Jason asked me to put together a qui...


Jason asked me to put together a quick list of what I took my Chugach Goat hunt this past August.  We were limited to about 50 pounds of personal gear including our bow and optics. Transportation into the hunt was by super cub.    Obviously, some of the gear listed below I wore (boots, bino’s, pants, etc.) and was not in my pack.  Other items on my list (sat phone, video camera, spotting scope, tent, stove) were split between the three of us. I generally add 24 ounces of food per day for myself, and depending on water availability (not a concern on this hunt) 60 ounces of water.

This hunt was what I consider a modified backpack trip, where we had a main base camp, and had the option to spike camp out on our backs depending on where we found goats.

Some of my kit I chose for the weight, and other things are specific to the needs on this hunt. All of these items have been verified on my scale and are accurate to my size. It is a constant battle deciding what is worth the weight and what is not. As you can see on this trip my bow, optics, and specialty gear needed for this hunt were the real curve killers.

Not included on the list are a few things I bring for travel that will not be going on the hunt with me.  I generally pack my optics and bow and most of my clothes into a hard sided locking bow case.  The rest of my gear is either in my pack as a carry on or in a large checked duffel that has enough room to get my frozen cape, meat, and head back with me on the return trip.  I always have my jacket, hunting pants, and boots on or in my carry on in case my luggage gets lost. I could get by for a couple of days with shared gear if it came down to it, but good fitting boots are not something I can live without for any period of time.

If this had been a solo hunt I would have brought a backup bow and left it at the main air strip, but because we both had a bow I did not bring a spare.  If something were to happen to my bow, I have extra cams that would allow me to shoot Matt’s bow and vice versa (we shoot the same bow with different draw lengths). Although not ideal, in an emergency we could make it work.  This is definitely something to consider on a hunt like this. It would be pretty easy to damage your bow in a fall or busting brush.

No gear list is end all, including mine. Personal preference plays a huge role in deciding what you need and what you can live without.  Trying out new products is half the fun of getting ready for a hunt. On this hunt there was nothing I did not use and nothing I would have left at home.

Below are five products that were essential on this trip:

Petzl Snowscopic Ice Axe/Trekking pole-  In steep country having an ice axe to catch you if you slip could save your life.

Spindrift Jacket- When you have to sleep out unplanned you need this jacket. Weighs nothing and makes a normally miserable night out bearable.

Chugach Rain gear- Being completely dry all the time in ALASKA  is awesome.

Schnees Granite Boot-Breathes better than any boot I have ever worn.

Zeiss Diascope 85 spotting scope- 75 power saved us alot of walking.  I was able to identify Billies from Nannies at great distances.  Great piece of glass.

Function Spec Weight in oz.
Pack, shelter and sleep system
Backpack KUIU ICON 6000 91
Pack cover Sea to Summit (large gray) 4
Sleeping bag/ w waterproof stuff sack Mountain Hardware Ultra lamina 15 (synthetic) 53
Sleeping pad Exped Synmat UL 7 16
Stuff sack/ pillow Thermarest 2
Tent Hilleberg Jannu 90
Clothing- Skin to Shell
Underwear 2 pair Smartwool merino 4
Base layer top KUIU 185 zip 9.6
Base layer bottom KUIU 185 9
Mid layer top KUIU 250 zip 12.5
Pant Attack pant 18.5
Vest KUIU Guide vest 11.2
Micro insulation KUIU Spindrift 13.5
Soft Shell Jacket KUIU Guide Jacket 18.5
Rain Shell top KUIU Chugach Jacket 17.3
Rain Shell bottom KUIU Chugach Pant 13.3
Gaiter OR Crocodile 9.6
Ball cap KUIU 2.5
Lighweight beanie KUIU merino 185 1
Heavy beanie KUIU Guide beanie 1.3
Gloves KUIU Guide glove 7
Gloves 2 Rubber Crabbing gloves 5
Lightweight socks 4 pair -Smartwool fine merino 2
Mid weight socks 2 pair -mid weight Smartwool 2
Boots Schnees Granite 74
Camp shoes Nike Free 2 12.2
Bow Hoyt Carbon Matrix w/ release and 4 hunting arrows 99
Arrows 12 extra w/ 4 practice heads and arrow tube 33
Binoculars Zeiss Vicory 10-45 rf 37
Rangefinder Nikon riflehunter 550( angle compensated) 6
Spotting scope Zeiss Diascope 85mm   20-75 power 69
Tripod Outdoorsmans medium with rc 700 head 55
Satellite phone Motorolla 9555 (Iridium) 10
Camera Sony Nex 5 12
Video Camera JVC Everio  HD 40 optical zoom 6.2
Headlamp Petzl Tikkina 2 3
Knife Havelon Piranta w/ 12 blades 3
Sunglasses Smith 1
Ice Axe/ trekking pole Petlz Snowscopic 16
Crampons Kahtoola kts 19
Water container Nalgene 1 liter 3
Eating utensil Titanium spork 1
Small item storage 2-Sea to Summit 4 liter bags 1
Hygiene 1 pack wet wipes 2
Fire starter 1 storm proof lighter 1
First Aid Kit Tape/blister kit/ 2
Medication/ prevention Advil/immoduim/ emergency pain/ ect 2
Wind checker 1
Lens cleaner
Watch 2
Extra batteries For camera/headlamp/ video/sat phone 4
OZ 888.2
LBS 55.5125


Let me know if you have any specific questions or if I can help you put together a gear list for a specific hunt you have coming up.


Brendan Burns
KUIU Guides & Outfitters Services

This article has 32 comment(s)

  1. Matt

    Looking through your list I saw a lot of similar items to my AK sheep hunting list! It works for me and I’m glad it works for you. How do you like that bow? What stove did you use? Thanks for the info.

    • Brendan Burns


      Thanks for commenting. I really like the Carbon matrix. Very forgiving, super durable, and accurate. Great bow.

      The stove we used was the MSR Whisper lite. Worked well.


  2. goathunter

    Brendan, thanks for posting. It’s interesting to see the choices you made. Seeing what you packed made me realize that I put a premium on items that help me find camp or be found by rescuers. In addition to a sat phone, I pack around a PLB (heavy), GPS, 2-way radio, and spare headlamp (ever fall down in the dark and have your headlamp fall off? More than once, I’ve fished my spare headlamp out of my pack to help me find the one that just fell off or put batteries in the one that just died).

    I also tend to try and cut down on the clothes if I have to pack in the entire camp. Looking at your list, I would have only taken two pairs of socks, no vest, the 185-zip or the 250-zip but not both, no camp shoes (though I always miss them).

    Other standard items I pack along that are not on your list: parachute cord, small bag of firestarter tinder, small container of mosquito repellent, iodine tablets, small bottle of foot powder. I also adhere some duct tape to my trekking pole (comes in handy for small repairs).

    I’ve often wondered if the combo binos/range finders are any good (would save some weight). Have you ever tried one of these that you liked?



    • Brendan Burns

      I appreciate the feedback.

      Personally I wear the 185 and 250 all the time and never go anywhere without a vest ( i get cold easy). Same goes for camp shoes- they are worth the weight for me. I normally carry two headlamps also, but with 3 of us I did not on this trip.

      Good call on the cord/ rope. Bernie had that in his pack along with our climbing harness( which we didn’t need).

      The Zeiss rang finding binoculars are the best I have ever used. They are the only high end bino/ rangefinder combo on the market with the yardage button on the right side. Being right handed the yardage button on the left is a deal breaker for me. There is a ton of great glass on the market, but you cant go wrong with the Zeiss.

      The only reason I carried the nikon was for a steep angle shot. My bow was sighted in with it. The Zeiss does not have angle compensation. Turned out I didn’t need it for my shot, but Matt arrowed his goat at 46 strait downhill. I believe he held for 30.


  3. Cyril

    Why the rangefinding binoculars and the rangefinder? Is it that the RF binoculars are too combersome on the final stalk with the bow? (that’s where the nikon rangefinder was used). Just making sure that it wasn’t because you are unhappy with the zeiss built in rangefinder (it’s the top item on my list of wants right now!).

    Great idea with the sock liners (4) and only two heavy weight socks. Definitely a gear change I’ll make (the heavy socks can definitely be worn more days than the sock liners without a proper wash).

    • Cyril

      Oh, and did you have a bincular harness or case?

      • Brendan Burns

        I was testing a prototype bino harness. Worked really well.

        There is nothing about the Zeiss I dont like. The only thing I would change is adding angle compensation. Everyone I let use them wants a set.


  4. Cory Benge

    Everyone….scroll back to the top of Brendon’s blog entry and look at his photo….makes you wanna go goat hunt doesn’t it!! Awesome photo Brendon.

    • Justin Starck

      Sure does!

  5. Luke Johnson

    I love reading posts like this! You can always learn from someone else and checking out other people’s setup is something I never get tired of. I hope I get to go on a hunt like this; I’m always pre-preparing. LOL.
    Thanks Brendon!

  6. Les Butters

    Surprised you did not bring:
    Toothbrush, soap, hand rag, back-up bow release, paperback book for rain out day/s, compression bags for soft items, emergency fire starter. Any comments?

    • Brendan Burns

      Toothbrush is in the personals in my med kit, but great call. I cant imagine going 10 days without brushing. Ive never packed soap. The wet wipes eliminate the need for a hand rag. A book is never a bad idea on a trip like that.

      I use the sea to summit bags for my soft items. They compress small, weight nothing and are air tight .

      Because there were two of us with bows I did not bring an extra release( we both shoot the same set up). If I was by myself I would have packed an extra.


  7. Justin Starck

    Looks like an amazing hunt, Brendan. Thanks for putting this together. I have my Wyo/Colo kit nailed down for the most part, but there are a few items I should pry swap out and a couple specalty items I should add before going to Alaska.

  8. ryanhutchcab

    Great list. I like that your weights are based on your scale verses manufacturers specs. I find this super important in reducing and gauging pack weight. My 11 pound postal scale was the greatest piece of gear I’ve ever bought to reduce my pack weight.

    I have some thoughts on few ways you could shave a little more weight if you wanted too.

    Water bottle: A 1L gatorade bottle weighs half the weight of a nalgene, is suprisingly durable, and comes with a complimentary tasty beverage.

    Ice axe: consider the Black Diamond Whippet self arrest ski pole. Basically a skipole w/ an ice axe pick melded to the handle. I’m not sure on the weight but it is sure to be less than the Petzl ice axe w/ ski pole melded in (which is also very slick)

    Stove: I have switched almost exclusively to alcohol stoves that weigh between 1-5oz. or wood burners like the titanium bush buddy or the Boilerwerks backcountry boiler (which can also double as a water bottle), and has a similar build philosophy to Kuiu. I’ll be posting a review of this boiler on my (very) new blog very soon. Bottom line, you can save a bunch of weight in this area.

    Headlamp: save 2oz. by using the Petzl E-Light, and batteries weigh less for spares too, Bonus!

    Sleeping pad: go 3/4 length and save ~6oz. w/ a 10oz pad. Then use your pack under your feet. Unless sleeping on snow, and of course this comes down to personal comfort too.

    Sleeping bag: depending on the length of the trip, I have used a down bag or even a down quilt successfully in AK, that can shave your sleeping bag weight in half. Bozeman Mtn. Works used to produce a synthetic ultralight quilt (20 oz.) as well, but I think they have ceased production.

    Just some thoughts, I know everyone’s system is (and should be) different and I enjoyed your perspective on the challenges of what to bring. I continue to try new things in the ultralight world, and look at each trip as a shakedown trip to test new approaches and gear. So far my lightest has been a 2 day one night hiking trip that included a shelter, stove and cooked dinner and breakfast (w/ coffee!) at 7.98 pounds total pack weight.

    • Brendan Burns


      All great ideas.

      The gatorade bottle is a great one. Matt was packing one. Plus they come full of gatorade!

      I was just looking at an alcohol stove. I am going to give one a try. Thanks for the feedback.

      I know some guys use down in AK. There is just to much rain for me to risk it. I have had a couple of bad experiences over the years with down in Alaska. Not worth the weight savings for me.

      2 days with less than 8 lbs. Wow. That is going light.


    • Justin Starck

      I am glad someone uses down in Alaska. I am a big fan of down for Wyoming and Colorado. Getting your insulation wet is just something you don’t do. In Wyoming and Colorado, if my sleeping bag did happpen to get wet, I would be walking out, down or synthetic. Not having that option in Alaska, I would pry have to go with synthetic.

      These guys must not trust their Chugach gear very much by going with a synthetic insulating jacket…jk.

      • Matt

        Down? Not in AK. Just ask Marc Taylor. 🙂 Chugach gear is legit, but wet happens here in Alaska. If every piece of gear doesn’t function wet you can be in trouble. I can’t fathom a reason for down. I’d rather work on my strenght and have reliable all weather gear for a few extra lbs… JMO

      • Justin Starck

        Thanks Matt. I will most likely be using synthetics when I go to Alaska. All things considered, it is the thing to do.

  9. Vince Seidler

    i am going to arizona in january for mule deer/javalina. This will be my first backpack hunt and it is going to be a learning experience for sure. I have never been west of Kansas but have been attracted to the mountains and backpack hunting since i first heard of it. So the main question is will the kuiu gear be warm enough. Will i need a bigger pack than a sacrifice which i have, for 5-6 days. I’m super pumped but collecting gear has been daunting due to the fact i am a college student and gear is ever so cheap.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Vince,

      Glad to hear you are chasing your dreams. The KUIU system will take you through a pretty large range of temperature and weather on a mountain hunt. I have tested it from 10 degrees to over 100 degrees and it performed incredibly well. It actually surprised me at 10 degrees. I am not super familiar with the Sacrifice, how ever from what I do know about this pack it should be large enough for a 5 to 6 day hunt. Let us know if there is anything else we can to to help you get ready for your hunt.


    • John Garren

      Hello Vince,
      Just wanted to comment on the Sacrifice. I tried one this year for a few multi-day trips, although it should hold your gear i found it very uncomfortable with more than 30 lbs. At least for 4+ mile hikes. I wouldn’t want to to have to load a deer and camp at once.

  10. Vince Seidler

    Thank you so much for your reply. I can’t wait till you get the new shipment of KUIU!! My name is on the list and I am patiently waiting. Quick question, do you wear the the 185 next to skin always and the heavy 250 over that or the 250 next to skin if situation permits.

    • Jason Hairston

      No problem Vince. Gear is my favorite topic. The 185 goes against your skin, 17.5 microns makes it super comfortable.


  11. Vince Seidler

    Jason do you have any idea on when the shipment might arrive and be available. Have you ever considered sponsoring teams or otherwise thought of a gear test program where a third party, would rent gear out to people wanting to try it out themselves for fit, finish and such. We would not sell any items but would refer them to your website for purchase.

  12. Cyril

    Very interested in the prototype bino harness. Is this a KUIU prototype? Does it have a cover/shield?

  13. george

    Jason, looks good –

    i would like to see some pics of it all loaded up, and being carried

    thanks sir

  14. Nate P

    I read this post in the treestand last Friday and one thing has been sticking in my craw ever since…what are the crabbing gloves for? I assume for disassembling the goat? At any rate, congratulations and great post!

  15. Jonathan Clough

    Was wondering about the water purifying pump? We use MSR’s or Katadyn on our last sheep hunts.
    With respect to down in AK it would depend on the situation for me after living in Kodiak for a few years. Short trips yes, long trips no depending on the logistics like flown in, maybe week(s) for weather to clear, float trip, etc. In the Rockies, hunting elk, doing an overnighter, weekend down for sure.

  16. Bill Pass

    Who did you use as an outfitter on your Goat hunt and would you recommend them?

  17. Dean

    Any updates to this list? I’m doing a Mountain Goat hunt out of Cordova, AK in the Chugach range this September.

  18. Wyatt Wright

    The latest in technology gadgets writing is absolutely
    the best i have read today.

  19. Mark

    Really enjoy the postings of what gear you are using for the type of Hunts.
    New Zealand Hunting (Fiordland)I think is a lot like Alaska but as I get older and now with a new knee I am very conscious of the weight on my back and the elimination of excessive gear.
    Huge Fan of the Kuiu system and can say that it stands up to the conditions we have here.
    My 6000 weighs in at 16kg for a ten day hunt here in NZ