I’m sure most of you have seen this tends to work really well as the
ground starts to freeze and it gets colder about 10,000 feet the next piece
that I have is the Kelvin Down Hoodie but this year you’ll notice on Sitka’s
website a WS label which stands for wind stopper this jacket is clutch when
you’re at your glassing point at the very top looking for deer elk and you
find it and there’s wind stopper there material that will take care of you and
make sure that you are not going to get frozen out on the very top of the hill
so it’s time to move on let’s talk about personal hygiene and your safety I’m gonna start here with this because
I’m a firm believer that one of the best things you can do when you get cold get
warm food inside of you so I will always have some form or fashion of stove with
me now the reason I am including this is because this is the stove that Ike and I
used on our mule deer hunt where we have llamas so weight was a little less of a
consideration but I brought this with I hauled it all over but it has enough
power to cook really quick for the both of us and so that’s why I chose this MSR
Windboiler stove to bring along for the majority of my hunts this year
functioned very well for two people and you can find options that are a lot
lighter I’ve got a Jet Boil that I bring along that is just for me that I use now
you always have to make sure you have a lighter with this this is not one you’re
going to be able to light without it so you got to have a lighter to make that
function and so some of them have an option that gets you that but I’m gonna
recommend that you bring a lighter anyway next piece is this is my first
aid kit if you’re really interested in seeing what’s in this first aid kit and
all the different pieces I’ll gladly do a whole video on it comment and let us
know that’s the type of material you want otherwise I’m not going to bore you
with the first-aid kit you can read an article on backcountry safety first-aid
kits and preparedness by Mike Glover and the most recent issue of EASTMANS’ BOWHUNTING JOURNAL
now the next piece of safety that I like to talk about is
water filtration everyone jokes about getting the beaver fever or the issues
that you can have getting that bacteria into your system you’ll never get rid of
it so I bring along a filter the vast majority of the time and the reason for
that is I know the conditions and I repeat hunt places because when you know
a place you know where the animals are going to be so that’s just my mentality
a lot of guys hunt state to stay in different places a filter is going to be
able to take care of you more often than the other methods of filtering your
water droplets you have to have a way to get the water into a container this
takes a puddle and can get it into your water containment system and you can see
I use a MSR dromedary bag I’ve replaced the lid with a regular Nalgene lid
I’ve just that’s the only piece that I was able to get to to leak a little bit
and I made this work in a pinch and so the next piece of my safety equipment
was I always have a gun cleaning kit and this is a 30 caliber gun cleaning kit is
really it’s really lightweight and worth the wait I went hunting with a friend
who’s actually a Special Forces operator he brought this along and he got his
rifle dirty my rifle got dirty I had no way of cleaning it pulls this thing out
he runs it through the barrel my gun is ready to go I was a believer ever since
so this is worth the weight penalty in my mind and chances are you’re going to
have more than one guy in camp with the either the same caliber or a 30 caliber
rifle of some kind next up is when it comes to safety equipment you always
want to have a headlamp that is easy to use and so I’ve got the Coast
Seventy-Five FLR here and this has become an office favorite we tested this
a SHOT show last year got to see it for the first time and just about every one
of us here has put it through the paces we’ve used it at multiple scenarios and
we really love this headlamp this is on the blog so we’ll put that in the
description of this video you could read a review where we’ve got this on blog.eastmans.com
and if you want to see more more in depth review of some of
this equipment we’ll put it through the paces on Youtube if you guys want to
hear that so leave some comments if that’s something that you want to do
next piece that I have is this is all my food usually you want to have about
3,500 calories that’s sitting in here then I always have some type of
freeze-dried meal another company that I really like is Off-Grid food company
this is Mountain House they make some great meals some great entrees that you
can use that’ll really get you heated up use this to get yourself heated up in
those late season hunts because you don’t want to get cold your internal
your internal system is a furnace will get you warm so next I want to talk
about what I use for my sleep system this year now this isn’t the end-all
be-all there are multiple sleep systems out there that you can use that are very
functional that do very well and if you want to see what some of the rest of the
team here at Eastmans’ is used go check out blog.eastmans.com and I’ll put
another link in our description of this video where you can see all the sleeping
bags and the sleeping pads that we test it out for 2018
and you can get a good idea of how they perform but I’m gonna talk about the
ones that I personally use and test it out if you want to see more of that
again leave comment let us know what you want to see us review here on YouTube so
first I’m gonna start with a sleeping bag we got this sleeping bag from Therm-a-rest
it is the Parsec 20 degrees and you can see that right there and I was
really impressed with the sleeping bag this year I never got cold and I did
hunt on some very cold conditions that’s also why I use this Therm-a-rest NeoAir
4 season bag and you can see you’ve got the fast release we use this and we we
tried blowing it up I was more comfortable using this than this for
blowing up I just felt like the foam the focused energy right here worked a
little better than this system but you can try it you can blow into this guy
and it’ll work but it worked really good for draining out all the air really
quick and this is this is a four season sleeping pad and so it worked very well
worked down to some really cold conditions and in conjunction with this
and then my Kelvin down hoody wrapped around my head used as a pillow I never
got cold this year worked really well finally what stops the rain from hitting
me this year well I had several options from Seek Outside this is the Red Cliff
this is what I can I used on our mule deer hunt and also on our week-long
scouting trip where we located some of the deer that we hunted and it
functioned very well it is a teepee style shelter even though it’s got um
it’s got more of a rectangular footprint than a round footprint like a lot of the
teepee shelters do this thing shed the wind incredibly one other thing I do
want to say is there are several great options out there as far as some double
walled tents if you are not the floorless type person I would recommend
taking a look at some of the Hilleberg options those those tents are bomb-proof
shelters and if you are incredibly hard on your gear I would definitely spend
the money on the Hilleberg it’s worth looking into those tents to round out
the gear that is a lot of times in my pack or on my person because I don’t
want to say that obviously these were in my buying a harness I use an outdoor
vision by no harness this year almost
exclusively and it worked really well but I had my Zulu Nines with me
they worked incredibly well for spotting some mule deer at distance they they
held up really well I was really impressed with the edge-to-edge clarity
as well as the low-light condition performance so if you’re thinking about
that that’s a great option that’s out there there are some other obviously
fantastic optics options but this is just what I use this year so take that
you know into consideration as you look at it the next thing is these are one of
the big you know if you get on any forum and asked about rangefinder the Sig is
going to be what a lot of people are talking about this is the BDX model I
did not have a BDX scope on my rifle this year they will work without your BDX scope like it doesn’t have to be paired with it to work this works as a
functional rangefinder and it worked incredibly well again I’m hitting a lot
on Ike and I’s mule deer hunt in fact if you want to hear that story listen to
Eastmans’ Elevated we talked about our experience with llamas how that worked
and then we also recap my hunt with Brian Barney so if you want to hear how
you know how we range the deer and the elevation and things like that on how
this thing performed that’s a great place to go do it next up on
cold-weather hunts later in the season I will always have a spare set of socks
with me now these socks are you know they’re always gonna be the wool variety
and there’s a there’s a lot of great options out there but I always have
extra wool socks with me because your feet get wet and one of the easiest ways
to get them dry really quick change it out open up your boots change out and
get your feet dry especially if you’ve got a lot of snow a lot of rain a lot of
ice you’re gonna want to do that because feet get cold you get cold that’s just
the nature how things work so next piece is if you are in area that has a lot of
changing conditions as far as ice being they’re on your walk in and walk out I
like micro spikes these are a great option that we’ve written several
reviews on you look back in the journal a few years and see these but when it
starts to get really cold I wear the micro spikes regular
and they have saved me on more than one occasion I was able to walk out actually
a creek bed that had frozen up on me that was like sheer almost on both sides
I was able to walk on just frozen rock basically if I hadn’t had them I’d have
been slipping like crazy next up is my ammunition I always have a almost full
box of ammunition beside was in my magazine no I don’t hike with one in the
chamber okay safety rule basic hunter safety
thing you don’t put one in the chamber till you’re ready to fire at an animal –
ready – you know take that shot but I always have enough with me the reason
why I always have enough with me is I don’t care how good a shot you are you
can have a bad day and knowing that you have an opportunity even with a little
extra weight then knowing that you have that reassurance that oh man I’ve been
gonna run out of ammunition if I take one more shot you don’t need that
pressure make sure you have enough with you and so that rounds out what’s in my
pack like I said this is not comprehensive we could go through a lot
of other little things but that is the essentials of what is in my pack now
here’s I want to do I want all of you who are avid youtube users to tag your
buddy who need some help figuring out what to
put in his backcountry pack I know a lot of you are heading into your either your
first backcountry hunt or you’re doing your research on it tag a buddy in the
comments who needs to see this video we are going to list five of you and then
we are going to put one of you in a drawing for a hoodie just like this one
and a subscription and so we will announce the winner in the comments and
we will private message you via YouTube and make sure you have subscribed to the
EASTMANS’ HUNTING JOURNAL YouTube channel and be watching for more tips and
tactics just like this

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