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Basic gear for high country cold weather elk hunting.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by H&Hhunter, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Yeah they put a nice romantic misty tint on everything you look at.
  2. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    Coupla things from Montana. If you want a lightweight hatchet, get the Gerber SPAX, I think it's called. Only about 10" long, handle included. Want to save some weight? Get a good monocular. After all, your rifle scope is a mono and your spotting scope is a mono. Why pack more heavy glass than you have to?

  3. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    I had an 8 power Ziess one time but it was a little feller with a tiny little 20MM lens and didn't do well in low light. I like the idea though, what do you suggest?
  4. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    I also had the Zeiss 8X, worked fine for me, but it went free to the wild one day and I haven't seen it since. I replaced it at considerably less cost with the Vortex 8X mil-dot. I am thoroughly familiar with the mil-dot system & find it enhances the utility for me. Didn't hurt that the Vortex was $120.00 either. It's a bit larger than the Zeiss, but still is a lot handier & lighter than a comparable pair of 8X bino's to my mind.

  5. KC45

    KC45 Well-Known Member

    One item I always keep in my pack is a loooong scarf. Having lived in Northern Europe for couple years I learned the benefit of scarf in cold weather. I have several but they are all 12+ inches wide and 10+ feet long. You wrap your head, face and neck with it multiple times to keep you warm and they can be used like balaclava too. A good scarf and a fleece beanie hat will keep your head, face, ear and neck warm.

    Another thing is I use foam ear plug to plug my muzzle to keep water/snow/mud/dirt out. I keep couple of those cheap foam roll up to use ear plugs in my pocket when hunting so they are always available when needed.
  6. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    DANG !!! Why haven't I ever thought of that? This what I love about THR, I just learned something, THANK YOU!
  7. Glenn.Myers

    Glenn.Myers New Member

    Great List

    This is a well thought out list. I've been here in Montana for the past 19 years and also spent several years in Alaska...Good job.

  8. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    welcome to THR, Glenn

    Greg, the gloves link in the OP is broken/expired. can you repost?

    I have been wearing kennetrek for long time and absolutely love them. i will definitely try the schnees!

    foam ear plug in the muzzle is a fantastic idea! thanks!
  9. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator


    Here is the glove but it looks like they are being discontinued.


    I went to Cabelas today and their replacement/upgrade appears to be a glove called the Pinnacle. And they are almost twice the price at $99.00 but they looked like seriously warm well designed gloves. I'll hang on to my old Dry Plus gloves until they die then will look real hard at the Pinnacle gloves.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  10. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    The Schnee Hunter IIs are awesome. With all the snow we've had mine have been getting some good usage.
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Robert I've gotten 6 + years of hard winter use out if mine. They are still in great shape, warm and waterproof as ever. In fact I wore them all day today in -0 temps and my feet were toasty. I started the day off watering horses and hacking ice balls out of their feet, Schnees has my undying devotion as long as they don't change a thing about their hunting pack boots! They are the best serious hard winter condition hunting boots ever made.
  12. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i ordered a set in january. they said 10 days to ship
  13. torqem

    torqem member

    definitely need a packhorse to help haul all that stuff. Wow. If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair, and a strap to keep them on you. Especially when on horseback or on slippery slopes. They tend to break if you fall on your face, knock them off flailing for balance, etc. If you seriously need them and have no spare, there went your hunt, right there.
  14. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    schnees arrived yesterday. perfect fit.

    what does it normally take to break them in?
  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Mine were action ready the first time I put them on. No break in needed.
  16. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

    Good list only differnce I do is is WWII shooters mittens instead of the gloves. It was 10 degrees F my late season and without the mittens my fingers would have been numb.
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Spare glasses are a must. Thanks for the reminder.

    Also in regards to all that stuff. Remember this is a drive in/ride in base camp list. :)
  18. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Well-Known Member

    Nice information H&H. When I first started elk hunting back in 2001 I carried a lot on me to make up for being overly cautious of trudging in the mountains. It's just I carried way too much of things I still carry when I started out. Served me well as I wouldn't have gotten far from the roads if I didn't think I had survival contingencies well covered. And not getting very far from the roads wouldn't have gotten me elk.

    Now, I've cut down an awful lot of weight to aid in mobility as we might put a good 7-10 miles a day in. We cover a lot of ground until we hit them. We hunt a lot of true wilderness areas that require leg power to access. It's just the way my partner and I like to hunt - private!

    Having said that I use a few cheap waterproof match holders for a few things, just not matches:

    1) I too carry petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls in my survival kit. I can pack enough in that little holder to last far longer than I think I could ever stay lost in the mountains, especially if following the stay put rule. No worry of that jelly leaking and getting on anything.

    2) I carry aspirin, ibuprofen, and 2 wrapped cough drops in one. I pack the aspirin in first, Ibuprofen next, followed by the 2 cough drops. I top all this with a cotton ball to keep them immobile where they'd start coming apart and powdering if I didn't. The aspirin is for heart attack emergencies. Have heart issue hiking those deep tall mtns and chewing an aspirin is your best shot of survival. The ibuprofen is for daily headache, muscle soreness, joint pains, etc...treatment. You can carry enough of these in that holder to last you well over a day. Just replenish back at camp at the end of the day if you use any. And the cough drops are for obvious coughing reasons. Elk can hear a long way up in those mnts when all else is dead quiet and you all of a sudden get that tickle.

    The cough drops are on top even though used less. When ibuprofen is needed I'd rather dump those 2 wrapped drops in my dirty hand than bare meds when I need the cough drops.

    3) I get heartburn, sometimes a short bout and sometimes my body just keeps producing. So I put in a few acid blockers like OTC Pepcid and put Rolaids or Tums stacked on top. Antacids stack just right in a column in that holder. As with the aspirin bottle, I put a cotton ball on top to keep things tightly immobile.

    I use a simple permanent marker to indicate what's in each so I don't have to be opening to find out. FS=fire starter, IB=Meds, AA=antacid type stuff. These take little room, keep the contents in needed good condition, air tight & dry, and easy to find in the bottom of my pack.

    I too carry a spark striker and a lighter as my 2 forms of fire start.

    This year I'd better start carrying a spare set of reading glasses....:rolleyes:


  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Elk Hunting Checklist

    I operate on two theories:

    1. A comfortable hunter is a good hunter -- and you have to be warm to be comfortable.

    2. You can't count on getting down off the mountain and may have to spend the night there.
  20. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Well-Known Member

    A small tent you can sleep in by yourself to get away from your snoring hunting buddies is the best thing I ever bought.

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