It goes without saying you're going to need your bow and arrows. My set up is the same as my whitetail and turkey set up used at home. I like to use a set up that works for most scenarios I can hunt in a year. This allows me to be consistent and comfortable with my rig. I shoot a Hoyt Carbon Element set at 67 lbs, Easton Axis 340 arrows tipped with Muzzy Trocar broadheads, a QAD HDX drop away rest, with an Apex Reactor 5 arrow quiver, Montana Black Gold Ascent 3 pin adjustable sight and a Scott Little Goose single caliper release.
Most of my clothing is similar to what I wear in the whitetail woods. I wear Danner High Ground 400 gram boots, Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 binos in an S4 lockdown carrier, Simmons rangefinder, Leatherman multi tool, Havalon Piranta Knife and Garmin rino 130 GPS with Colorado and New Mexico dowloadable maps. In my fanny pack (which my buddies give me endless grief about) I carry a wind checker, maps, elk calls, a foldable saw, zip ties, headlamp, face paint, bowhunter education cards, wallet and my elk tag. Also in there are wet wipes. 1 tip I recommend is finding multiple uses for items to save weight in your pack. Wet wipes serve as toilet paper as well as a wash cloth to wipe down after a long day of hunting. Just be sure it's not the same wet wipe for both jobs. :-)
My first layer is for active hiking or warmer weather. Typically in the morning I'll wear a bottom base layer when glassing for an added layer of warmth. I have found moisture wicking clothes that help regulate your body heat are critical. You don't want to sweat too much walking or cool off too fast when sitting. Much is written about synthetic materials offered by brands such as Sitka, Core 4, Kuiu, and even Cabela's own brand. Merino wool material offered by First Lite is also very good. I wear Under Armour boxer briefs, Sitka 1/4 zip tee long sleeve shirt, First Lite Llano long sleeve tee and this year I'm trying the Cabela's Instinct Backcountry pant. The advantage to softshell, high quality material such as the brands listed above is they dry quickly so I don't typically pack rain gear. I like to use a custom insole for my boots and a high quality merino wool sock to keep my feet dry and comfortable. Your feet will likely hurt after a long day so don't skimp on your feet, socks, or insoles. It's a must to break in your boots well before you go!
My top layer is my lucky ball cap and a light weight stocking cap in case it is extra chilly, and a pair of good gloves. I pack my Kennetrek gaiters to keep my the top of my boots and legs of my pants as dry as possible, and finally I pack my Cabelas Lookout softshell jacket.
Be sure to check the regulations for the area you are hunting in. Some equipment is illegal. Some states don't allow lighted arrow nocks, others won't allow mechanical broadheads, while others have requirements regarding the minimum cutting diameter of a head and draw weight minimums. Also you need to know tagging requirements, keeping proof of sex when packing out, hunting hours, and what is required when removing meat from the carcass among other things.
In summary, most of your typical whitetail woods clothing will suffice for the mountains, but specialty or multi-purpose garments should become part of your arsenal. Tune in tomorrow as I share tips on camping and specialty gear for your own backcountry hunt.
The Budget Bowhunter