It is often said, “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. These are our core gear selections. But, we also rely on many other pieces of gear to keep a MeatEater hunt running smoothly for the entire crew.
We’ve spent some time putting together some of our other favorites. From basecamp shelters and down to the caffeine hits that supply life-supporting energy. Have a look at our preferred gear, hopefully some of the options can help out your hunting or fishing needs.
Seek Outside Shelters
In 2010 Seek Outside owners, Kevin and Angie Timm, decided to change focus from the remote internet security realm and homesteading efforts in Western CO and focus their passion of backcountry gear for hunters and recreationalists. The power couple put their engineering mindsets towards their passion of circular six to eight person tipi tents. From there, they pushed the envelope in other lightweight shelters and titanium wood stoves.
All backcountry hunters and anglers know nothing is more welcome or important than a warm, dry place to sleep after a long day in the field. 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 lightweight titanium wood stove systems and you’ll stay plenty warm and be able to dry out wet boots.
FHF Bino Harness
FHF is a small business we love in a big way. Founder, Paul Lewis, built this business in his garage and now home shop into a must-have for hunters. Paul recently retired from his 20-year career as career LEO and part-time SWAT Team leader and shows no sign of slowing down. All efforts from Paul and his wife and business partner, Jennifer Lewis, are focused on R&D for modular backcountry products. The crown jewels of FHF are the binocular harnesses.
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. The harnesses offer one-handed use for in field use while pulling out binos, rangefinders, or protection pistols. We’re proud to cinch these harnesses close to our chest for unmatched field use.
Outdoorsmans is an optic dealer and optic accessory manufacturer with a 36-year track record of workhorse worthy products and service. If you need a tripod or bipod to mount your optics on, we highly recommend considering this company. Steve and his guests do a lot of spot and stalk hunting that demands long days of glassing to find critters. We’ve field tested and abused a lot of products in this realm.
A good tripod of bipod will allow you to spot way more game and at the end of the day. Less effort holding glass means more time scounting, which in turn results in more game spotted. Outfit the tripod 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.
When it comes to warm and waterproof boots, we looked for the experts. XtraTuf’s statement, “We come from Alaska. Where nothing is forgiven and no compromise goes unpunished. Where 50-foot seas swallow the slightest misstep.” Luckily, we are facing those conditions. But we’re glad to be wearing the boots that were born from these conditions.
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. The boot’s lightweight and easy on-off nature make XtraTufs the MeatEater version of flip-flops. Go on an getcha a pair.
Showa Atlas Rubber Work Gloves
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 or wet weather, our camera operators love their dexterity while wearing them.
SteriPEN Adventurer Water Purifier
You’re dead in the backcountry without clean drinking water. We’ve used the SteriPEN to stay hydrated from the jungles of South America to the mountains of British Columbia. We aren’t dead yet, it must be working.
The SteriPEN is small, light and quickly sterilizes water with UV light that kills protozoa, bacteria and viruses. Fill your Nalgene with water from a natural source and stick the SteriPen in kill anything that will make you ill. You’ll get 50 liters of water treated with regular batteries and up to 150 liters treated if you utilize lithium batteries. The SteriPen eliminates the need to pack in extra water and keep you hydrated while on the mission.
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. When not in use, fold up and stash in your pack with minimal space usage.
Black Diamond Revolt Headlamps
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.
Paracord, or 550 cord, was first utilized in WWII as the suspension lines on parachutes for US soldiers. If you’ve ever served, you’d know that resources can be difficult. Especially at war. The soldiers quickly noted the variety of uses that paracord excels for, and quickly spread to the civilian market after the war.
Today, MeatEater crew would be lost without paracord. We use it for lashing down tents, throwing together weather shelters, 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. Except, 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.
The Bottom Line
At MeatEater, we try not to become overly dependent on nonessential gear but there are certain things we can’t do without. So, we try to choose the 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.