Tag Archives: Backpack Hunting

How To Prepare For Backpack Hunting

There’s nothing like getting off the grid for a hunting trip. The fresh mountain air, the enjoyable scenery, and the peaceful sounds make for an ideal getaway. But being unprepared in the wilderness can change all of that in the blink of an eye. You can never know 100% what to expect when heading out on a backpack hunting trip. All you can do is be prepared.

Keep on reading to learn how to best prepare for a backpack hunting adventure.

Trial Runs

Backcountry living is not for the weak, even if it is just for a couple of days. It is important to prepare your body for these adventures. Before your big hunt, carve out time to ready yourself for the physical and mental efforts you will be experiencing. Begin exercising a month or two prior to your first outing. In addition to preparing you physically, verify that the gear you plan to bring along will hold up well enough on your expedition. A trial run will show you just how ready (or not) you and your things are.

Packing Your Gear

The first thing you’ll want to do when packing your gear is to find the best pack. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes, so make sure to find the right size for you. Since you’ll likely be wearing your backpack for long periods, make sure it is comfortable.

Once you’ve selected your pack, you’ll need to determine what goes in it. Make sure the clothing you take is appropriate for the forecasted weather and is moisture-wicking. Verify the sleeping bag you bring along will keep you warm enough throughout the night. Do your best to keep these items to essentials and necessities.

Take as much food and water as you’ll need to get by plus a bit more in the event of an emergency. It may come in handy to find natural water sources in the surrounding area. Bring along a filtration system, iodine tablets, or something similar to make the water drinkable.

Lastly, you’ll need to pack any of your hunting gear. Tripod, ammunition, binoculars, and any other equipment you will require for your hunting excursion.

Safety First

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Being ready for anything, and everything could be the difference between life and death. While that may be a bit extreme, you never know when you’ll find yourself in trouble.

Wilderness wandering is best in groups. It’s not ideal for traveling alone in rural areas, so if you must hunt alone, make sure you communicate where you’ll be when you’ll be there, and how long you’ll be gone to your family or friends. Never head out without your compass, cell phone (if you have service), GPS, map, and first aid kit. Familiarize yourself with these tools and the areas in which you’ll be staying.

In addition to all this, use your best judgment and common sense when hunting.

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What Do I Need For Backpack Hunting?

You may have wondered what all the talk is about backpack hunting and even thought about trying your hand at it. But, you may have no clue what you need. Still, the thought of hiking miles in deep woods, just nature as your companion and with everything you need on your back seems enticing. We’ll discuss just what’s involved with backpack hunting so that you can make an informed decision.

Supplies to Bring

Here are the four main gear items you’ll need for backpack hunting:

  • Tent or shelter
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag or quilt
  • Backpack (a good-quality, large one)


Choosing a good-quality backpack is obviously the meat of your backcountry system. Since it hauls everything you’re going to need in it, it’s imperative to get one that you get a backpack that is both capable of hauling heavy loads and, most importantly, fits you. If you’re not sure, you can check out plenty of videos about backpack and backpack hunting. To try some on yourself, go to a sporting goods store. If you don’t have one in reach, then reach out to people on forums with expertise in this area. Also, if you contact the companies that manufacture the backpacks, they will most likely help you out.

Now, concerning how big the backpack is, a good rule of thumb is 1,000 cubic inches per day. But, you don’t need two different backpacks for a weekend trip versus a longer one. Choose a size that reflects the duration of most of your trips. For a more extended hunt, it’s a good idea to select one that carries about 5,000 cubic inches. This is just a guideline, so see what’s best for you. Everyone’s setup is different, and there are plenty of experienced backpack hunters who can get seven days out of a 5,000 to 6,000 cubic inch pack.

Shelter or Tent

Whether you get a tent or have some other shelter is entirely up to you and where you’ll be hunting. If you live somewhere where dangers are surrounding you, you may want a lightweight enclosed space a tent offers. If you’re in a place where that’s not so much an issue, consider a floorless shelter or running a bivy sack. Bivys are a lightweight, simple option for hunters who are only looking for a place to sleep and nothing more. Now, if it starts raining, you’re stuck in it until it stops—that is unless you want your sleeping bag to get wet.

Quilt or Sleeping Bag

Again, whatever you use to put over you is mostly your own preference, but it’s important to think about the weather. If you’re going to be in freezing or sub-zero conditions, the best thing to get is a mummy bag, since they insulate your body heat. These types of sleeping bags are more comfortable but may weigh more and take additional space in your pack.

An alternative is a quilt, which is designed with a footbox (similar to a traditional mummy-style sleeping bag) This helps reduce the weight since it doesn’t contain the bottom portion of the bag.

Last but not least, don’t forget food, water, clothing, and of course, a first-aid kit. 

Call R&K Hunting

We have trained and experienced hunting guides that offer the best backpack hunting experience for your exciting adventure. Contact R&K Hunting to book your hunting trip with us and get ready for backpack hunting.