11 Backcountry Must-Haves

Badlands Clutch

Developed over a span of four years, the Clutch was designed to tote massive loads across vast landscapes. The T-6 aircraft aluminum internal frame keeps pack weight (7.2 pounds) down and boosts durability. ThermoMold Suspension along with a padded, adjustable waist belt promise comfort and proper fit. The Bucket Lid Opening means instant access to needed gear, and the pack’s detachable-from-frame design allows it to be used as a day pack. The Clutch sports a total of 9 pockets and posts a total volume rating of 3,780 cubic inches. MSRP: $329.99.

Garmin inReach Mini

Bad things can happen in the backcountry, and when they do, you want to be prepared. Garmin’s inReach Mini allows for two-way text messaging via a 100 percent global Iridium satellite network. In layman’s terms, no matter how far off the grid you get, this rugged, feather-light device will put you in contact with another human. The device is also fitted with an interactive SOS trigger, which can be pushed in the event of an emergency to have rescue personnel dispatched to your locale. MSRP: $350.

Coast FL78R Headlamp

Treks up and down the mountain after the sun has traded places with the stars shouldn’t be a daunting task. Enter Coast’s FL78R Headlamp. In high-output mode, this lamp produces 530 lumens and posts a run time of two hours and 15 minutes (on high). Dual power means this headlamp can run on a charged battery pack or standard alkaline batteries. Impact and weather-resistant, the FL78R is capable of producing a wide, white flood beam, which can quickly be altered via a twist of the bezel. Red LED and green LED modes can also be toggled between. MSRP: $105.

MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove

Another staple in the MSR stove line. The PocketRocket 2 promises the backcountry wanderer maximum performance in a small, lightweight (2.6 ounces) package. Capable of boiling one liter of water in just 3.5 minutes, meal prep won’t take long. Precision flame control offers torch and simmer settings, and the WindClip windshield boosts efficiency in those breezy conditions that are common on the mountain. MSRP: $44.95.

Kelty Late Start 2

Kelty’s roots run deep in backcountry lore, and its latest offering, the Late Start 2, adds to its legacy. This three-season, two-person shelter ensures ultra-fast setup via Kelty’s Quick-Corner Technology. Boasting a packed weight of just 4.8 pounds and packed dimensions of 16 x 7 x 7, this tent is a breeze to carry. Boosting inside interior living space is Kelty’s pre-bent pole design. The Late Start 2 is a one-door, one-vestibule shelter and comes with a waterproof rain fly. MSRP: $159.95.

Big Agnes Flume UL Sleeping Bag: 30-Degree Down

Proper sleep in the backcountry is a crucial element to success. It won’t happen if you’re shivering through the night. The Flume UL features a traditional mummy silhouette — a design that minimizes overall weight (1.6 pounds) and maximizes thermal value. The bag is totally water-repellent, and its daft-tube design blocks out the cold and traps body heat inside. The 850-fill Down Tek provides incredible warmth and breathability. The Big Agnes Flume UL comes in a regular and long (1.8 pounds) versions. MSRP: $469.95 Regular; $499.95 Long.

Sitka Cloudburst Jacket & Pant

In the backcountry, weather happens, a lot. Stay dry and on the hunt with Sitka’s all-new Cloudburst Jacket and Pant. Both skews have been refined to reduce overall weight and ensure a streamlined fit that doesn’t hinder maneuverability. The 100 percent waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX laminate construction repels moisture. The jacket showcases internal storage pockets secured by a YKK zippered chest pocket. The pants feature full-length YKK Aqua-Guard leg zips and removable Sitka suspenders. MSRP: $329 Jacket; $329 Pant.

Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400

At just 4.2 pounds, these 10-inch tall boots feature 2.8mm thick premium full-grain leather uppers with one-piece vamp construction. No seams down the tongue equal abrasion resistance and keep water out. Reinforced double and triple stitching promise longevity, and the lightweight K-talon outsoles provide traction that is second to none. The Mountain Extreme 400 features 400-gram Thinsulate for warmth without added bulk, and the reinforced rubber sole guard protects the boots’ bottom third. MSRP: $485.

Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gold Field Wipes

Aside from Mother Nature providing a downpour or jumping in an icy stream, there aren’t many ways to stay clean in the backcountry. Enter Scent Killer Gold Field Wipes from Wildlife Research Center. Featuring a special Anti-Odor formula, these wipes are ideal for high-sweat zones. The wipes are biodegradable and enriched with Vitamin E and Aloe. MSRP: $6.99.

OnX Hunt App

Yes, it’s considered gear, and if you don’t have onX Hunt on your smartphone, you need to get it. The onX Hunt App provides aerial, topo and hybrid views of your hunt grounds and allows you to mark prospective spots from the comfort of your home. Maps can be downloaded offline, so even when cell service is zero, you still have access to your waypoints. Map layers allow you to see unit boundaries as well as public/private boundaries. Other notable features include a Line Distance tool to measure distance as well as an Area Shape tool, which is handy for outlining your specific hunt area. MSRP: $29.99 1 State Yearly; $99.99 50 States Yearly.

Platypus Big Zip EVO

�Earl Harper

Staying hydrated is crucial. Here to help is the Platypus Big Zip Evo. Available in 1.5-, 2.0- and 3.0-liter offerings, this water hauler features a HyFLO self-sealing bite valve, Secure SideLock and a handy pincher grip that makes the one-handed filling possible. The High Mount Quick-disconnect instantly stops the flow and ensures reliable stowing. The Big Zip Evo fits inside most hydration pack ports. MSRP: $36.95-$39.95.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Ernest Simmons Jr October 22, 2019, 8:21 am

    I like your gear and would like to have more information about your products.

  • Jess October 18, 2019, 11:17 am

    Why no topo map and compass? A GPS is great, until you forget to replace the batteries, or some other unforeseen problem.

  • Matthew Street October 1, 2019, 8:59 am

    OnX Hunting app can be replaced for free. There are numerous apps which work the same way (many with increased control, details, views, etc). GPX files transfer easily and there are several with significantly higher levels of detail. All of these work offline too. I use these for wilderness emergency response, bushwhacking, and overlanding.

    Gaia GPS
    Topo Maps

  • James October 1, 2019, 6:00 am

    My main comment , is the price of your items . Most are listed around $300-500 , EACH. Now, the Garmin , i get that splurge . But , all the other items can be found far cheaper , just not necessarily those name brands. ( not including the software/app , perhaps that too .) You forgot a few other things for sure , a whistle , knife, possibly a small hatchet , water filtration (portable) , etc . These “11 Things ” you list feel like product placement/push for advertising. Next time , be more realistic.

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