Essential Backcountry Hunting Gear

Essential Backcountry Hunting Gear

The gear you pack heading deep into the backcountry can make or break a hunt.

When conditions are unpredictable and every ounce matters, high-quality, weatherproof, and ultra-light pieces can be critical to success. An initial investment in some reliable staples will save and serve you for years to come. While the specifics might vary depending on the time of year, terrain, and quarry you’re chasing, these are must-haves for any off-grid hunt.

Shelter & Sleeping Bag/Pad

Whether you opt for a bivy, spike, or basecamp, you’ll need a dry place to rest and recharge each evening. A four-season tent or other durable shelter will shield you from the elements and provide a sense of security, while a sleeping pad and/or sleeping bag offer warmth and comfort when camping on cold ground. Just be sure to keep it as lightweight as possible, especially if you’ll be carrying your camping gear all day.

Clothing & Boots

You won’t last long in the backcountry if your feet hurt and you’re cold to the core. A good pair of lightweight boots will save you from blisters and fatigue, and lightweight, packable pieces will allow you to shed layers as your body temp heats up. Breathable base layers and socks can keep you dry and stave off stink as you sweat across grueling terrain. Rain and snow can strike at any time, so waterproof outerwear and boots are a necessity.


Your pack requirements will depend on your particular pursuit, but a relatively lightweight, well-fitted frame pack with sufficient storage is key to comfortably withstanding the backcountry. Some features to look for include adjustability options, meat-hauling capability, plenty of compartments, a hydration port, and a weapon holder for hands-free carry.


Well-built optics that can stand up to the rigors of the backcountry will help you zero in on game and make more accurate shots. This includes laser rangefinders, binoculars, spotting scopes, or some combination. A lightweight harness that keeps your optics at the ready is a great piece to pair with these.

Tools & Accessories

You should pack to be prepared for any serious situation while balancing the need to not weigh yourself down with too much gear. Stick to the essentials such as a versatile knife, flashlight, first aid kit, game bags, water filtration device, fire starter, and any tools for tinkering with your weapon of choice.

Be strategic with everything you pack beyond these key pieces and trim ounces anywhere possible to keep your mobile setup as lightweight as is practical.

  • Hawke Binocular Harness Pro Pack

    Hawke Binocular Harness Pro Pack

    MOLLE system, fully adjustable, Binocular Harness Pro Pack, featuring a removeable Laser Range Finder / Accessories pouch.

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  • Hawke Endurance 30 WA 6-24x56 Riflescopes

    Hawke Endurance 30 WA 6-24x56


    Exposed, Locking Turrets. 30mm Mono-Tube Chassis. Side Focus. Illumination. Ultra-Wide Angle 24° FOV. High Volume Eyebox 100mm Eye Relief. Multi-LED High Intensity Reticle. High Grade, Low Dispersion Crown Glass. 18 Layer Fully Multi-Coated Lenses. High Torque Rubber Zoom Ring. Fast Focus Eyebell

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  • Hawke Endurance ED 10x50 Binoculars

    Hawke Endurance ED 10x50


    Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Glass. Phase Corrected. High Resolution Phase Corrected BAK-4 Roof Prisms. Focus From 2m. Twist-Up Eye. Cups With Position Stops. Stay-On Lens Covers

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  • Hawke Endurance ED 15-45x60 Spotting Scope

    Hawke Endurance ED 15-45x60

    Spotting Scopes

    Ultra Compact And Lightweight Construction. Extra-Low Dispersion Glass For Optimum Clarity. Dielectric Coatings Designed To Increase Light Reflectivity. Fully Multi-Coated Optics To Produce Sharp Images. Close Focus – See Detail From 8.2ft/2.5m. BAK-4 Porro Prisms For Intense Colour And Contrast. Dual Focus Knob To Achieve Ultra Fine Focusing. Stay-On Soft Scope Cover For Maximum Protection. Twist-Up Eye Cup And Pull Out Sunshade. Digi-Scope Compatible For Use With Your Camera

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Emily Kantner
Outdoor Writer

Visit Hawke Life “In the Field” for more people using Hawke products ‘in the field’.