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  1. #26

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    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

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    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
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    180

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    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!

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    Osprey makes some very good quality packs specifically for women. Check out REI as a source. Depending on where you are in Kansas, a short road trip to a store (call ahead) might be a good idea. There is an REI in Kansas City, I think. Finding someone that knows how to fit you for a pack is probably more important that exactly which brand of pack you end up with.

    The core of your backpacking gear is your boots, pack, sleeping bag, and tent, probably in that order. Spend your money carefully on those.

    Tripods and spotting scopes are pretty distant options, not just because of cost, but also weight and space issues when backpacking.

    FWIW, since there seem to be 3 of you, you might consider two 2-person tents to give you a bit more flexibility and some storage space. A 4-person tent is nice, but if only two people are going on a particular trip, weight becomes an issue.

    Good luck!
    Exactly what I was going to say. A lot of people insist on pushing for "hunting" backpacks, and they do have a few extra bells and whistles but you'll do just fine using an earthy colored REI pack. Head in there and just try a few on. Usually there's someone that really knows their stuff and will be able to walk you through finding the correct fit. They'll also all have womens packs, which I would highly recommend as dudes and chicks are obviously different shapes. My wife enjoys her Gregory, but an Osprey, REI, Kelty, etc. would be just as good.
    Squirrel!!!

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Posts
    359

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    I will caution you that elk hunting is highly addictive...but so is most hunting in the Rocky Mountains to me. Good luck on the new adventure and I hoe you enjoy the journey. For me, gear is in constant flux. After each year I evaluate what works and what needs to be tweaked. I have settled on a Marmot down sleeping bag, Swarovski optionals (spotter and Bino), Sitka or firstlite for clothes, Merrell boots, Garmin GPS, Mathews Bows, Howa rifles and leupold scopes.

    I have a good fitting pack frame but carry a small badlands pack for most hunts. I cover a lot of ground and like to stay as lightweight as possible.

    I seem to like finding and perfecting my gear. Every year I refine less and less. I really thank no my biggest purchas items (optics, bow, rifle, clothes, etc) have been hard. They are large investments up front but have made my time way more enjoyable. If I could get back all the money I spent on cheap glass and cheap gear I would be way ahead now...but that was not practical when I was young and going through school.

    Good luck and post some good hunting photos when you go.

    Stay safe and have fun.

  6. #31

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    New hunter here, but I'm going through the process of obtaining everything needed except for camping gear.

    The items you listed that could possibly be in your 1K budget were:
    - packs (thinking Mystery Ranch or Stone Glacier)
    - tripods (for binos and spotting scopes)
    - spotting scopes
    - GPS
    - tents / shelters (to replace the "family" style tents we all grew up with)
    - cooler upgrades
    - Montana decoys (i.e. big red cow)
    - trekking poles
    - meat bags

    If it were me I'd go for the tent and pack, possibly meat bags (you're determined to down an animal, right!?) The others things you can make do without for now it seems to me. If you want to see the spreadsheet I'm working through send me a PM.

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