Your "must haves" in your sheep pack for 10-12 days in

Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
9
Hello all, hope everyone's '23 season has been a success and hope everyone has a great holiday season here as well.

I am going to be hunting the MT unlimited sheep. My plan is to go in about 5 or 6 days ahead of season and find a ram and camp on him til opener. What are all of your "must have" items in your pack for a 10-12 day hunt off your back? Some things to stay away from? I've done a lot of western hunting and guiding, just never backpacked for a period that long. I know weight is of utmost concern, so any brands or anything you like or don't like would be great also!

Thanks Everyone!
 

775mud

FNG
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
9
For late season hunts I started to bring hand warmers and a sweat band that I can wrap around my water bottle. It keeps your water from freezing during the day if thats cold. But it also helps me actually drink more during the day because my water isn't freezing cold. Maybe thats just me but it helps me out, Plus the hand warmers are always nice to have for a little extra heat.
In try to take meals I don't have to heat up to eat durning the day. I keep my hot meals for breakfast and dinner. I use green belly meal bars and a company called Range Meal Bars. High calories and they taste good. Saves ya some space and use of fuel on the hill.
 

6.5x284

WKR
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
938
Location
NW MT
My only must haves are puffy jacket & pant for un-forecasted cold snaps; and a movie or book on tape in case I get weathered in the tent for a few days. Good glass will make your eyes not burn all day. Pillow makes naps pretty epic. I now generally do two 5-6 day stints and come resupply vs one 12+ day. Enjoy the Beartooths!
 

TWHrunner

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
147
Location
Calgary
I have to bring extra under socks. Super light ones. I can wear the outer pair for 10 days straight if I change the liner sock every day. I never get blisters. Oh and they both have to be 90% or more wool.

Only one change of briefs. But socks I gotta change those under socks everyday.
 

redchinviking

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
117
Location
Hailey, ID
I just got off an 8 day unlimited trip this year and did a 17 day sheep hunt in the frank last year. Planning on 10-12 next year as well. I can say having your sleep system perfect and light is of the utmost importance. NeoAir Nxt long wide, WM badger 20, argali rincon, thermarest inflatable pillow. Will be going back to a freestanding tent this year. Recharging the batteries is what keeps your head in the game. I sleep like a baby in the backcountry and it keeps me fresh. Use your system multiple trips before you go so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Adjust/upgrade accordingly, you’ll regret if you don’t. Also switch up your food daily. Don’t pack the same bars/snacks each day. I call it bar fatigue. Day 10 I hated all my bars on my last big trip and wished I had bought 10 different kinds of everything so I wasn’t tired of my food. Dried fruit is awesome. Also know your needed food weight per day and have it dialed. Food weight/bulk is ALOT on a 12 day hunt. Those mountains will test you, balanced timely calorie intake keeps your brain working correctly. Lots of bears. We saw one or more in almost every camp. Be aware and take all precautions. The Beartooth’s were one of the most challenging and incredibly rewarding hunts I’ve ever been on. Train hard. Hunt hard.
 

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OP
wisheephunter1985
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
9
I just got off an 8 day unlimited trip this year and did a 17 day sheep hunt in the frank last year. Planning on 10-12 next year as well. I can say having your sleep system perfect and light is of the utmost importance. NeoAir Nxt long wide, WM badger 20, argali rincon, thermarest inflatable pillow. Will be going back to a freestanding tent this year. Recharging the batteries is what keeps your head in the game. I sleep like a baby in the backcountry and it keeps me fresh. Use your system multiple trips before you go so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Adjust/upgrade accordingly, you’ll regret if you don’t. Also switch up your food daily. Don’t pack the same bars/snacks each day. I call it bar fatigue. Day 10 I hated all my bars on my last big trip and wished I had bought 10 different kinds of everything so I wasn’t tired of my food. Dried fruit is awesome. Also know your needed food weight per day and have it dialed. Food weight/bulk is ALOT on a 12 day hunt. Those mountains will test you, balanced timely calorie intake keeps your brain working correctly. Lots of bears. We saw one or more in almost every camp. Be aware and take all precautions. The Beartooth’s were one of the most challenging and incredibly rewarding hunts I’ve ever been on. Train hard. Hunt hard.
Thanks for the detailed response. Did you camp lower and move up or did you try and stay high? I've got a few remote basins picked out as a starting point, but can't exactly tell by satellite photos, topos, or Google earth many potential spots to pitch a camp. I'm assuming with bear encounters, you were below timberline with your camps?
 
OP
wisheephunter1985
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
9
I just got off an 8 day unlimited trip this year and did a 17 day sheep hunt in the frank last year. Planning on 10-12 next year as well. I can say having your sleep system perfect and light is of the utmost importance. NeoAir Nxt long wide, WM badger 20, argali rincon, thermarest inflatable pillow. Will be going back to a freestanding tent this year. Recharging the batteries is what keeps your head in the game. I sleep like a baby in the backcountry and it keeps me fresh. Use your system multiple trips before you go so you know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Adjust/upgrade accordingly, you’ll regret if you don’t. Also switch up your food daily. Don’t pack the same bars/snacks each day. I call it bar fatigue. Day 10 I hated all my bars on my last big trip and wished I had bought 10 different kinds of everything so I wasn’t tired of my food. Dried fruit is awesome. Also know your needed food weight per day and have it dialed. Food weight/bulk is ALOT on a 12 day hunt. Those mountains will test you, balanced timely calorie intake keeps your brain working correctly. Lots of bears. We saw one or more in almost every camp. Be aware and take all precautions. The Beartooth’s were one of the most challenging and incredibly rewarding hunts I’ve ever been on. Train hard. Hunt hard.
Also, us there any use bringing my horse into that country? I've hunted the wyoming side of the beartooth mountains in the absaroka, and stock was handy to have.
 

redchinviking

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
117
Location
Hailey, ID
Camps were mostly up high and yes bears in the upper alpine too but seemed like they were traveling when we saw em up high. Fresh bear scat literally every camp high or low. Counted 11 bears in 8 days. About 6 of those were within 1/2 mile or less of camp. No griz this year though all blackies, but they kept you on your toes. Stock use is of course specific to what access you are using. For where we were this year the side drainages had almost no trail and horses would have been useless and a hassle to be tied to unless you have a camp tender. Bottom drainage base camp style would be useful in one area we were in to use as a further out bottom restock camp but that all depends on exactly what your logistics entail. Hunting with camp on your back is a nice option when you know you won’t be returning to a drainage. Covering ground is the name of the game imo and a lot of the ground we were in horses will not go. Unless you have some specific info that says otherwise. No one was using horses where we were this year. The high elevation tundra is good camping minus any risk of real weather. I can’t wait to get back in there! That ram was borderline legal, next year he will be a shooter🤞
 

kad11

WKR
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
788
Location
Billings, MT
Camps were mostly up high and yes bears in the upper alpine too but seemed like they were traveling when we saw em up high. Fresh bear scat literally every camp high or low. Counted 11 bears in 8 days. About 6 of those were within 1/2 mile or less of camp. No griz this year though all blackies, but they kept you on your toes. Stock use is of course specific to what access you are using. For where we were this year the side drainages had almost no trail and horses would have been useless and a hassle to be tied to unless you have a camp tender. Bottom drainage base camp style would be useful in one area we were in to use as a further out bottom restock camp but that all depends on exactly what your logistics entail. Hunting with camp on your back is a nice option when you know you won’t be returning to a drainage. Covering ground is the name of the game imo and a lot of the ground we were in horses will not go. Unless you have some specific info that says otherwise. No one was using horses where we were this year. The high elevation tundra is good camping minus any risk of real weather. I can’t wait to get back in there! That ram was borderline legal, next year he will be a shooter🤞
Great decision to let him live 👍. Hopefully the hunting gods reward you next year for your discretion, haha
 
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wisheephunter1985
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
9
I don't know that it would cross my mind to try that lol..... I've usually got some Burts bees in my pack. Especially for elk. My lips chap bad when I'm hiking around with a diaphragm in my mouth for days on end.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,783
Location
Western Montana
Extra toilet paper and nice sized bottom wipes.
Extra gloves
Round ceramic rod for touchups on your knife if needed.
Extra fire starter just in case.
Extra ammo & batteries. I'd take 2 headlamps just in case. Two is one, one is none.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
42
Depending on how bad you want a successful trip, I think you need to change your mindset and consider what you should be leaving behind. Go hike around for a day with a 40 lbs pack then do the same route with a 70 lbs pack. I personally wasn’t successful sheep hunting until I changed my mindset and brought ONLY what was vital to survive and succeed. Dropped from 80 lbs for ten days to under 50 total skin-out weight. That lightweight mindset means you can cover serious ground and hike with camp on your back and sleep with the sheep.
 

ljalberta

WKR
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
1,483
I’ve done a few extended sheep hunts and we’ve got a number of sheep in Alberta. I’ve swung from using the best value gear (sheep hunting on a budget) to ultra lite (stupid light and stupid expensive) and now to balancing lightweight with comforts that allow me to stay in the hunt.

That means, like redchin above, there’s a couple additional things I pack that that your ultra lite guy might not. For me, the biggest items come from ensuring that I: 1) get a great sleep at night, 2) stay warm and dry during the day, and 3) get a good calorie intake.

As a result, my sleep system with a warm, comfy pad, slightly warmer bag, instead of a minimalist quilt, and a lightweight pillow weighs more than it used to. But now I sleep excellent every night and am recharged in the morning.

I also pack slightly more robust insulation layers to ensure I stay warm throughout the day.

Finally, I ensure I bring balanced and varied meals. I certainly have gotten bar fatigue in the past, and although each day of food now might weight a little more than it used to, I eat my food and I feel good about it and it keeps your body and mind in the game.

Those items aside I have a fairly trim system these days for me which allows me to stay quite light still, while also staying comfortable. For instance, I only bring a single pair of underwear that I wear, a single base layer shirt, and only 2 total pairs of socks.

If there’s a chance on a day, I might give them a wash in a creek and toss on some external layers while they dry and I glass.

Also - lipchap for sure.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
88
Location
AK
Hotsauce, a freeze dried meal's best friend.
Earbuds, long nights or passing time in bad weather, using your phone speaker will drain battery faster.
Tea bags and Tang, if your not drinking hot tang your missing out.
 
OP
wisheephunter1985
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
9
Depending on how bad you want a successful trip, I think you need to change your mindset and consider what you should be leaving behind. Go hike around for a day with a 40 lbs pack then do the same route with a 70 lbs pack. I personally wasn’t successful sheep hunting until I changed my mindset and brought ONLY what was vital to survive and succeed. Dropped from 80 lbs for ten days to under 50 total skin-out weight. That lightweight mindset means you can cover serious ground and hike with camp on your back and sleep with the sheep.
I was looking at keeping my pack between 50-60lbs. Ultra light everything.
 
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