your possibles bag


January 29, 2003, 06:23 PM
In the old days a mountain man carried a 'possibles bag' a bag that had a bunch of stuff in it he just MIGHT need when he's off away from camp.

As an off shoot of the "what's in your SHTF Rucksack, I thought it would be cool to discuss what we ACTUALLY take with us on a hunt.

My Fannypack usually contains:

Dry socks (2 pair)
Metal match
calcium carbonate (when mixed with water makes acetylene gas)
(seeing a theme here?)
A large candle
GORP and some sealed jerky, breakfast bars or other high energy carb-laden bars + LUNCH (you don't want to get in the habit of eating your emergency food)
spare glasses (actually broke a pair with fading light once.. no fun I assure ya)
Deer drag
500 feet of paracord
roll of biodegradable marking tape
Ex. Batteries
camera (you never know)
meat saw
cyalume light sticks (2)
emergency space blanket
sierra cup
water filtering straw
large triangluar bandana (sling, head rag etc)
small first aid kit (ace bandage, bandaids, aspirin)
rubber gloves (a new addition)
Spare blade for wyoming knife
Smokes (a habit I still haven't given up)
ball point pen (come on McGuyver!)
Waterbottle/camelback (depending on the season)

I'm not sure that's all of it...

That's in addition to 8 rifle rounds, 24 pistol rounds, three kinds of knives and outerwear to taste.

The stuff weighs a lot, and I probably carry too much (in fact I passed on a larger pack so I wouldn't overfill it with junk I didn't need.) But you know what.. that basic kit goes with me just about every time I step into the woods. Big Game/small game/fishing trips/backpacking.

Dad's pack is similar, but he uses a larger pack so he can stow his jacket if he wants.

In addition in the jeep I keep a snomobile suit, more socks, blankets, spare long gun, e xtra ammo, shovel, axe, saw, backpacking stove, pot, some canned food etc. (figure if I can find the Jeep.. I may need to get warm all over again or something)

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January 29, 2003, 07:07 PM
Just took a look & in a Cabelas' fleece pack (fairly small, but I can stuff (& I mean really stuff) a coupla down vests in there if it gets too warm). On the pack's top carry strap, a small aluminum d-ring.

Outer pocket has a folder Silva compass w/inside mirror, topo of the area in a freeze bag, licenses/calls & CCW in a folding thing, an old Herter's sharpening steel (about 5" long), a trick li'l crock stix thing (weighs 1/2oz) & a Swiss Army knife/Hunter.

Insides' a Fujifilm 27 exp disposable camera (X-800 film) w/flash, one heavy-duty 30 gallon trash bag & another 15 gallon tall kitchen bag, rifle sling, one of those 30-shot .22 LR pocket wallets, two Power Bars & assorted sucky type stuff, (ahem) TP & small travel pack of baby butt wipes, One ech emergency Space blanket & bag, 2X 50' hanks of 550 'chute cord, 2X 25' long drag chute straps, 1/2 length (5 rounds) of one of those Federal rifle cartridge platstic things, 2X mini Mags/one w/headband (each have 2X extra bulbs stashed inside)Thermax camo neck gaitor, lightweight capilene gloves, lightweight capliene balclava, heavy weight caplieve gloves with over-gloves = wool w half fingers,bandana, camo headnet & lightweight cotton gloves (think turkeys)a Coleman Western sheath knife, coupla extra mini BIcs & the hood of my Gore-Tex fleece outer wear.

Smallish survival kit stuf stuff into a plastic case (an old decontam kit which was never used = bare case) which hasa smalol plastic whitslematches in a case/flint strip/starters, very small SAK mechanical pencil, couple pie cleaners, Solitaire flashlight & 2 extra batteries, 3X birthday candles in a smallish tube, small lightweight Gerber lockback folder, a 1/2 dozen frabric style knuckle bandages.

Package weighs about 12 lbs & depending, I'll shove some of that into the truck rather than carry it & have been known to take a bit more. Oh yeah .... lunch & water.

Always wear a belt, pants get suspenders & i almost always carry a S&W 317 .22, a tube of Chapstick & a small SAK goes in one pocket & a full-sized lockable SAK goes in the other.

The two full-sized SAKs have saws & two blades each. Big game gets gutted, skinned, hung, I pack out the straps & loins & go back for the pack frame for the bigger hunks.

All this stuff sounds like a bunch, but CO does get shifting weather at times. I keep track of the stuff I've used & about 75% comes in handy most of the time - the rest is just insurance.

Truck is a vertible candy store & one could live out of that for a week.

Funny. Once I tagged an elk & started to use a Barnes XBT to sign my tag ..... yeah, no exposed lead.

Vern Humphrey
January 29, 2003, 07:19 PM
I do a lot of elk hunting in Colorado. Mornings, I check the thermometer at the bunk house (at 6,500 feet) and it's usually below 20 degrees Farenheit. I don't know what it is at 11,000 feet (elk hunting altitude) and don't want to kno -- might scare me!!

My philosophy is "dress cold, pack warm." I wear a flanel shirt and BDU trousers (I like them for the pockets.) I also wear good hiking boots with thick socks. I like stocking caps (blaze orange during hunting season, of course) and wool or wool blend gloves (from Wal Mart.) I carry, on my belt or in my pockets:

Small binoculars (prefer 7X25)
FMRS radio -- nothing like being able to call for help if you need it!
Large scale topographic maps of the area
Sheath knife
Swiss Army knife
Flashlight (minimag)

In my pack:

Spare socks
Thinsulate booties
Gore-tex booties/ socks
waffle-weave underwear
spare flannel shirt
down vest
extra stocking caps
goretex jacket (under the flap) -- mine is Dutch army surplus
fire starter
waterproof matches
Gerber Saw (bone and wood blades)
10 large, industrial grade trash bags (to protect meat)
20 feet of 3/8" rope
Extra batteries
"Iron rations" -- candy bars.
Water bottle
Straw filter
Extra ammo
Basic first aid pack -- bandaids, asprin, moleskin, etc.
Square of closed cell foam pad (to sit on)
Knife sharpener (about the size of a book of matches)

Art Eatman
January 29, 2003, 08:03 PM
For a serious loop of over ten miles, I carried toilet paper, maybe ten extra rounds of ammo, a 5" hunting knife, 15' of 3/8" rope, and a bandanna, all in my fanny pack. If the weather was turning off warm I took a canteen along. 7x35 binocs, my rifle and me.

When really getting far from jeep trails, I'd carry it all in a large external-frame backpack, with several garbage bags. Butcher Bambi in the back country and lighten the load.


January 29, 2003, 10:24 PM
Just three additions, which are even in my fanny pack:

Duct tape (just wrap 2' around a lighter or pencil or whatever)
Small backup photon-type light
Sealed bar of Triox for when you absolutely, positively have to be
able to start a fire

Finally, remember those garbage bags also make good rain ponchos, tarps, or even tents.

January 30, 2003, 05:21 PM
Well truth is when I'm bird hunting on someone's ranch or out stalking antelope in early October you don't NEED all that stuff. Still, I've hunted antelope in a t-shirt, and I've hunted antelope in a sideways snowstorm (same day!). Keeping your vehicle well-stocked is always a good idea.

It's a whole different thing tracking at 8000+ feet in early November.

Vern Humphrey
January 30, 2003, 05:32 PM
In the mountains, you have three problems:

1. Staying still -- which means staying warm and comfortable. That's why I CARRY clothes. When I stop to watch a trail, I strip off my sweat-soaked shirt, put on waffle-weave underwear, a fresh shirt, a down vest and a goretex jacket. Add socks, bootees, and stocking caps as needed.

2. Carcass processing. An elk is BIG. You need a saw and a sharp knife. You generally have to butcher on the spot (I've never been lucky enough to shoot one on a paved road;) .) I bone out the carcass and put the meat in plastic bags, cover all with spruce branches, and carry out what I can. I pack the rest out later, over several trips.

3. Survival. If you're caught on the mountain at night, you're in trouble. If you break a leg in a deadfall, you're in BIG trouble. You need to be able to talk to someone, to build a fire, and enough clothes to keep from freezing if you're immobilized.

January 30, 2003, 05:40 PM
Crown Royal
Holiday Inn Club Card
Cell Phone

January 30, 2003, 06:30 PM
I'm a gadget and gizmo nut, but I'm finding that the more I hunt, the less stuff I'm taking with me. Of course, I carry more stuff if I'm hunting alone a long way from home. But like you say, it's still a good idea to keep stuff in the vehicle just in case.

I still carry a small survival kit with me when I hunt alone.

Vern Humphrey
January 30, 2003, 06:37 PM
Think about who might be hurt before you make the Viagra jokes -- some of us can't take Viagra.

I take iron supplements, for example, and Viagra makes me spin around and point north.:D

January 30, 2003, 09:50 PM
Think about who might be hurt before you make the Viagra jokes -- some of us can't take Viagra.

OK Vern, I'll think of you when I do decide to make a Viagra Joke. I haven't made a Viagra joke yet but, when I do I will think of you. :neener:

January 31, 2003, 12:11 AM
Tricky bag is a good thing to have. What I put in it depends on what I’m planning on doing. Backpacking gets one type, car camping gets another, highway driving another, off-roading something else, etc, etc...

January 31, 2003, 10:51 PM
Marshall's kit is the best! For me you can leave off the smokes...........unless its a good cigar.

Seriously I carry all kinds of stuff in my truck or boat. The places I hunt here are within 20-30 mins from the truck. I always carry a knife, fire material, short piece of rope, and extra shells with me.

In the truck I have everything up to and including chain saws, come alongs, chains, oil, gas, charcoal, ice chest, food water, beer for after a drag. In the boat I leave out the chains, chain saw, come along etc.

February 1, 2003, 01:34 AM
The place I hunt is only about 500 yards from my family's vacation with all the modern trimmings and such,but I still get the urge to pack a little kit.
It includes
Wyoming kife with an extra blade

EDMF bowie knife made by Dale Sandberg

A pair a glasses if I wearing contacts

Contact solution

A ski mask or turkey hunting mask

A couple of 110 conibears in my coat pocket just in case.

Well, that's about it.

Art Eatman
February 1, 2003, 08:49 AM
When I first started hunting the Terlingua back-country, my "base camp" was my VW Bus--my "4-wheeled motel". I was short on serious medical stuff, but otherwise I was equipped for at least a full week without having to go get anything.

I've always like to dress "layered", so a little day pack to hold the clothing I take off as the day warms up is a Good Thing. Easy enough, then, to throw in stuff like a space-blanket, etc.

Non-smokers apparently are among the most lax about fire-starting gear of whatever sort. We had a kid die from hypothermia in Big Bend National Park, several years back. He set up camp on a nice, warm day. He then went for a hike, and during the afternoon a serious Norther blew in. He got confused about directions back to his camp. They found him a couple of days later, not too far from his camp. Shorts, tee-shirt, waffle-stompers; no matches. One-time event.

Nature bats last.


February 1, 2003, 02:35 PM
In addition to matches or a lighter, the best thing you can have is a couple of those space blanket thingies. These cost about $3 and weigh... an ounce?
I spent the night in one of these out in the bush and while not exactly toasty warm, I was able to sleep without fear of waking up solidified. They work quite well.

If it's real cold you can rig one up on the far side of your fire to reflect the radiant heat and wrap up in the other. Nice.


February 2, 2003, 04:33 AM
As Rob, & a couple others indicated, my list is for a hard-on day of elk hunting during a Colorado mid-November - figure a good 10K'+ fer starters & working up.

Starting at T minus 1/dawn, it is a tad colder than it might be somewhat later on, & certainly it'll get warmer by noon or so. Figure 5 degrees when starting out & 35 at the warmest - gotta have some place to stash yer stuff or you'll get all wet from your own sweating. Match your clothes to the conditions & all ...

I figure my clothes are my best bet for anything I will ever have to run into ( beside thqat "safety" between my ears). Having started out at -10, full-blown blizzard, dark, & otherwise really ****ty, I have had some experience.

Anyway, that's for elk.

Pokin' around, doing rabbits (in much the same terrain, BTW sometimes), etc., I usually carry much less - depending.

All-in-all though, you'd best be prepared to carry what it is you need to hang out awhile longer than you think you might.

The old Boy Scout ethos .... & yes, I do carry more than I've ever needed. But, the first time I have to actually use this stuff, I'll be upset if I didn't have twice the gear. ;)

Yup. I can hang out in the CO wintertime with what I carry if need be & I'd still not want to do it. I could live through it, but not be as comfortable as I'd want to be. It would seriously put me on the edge - depending (again).

Cell phones are cool, as are GPS-stuff ... many a place I hunt = you won't even get a signal = wasted weight (for here).

February 4, 2003, 08:21 PM
Yep, you'd be amazed to watch the faces of new hunters who can't catch 3 satellites for their GPS to work.

It's neat but its not a map and compass.

I could have gone on about clothes and stuff.

Do you all prefer modern tech clothes like polar fleece or do you stick with wool?

These days I find myself witha real mix of clothing/gear. Ie: Wool and spandex quilted long john bottoms, a silk turtle neck I got from a ski-shop, BDU or wool nato pants (depending on the severity of weather) a wool sweater, with a BDU type shirt over it and a polarfleece blaze orange vest or jacket, wool gloves and mittens (the kind that fold open into fingerless gloves) a wool "crusher" brimmed fedora and an SAS "headover" which is a tube of poly-stuff that you can use as a scarf, hat or ski-mask. Hi-tech wicking socks and heavy wooly socks over those. If its REALLY cold I have a Woolrich hunting coat that's wool on the inside/orange on the outside. Generally I prefer the quietness of a mucluck or moccasin-style boot, but when the weather turns south I'm in Sorels.

Still Learning
February 4, 2003, 08:46 PM
We should go hunting.:evil:

February 6, 2003, 02:14 PM

Assuming CO winter, lightweight capilene undies (turtle nech w/zip shirt), & depending on how cold = midweight capilenes to heavy weight (have had to wear 'em all a couple times), down vest/coat over that & Gore-Tex fleece camo outerwear (quiet & windproop/sheds moisture, but you well know, we really don't get much soaking wintertime here).

Thick wool for socks. Boots vary & heavy packs for way cold.

Thermax neck gaiter (not used unless very cold) & a lightweight capilene balaclava. Sometimes a wool balaclava over that for extremes.

Synthetics dry out quicker than wool, IME. & less bulky, weigh less, IMO.

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2003, 05:17 PM
Goretex in the mountains is not so useful for its ability to shed water (although in dark timber, with wet snow, that's important) but for its breathability.

Elk hunting is strenuous, and a down vest would soon be sweat-soaked and useless under an impermeable coat.

In my humble opinion, goretex is one of the greatest inventions for the outdoorsman in a long time.

February 6, 2003, 05:30 PM
"In my humble opinion, goretex is one of the greatest inventions for the outdoorsman in a long time."

I agree, Vern.

Seems it would suck in AK/anywhere else there's
was high water coming out of the sky. I know I've had my ultra-light backpacking GT overwhelmed in the Sangre de Cristos, but it's worked well in the Fla Keys during backcountry flatfishing in biblical downpours.

It's wind-stopping charateristics is my main seller - water-shedding is secondary.

At 10-20 degrees & snow, we really don't have any water to deal with. Worst case, after the snow-load builds up, I'll just give a goodly shake to dump all the snow that's built up on me. ;)

Elk hunting is as strenuous as you make it. I always figurede if I'm walking so fast as to break a sweat, I'm walking way too fast to be sneaky. I hunt the dark stuff mostly & a 50 yard shot is rare - too close. Might walk 100 yards/hr - sometimes much less.

To sweat here is to get wet = is to render your insulation worthless = is to die. Point well taken re down, though I wear gear that's tailored to the way I hunt.

Beatin' feet outa the area once I do get a critter down though, I may have to shed 1/2 my clothing so not to overheat, yada. Hence a larger pack than I'd rather carry.

February 6, 2003, 05:36 PM
I quit wearing a down vest years ago.. however I keep one in the Jeep.. its amazing how fast a down vest can warm you up.. almost as good as a cup of hot cocoa, really.

One of the only complaints I have about polarfleece etc is that it doesn't stop the wind at all, whereas the tight weave on a BDU style shirt in combination with a wool sweater makes a nice layered system, that you can still ventilate.

As for Goretex, its good for boots, but to me its FAR too noisy as a jacket to go stalking through brush , whereas wool and fleece are very quiet.

Glad to see I'm not the only one mixing and matching old and new tech clothes.

February 6, 2003, 06:07 PM
But Rob - a match of GT and fleece is the cat's- ..... uhm, meow? ;)

I'm using a Cabella's GT fleece all-purpose brown camo pattern - absolutely disappears in the normal CO dark stuff.

A down vest gives me great freedom of movement as does the lightweight capilene = warmth & zip for bulk.

Every bit of my clothing allows for extreme ventilation = paramount requirement.

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2003, 07:44 PM
I normally CARRY the down vest, and put it on only when stopped or moving slowly. But there are times when I've worn it when moving.

Where I hunt, there is a problem of getting to where I want to be -- a stiff 2,000 foot climb in the dark will make anyone sweat. By the time I get there and strip off my sweaty shirt, I'm wet. When I get re-dressed, I'm usually cooled down, but may not be -- so the gore tex gets a chance to strut its stuff.

February 6, 2003, 08:57 PM
& I'd think, Vern, that it has much to do with how we hunt.

Where I hunt, soon as I leave the tent, I'm hunting & although I may go that extra 2K+ to "git there," I hope to shoot somethiung much sooner. (Oh, Please God! ;) )

I leave at dawn (no more O'Dark Thirty hikes for me ... ). Hope to shoot something at the door & as such, that's where we camp - we be right at the edge.

My "2K+' climb" (if) is a completely sneaky still hunt to & a gradual sneak back to camp. That (maybe - IF) two miles will take all day. Preferrably, I'll camp in a spot where I can just contour to the best dark spots.

Good thread, Rob. Think it gives an insight to how/where we hunt & what we'd carry for varying climes, etc.

Betcha we could take 4 of us (all good hunters), drop us off & we'd go about it in 4 completely different ways.

Good food for thought.

Vern Humphrey
February 6, 2003, 09:42 PM
I think you're right. I find the elk in the area I hunt will be low, often in meadows, at night, and then start back up the mountain a bit before dawn. They have a favored route.

The problem is, you can't walk though the area where they are -- you'd just push them ahead of you. The trick is to get above them and meet them when they arrive.

The best way to do that is to go up a gully that parallels their route, but about a mile away, then slab across a steep ridge. That means going in at O Dark Thirty and climbing for a couple of hours, and being in position before sunrise.

Elk hunting is hard work!!

February 6, 2003, 10:16 PM
Elk hunting is hard work!!"

I've found that the hunting isn't so bad. The gettin' 'em out of the woods once you're successful is the real work. ;) Even the little elk are big.

Interesting though the various ways we (collectively) go about doing it.

We essentially backpack - although from our trucks - it's still what many would call a spike camp. We pitch & are right in where they live/directly aside dark timber, etc, I start out hunting right out of camp - 10 yards & I'm still hunting & have taken a coupla less than 100 yards from the tent.

'Course that all varies depending on where we end up, but usually pick areas where we live where, we hunt.

Too, even running chain saws for firewood & all that entails, I've yet to see that type activity really disturbs the game at all.

While sittin' 'round the fire (when in a down-turn mood), we've had elk, deer, turkeys walk right through the camp site. I've poked at least one elk & a deer while just sitting in the camp chair.

Missed many more because I didn't have a rifle handy ......

February 6, 2003, 10:21 PM
Still Learning,

Yea, those are what I call "off season hunts." I am ready when you are. :evil:

May 22, 2008, 07:56 AM
You talk about viagra but it will be interesting to know where you buy viagra, my friends recommend me to buy viagra here (

1911 guy
May 22, 2008, 08:10 AM
Strikin' paper (T.P.)
Bic lighter
Riser cord
Emergency blanket
Extra knife
Extra rounds for whatever cal. I'm carrying

If I'm squirrel hunting, I toss in a bellows call and cutting call, too. It all goes into a little fanny pack that I wear, ironically, opposite my fanny.

May 22, 2008, 07:50 PM
Magnesium fire starter instead of matches, streri-strips, surveyor's tape/ribbon, a couple leather laces, snare material, & a knife sharpener are in mine. The knives are on my person along with a multi-tool; the rest is fairly similar. Oh, and ALWAYS a partial roll of what once was called
"theraputic paper" . . .

May 22, 2008, 07:59 PM
Vern ~ I understand the sensitivity, being an old fart . . . someone stole my last mail order shipment . . . had to cancel the first date I've had in years. Evidently, there has been a lot of this type of theft occurring in this area. Police told me they are searching for a hardened criminal . . .

Sorry, couldn't resist . . .

May 22, 2008, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the revival. I'm planning an epic solo quest in 2 weeks and need to revamp my kit. Too much stuff! I'm probably going to go black powder this time too. I always seem to overpack. When I did my first solo backpacking trip I packed 15 lbs of fresh water 25 miles only to camp by a stream. Smart!

uk roe hunter
May 23, 2008, 06:33 AM
in the uk a "fanny" is what we refer to a pussy as. It makes me laugh every time i see you guys write it.

May 23, 2008, 10:04 PM
Med Alice pack
2 survival blankets
MREs/CLiff Bars
Lots of water
GI Compass
Camillus Pilot knife
First Aid Kit
Suture kit
Cell Phone
Glock 17 w/ammo
Survival tin(w/water proof matches, fishing line etc etc, water tablets)
Other stuff I can't think of

May 23, 2008, 11:15 PM
First and foremost is a gun and boolits, a knife and tags, all them others is extras, including binoculars but I always have those along. I don't carry much but then I am not going to hunt where I need to drag or pack some critter several miles either. Been there, done that, don't wanna repeat at my age. I will have some water and munchies along if I am out for hours, a space blanket, hood and gloves and a Bic lighter( magnesium starter is much better item), couple of plastic bags and a piece of nylon strap, a small sharpening stone, and a itty bitty flashlight, that is about it, except a spotting scope sometimes depending on the terrain.
I don't have a horse and don't plan on being one, several hundred feet of rope and a winch will and can pack a lot. The last several elk I have loaded in one piece and skinned em at home. No need to go miles in really, critters move around and all a guys gotta do is figure out where and meet em along the way, and/or be careful where you shoot em at in the first place.

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