The best camping equipment for a backpack hunt in the high country




Aside from boots, the backpack is the single-most important piece of gear for backcountry hunting, so it’s best not to pinch pennies. Cheap, poorly designed packs can be uncomfortable, even painful, to wear. They can also fall apart in your time of need deep in the wilds, leaving you with no way to carry your gear, meat or trophy back home.


Over the last decade or so, quality backpacks designed for hunters have become much lighter and more comfortable, yet tough enough to endure the rigours of the backcountry. They can also hold more gear or meat than you’ll ever be able to carry. Ideally, you want an internal-frame pack with a meat shelf that allows the heavy weight of the animal to ride snugly against your back. You should also be able to adjust the pack itself to ensure a proper fit.

Among the many manufacturers offering backpacks tailored for backcountry hunters, brands worth considering include Mystery Ranch (pictured), Kifaru, Exo Mountain Gear and Alps Outdoorz. Ultimately, it comes down to what feels best on your back when comparing packs. And don’t be scared off by the price tag—a good pack will last as long as your favourite bow or rifle, so it’s well worth the investment.