I live in the world of whitetails most of the year, so gear planning for deer is natural to the point where I don’t really have to think too hard about it. If I’m loading up the truck and driving 19 hours to Southern Colorado for an elk trip, that’s a different situation. I agonize over my gear choices then.
What I always find interesting is that no matter how much mind-grinding and equipment planning I do, I get some things right and some things plain wrong. For instance, last fall I started my elk hunt with a brand new, 5000-cubic-inch pack. By day three, that pack didn’t have a functioning zipper left on it. It was junk, so I had to go to a backup. Lesson learned.
If you’re thinking velvet mulies in a timberline bowl or perhaps bugling mid-September elk are in your future, listen up. The following products will be well worth their weight once you set boots down at the trailhead and crane your neck to see your 11,000-foot camping spot.
KUIU Mountain Star 2P Tent
KUIU is churning out some killer clothing and camping gear these days. This includes the Mountain Star 2P Tent, which tips the scales at a shade over three pounds (carbon-pole option).
It boasts a dual vestibule with side access for easy entry, an ergonomic design that allows for more comfort while sitting up or laying down, and internal storage pockets. This is the ideal tent for one hunter who likes to sleep in peace and heat up a cup of coffee or a round of Mountain House in his mobile shelter.
Cabela’s Instinct Scout 2-Person Tent
This all-season tent from Cabela’s utilizes the Frame Tensioning System for easy setup and added stability, which is always appreciated in the mountains when weather is rarely consistent. Or kind. The floor measures 87×52 inches, with a center height of 40 inches and an overall weight of about 5.5 pounds.
The Instinct Scout was tested extensively in wind tunnels and through load-bearing exercises to ensure that it’ll remain standing even if Mother Nature decides to dump a foot-and-a-half of snow on you overnight.
ALPS OutdoorZ Commander X + Pack
Alps OutdoorZ is making some of my favorite packs, and their Commander X + Pack is an excellent choice for serious backpacking hunts. This is because of the design, which incorporates an…