Brady Miller's 2022 spring black bear hunting gear list


Photo credit: Brady Miller

I recently returned from my 2022 spring bear hunt and thought it would be a great time to drop this gear article out there. What I take on my spring hunts, mirrors very closely to what I use in the fall on my mule deer hunts. There are just a few small tweaks here and there, but overall a spring bear hunt is a great way to test new gear or try some different foods.

My 2022 spring black bear.

What's truly great about bear hunting, is that you can use whatever gear you have available. You don't need a super heavy weapon, you don't need a ton of weight in optics, but for me, it's just something that works well. This gear list is based around a full backpack style hunt so this is everything I'm carrying in my pack.

If you're a visual person, we actually released my spring bear gear list video back on April 26. You can watch that video below.


There is a few differences between that gear list video I recorded back in April and what I took on the hunt. Since I was hunting with some friends (Ryan Lampers, Brian Call and Pedro Ampuero) we split up some of our gear to make things eaiser on all of us. I didn't end up taking my shelter, but I'm leaving it in the gear list for a reference if you wanted to prepare for a solo spring hunt.

Why a gear list?

The reason I personally do gear lists for every hunt is simple... I want to know that I don't leave anything behind and to see if there is anything I need add or even subtract from my gear. When I'm getting ready for a hunt, I create a gear list well in advance. I why always tell people to take all their gear and place it on the floor and run through it several times to ensure you have everything and to see what you could live without. I always keep my gear lists in both a Google Sheet that I can access from my phone and I also have a custom Excel spreadsheet I built several years ago that I linked in some previous articles for people to download and work off of that I also create for every hunt.


My gear list breakdown for a backpack style spring bear hunt

Clothes Packed In Backpack (Extra layers)

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Rain Jacket Sitka Dewpoint Jacket - Pyrite - (LT) 12.10
Rain Pant Sitka Dewpoint Pant - Pyrite - (LT) 11.10
Mid Layer Sitka Heavyweight Hoody - Subalpine - (XL) 15.40
Softshell Jacket Sitka Jetstream Jacket - Subalpine - (XLT) 27.00
Insulation Top Sitka Kelvin Lite Down Jacket Subalpine - (XL) 18.60
Insulation Bottom Sitka Kelvin Lite Down 3/4 Pant Subalpine - (L) 13.60
Beanie Fjallraven Byron Hat 3.00
Gloves Sitka Stormfront GTX Gloves - Subalpine - XL 6.60

Clothes Worn (Items I always wear each day)

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Top (Wicking) Sitka Core Lightweight Hoody - Subalpine - (XLT) 7.70
Bottoms (Outer) Sitka Mountain Pant - Subalpine - (34T) 24.30
Belt Sitka Stealth Belt 2.50
Gloves Sitka Gunner WS Glove 4.40
Hat (Hiking) GOHUNT Alpha 3.20
Underwear Sitka Core Silk Boxer - (L) 2.80
Watch Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar 3.00
Socks (Hiking) Darn Tough Merino Hunter Boot Full Cushion 2012 - (XL) 3.10
Leg Gaiter PEAX Storm Castle Gaiters - (L/XL) 11.00

Footwear

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Boots Hanwag Alverstone II GTX - Size: 12.5 64.0
Insoles SheepFeet Full-Length Custom Orthotic Insole
(Heel Stabilizer & Double Cushioning)

Backpack

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Backpack Stone Glacier Sky Guide 7900 w/ XCurve frame 96.0
Pack Rain Cover Stone Glacier Pack Rain Cover 3.50
Weapon Holder Stone Glacier Quick Release Sling 1.40
Camera Holder Cotton Carrier Strapshot 3.80

Optics

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Spotting Scope Eyepiece Swarovski ATX Modular Angled Eyepiece 28.80
Spotting Scope Objective Swarovski 115 mm Objective w/cap 78.20
Tripod Plate Sirui TY-70A Quick Release Plate 1.60
Digiscope Setup Phone Skope Eyepiece Adapter 0.30
Eyepiece Cover Phone Skope Lens Cap 0.50
Binoculars Vortex Razor UHD 12x50 36.10
Harness Marsupial Gear Enclosed Bino Harness (L) 15.10
Rangefinder Sig Sauer Kilo8K ABS W/Lanyard 8.50
Rangefinder Case Marsupial Gear Rangefinder Pouch 2.50
Bino Adapter Vortex Pro Binocular Adapter w/Arca Swiss Plate 3.70
Tripod Sirui ST-124 Carbon Fiber Tripod 37.00
Pan Head Sirui VA-5 Ultra-Compact Fluid Head 20.00
Digiscope Setup iPhone 12 Pro Max with Phone Skope Case 11.00

Sleep System

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Shelter Seek Outside Lil Bugout and 3 piece vestibule 27.0
Shelter Pole Seek Outside Lil Bugout Carbon Fiber Center Pole 8.10
Compression Sack Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Sack - Size: XXS 1.30
Shelter Stakes 13 stakes 6.20
Ground Sheet Tyvek Sheet 5.10
Sleeping Bag Stone Glacier Chilkoot 15 Degree Sleeping Bag 34.70
Compression Sack Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Sack - Size: S 2.20
Pillow Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow 1.80
Sleeping Pad Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLite - Regular 11.40

Gear

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Wind Check Smoke In A Bottle 0.70
Trekking Poles PEAX Sissy Stix Backcountry ELITE Trekking Poles 16.05
Glassing Pad Z Rest Cut Into Small Section 4.60
Wind Check Kestrel 5700 Elite Meter with Applied Ballistics LiNK 6.00
Ear Protection Orange Wrap Around Head Ear Protection 0.60
Battery Pack GOHUNT Dark Energy Poseidon (Old Version) 8.87
Food Hanging Cord Z Packs Z Line Slick Cord 2.00
Ammo Holder 10 Round Ammo Holder Kept In Top Lid Of Pack (empty) 1.80
Food Hanging Bag Outdoor Research Dry Sack 15L 2.00

Optics Accessories Bag

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Gear Bag Stone Glacier Swing Out Pocket 1.00
Dust Blower Optics Dust Blower 1.60
Lens Wipes Zeiss Lens Wipes 1.20
Lens Pen Vortex Optics Lens Cleaning Pen 0.50
Charge Cord iPhone Charge Cord 0.65
Charge Cord Micro USB Cord For Headlamp & Sat Messenger 0.20

Kill Kit

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Gear Bag Stone Glacier Camp Pocket 1.80
Knife Goat Knives Capra Hunter Ti 1.30
Replaceable Blades 60A Replaceable Blades x 5 0.50
Hunting License License 0.28
Lighter Large Bic Lighter W/Lukotape 0.70
Lighter Small Bic Lighter (Backup) 0.40
Tape Small Roll Of Electrical Tape 0.80
Pills Electrolyte, Advil 1.50
Game Bags ARGALI High Country Pack Ultralight Game Bag Set (5 Bags) 9.50

Safety Gear

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Satellite Messenger Garmin inReach Mini W/Carabiner 3.90
Headlamp Petzl Reactik+ 3.97
Headlamp (Spare) Petzl Actik 2.80
Tooth Brush & Paste Z Packs Ultralight Travel Tooth Brush & Paste 0.70
First Aid Assorted First Aid Kit in aLOKSAK bag 1.40
Toilet Paper Toilet Paper in ZipLoc Bag 0.99

Weapon

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Rifle Browning X-Bolt Long Range 300 RUM W/McMillan A3-5 ADJ Stock 227.4
Muzzle Brake Snowy Mountain Rifles 30 Cal Snowflake Self Timing Titanium 3 Port Brake (5/8-24)
Riflescope Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27 FFP
Riflescope Rings Vortex Precision Matched Rings 34mm (Low: 0.92")
Scope Level Flatline Ops Patriot Plus Level (34mm)
Two round holder Short Action Precision Two Round Ammo Holder
Bipod MDT Ckye-Pod Gen2 Single Pull Standard
Bipod Rail Area 419 Improved Bipod Picatinny Rail (4.8")
Sling Quake Original Claw Rifle Sling
Ammo Personal Handloads = 200.20x Berger Target Hybrids, ADG Brass,
Federal 215 Match Magnum Primers, H1000 Powder = 10 total rounds
--
Rear Support Rugged Ridge Outdoor Gear Rear Support System 4.37
Rifle Cover GOHUNT Gunslicker Rifle Protective Cover 4.83

Cook Kit

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Stove Jetboil Stash Stove System 6.60
Fuel Jetboil Jetpower 100g Fuel Canister 7.00
Spork Sea to Summit Alpha Light Long Spork 0.30

Water

Item Model Weight
(oz)
Water Platypus Big Zip EVO 3L Hydration Bladder
(filled with 2 liters of water)
78.0
Water Bottle GOHUNT Nalgene (empty) 6.20
Water Purification Platypus Quickdraw 1L Water Filter 4.20
Water Container MSR DromLite 6L 4.80
 

I actually removed a few items from this gear list that was in the gear video I recorded. I didn't take my pepper spray and I elected to leave my Aquamira water purification drops at home.


In conclusion

If anyone has any questions about the gear I brought on this hunt, I'd be more than willing to dive in and explain a few things. If you have an upcoming bear hunt planned or are looking at one down the road in the future, have fun and enjoy the time on the mountain.

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