Anyone taking a trip to elk or sheep country had better outfit themselves with the right hunting equipment to conquer the mountains. Unlike an afternoon whitetail hunt on the back 40, you can’t get back to your truck or hunting cabin with an easy 10-minute hike. Packing for a high-elevation adventure requires careful planning and only the best mountain hunt gear.
Headlamp: Black Diamond Storm
A high-quality headlamp, such as the Storm ($50) from Black Diamond is a must-have in the mountains. This fully waterproof headlamp features three-color RGB night vision to keep you from spooking nearby critters, and also offers 350 lumens of power, making it the perfect choice for late-night navigation back to camp or for blood-trailing duties and after-sunset field-dressing jobs.
Tent: Browning Boulder 2-Person
Built to handle extreme conditions, the Boulder 2-Person ($220) tent from Browning features vertical side walls for extra elbow room as well as two oversized vestibules for gear storage. It weighs a little over 8 pounds and measures 46 inches at the center. This perfect-for-the-backcountry base-camp-style tent is also designed with a factory-sealed fly and floor seams to keep bad weather out and warmth in.
Backpack: ALPS OutdoorZ Commander X + Pack
Bowhunters toting a litany of gear into the backcountry for several days would be well served to check out the Commander X + Pack ($350) from ALPS OutdoorZ. This pack offers 4,000 cubic inches of storage, weighs just over 9 pounds in total (frame and pack weight), and is fitted with topnotch zippers, plenty of pockets and compression straps, and boasts an improved waist belt for comfortable hiking.
Boots: Kenetrek Mountain Guide
Any customer looking to strap the Rolls Royce of boots to their feet should look no further than Kenetrek’s Mountain Guides ($495). These 10-inch-tall boots are designed with 2.8mm-thick premium full-grain leather uppers as well as reinforced double and triple stitching in all high-wear areas. These kicks are waterproof, breathable and provide serious traction through stiff midsoles and the Formula K-73 outsole. For those early morning hikes through dewy or snowy meadows, add a pair of Kenetrek Hunting Gaiters ($75) to your boots and keep your feet much dryer throughout the day.
Smart Accessory: Mystery Ranch Blaze Stick-It
Some of the best backpacks on the market — by far — come out of the Mystery Ranch stable. This year, in addition to offering killer packs for all types of hunting, they’ve created the Blaze Stick-It ($35), which will not only keep users from being shot at while packing out a bull or buck’s headgear, but also add lash-on space to any pack. This is one of those mountain hunt gear forehead-slappers that seems so simple but hasn’t really been done well until now.