12 Essential Items for a D.I.Y. Backcountry Hunt

A dozen key items to pack for a D.I.Y. backcountry adventure.

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
1. Super Sticks He made fun of them at first, but now backcountry fanatic Ty Stubblefield won’t hit the timber without his Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles, which let him hunt harder and farther, and add stability for packing out a bull in tough terrain ($160; ­black​­diamond​­equipment.com).Black Diamond
2. Digital Maps OnXmaps Hunt mapping software, available for your GPS or smartphone, shows public- and private-land boundaries, landowner information, hunting units, back roads, trails, access points, and more (starting at $30).OnXMaps
317 Kit Gun
3. Insurance You're more likely to get lost and starve than be attacked by a bear. The 317 Kit Gun is an eight-shot .22 that's accurate enough to head-shoot a squirrel and weighs just 12.5 ounces ($759).Smith & Wesson
Kuiu Mountain Star 2P
4. FeatherLight Digs Buy a cheap tent if you want, but this may be your only shelter for a week. The Kuiu Mountain Star 2P tent is virtually indestructible, and at 3 pounds 3 ounces, you barely know it's in your pack. It's worth the extra cash ($450).Kuiu
Yukon Gaiters
5. Shin-High Gaiters Yukon Gaiters protect your laces and make your leather mountaineering boots nearly as dirt- and waterproof as your back-East knee boots ($70).Kuiu
Berber Fleece Sneek Boots
6. Soft Shoes When he needs to slip right in among the herd, Arizona guide Jay Scott swears by SneekTec Berber Fleece Sneek Boots ($50).SneekTec
Heather’s Choice Dinners
7. Dinner in a Bag Stubblefield has taste-tested all of the freeze-dried and dehydrated options out there and says that Heather's Choice Dinners actually do taste a little bit like food ($15 each).Justin Appenzeller
Wet Wipes
8. Wet Wipes Because no one wants to hike mountains with swamp butt.Justin Appenzeller
Primos call
9. Good Call You can get the foolproof, easy-to-run calls and sound like everyone else. Or as world-champ caller Chad Schearer suggests, you can learn to make all the sounds on a double-reed mouth call—and call in more elk ($13).Primos
Nomad 7 Plus ­Solar Panel
10. Free Power The Nomad 7 Plus ­Solar Panel system folds flat, weighs less than a pound, and provides enough ­sunshine juice to recharge your GPS or phone ($100).Goal Zero
Squeeze Water Filtration System
11. Outdoor Plumbing Pump filters fail. Sawyer's Squeeze Water Filtration System is simpler and more reliable, and allows you to filter and store water on the go ($60).Bass Pro Shops
Muzzy SG-X Small Game Broadhead
12. Bird Head Blue grouse are everywhere in elk country—and splendidly dumb. They'll stand there at 10 yards while you screw on a Muzzy SG-X Small Game Broadhead and skewer fresh meat for dinner. Check ­local regulations first ($17 for three).Muzzy