It is often said that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. While working in the field, the MeatEater crew depends on the right gear to overcome more than bad weather. Proper gear selection can make tough tasks easier and life in remote locations more comfortable. Without Stone Glacier packs, First Lite clothing, Schnee’s Boots, Vortex Optics, Savage Arms rifles, and Yeti Coolers, the hunting, hiking, camping, and filming that takes place on a typical MeatEater adventure would be much more difficult. But, we also rely on many other pieces of gear to keep a MeatEater hunt running smoothly for the entire crew.
Here is a list of some essential MeatEater gear items:
On a backcountry hunt, at the end of the day, nothing is more welcome or important than a warm, dry place to sleep. We love our Seek Outside shelters because they’re light enough to pack in on your back, they assemble quickly, their sturdy design bucks gale-force winds, and they shut out rain and snow. Add one of their wood stove systems and you’ll stay plenty warm and be able to dry out wet boots.
A protective, comfortable and functional binocular harness is the best way to carry your hunting optics. The FHF hunting binocular harness is all of these and is also durable, light, and low-profile. With the FHF bino harness, there’s no annoying bounce while you’re hiking and your ‘nocs are safely secured at all times. Best of all, you can get to your binos fast with just one hand.
Steve and his guests do a lot of spot and stalk hunting that demands long days of glassing to find critters. A good tripod is crucial for effective glassing and the Outdoorsmans Tripod is our favorite. You’ll spot way more game and at the end of the day you won’t be as sore as you would using only hand-held binos. Outfitted with a quick-release Binocular Adapter for seamlessly switching from binos to a spotting scope, a Pan Head for smoothly covering terrain with your optics and a Rifle Rest for a stable shooting platform, this tripod is one of MeatEater’s most important pieces of gear.
The completely waterproof XtraTuf boots are a standard piece of footwear for the entire MeatEater crew; especially in wet hunting and fishing locations like Southeast Alaska. We’ve also worn the durable, versatile XtraTufs for everything from turkey hunting to bowfishing and they also make comfortable camp shoes. Their light weight and easy on-off nature make XtraTufs the MeatEater version of flip-flops
Another Southeast Alaska staple that is useful everywhere, these work gloves are completely waterproof, extremely durable and provide a sure grip in slippery conditions. From chopping wood in the rain to hauling crab pots into the boat, these gloves are always around on MeatEater adventures. In cold, wet weather, our camera operators love their dexterity while wearing them.
You’re dead in the backcountry without clean drinking water and we’ve used the SteriPEN to stay hydrated from the jungles of South America to the mountains of British Columbia. The SteriPEN is small, light and quickly sterilizes water with UV light that kills protozoa, bacteria and viruses. If you’re hunting in an area with plenty of natural water sources, the SteriPen eliminates the need to pack in extra water.
This the crew’s water bottle of choice. It is durable, the wide mouth makes refilling simple and finding it inside a dark tent is easy. Bladder hydration systems are great but the manageable size and convenience of a sturdy water bottle can’t be overrated.
These packable bladders are tough enough that punctures aren’t a concern. A large, watertight lid makes refilling them easy. You can stash a full Dromedary in your pack for extra water in dry environments.
MeatEater hunts usually involve very early mornings and late nights. Every crew member relies on a headlamp for everything from eating breakfast to safely breaking down animals after sunset and then hiking back to camp in the dark. We have used a variety of headlamps in the field and our best advice is don’t skimp. The Black Diamond Revolt is a good, versatile choice because it’s bright, water-resistant and can be recharged or run on regular batteries.
The MeatEater crew would be lost without paracord. We use it for everything from lashing down tents and throwing together weather shelters to hanging meat and creating makeshift camera slings. Everyone on a Meateater hunt has paracord in their packs or pockets at all times.
Nothing will disrupt a MeatEater hunt faster than shitty instant coffee; accept maybe no coffee at all. Starbucks Vias combines the speed and convenience of instant coffee with the taste of a good mug of brewed java. For backpack hunting, when weight and space is a concern, there is not a better choice for your morning cup of joe.
At MeatEater, we try not to become overly dependent on nonessential gear but there’s certain things we can’t do without. So, we try to choose gear that increases our overall efficiency and comfort while maximizing our time in the field. Make your own gear choices accordingly and you’ll spend more time hunting, fishing and filling the freezer.
Brody Henderson is a hunter, fly fishing guide, writer, wilderness production assistant for the MeatEater television show and MeatEater‘s editorial contributor.