When you're traveling hundreds or a thousand plus miles from home for a hunt, making your list and checking it twice can turn into a part-time job as you consider ever possible eventuality and ass another piece of gear to your load to handle that situation. This adds to the stress of preparation and takes away time from what you should be focused on: planning the hunting part of your hunting trip. What you'll find after a few such hunting trips is that a significant portion of what's on your list wasn't needed again this year and you can start to whittle your list down. Nonetheless, when you're 16 hours from home, what you have is what you have. If you didn't pack it, you don't have it.

The linked packing list below is very detailed and includes gear for base camp (road-camp-based day hunting), spike camp, and backcountry hunting. Gear is divided into cells by activity. For example, There's a basecamp bag (or bin) that contains most of the commonly used gear for every scenario. There's a duffel bag with gear that will only be used for a spike camp. If we get into elk in a remote spot and want to spend a couple days there without walking to and from camp four miles (or more) morning and evening in the dark we can break out that Spike Camp bag. Otherwise, that bag stays under a bunk and out of the way. This has helped improve organization and reduce clutter in camp. We've also added items that need to be in vehicles. Recovery gear, for example, is life-saving in the event of a storm, fire, or unintentional departure from a poorly maintained road.

Understand, you DO NOT need all of the gear on this list. In fact, you'll be able to remove many items of even whole pages of the list based on your hunting style and desires. Take this as a starting place and talk through it with your hunting partners to determine what's needed and who is bringing the larger items that serve the group.

Download the detailed packing list in Microsoft Excel format HERE: