Ryan Lampers' early season backcountry gear list

Photo credit: Brady Miller

If you're like me watching the days quickly getting crossed out on the ol’ calendar, then you, too, are seeing those early season fall hunts fast approaching. August brings some great opportunities to get out and start chasing antelope as well as deer and elk in a few western states. Heck, for bear hunting nuts like myself there are even opportunities in August to chase big old berry eating bears in the high country during this time. Then, of course, the month of September comes along, offering more archery mule deer opportunities as well as the oh-so-coveted archery elk season.

It just so happens that my early season calendar this year will have me up in some high alpine areas chasing both bears as well as some high country mule deer. Typically, these late summer trips bring about much warmer conditions than the often fickle weather month of October. I use October as the month when my early season gear kit will start to see a makeover; usually the shelter and clothing systems see the lion’s share of the changes. 

When it comes to the gear I use, weight is definitely a consideration. Relative comfort and safety is also of huge importance when choosing what gear will be taking up that precious space in my backpack. Durability, reliability and functionality are things I also weigh carefully when it comes to deciding on the gear I take. Compromises are made not just with weight, but with comfort as well. My approach is to shave weight where possible, but still maintain a system that’ll get me through almost every possible weather scenario Mother Nature might throw at me.

Here’s my personal gear list, which covers everything I'll be taking along during my upcoming early season trips. 

My early season gear list

Clothes Packed In Backpack (Extra layers)

Rain JacketStone Glacier M5 Rain Jacket
Rain PantStone Glacier M5 Rain Pant
Mid LayerStone Glacier Helio Hoody
Insulation TopStone Glacier Grumman Goose Down Jacket
GlovesOutdoor Research Versaliner
BeanieLightweight Merino Wool Beanie

Clothes Worn (Items I always wear daily)

Top (Wicking)Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Crew LS
Pants (Outer)Stone Glacier De Havilland LITE
Base LayerStone Glacier Chinook Merino Hoody
UnderwearStone Glacier Chinook Merino Boxer
Socks (Hiking)Stone Glacier Ram Wool Sock


BootsCrispi Lapponia 2.0
InsolesSheepFeet Full Length Orthotic


BackpackStone Glacier Sky Guide 7900


Spotting ScopeVortex Razor HD 22-48-65mm
BinocularsVortex Razor UHD 12x50
HarnessStone Glacier Skyline Binocular Harness
RangefinderVortex Razor HD 4000 Laser Rangefinder
Rangefinder CaseStone Glacier Skyline Rangefinder Pocket
TripodSlik 624
Pan HeadOutdoorsmans Micro Pan Head
Digiscope SetupPhone Skope

Sleep System

ShelterSeek Outside Eolus Dyneema
Stakes6 Hyperlite Ultralight Stakes
Compression SackSea To Summit Ultra Sil (Small)
Sleeping BagStone Glacier Chilkoot 15 Degree Sleeping Bag
Ground ClothSeek Outside Fearlessly Floorless Ground Sheet
Sleeping PadTherm-A-Rest-NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad (Large)


Trekking PolesPEAX Sissy Stix Backcountry Elite
GaitersPeax Storm Castle Gaiters
Glassing PadSthealthy Hunter Glassing Pad
Solar PanelAnker 21 W/3 Panel Solar Charger
Battery PackDark Energy Poseidon
Backup Rangefinder
Extra Rangefinder Battery
Satellite MessengerGarmin inReach Mini
Charge CordMicro USB
Charge CordiPhone Charger Cord
HeadlampPEAX Backcountry Duo
MappingGOHUNT Explorer Maps
Bear ProtectionSmith & Wesson M&P 10 mm
Pistol LoadOutdoorsman Buffalo Bore Hard Cast 220 grain
Pistol Chest RigRazco Gear Kydex Holster
Ear ProtectionRadians Custom Molded Ear Plugs
Food StorageStone Glacier Load Cell Dry Bag
TapeLeuko Tape And Electrical Tap Wrapped On Trekking Poles

Fire Starting Kit

Lighter1 Bic Lighter
LighterPyro Putty Elite Rechargeable Dual Arc Lighter 
Fire StarterEsbit Fire Starting Tablets
Fire StarterBlack Beard Fire Starting Rope

Kill Kit

Carrying CaseSthealthy Hunter Kit Sack
Cord50' Z Packs Z Line Slick Cord 
KnifeGoat Knives Ibex Mini Replaceable Blade Knife
Extra BladesTwo 60A Replaceable Blades And Two 70A Blades
KnifeGoat Knives Nitro TUR Fixed Blade
Game BagsGrakksaw Game Bags
LicenseLicense And Tags
SharpenerBenchmade EDC Edge

Medical Kit

First AidSthealthy Hunter Backcountry Medical Kit

Weapon (Bow & Rifle)

BowPSE EVO XF 33" 80 lb
ReleaseCarter Wise Choice Thumb
ArrowsDay Six Gear 540 grain
FletchingAAE Max Stealth Fletching
BroadheadDay Six Gear 125 grain
RifleWeatherby Backcountry Ti 6.5 RPM
MuzzlebrakeTi Pro Self Timed 4 Port
BipodSpartan Precision Equipment Javelin Pro Long
RiflescopeVortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x 50 MOA Riflescope
Scope CoverSthealthy Hunter Optics and Crown Cover

Cook Kit

Cooking PotTOAKS Cook Set
Stove SystemJetBoil MightyMo
SpoonPEAX Backcountry Ti Spoon
FuelJetBoil Jetpower Fuel Canister x 1
Coffee MugGSI Infinity Backpacker Mug


Water Purification BackupAquatab Purification Tablets
Water BottleGSI Microlite
Water FilterSteriPen Ultralight UV Water Purifier
Water ContainerHydraPak 3 Liter

Get the gear you need this fall here


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