Lance Kronberger is one of the premiere mountain hunting guides in the world. He owns and operates Freelance Outdoor Adventures out of Wasilla Alaska where he guides Grizzly Bear, Dall Sheep and Mountain Goat hunts. When he is not guiding in Alaska, Lance is helping his clients take huge Desert Big Horn Rams in Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.
Lance spends over 200 days a year in the mountains and is very particular about the gear he will use. In between spring bear hunts and summer fishing trips Lance was nice enough to take the time to review my Stone Sheep Gear List. I want to share his email in hopes it may help with your up coming hunt.
Finally getting time to look at your blog. Looks great! I am just going to make comments on this email as I read your blog. It may be a little scattered but I will give you some of my thoughts. These ideas are from a guides point of view, but also from the point of view if I was going on a hunt.
– I like your idea of a lightweight down bag, but I would never take one on a hunt that was not in the desert. I do not recommend you taking one on your stone sheep hunt. You could get rain for a week straight and know matter how careful you are you will get condensation in the tent. Plus you can not wear your damp long-johns to bed and wake up with them dry. The risk is not worth the little weight that you will save. Plus remember you are not in charge of what type or shape the tent is in. Outfitters are known for having poor gear. I have taken down bags off my gear list because we have had bags get wet after a couple of days of rain, and we were in brand new Hilleburg tents. I use a MH Ultralamina 15 that weights 2.5 lbs and it is synthetic and very warm. You might be able to save 1/2 of pound but it is not worth the risk. I recommend saving weight other places.
– I would drop the water filter off your gear list. Bever-fever takes 7-10 days to affect your system and hopefully your hunt is over by then. I never filter my water up north. It is much easier and lighter to carry a bottle of prescription drugs to take care of any water issues.
-Use a Havels knife with replaceable blades you can drop the sharpener. Plus the Havels knife is lighter and sharper.
– Look at the Big Agnes air mattresses. I just got one and it works great. I do not recommend 3/4 length pads. You need to sleep and sleep good, your body needs to recover and most hunters do not sleep good on 3/4 length pads. Plus that leaves part of your bag that has no insulation from the cold ground. You can not hunt hard day after day if you do not sleep comfortable.
-One headlamp. You have a surefire as your backup. Two headlamps and a surefire is overkill. I would get away from anything that uses AAA batteries. Just make sure that everything uses AA then you just have to take a couple of extra AA batteries. Plus you are going to have and extra surefire battery. I have a light like a surefire but is lighter and has 3 settings so you don’t have to have it at full power all the time. It is called a Phoenix.
– I carry a mini leather-man, that will save you some weight. I also would drop the towel. 6 ounces for something that a shirt can also do.
-I hunt in the worst country there is and I do not carry Crampons. Unless I am going to traverse a Glacier I will not backpack Crampons. My motto is if crampons are needed you shouldn’t be there. I have been in alot of hairy places and they are not needed. If you are going to need crampons then you probably need ropes and a harness.
– Creek crossing shoes. I bring crocs for crossing big creeks and as camp shoes. I have a design for a gaiter that you can roll up into a lightweight hip gaiter for larger crossings.
These ideas should save you some weight. I am not going to comment on the bow hunting gear as that is very specific to each hunter.
You have a great thing going here. Kuiu is going to be a great success. Remember to ask me for anything that you need. I will try to help in any way I can. If you want to talk Sleeping Bags sometime give me a call. I have 8-10 bags trying to find the best solution. You know I spend a fair amount of time in one!!!!