Thursday, August 23, 2012

Equipment List for my Colorado Elk Hunt

For the past year I have been putting together my cache of gear to take on my quest to bowhunt elk in the state of Colorado. Much of this will stay in camp or in the truck, but I want to cover everything I can. Some of the equipment will be taken care of by my buddy Eddy of Piranha Bowstrings in Colorado. I am very thankful for the effort he is putting forth in setting up camp and glassing up bulls before his brother and I arrive in camp. Thanks, Eddy!

Many of you have been asking me what I am bringing and if I'd share my list. Sure I will share! I have gone up, down, around and through this list and while it's not a perfect list, it's my list. Each person takes whatever they decide they will need and I think I have much of it well thought out. It is my first time and with talking with many elk hunters my list is 99% complete. If you have any recommendations, tips or just plain constructive comments, please share. I know I have more than enough, but I would rather be overly prepared than under.

One of the items below goes with me on every hunt. The Buck Special knife is one my dad gave me around 20 years ago. It still out performs many of my hunting buddies knives due to me taking care of it and constantly keeping it razor sharp. It has helped butcher up more animals than I can count and while it is a heavier knife, it is one of those sentimental items that goes with me always. Thanks, Dad!

Without further delay, here is what I am taking with me, minus the kitchen sink.

  • Hunter Education Card (Must have in order to hunt non-resident in Colorado)
  • Hunting License (Will purchase OTC when I arrive)
  • Hunting Regulation Book

  • PSE Bow Madness 65#
  • Easton 340 Full Metal Jacket Arrows
  • G5 T3 and Montec Broadheads
  • Scott Archery Releases (also bringing a spare)
  • Judo Points
  • TightSpot Quiver
  • Nikon Archer's Choice Rangefinder

  • KOWA 10x50 Binos
  • KOWA 10x42 Binos
  • Tripod with Ball Head
  • Badlands Bino Pack

  • Mountain House Meals (6 days worth, only camping for 4)
  • House of Jerky Black Pepper Jerky
  • Jetboil
  • Jetboil Fuel
  • Coffee Packets
  • Wilderness Athlete Gel Packs
  • Energy Bars
  • Cookie Boy Cookies

  • Trekking Poles
  • Badlands 2200 Backpack w/96 oz. bladder
  • Pure Hydration Water Bladder And Filter
  • Commander Freighter Frame Pack
  • Knives (Buck Special, SOG Woodline Fixed, Havalon Piranta)
  • Knife Sharpener

  • SPOT Locator
  • Garmin Etrex Venture GPS w/HuntingGPS Maps
  • Smith&Wesson Flashlight
  • LENSER L7 Headlamp
  • Nikon Camera
  • Brunton ReSync Charger
  • Camera
  • Camera Case
  • Digital Cards with extras
  • Extra Batteries

  • Schnee's Wilderness Hunting Boots
  • 6 Pair Of Wool Socks
  • Camouflage Pants (Insulated and Non-Insulated)
  • Camouflage Jacket (Insulated and Non-Insulated)
  • 2 Pair of RedRam Merino Wool Base Layers
  • Camouflage Gloves (Insulated and Non-Insulated)
  • Camouflage Cold Weather Hat
  • Brimmed Hats
  • Rain Gear
  • Alaska Game Bags (2 Packs)

  • Multi-Tool 
  • Allen Wrenches 
  • Carbomask Facepaint
  • Fresh Step Cover Spray
  • Pure Aqua Tablets
  • Paracord Bracelets
  • Yellowstone 20 Degree Sleeping Bag
  • Klymit Sleeping Bag Pad
  • Marking Tape
  • Cow Call
  • Bugle Call
  • Field Dressing Gloves
  • Compass
  • Lens Cleaner/Cloth
  • Mole Skin
  • Tape Measure
  • Topographic Maps
  • Tripod
  • Water Bladders
  • Whistle
  • Wind Direction Checker
  • Bath Towel/Wash Cloth
  • Butane Lighter
  • First Aid Kit
  • Handkerchief/Kleenex
  • Ice Chest/Cooler
  • Magnesium Fire Starter
  • Notebook & Pencil
  • Plastic Trash Bags
  • Shovel
  • Forks, Knives, Spoons
  • Emergency Space Blanket
  • Extra Shoe Laces (Paracord)
  • Toiletries And Personal Items
  • Aspirin/Pain Reliever
  • Cell Phone
  • Chap Stick
  • Dental Floss
  • Contacts
  • Eye Drops
  • Extra Truck Keys
  • Nail Clippers
  • Scent Free Deodorant
  • Scent Free Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Pillow
  • Waterproof Camera Case/Bag
  • Zip Ties
  • Nylon Rope 
  • Cash 

My trip to Colorado is getting closer and closer everyday and I am extremely excited to not only hunt, but share some new memories with friends, capture some great photos and breathe in some clean, mountain air. Come on September!


  1. That is quite the list! You obviously have a lot of experience with bow hunting trips. Wish you the best of luck with the hunt. September is almost here, so you don't have too much longer to wait.

    1. Thank you, Isabelle! I have experience with bowhunting for sure, but this trip to CO will be a new experience and I welcome it. Going to be quite the adventure!

  2. Great detailed list, Al! I can't wait to see pics and read all about this trip. I can tell you are stoked to get out there. Good luck and I hope your arrows fly true and straight!!!

    1. Thanks, Ben! There will be many photos and hopefully a great story to go along with them.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Al! I have been wanting to get some insight to what you are packing and compare that with the list that I am working on for next year. Our hunts our obviously quite a bit different, and I think that the gear will reflect that. It would be great if you could do a post after your trip that goes through your list and talks about what you did and didn't use, as well as what was nice to have vs. what was absolutely essential.

    Enjoy the trip, buddy! Shoot straight!

    1. Thanks, Mark. You are right, it will be good to go through and share what I did and did not use. Much of what is on my list will stay in the truck as we get to park closer to camp than I originally thought. Plus, Eddy is going to have a bunch of stuff there already as he lives close by. I tell you what, if I was going in solo like you, my gear list would be much different. It would be lighter, include a tent, and quite possibly a sidearm. It'll be interesting to see!

  4. I hunted mule deer in Colorado last year and had a great hunt in some absolutely beautiful country. One thing I noticed in your gear list was that you didn't have a spotting scope. If you can beg borrow or steal one then do so cause it will be a real benefit and save you a lot of walking. Good binos like you have are great for spotting animals but there is nothing like sticking a quality spotting scope onto an animal and really making sure he is what you want before you make the decision to go after him.

    1. Thanks, Patrick. I opted out for the spotting scope for a couple of reasons. First was to save some weight, but most of all I prefer to use my KOWA Binoculars on a tripod. Using two eyes always works better than one for me and I can reach out pretty well with them. If I were hunting for trophies then a spotter would be good, but I am going with a cow/bull combo tag and whatever walks within shooting distance is getting an arrow!

  5. Al, you are prepared. I have to learn from you.

    This is much wiser than a friend who waits to the last minute, and then shows up to a bear hunt wearing white socks!

  6. Well, it has came and gone since your elk trip and I am going this year for my first time. What would you leave off or what do you think you forgot?

    1. I shared a great deal for Mark over at Sole Adventure in this post - There's more to some of equipment list do's and don'ts on there. I'll write up a post about this, B. Cramer. Thanks for the question!