I mentioned in an earlier article that bivy hunting techniques and strategies are best learned by experience, trials, and errors. The same can be said of bivy hunting equipment and gear. The act of doing will really help you separate what does and doesn’t work for you and your style of hunting. A few practice trips in the summer will really help you eliminate unnecessary equipment.
I use summer backpacking trips as a tool to test for new gear and to help filter my gear list down to the bare minimum. It also helps get the mountain legs in peak shape for multiple days of hiking in addition to a refresher on packing my load for efficiency. Below is a basic list of tried and true gear that I take on a 3-5 day bivy trip. Look at it as a starting point for gear you may want to try out this season or surrogate for gear you may already own. Just remember, every hunter has different needs and your personal list may vary.
Backpack – 2800 to 5200 cu inch. My go to packs are Mystery Ranch Longbow or a Kifaru Timberline 2.
Sleeping Bag – 15o 900 fill down North Face.
Sleeping pad– I will be testing a Thermarest Neoair Xtherm this summer.
Bivy Sack/Tarp/Tent – Forecast dependent and season dependant. Usually I use Black Diamond shelters.
Head Lamp & Batteries (AA’s) – Petzl MYO-RXP
Water Purifier – Steripen
Water bottle – 2 liter Nalgene
Water bladder – MSR 3 liter
Stove & Fuel – Snowpeak Gigapower w/2 canisters (110g)
Cook pot & spoon – Snowpeak titanium Trek 700.
Wet wipes and shop towels – used for toilet paper and hygienic purposes.
Toothbrush & tooth paste – No I don’t cut the handle off mine….
Lighter, matches, small candle – Used to start emergency fires.
Game Bags (4) – Alaskan elk quarter bags. I want to try Caribou bags this season.
Compass & GPS – Garmin Map60csx. I share the extra AA batteries with my headlamp
Maps – 1:24,000 quad of the planned hunting area.
20′ Parachute cord – Mainly used for hanging meat.
First Aid kit – Small kit with some clot-stopper.
Multi-tool – Gerber pliers.
Trekking poles – Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-poles. Collapse to 14” for easy storage.
Knives – One small folding Kershaw lock-back and one 9 inch Kershaw fillet.
Calls – Bugling Bull
Range Finder – Leica CFR 900
Lic. & Tags
Camera, extra card & charged batteries – Panasonic Lumix GX1
Clothing – Varies by season. I use Sitka gear for all of my backcountry pursuits. The systems are adaptable for any weather conditions.
Rain Gear – Packable Sitka Nimbus jacket & pants
Socks & Underwear – One pair each. Bridgedale socks and Exoffico boxer briefs for a chaff-free hunt.
Before each trip I put fresh batteries in all of my electronics and top off the charge in my camera batteries. They will usually last all season with moderate use. I purposely left food off my list as this is a topic all on its own. I generally rely on freeze dried with supplements. Lastly I didn’t go into any depth on clothing or shelter as every season and area has specific needs. I should mention that my early season 3 day pack weighs right around 30 lbs including food and water but not bow, arrows, or binoculars.