Backpack Hunting Gear List 2019

With our last post recapping our backpack hunting adventure in the Victorian Alpine National Park we have received two main queries, what gear do you run and what are the rifle specifications. So without further delay we took some time to get lists compiled between myself and Brooky from underwear to rifles, here are our gear lists!

backpack hunting peak loads

Its at this point that we receive questions about pack weight, we’ve chosen not to include that here as its not a competition on who can carry the least or who can carry the most. For approximate reference, the gear lists total approx 22kg with food and enough water for a few days, but excludes the packraft, rifles, bino harness’ and binoculars. Once successful, as seen here, peak pack weight was 36.5kg for Brooky and 36.1kg for me, both of us are in the 80-90kg weight class. Again, this peak weight excludes the binoculars, harness and rifles

Backpack hunting requires a Backpack!

Pack BrandStone Glacier Stone Glacier
FrameX CurveX Curve
BagSky Talus 6900Solo 3600

Both Brooky and I now run Stone Glacier setups, with Brooky preferring a bag that is just big enough for a 5 day hunt when you already own newer and more packable gear. I went with the, ‘can always cinch it down’ theory and went for the second largest bag Stone Glacier made as I prefer to have extra capacity for luxury additions like a packraft. The beauty of the Stone Glacier frame design is that they have exceptional meat hauling ability and a dedicated load shelf to do it with, keeping gear and meat separate unlike traditional hiking pack setups. When we go backpack hunting for Sambar the meat load shelf makes a big difference with getting as much venison off the mountain as possible!

Sleep system

Sleep SystemBourneyBrooky
TentStone Glacier Skyscraper 2PKuiu Mountain Star 2p
Sleeping PadSea to Summit Comfort Light RegularSea to Summit Ether Light XT
Sleeping BagSea to Summit Talus II long (-10C)PhD Lightweight Custom (-6C)
Sleeping Bag LinerSea to Summit Coolmax insect shield linerSea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme

The big take away here is the strong similarities and to note we both run two person tents for ourselves as individuals with the Stone Glacier being slightly larger, a four season and a touch heavier than the three plus season Kuiu. The main advantage of two person tents when backpack hunting is simply the extra space! If we were to tackle a more extreme climb and spike camp with just two of us then we can also make the call to leave one tent at the base camp gear share more effectively and carry one two person tent to save weight.


Base Layers

Base layersBourneyBrooky
UnderwearMerino Country ‘Wundies’Icebreaker
Underwear (spare)Kuiu Peloton Icebreaker
Socks 1Injinji Toe socks Kuiu midweight mountain
Socks 2Kuiu midweight mountainKuiu Ultra Merino
Socks 3Merino Explorer
Thermal PantsKathmandu thermal (synthetic)Icebreaker 200 leggings
Thermal Pants (spare)Kathmandu thermal (synthetic)Kathmandu thermal (synthetic)
Thermal TopKathmandu thermal long sleeve merinoIcebreaker GT 150

Merino, with some more merino and synthetic leggings. There are a myriad of advantages when it comes to choosing Merino for base layers and they are best understood with a google search on the topic as its extensive. We would like to point out one main advantage specific to backpack hunting though, odour control. Merino underwear and a baselayer top do an exceptional job of containing body odour and wicking away moisture which in turn enables you to wear the same clothes day and night for 5 days straight without stinking out camp or feeling completely gross in your own skin. If there is 2 areas paying extra for merino is worth it, in our experience, underwear and top base layer.

I should mention here that the toe socks were an experiment that I wont repeat, I wont take them backpack hunting again.

Middle Layers

Mid LayersBourneyBrooky
T ShirtKuiu 130 Merino
Long SleeveKuiu 200 Merino
JumperPeloton 200 Zip-T Hoodie
ShortsSwazi Micro DribackSwazi Micro Driback
Soft Shell JacketKuiu Guide DCSStone Glacier DeHavilland
InsulationPatagonia recycled down jacket

Mid layers can overlap with base layers a bit which can get a touch confusing, but basically they are used for layering to ensure enough insulation is achieved for the current weather and exertion. They are best easily taken on and off as exertion levels and weather shift, eg softshell jackets can be ventilated and provide brush protection for the base layers when hiking but can be insufficient when parked on a glassing knoll, so adding a merino long sleeve or jumper can bump the warmth levels up considerably and can be done quickly. for reference, everyday I wore my base layers, Swazi Micro Driback shorts and the Soft Shell jacket with other gear being added or removed depending on conditions.

Outer Layers

Outer LayersBourneyBrooky
Rain JacketMoroka30 packjacketSwazi Tahr Anorak
Rain PantsFirst Lite Boundary StormtightFirst Lite Boundary Stormtight
GaitorsFirst Lite BramblerCactus dupergaiter
BootsScarpa Kinesis GTXScarpa R-Evolution Trek GTX
BeanieSome old ThinsulateSwazi Clansman Beanie
HatBlaze orange Baseball CapBlaze orange Baseball cap
GlovesGill fingerless gloves and first lite fingerless merinoFirst Lite Catalyst Soft Shell

The main difference here is I had the light Moroka30 Packjacket while everyone else around me had a Swazi Tahr Anorak and frankly the Swazi Tahr Anarok is awesome, warm and actually waterproof, while the Packjacket did eventually soak through on the last trip. The Swazi Tahr Anorak is however a touch on the heavy side and is warm, which contrary to most situations, for me its a negative, I prefer rain gear that cuts out the wind and rain but is a bit cooler as I generally ‘run hot’ and seem to have a higher cold tolerance than my compatriots.

Now after a few outings I’ve determined that the fit of the Moroka30 packjacket just isn’t as good as all my other bits of gear. When it comes to gear the best compliment is generally that you don’t notice it, it simply does its intended job and you forget about it and focus on the task at hand. For me, I notice the packjacket and it comes down to not quite being a good fit for me plus while waterproof, it does soak through in extended wet weather. So i’m certainly comfortably in the market for a new rain jacket, but still doing my research on that one.

All of the things

BinocularSwarovski EL 10×50Leice HD-B 10×42
Binocular HarnessMarsupial gearMarsupial Gear
RangefinderTerrapinXLeica H-DB Binos
Kestrel/Ballistics5700 Elite5700 Elite
Hearing ProtectionHoward leight banded plugs (+ backup foam plugs)Howard leight banded plugs (+ backup foam plugs)
GPSiPhone with AvenzaAndroid smartphone w Backcountry Navigator
Spotting ScopeVortex Razor 16-48×65
TripodVortex Summit, Outdoorsmans Micro Pan Head
Shooting CradlePRS SSP1
KnifeR and N blades Helium 1Kestrel EDC, Leatherman skeletool
SharpenerLansky pocket sharpener
Game BagsKuiuKuiu quarter
SawSilky R180
Head torch Ledlenser H7R.2 Rechargeable HeadlampLed Lenser SEO7, Black Diamond ReVolt
Water bladderMSR Dromedary 10LOsprey Hydraulics 2.5L, MSR Dromlite 4L
Water NalgeneStone glacier wide mouth
total water capacity11 litres6.5L
Preferred mealsHomemade brekki bars, salami and cheese, BackCountry CuisineHomemade brekki bars, salami and cheese, BackCountry Cuisine
StoveMSR windburner
SporkSea to summit alloy long handleSpork
FirestartersVaseline cotton balls
Medical KitSea to summit 1L dry bag with extensive First aidBasic First Aid kit
ParachordLots of bright coloured 3mm
Solar chargerPowertraveller
Battery packXiaomi 10000mAh
CameraOlympus OMD EM5 MachII
Pack raftCaribou Alpackaraft
FlyMoroka30 gear Fly

Not much to say here as we have probably forgotten the odd item, eg matches and spare batteries! Also the gear sharing is obvious, the beauty of not hunting solo is the ability to share and save on individual overall weight. It should also be noted that due to some last minute decisions, the packraft stayed behind, but was left on the list because if there is opportunity to use it, it can dramatically increase the carry out capacity.

Backpack Hunting Rifles

ActionTikka T3Tikka T3
StockBolly UPH Gen3Bolly UPH Gen3
TriggerBix ‘n’ AndyFactory
Bolt HandleLumley Arms Titanium with CF knobFactory
RailArea 419 20MOAArea 419 20MOA
RingsPorter Machine Works 30mm LowPorter Machine Works 30mm Medium
ScopeTangent Theta 315M Gen2 XRTangent Theta 315M Gen2 XR
Scope CoversTenebraexTenebraex
Bubble LevelPDIPDI
Stock PackTriad tacticalBeartooth
BarrelCarbon Proof Sendero 284 1:8 26”Carbon Proof Sendero 284 1:8 24”
Chambering284 Shehane7mm SAW
Muzzle BrakeAPA Little BastardAPA Little Bastard
Trigger GuardAtlasworxs OTM alloy guardAtlasworxs CTR to AI Guard
MagazineFactory 3 roundMDT Short Action no binder 5 round

The 284 Shehane is a dedicated mountain hunting rifle and has been covered extensively. Only change of late being it is no longer fire forming, it is running at ‘full strength’ driving the 168gr Berger VLD at approx 2950fps (actual mv varies with powder temperature), which dropped a Sambar stag on the spot last hunt from 634m.

Trollhammer on the other hand has been only mentioned by name a couple times, it was devastating on the Sambar it shot on the last trip, plus with it stacking rounds and being competitive at PRS as well it certainly deserves its own post….