Furthest you’ve hiked?

84toyota

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
213
Location
Redding, CA
Dad and I killed numerous bulls with our muzzleloaders 5-6 miles deep, between 10-12k ft. Our worst was right at 8 miles in and 13k feet. That was a gnarly pack out - which took two full days…
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rodney482

WKR
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
3,820
4.9 miles was to base camp…, then we would get 2 miles from camp while hunting.
 

ianpadron

WKR
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
1,736
Location
Montana
Long post, and deer not elk, but a great story with some valuable and relevant info:

I keep detailed logs for all our hunts and scouting trips re: weather, pack weights, distances, elevation, etc. to try and eliminate the dreaded good idea fairy on future hunts, which leaves me with a lot of specific data to look back at:

Back in '21 my hunting partner and I got about as close to what I consider our limits, physically at least, that I hope to ever get on a hunt.

We backpacked into a wilderness area in the Cascades 13.2 miles on the dot to our camp spot. My pack weighed 48 pounds with a weapon, my buddies was 45, he did not carry a rifle. I'm 6'2" weighed 207 at the time, buddy 5'11" weighed 190. Both in as good of hiking shape as a fella can get, each hiking at least 3x a week all summer. We didn't carry ANY water except for the last 4 miles, as a creek is relatively accessible most of the way in.

We hit the trail at 9AM and arrived in camp shortly after 3PM. We made good time, hit our target splits, and maintained output consistently. Stopped every hour on the hour to pound some calories (250 each) and chug water. The first 8 miles only has about 2k of vert, but then you lose almost all of it, and the last 5 miles is straight up almost 6k feet haha...it suuuucks. We had cooler weather than the previous year and no deadfall to contend with. The same hike the previous year took an additional 4 hours.

First night in camp we were tired, but not exhausted, took our time waking up the next day (day before opener) as we already know where the deer like to be, and by about Noon both of us were fully re-charged.

***The good idea fairy visited the night of the opener***

I shot a buck at 11AM the next day, 2 miles and 900 feet below camp, with a mega storm headed our way late that night. We were back in camp by 4:30PM, took a long nap, packed up camp, ate as much food as we could stomach, and hit the trail, planning to break the packout in 2 parts.

We left camp just before 7PM, weights of packs were confirmed at trailhead post-hike of 97 (mine) and 88 (buddy's) pounds. By 10:30 we had covered the 5 steep downhill miles and both felt great. We had reached our intended camp spot, but decided to keep rippin' and try and beat the weather entirely. We both ate a dehydrated meal at that point and drank 1L of water.

This is where the lesson is...if you're feeling good, and you were planning on stopping...STOP. It means your plan is working and you should stick to it...not see how much buffer your plan has.

But off we went, another 8 miles ahead of us through the darkest night I've ever experienced. No moon, no stars, and in a drainage 5k feet below the ridge. DARK.

By 1AM we were regretting the decision to keep going, feet were starting to hurt, knees a little achey, buddy beginning to hallucinate...you know how it goes. At this point we were long past any potential camp spots, and up on what we call the "catwalk", a loooong stretch of trail with a sheer cliff on one side, and steep hill going up the other.

At this point we had no choice but to keep moving, felt like a minute was an hour lol.

We FINALLY made it to our rendevous spot where we'd be picked up later that day, around 3:30 AM...absolutely beat.

I remember almost passing out twice trying to inflate my Thermarest, and then sleeping so deep/hard that I woke up at 6AM sharp in the exact position I closed my eyes in, had no idea where I was, but feeling completely refreshed (brain wise, body, that took a few days).

When the fella that dropped us off picked us up that afternoon he said we looked like hell, I believe him.

I've done 25-ish several times with a daypack or small overnight load, but I have come to learn that 6 miles is when soloing a deer begins to start hurting more than I like, and 12 with a buddy is where the wheels fall off in a hurry.

Can't imagine ever going deeper than 3 or 4 miles for elk unless there are horses are several buddies involved.
 

Loo.wii

WKR
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
504
What’s the furthest you’ve backpacked in on mountainous terrain? Do you often plan to break your hike into multiple days, and if so, how many miles per day typically? Assuming you kill, how long did it take you to get out?

Fng here looking for experience and advice.
last September i hiked a total of 112 miles over 13 days total. 2 distant elk sightings in addition to 1 really cool interaction. The lesson I learned out of all this is if I don't hear see or smell animals after about 4 hours. puck up and go elsewhere. My expedition was broken up over the month with my longest stint out being about 6 days.

If youre hunting with a buddy. try to do a point to point hike. one truck at one trailhead and the other at point B.
 
OP
GreenBoot

GreenBoot

FNG
Joined
Jan 10, 2024
Messages
22
last September i hiked a total of 112 miles over 13 days total. 2 distant elk sightings in addition to 1 really cool interaction. The lesson I learned out of all this is if I don't hear see or smell animals after about 4 hours. puck up and go elsewhere. My expedition was broken up over the month with my longest stint out being about 6 days.

If youre hunting with a buddy. try to do a point to point hike. one truck at one trailhead and the other at point B.
Really like that idea of point to point. Especially at the area I’m looking at this year.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
2,597
Location
Tijeras NM
Not everyone is as tough as Roy and pack inn35 miles one way. I'm darn sure not gonna try. When I pack into my favorite spot in the Gila, I'm 4 plus miles in and that is a tough hike in with 10 days of food. But it incrdase my range quite a bit versus hunting from the truck. The packouts suck and I'm always questioning why I do this to myself, but the pain only lasts a day or 2 and I quickly forget 😉
 

Divide93

FNG
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
Messages
44
Thankfully, after my ETS from B2/75 I only had to do one backpack hunt for elk. All the others were using packhorses from camp 8 miles from our trailhead at King Mountain Ranch! Carrying ammo, chow and water for 5 days on one's back for a living takes the fun out of backpacking!
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
2,457
Location
Florida
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I’ll brag on my dad. We killed this elk 6 miles from the truck at 12k. It took 4 trips to get it and camp out over a day and a half. He’s 64 and has two bionic knees, just need to be determined enough.

The most I’ve done in a day was 18 miles with pack on and bow in hand. It was coming off a full September in the mountains and I was in great shape, wouldn’t recommend it. For me, the sweet spot seems to be 2-4miles in for camp and cover 6-8 miles a day hunting.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Salem, OR
26 miles, but only once. (I was scouting new territory.) I've just found it's really not necessary most of the time. If I'm spiking out I typically try to push back about 5 miles and circle back to base camp the next day. If I'm walking in, I'll typically hike into an area I want to hunt from about 4am-6am for about 4 miles if there's a decent trail, hunt a few miles through that area, then after legal light ends, hike back.

n.b. I hunt Colorado, which has plenty of wilderness areas but even when in those it's hard to get more than 10-15 miles from "any" road or private property. So I've just found super-long hikes aren't really needed. The "hunt from base camp" crowd usually hangs out a few miles in, at most. And the horseback crowd is usually 10-15 miles back. I hunt the "donut hole" between them.
Good advice!
 
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