Posts in Gear
Slik Pro 624CF

In terms of weight, optics are a top offender on any multi-day backpack hunt. Problem is they are essential and good glass is heavy. If you’re looking for weight savings in this category, focus on your tripod.

Backpacking is a game of trade offs. My last tripod was a Vortex. It did the job. Great value, strong, and tall. It also weighed about 4.5lbs and after our last 8 day trip I knew it wasn’t coming with me on another.

Que the Slik Pro 624CF. This tripod is a backpacker’s dream. It’s small and light, yet strong enough to handle your spotter with confidence. The twist locks are quick and easy and the center column can be removed if needed. This little gem weighs in at 1.8lbs and costs approx. $220US. You’ll need to add a head which costs a few more coins and some weight, but overall you should be able to shave at least 1.5lbs off your current setup. A huge difference when trying to keep you pack in that 60lb range.

Maximum Operating Height: 44.7in / 1135mm

Minimum Operating Height: 3.5in / 90mm

Maximum Center Column Exten.: 8.3in / 210mm

Folded Length: 14.0in / 355mm

Weight: 1.81lbs / 822g

Number of Leg Sections: 3

Maximum Load: 7.05lbs / 3200g

Leg Lock Type: Twist Lock

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Maven B2 9x45 Binoculars

Looking for high level glass at an affordable price? Check out the Maven Outdoor Company B Series Binoculars. Less than half the price of Swarovski EL, these binos offer great value and continue to impress us and a couple guide outfitters along the way. The 9x45 B2 is slightly heavier and bulkier than a standard 8x42 or 10x42 bino, but returns the favor with great ergonomics (can really grab hold of them), sturdy build, great balance of objective lens diameter (45mm) to magnification (9x), and Abbe-Koenig prisms. These prisms are long and expensive which accounts for the size of the binocular, increasing light transmission via fewer internal light reflections. Field of view is a generous 377ft/1000 yds.

Maven Outdoor Company sells direct with no middleman and no retail markup. The best part: “All Maven optics come with an unconditional lifetime warranty. If your optic becomes damaged or is at all defective (not including deliberate or cosmetic damage that does not hinder product performance), contact us immediately for repair or replacement. We don’t care where or when you bought it or if it was your fault or not – if it says Maven, we will take care of it.”

If you’d like to try before you buy check out Maven’s demo program.

North Arm Knives Lynx

Lightweight gets all the attention, but sometimes you can’t beat a strong fixed blade knife. The North Arm Lynx offers excellent strength and versatility around the camp, boat or mountain. We’ve broken down bear nose to tail with no need to sharpen. The blade is CPM S35VN stainless steel designed to offer improved toughness over CPM S30V and they are made right here in BC! If you are looking for a lightweight fixed blade option you can also check out the North Arm Mallard and Trout knife which weighs in at 65g.

Maximum dimensions L x W x H

8.5" x 1.31" x 0.7" (21.6cm x 3.3cm x 1.8cm)

Blade length (tip to handle):

3.86"  (9.8cm)



5.1 oz. (145 grams) with G10 scales
4.9 oz. (140 grams) with Linen Micarta scales

Sheath: 2.5 oz. (70 grams)

Blade steel: CPM S35VN
Blade hardness: HRC 59-61
Blade thickness at spine: 0.100" (2.54mm)
Blade Grind: flat (CNC milled)
Cutting edge angle (inclusive): 30°

North Arm Lynx Knife
Sitka Core Heavyweight Hoody

While we tend to prioritize outer layers and rain gear, good base and mid layers help round out your system and provide versatility. Case in point: the Sitka Core Heavyweight Hoody. This is our most-worn piece of clothing both on and off the mountain. The lofted fleece is a bit warm for early season hunts (see lightweight option), but it’s great when the thermals kick up or the sun is hiding and you don’t quite need a jacket.

Mid to late season, we wear it all day every day. The hood with slanted zipper is perfect when you need extra protection from wind or sun, and the Polygiene Odor Control Technology neutralizes odor by stopping the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi.

The large runs 13.3oz. We feel this piece is a must have for all mid-late season hunting.

Squeeze Water Filters

There are several water filters on the market. If you’re looking for a good value, lightweight option, look no further than squeeze systems. We have experience with two different models: the Sawyer Mini and the Katadyn BeFree. When dealing with squeeze systems: 1) keep the filter clean (an easy task on both systems) and 2) don’t let it freeze, it will compromise the fibers. Throw it in your sleeping bag on cold nights. None of the models discussed filter viruses, which isn’t a concern for us in BC.

Katadyn makes great products, including Mike’s Hiker Pro pump filter. Although much heavier and bulkier than a squeeze, at least one person in your party should have a pump filter in their pack. It is extremely useful if you need to fill water bladders etc in a short amount of time. In our opinion the Katadyn is much faster and easier to use than the MSR Miniworks pump filter. The Katadyn BeFree 1L only weighs 2oz. You can scrunch up the bag and store easily, and it functions great overall with a fast flow rate. It’s very easy to clean (shake) so you don’t have to plunge it. The bag seems tough even though it’s quite thin. It has a large mouth which is both a pro and a con. You can catch water easily, however it means you can’t attach the cartridge to any other bag/bottle. The Katadyn 1L system costs approx $54 and $30 for additional cartridges.

The Sawyer Mini performs much the same as the Katadyn. It’s compact and also weighs 2oz. The mouth opening is smaller, and the flow rate isn’t quite as fast. You also need to plunge the filter to clean it (plunger included in the system). The major benefit of the Sawyer Mini is it’s adaptability. You can incorporate it into your water bladder system, or attach it to water bottles and platypus bags if the Sawyer bag breaks. It’s also cheaper at $33 for the system.

Katadyn BeFree
Sawyer Mini Filter