Pack List: Do-It-Yourself Elk Hunt

This list is for a typical cold-weather hunt in November. You can lighten up on the clothing for early-season bow hunts.

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Do-It-Yourself Elk Hunt Pack List
Gear and Food for the Backpack Hunter

Gear
* Internal frame pack
* Shelter-Whelen lean-to, solo tent, bivouac sack, or 8x8-foot tarp
* Sleeping bag
* Therm-A-Rest 3/4-length pad
* 20-inch-square closed-cell-foam pad (for sitting on)
* Pillowcase (stuff extra clothes inside to make a pillow)
* Daypack (I often just use the internal frame pack as a daypack)
* Rifle and cartridges
* Collapsible shooting sticks
* 550 cord (for hanging game; at least 40 feet)
* 4 cloth gamebags (I use plastic trash-can liners in cold weather)
* Compass and altimeter (in the mountains, an altimeter is often most useful for finding camp or downed game)
* Aluminum cooking pot with lid, plastic cup, and spoon
* Water bottle
* 3-cup Thermos (optional)
* Knife and folding saw
* Headlamp (with extra bulb and batteries)
* Fire-starting materials (windproof matches, cigarette lighter, and magnesium and steel)
* Paraffin cubes or other tinder
* Medical kit
* Water purification tablets
* Orange marking tape (for blazing trails, tying game tags to antlers)
* Toilet paper

Clothing
* Poncho (doubles as a ground cloth)
* Shell (I like a 3/4-length parka)
* Fleece jacket
* Down vest
* Thermax undershirt
* Thermax bottoms
* Wool pants
* Fleece gloves (mittens for zero-degree weather)
* Felt hat with brim
* Balaclava
* Underwear (two pair)
* Pac boots
* Polypropylene liner socks (two pair)
* Wool oversocks (two pair)
* Vapor-barrier socks (for zero-degree weather)

Food
* Electrolyte tablets for water
* Instant oatmeal packets for breakfast (two per day)
* Hot chocolate powder and ground coffee
* Venison jerky
* Trail mix
* Dried fruit
* Sandwiches (one per day)
* Freeze-dried dinners (one per night plus one for the unexpected night)
* Salt and pepper packets * Seasoning
* Cooking oil (for the bonus trout or grouse)