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Seattle, WA. Steven Rinella and Janis Putelis of the MeatEater crew discuss Janis’s complete gear list for a 7-day backcountry archery hunt.

Subjects Discussed: Steve’s emotional distress over his son fishing with another man; Steve’s special Japanese fish-bone pickers; guns vs. bear spray vs. bears; Janis Putelis shares his gear list for a long hunt while Steve critiques and criticizes his selections; is it possible to own a camping pillow and still be a real man?; and more.

The following information is based on Janis’s mid-September archery elk hunt in the mountains.  Temperatures ranged from highs near 80 to lows near 25; rain and 10 inches of snow.


-Janis’s Pro-tips-

  • Rather than packing heavy down pants and jacket which add weight to your pack, spend more time in your sleeping bag: eat breakfast in your sleeping bag, glass in your sleeping bag. Just be sure to keep your bag dry.
  • When moving through wet vegetation, roll up and tuck your pants into your socks under your rain pants.

“This was key; I kept my pant cuffs tucked into my socks the whole time and never had wet pants. NEVER!”

“First Lite gaiters were a life saver; kept my boots and light hikers much drier than if I had not had them.”

  • Cross creeks in wool socks; they provide traction on slippery rocks.
  • Janis loads all his food in the Stone Glacier Load Cell Dry Bag. Using paracord, he hangs it in a tree to keep it away from bears.
  • The drawstring on the T.A.G. Gamebags is long enough where you can do a Siberian Hitch or Evenk Hitch with it (see video of these hitches below).
  • Janis and Matt Rinella slept in a Seek Outside 6 person tipi with titanium stove.

“The weather was shit for two days and this system really worked and helped keep us comfortable and in high spirits. Matt packed this on his llamas.”

The following is a list of items Janis packed for this hunt.  Many products have hyperlinks, which will take you directly to them. You can also download it in pdf Janis’ Backpack Inventory, which includes direct links.

Stone Glacier 3300 Solo Pack-3 piece belt-2 side pockets
Stone Glacier Pack Rain Cover
Stone Glacier Load Cell Dry bag


Shelter and Sleep
Sleep Pad, Nemo Tensor Field Insulated 20L
Sleeping Bag, Nemo Argali 15 deg
Seek Outside Colorado (10’x10′) tarp; Add 20ft of guyline.
2 BD Carbon fiber trekking poles (used for hiking, shelter, and glassing)
4 stakes
Seek Outside 6-man Tipi


Outdoor Research Backcountry Organizer
2 cigarette lighters with duct tape wrapped around it.
First-aid kit- Band-Aids, Tylenol, Blister pads, Athletic Tape, Emergency compact blanket,
Immodium AD; Ibuprofin packs; Gauze; Combat Gauze; Tylenol; Antihistamine; alcohol swabs
Black Diamond ION headlamp
Petzl E+ light
A few extra batteries
Bear Spray


Cooking and Water
Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle – 32oz
Aquamire Water Purification Tablets
Jet boil and 1 fuel canister
Sea to Summit Long Handled Spoon
REI plastic mug


Clothing Packed
Steve likes to bring camp booties and insulated pants for cold weather
Hoka One One Tor
Schnee’s Beartooth boots
First Lite Llano merino wool t shirt
First Lite Chama Hoody
Halstead 1/4 zip fleece shirt
First Lite Obsidian Field Pant-
First Lite Base layer bottoms
First Lite Boundary Stormtight Pant
First Lite Vapor Stormlight Ultralight Rain Jacket
First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket
Janis relied on hoods, but if you like packing a beanie you should try the First Lite Brimmed Beanie.
First Lite Merino Liner Glove
First LIte Shale Hybrid glove
First Lite Merino Neck Gaiter
2 pairs of Wool socks
First Lite boot gaiters


Optics and Essential Field Gear
Trecking Poles
FHF Gear Binocular Harness
FHF Gear Rangefinder Pouch
Vortex Ranger Range Finder
Vortex Razor HD 8×42 Binos
Spudz lens wipe
Smoke in a Bottle Wind detector


Food and Drink
Starbucks VIA coffee
Snickers bars
Salami, cheese, baguette, banana
Jerky, custom trail mix
Chicken boullon cubes
Mountain House dehydrated meals
Nuun Hydration: Electrolyte Drink Tablets


Archery Equipment and Game Calls
Prime Centergy
Easton 300 FMJ’s
125 gr. Slick Trick broadheads
Scott release
1 grouse arrow with blunt
Phelps Quality Game Calls 4 Diaphram calls
Phelps Easy Estrus call
Phelps Bugle Tube
Montana Elk decoy


Butchering Kit
Benchmade Steep Country knife
Benchmade mini-sharpener
Zip ties
TAG game bags, 5 small
50′ of 3mm p-cord