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Backpack hunting: Is there room for a budget?

For many, western hunting is the ultimate lifelong trip and, even more so, western backpack hunting is the true epicenter of adventure. There are a lot of things one can say about backpack hunting, but most conversations will probably start with gear. In this day and age, there is some damn nice gear on the market, and living in the woods has never been more efficient or comfortable, but some careful consideration needs to be made when purchasing. Not all pieces of gear are made like the other and some just flat-out suck. In the following, I want to dive down a hole of putting together a backpacking list from a budget-minded mindset and from the expensive side. And then, see what the overall pros and cons are for the full setup.


There are a lot of variables and subjectivity when it comes to purchasing gear so take the following with a grain of salt. I spent my early years backpacking using cheap gear which led to many uncomfortable nights and long days. I generally subscribe to the buy-once-cry-once method anymore, but man, I love a good deal! In the end, I'm a weight freak and I chase lightweight setups on my backpack hunts now, but lighter does not always mean better and there are areas where I’ll splurge a little when needed. When considering gear for your hunt it will be really vital to consider the time of the year you will be hunting and what specific needs you may have. For example, a late-season hunt may call for the use of the hot tent whereas it would be unnecessary for an archery elk hunt.

For the following example, I will use a September rifle hunt for Wyoming mule deer as our trip setting. This hunt will take place in mid-September and will be above treeline.

Before jumping in, let's look at the various product categories we will need to meet for a backpack hunt. To preface, these will be gear categories that I consider as bare minimums for necessary gear for a backpack hunt. Continue reading the full article, written by Dave Barnett here.


October 20, 2023

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Dave Barnett


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