• Al Quackenbush

    I see someone has been getting amped up for elk season! It flows like water young Jedi! Excellent post and as always, I look forward to the reviews. I know I like my JetBoil just for the convenience of it, but I know stoves are a bit of a personal thing for many. For me, if it helps boils water and cook food, I am good!

    • SoleAdventure

      Yeah, elk are on the brain. You know the sickness! :-)

  • Jerry Orloski

    Doing my first full on backpack style elk hunt this year. I have gone back and read/reread all of the posts pertaining to elk. You break everything down extremely well. This post included.

    • SoleAdventure

      Thanks, Jerry. There’ll be more coming. Anything specific that would help you out?

      • Jerry Orloski

        I don’t have anything specific thanks though. You covered a ton last year.

  • Tucker Raifsnider

    I have been consultation with some folks out West, I’m on the fence about getting the trekking poles, and a cow decoy. I’m also renting a SAT phone instead of the SPOT and registration for it or an ARC PLB. I was also planning on using Lumenocks to track a shot but found out they’re illegal in CO. Your thoughts.

    • SoleAdventure

      I could see the decoy going either way, but after checking out the Montana Decoy I think it’ll be worth the little bit of weight. It doesn’t take up much space and deploys really fast. I’m using the Eichler Elk, and probably leaving the stakes (which is a good chunk of the advertised weight). I used trekking poles for my shelter last year and would use them in a pack-out situation. I won’t need them for my shelter this year, but will likely still have them. I’ve tested hiking heavy loads with and without them, and they make a noticeable difference for me.

      Renting a SAT is a good option, it just doesn’t feel like a great deal for such a limited use. A PLB is an “emergency only” device and I was looking for something that could “check in”. The SPOT was a decent option, allowing me to check in and giving me a full year of service for the same as a weeklong SAT rental.

      You’re right about Lumenocks in CO. No electronics on your bow at all; not even a sight light.

  • Tucker Raifsnider

    I’ve also picked up some gaiters half price from Cabela’s – I was told that they are priceless in the early morning dew filled meadows.

    • SoleAdventure

      That’s the truth! I could have also used them through melting snow quite a bit. My Kanabs often ended the day soaked at the bottom.

  • Tucker Raifsnider

    What was your options for food? I have a JetBoil and Mountain House meals for supper, but thinking of some striped down MRE’s for lunch and bagels with spread packet peanut butter for breakfast.

  • Steve Price

    I see there was no mention of your boots? From this is it safe to say you are sticking with your Lowe Tibets?

    • SoleAdventure

      Yes, the Tibets treated me well and will continue to see plenty of hunting from here on out. I have zero complaints about them. I’ve tossed around the idea of testing some trail runners, but I’m not sure I could make that jump. Even if I did, I would need the Tibets for a haul out.

  • Brian Lindeman

    Good stuff Mark, I’ve enjoyed the blog, keep it coming.

    Speaking of backcountry communications, I’ve used the SPOT the last few years and it’s nice piece of mind but I’d like to upgrade to something like the DeLorme InReach so I can also RECEIVE messages from the wife and kids at home. Looks like they have a new version (fast changing technology) called the DeLorme InReach Explorer that doubles as a GPS unit for weight savings. Pricey though at $380.

    I’m also looking at starting out with a lighter Salomon X Ultra Mid hiker shoe until hopefully I change it up after the first heavy load of meat. Thoughts? Not sure if its quite meant for sidehilling and off trail travel with a 40lb pack though. Looking at testing it soon.

    • SoleAdventure

      I plan on picking some up, strapping on a pack and seeing how they work out for me. I have used trail runners for backpacking before, but never for backpack HUNTING, and never in the type of terrain that I’ll be encountering in September. I plan on being quite aggressive this year, and if the trail runners can help me be fast/light while still providing the support that I need, then I might give them a shot.

  • Brendon Piper

    Just picked up some Outdoor Research Mountain High Gaiters for this year and I’m leaning towards the KUIU Ultra 6000 for my pack. Went to a Snow Peak Gigapower ultralight stove with the Snow Peak 600ml cup…all nests down to nothing with a 110g canister. Pretty excited to get some use out of it!!

    • SoleAdventure

      OR makes some good stuff! The Ultra has it’s place, but I want to see it proven first. I heard they’re coming out with an Icon Pro as well. Have you looked at the Exo? You love the Snow Peak setup; that’s pretty similar to the kit that I’ve been using for years.

      • Brendon Piper

        I have looked at the Exo and it was high on my list as well. I wanted to go with a carbon frame that was sub 4lbs and its tough to beat the KUIU Ultra 6000 for the money. It is new to the market but has been put through some pretty extreme testing that has proven its durability thus far. I have heard the same rumor about KUIU coming out with a Pro Icon design and I’m excited to see what they come up with. I am in love with the Snow Peak setup thus far. Keep it light…keep it simple. Only needing to boil 16oz of water for 2 people per dinner for our meals makes this stove/cup setup perfect for the money. I see you are using the platypus gravity works filtration system….they make good stuff and its the lightest on the market for sure. Not sure which filtration we will be using on our trip as of now. For hydration I have recently went to Geigerrig Hydration System. Love it…having a pressurized hydration bladder is awesome. You can hook filtration right to the bag.

  • Rob McConnell

    Took your advice and picked up a Gravityworks for my backpacking trip last weekend. LOVED IT! Filtered right in to my Nalgene canteens.. Now i have a Steripen for sale…

    • SoleAdventure

      I’m glad you like it! I love how simple and versatile the Gravityworks system is.

  • Matt

    Interested in why you chose the new tent set up you will be testing instead of some of the others on the market like a fly creek?

    • SoleAdventure

      Good questions, Matt. I’ll be posting up a “first look” review of the new test soon, and I’ll include some of my reasoning for using it this year, and why I chose it over other options.. Long story short… I still love (and will continue to use) the Mountainshelter, but I wanted to have an opportunity to provide alternatives to readers by testing a more traditional tent.

  • Jake Huff

    In regards to the gravity works filter, did you get the 2 or 4 liter?

    • Jake Huff

      Nevermind. I saw that you got the 4L. Do you think you would’ve been better off with the 2L? I never went on an extended hunt so the amount of water used daily is unknown to me.

      • SoleAdventure

        The weight/bulk difference of the bladders themselves is negligible, so it kind of makes sense to go with 4L. I never actually carried 4L at a time, but it was nice to be able to fill up with as much dirty water as possible and filter it into my bladder, as well as my buddies.

        • Jake Huff

          Thanks! I noticed there wasnt much of a difference in weight, just didn’t want fall into the “preparing for the apocalypse” category.