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September 26, 2007

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The Gear Game

Here is a nice game we can all play, and the worst thing that will happen is that we will spend money. The rules are: Describe an unlikely, but highly useful, piece of hunting gear. Not guns, or boots, or any of the obvious stuff. Second, give the price. Third, give the web site (or email address) of whoever sells it.

These three should get you started.

1. Wiggy's Cagoule
Wiggy makes the best sleeping bags I've ever used, and lots of other useful stuff besides. The cagoule is sort of a raincoat on steroids. It will fit over everything you're wearing, plus your backpack, and comes down to your knees. It's truly wind- and waterproof, and folds up into a package about the size of a large cow turd. The hood is big enough to fit even if you have two heads. $140, wiggys.com.

2. Knives of Alaska Wood Saw
Lets you build a blind or cut a shooting lane quietly, which is much better than whackin' and hackin'. Very light, very strong (no joint) angled handle, 8-inch blade, and cuts like a son of a bitch. $50; knivesofalaska.com.

3. Duluth Monarch Pack
If you had a strong back and were very, very lucky, you could fit Scarlett Johanson in the Monarch. It's made of heavy canvas and leather, and uses shoulder straps, a hip belt, and a tumpline, which you hardly see any more. And if you want a bigger belt or straps than standard, Duluth will put them on there. 6,970 cubic inches, and indestructible. $310; duluthpack.com.

Your turn.


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zack johnson

wiggley by far does not make the best sleeping bag they feel more like big trashbags than sleeping bags.


The Antarctic bag weighs 7 pounds. . .no way I want to haul that on my back. Outfitters only need apply.

Synthetics from Mountain Hardwear weigh less and are good enough for Everest. Down weighs even less than synthetic. Don't know what the criteria are for the "Best Bag," but I'll bet a lot of backpackers would adamantly disagree that Wiggley's is best.


Being raised on a farm and still farming, i am glad to see someone use a universal measurement like a cow turd when describing something. You may also find such measurement as a boot full, a hat full, or about as big as a opossum. As far as the gear, sorry nothing to add. Just barely afford the gun and boots.

Mike Diehl

USGS 1:250,000 map.

Most hunters don't carry a map of any kind. Given the number of times I've had people ask me for directions on some backrangeland dirt ranch road, more people ought to have 'em.


Often I am unlucky to the degree that I have to obtain a frozen turkey from Kroger. I carefully remove the mesh plastic covering by prying off the metal clip from one end. Then I thread an old shoe lace through out the open end creating a light weight small game/gear bag. It works well in warm weather and is perfect for holding mushrooms, speading the spoors for next year's crop. The second best thing about the bag is that it is almost free. The best thing is that it could cover Scarlet Johanson as well as need be.

Mike Diehl

The saw was a good suggestion, Dave. I carry a collapsable locking Browning saw. I think it was fifteen bucks. When you need to split a pelvis on a deer, that thing makes instant work of it and no worries about slipping up with a knife.

I'll name one other gadget. This one is for bird hunters. Poultry shears. When you are breasting a dove or quail and want to neatly trim that wing off, snip and it's done.


If your boots leak; place a bread wrapper over your socks. Viola; your feet will stay dry.


If you debone your own deer; a sawzall makes quick work of the legs and splitting the 2 hind quarters.


A bread wrapper will keep moisture from outside off your feet. You will still have sweat in the bread bag though, or maybe my feet sweat more than the average humans.


My product would be the Nebo 2 in 1 windup flashlight. You can use it on either the one LED bulb setting or use all 3 LED bulbs when brightness counts.

One minute of winding gives you one hour of light on the 3 LED setting.

I don't use this as my primary flashlight, but it stays in my pack as a back up light. I don't have to worry about the batteries going dead and it definetly gives me peace of mind.

You can check them out @ neboflashlight.com but I purchased mine @ Bass Pro.



A piece of gear to consider is the Stylus compact flashlight. It uses 3 AAAA batteries. Available in camo with green LED bulb to protect your night vision, be less likely to spook game and be an obvious, yet quiet signal to other hunters of your presence. The price for a kit with holster, glare guard and magnifying end is $20. Made by Streamlight; http://www.streamlight.com/product/product.aspx?pid=52


I like this game. Another useful, yet unlikely piece of gear is the Cough Silencer. It muffles your coughs to prevent you from scaring game. Cost is $20 each from BigCamo; http://www.bigcamo.com/Original-Cough-Silencer.php


Bean Boots! Need I say more?
If you keep them properly treated you won't be needing any breadbags on your feet! 100 years old and still going strong! Still unconditionally guaranteed!

A 4AA cell headlamp is always a part of my kit. No need (IMHO) to spend through the nose on one, most hardware stores have decent ones. I might splurge on one of the LED jobs though.

Along with my 'chute cord I carry about a hundred feet of Kolpin bow string thread; kevlar has no stretch, is literally as strong as steel and therefore very useful in normal hunting and unplanned situations.


Everyone who knows me knows the one thing I am never without in the woods. Snickers bars!
My ever patient wife just told me to make sure I added this note!


I always carry rope and carabiners.


Ditto on rope and biners - very useful for many applications.

I also love the camo heat seats. They have some sort of material in them that reflects your body heat back to your rear. I thought it was bs when my non-hunting aunt and uncle gave me one for my b-day. When my rump was nearly on fire I was a believer. Dick's carries them and they are a lifesaver in the dead of winter.


Can't get enough sand-filled leather pistol/rifle rests? These guys can help, provided you hand over no more than $42.50 plus S/H.

Scarlett would approve (I think).



Two items for the list:

One: Thermacell (http://www.thermacell.com) if you hunt where there are mosquitos or biting flies, this is the ticket. It flat out works. Even better, you can pick one up for about $21.95. Refills are available all over the place.

Two: Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) - not cheap, priced between $400 to $700 - but worth every penny if you spend as much time solo in the real back country as I do. You may never activate it, but if you ever need it you might literally not be able to live without one. Here's a site where you can see a bunch of models and compare prices: http://www.nextag.com/personal-locator-beacon/search-html


Another item(s) I never hunt in the cold without are toasty toes and hot hands.

Those little warming packs have kept me on stand longer than I ever thought possible.

Each pack is $1.00-$2.00 and you can buy them @ Walmart, basspro, Kmart, Dicks sporting goods, etc...

Matt Mallery

I am very impressed with Wiggey's God bless them for being American owned and operated. I would gladly spend more on a Wiggey's sleeping bag. Sure, Moutain Hardware is cheaper, but that is because it's made in Commie China by virtual slave labor. If you want to buy guns for the Chinese Army, go ahead. I like their FTRSS system and plan on getting it eventually.


I don't know if anyone saw this or not....but talk about some bad fact checking and sensationalism. read the story and check out the picture they offer of what a blackpowder .50 cal looks like.

Steve C

Back when Cabela’s catalog was about 20 pages and camo came only in brown and green GI patterns, you had to be creative in gear selection.

- Big, goofy foam “moon boots”. Cheap ($10), extremely light weight, and the warmest things you will ever put on you feet for still hunting or duck hunting. Just don’t try to walk too far in them.

- Any German military surplus. Dirt cheap, wool gear wears like iron, and Flecktarn is still my favorite camo pattern.

- Fingerless, ragg wool gloves ($5-$10 anywhere). Discovered these 25+ years ago duck hunting in 1980. Ever since, I’ve never hunted anything without having a pair in my coat.


The thing i carry with me is a small knife sharpener. Its made by Rapala and costs all of $3.00. Its handy just for touching up your blade as you do up an animal.It makes a world of difference towards the end of the job


Murray Custom Leather A-1 rifle sling

This has been in F&S before but it's worth another mention.

Dr. Ralph

Surgical gloves, at least elbow length... I am amazed at the amount of people who are willing to field dress any animal with bare hands and exposed cuts. Take my advice and stash some every time you are thinking about killing and exposing yourself to the quarry's bodily fluids.

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