The Importance of Water Filters

Another very useful from South Cox on the all important “Water Filters” selection for backcountry hunting.


As promised I’m going to tell you about the water filters I was at the Outdoor Retailers Show.  The first one is from MSR.  The filter is smaller and lighter than any others that I’ve tried and it blows the doors off of the competition in speed.  The Hyperflow Pump is what they are calling it and it weighs just 7.8 oz.  It is hard to expect great performance when you are getting such a compact, lightweight unit, but the manufacturer boasts 2.75 liters per minute!  That is almost 3 times the speed of most of the filters out there.  I tried it at the show and was surprised at how little effort it required to use.  Also, a great boon to it’s design is that it is field serviceable; no disposable cartridge to plug halfway through your trip.  It takes a couple of minutes to disassemble the pump to backflush the system, but the inconvenience is well worth the benefit.  I’ve had my disposable filter pump leave me high and dry when filtering murky water. 


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Backpacking Stoves

South Cox of Stalker Recurves

South Cox of Stalker Recurves

Another very useful from South Cox on the all important backpacking stoves selection for backcountry hunting.

Adding extra weight to your pack is something we all try to avoid. If a piece of equipment can be omitted from your pack and it doesn’t affect the outcome of your hunt, then it takes a pretty strong argument to carry the extra weight. For some, the stove is one of those items. Many make the argument that they’d rather just eat an MRE and ditch the stove. [Read more…]

Lightweight Sleeping Bags

Another very useful from South Cox on the all important “sleeping bag” selection for backcountry hunting.

One of the bulkiest items on your gear list for a bivy hunt is probably your sleeping bag. If it has not been replaced in the last couple of years, chances are you cannot only shave off some weight, but also significantly reduce the bulk. Almost all of the major sleeping bag manufacturers are offering sub 2 pound 3 season down bags now. Some have reduced the weight down to as little as a single pound and can be stuffed into a sack half the size of a nerf football. For my early season hunts in August and the first week of September I like a bag rated at about 30-35 degrees. Any later in the high country and you are increasingly flirting with the chances of sub-freezing temperatures. For those hunts I drop down to a 20 degree rating. Some of my favorite bags are from Western Mountaineering, Marmot, Mountain Hardware and Feathered Friends.

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Introduction to Bivouac and Backcountry Bow Hunting

The backcountry bowhunter who wrote this article is extremely knowledgeable on the bivy style hunting. Here is a teaser from last years first post on his blog.

South Cox’s goal in his blog is to help us learn the ropes of backcountry hunting. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or have never spent the night out in the wilderness, I think there will be something for everyone. I invite your questions, comments and critiques. The first several entries I plan on covering gear choices in greater detail than I was able to cover on the podcast. After that Ill go into some specifics about mule deer hunting in the alpine. As I get input and feedback, the blogs will likely take off on other tangents of the readers interests.

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More Research Resources

Another very useful from South Cox on some additional research resources to assist you in gathering information on the area(s) that you will need to hunt, once you decide on the type of country that you want for your backcountry hunt.

Though Ive been guilty of disregarding my own advice in the past, one thing you never want to do is go off of just one source when you are spending 10 days of valuable vacation time.  I always try to back up a hot tip by cross checking it through other sources.  Regardless of whether you’re able to collaborate the information or not, I always like to have a back-up plan.  A couple of years ago I hunted a new spot in Colorado with a few other friends in the hunting industry.  Everything we’d heard about the place was exactly what I’d wanted to hear, remote, tough access, alpine and the guy we’d learned about it from had reliable first-hand information.  The prior year a couple of buddies had both taken big bucks out of the same spot during rifle season and had seen a ton of bucks.  The hike in was a killer, as tough as any I’ve made in recent years, and we even had llamas packing in the bulk of our gear.  Opening day, we collectively saw one doe and I saw 2 mountain lions.  We pulled out without a backup plan and only ended up filling one tag out of 4 deer tags and 4 elk tags.

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