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  1. #26


    I echo the thoughts on not needing the GPS...except you mentioned Inreach. If texting your friends and loved ones back home is important to you then I understand. But I would not buy it for the GPS function over the OnX app on your phone. I have both and never use the GPS. You didn't mention boots, but mountain boots (elk hunts) are different than flatlander boots. I would stress quality mountain boots and Schnees Women's Beartooth are on sale right now and IMO those are at the top of the best boot list.

    With regards to coolers.....we bought an old freezer from Menards for $19 and take a generator. Might not work as well on a backpacking hunt when you are not there to run the generator, but it sure does work well for us. Plus you have a generator for other things.

    Mystery Ranch are the best, but I wonder if you could get by with a much cheaper pack frame to get your gear in and then use your daypack for hunting? Packframe doubles as a meat hauler. Just a thought with your budget in mind.

    You probably know this, but smartwool socks are essential in my book. A quality, warm puffy vest packs small and is insurance against cold weather. How about cooking? Do you have a small, packable stove like a MSR or Jetboil?

  2. #27


    Thanks for the input everyone! I (and my friends) really appreciate all of the input and advice. Also, huge shout out to the fellow Kansans out here! My friends and I hail from the Wichita area, so if anyone would ever want to get together for dinner/drinks and talk strategies or hunting stories, feel free to shoot me a message.

    One of the gals currently got her forest fire certification and was able to use a Mystery Ranch pack during her exam - she said she loved it! We've talked about heading up to KC to check out the Mystery Ranch packs there. I'm fortunate enough I get to head to Denver to meet up with work friends this summer and will check out the gear in stores there as well.

    I threw out the idea of renting optics to them as an alternative for future trips and it was a hit as well. We all have decent binoculars, scopes, and range finders, we just weren't too sure on spotting scopes and the pros/and cons of them (aside from adding weight to carry in).

    The InReach is definitely on the list because of keeping in contact with family and loved ones. Also, I've got Sprint for my cell service, so service can be spotty at times. I know that onX now has some awesome features to download maps to your phone and plan on testing it out thoroughly this year. Would any of you reccomend just trying to find a used Delorme instead? I know that Garmin bought them out in order to better integrate the messaging software with their GPS units.

    Also, definitely love GoHunt. I heard about it on one of Randy's podcasts last year, checked it out, and purchased a subscription the same day. My friends are happy when I share information with them for our group hunts and application deadlines.

    I currently do not have a small packable stove but can easily get one in town (thanks big box stores!). Does anyone carry in a smaller caliber firearm or anything to help fill the pot while hunting bigger game?

    Also, as a disclaimer: I'm an accountant which is why I threw out the budget idea in the first place. I definitely have dreams and can save up for them but wanted to get a better understanding from more experienced hunters as to what's really worth paying for and what needs to be passed up on.

    Again, I really appreciate all of the input everyone has provided and welcome whatever else you have to add that we haven't listed or thought of.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    New Jersey


    welcome to the forum! being on a limited budget, for now skip the spotting scope, and invest, ( if you haven't already), in a good pair of binoculars, I know Leupold make an adaptor for their binoculars to mount on a tripod, which gives them a whole new value, ( other brands probably do the same and make adaptors), as for packs, there are many choices out there, just make sure whichever brand you choose, it fits properly. As for trekking poles, for the last 3 years I've been using a relatively inexpensive pair by Hiker Hunger, that I got off Amazon, for around $40. They've held up well, even when put to heavy use. Good luck, and looking forward to you posting some of your adventures!

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