The days are getting cooler, and the nights are starting to get longer. With summer fading into the rear view mirror, our sights are set on the adventures that lie ahead. Benchmade’s Art of The Pursuit Contest is underway and we’re excited to highlight our favorite picks for the weekend warrior. Gear is the last thing you should be questioning when your time in the field is limited to 2 or 3 days per hunt.
If there’s ONE item you should never cut corners on, it’s boots. Crispi’s been manufacturing boots since 1975, and their wide selection makes it easy to find the best boot for you. While many of their designs are particularly specialized, the Nevada Non-Insulated GTX is a reliable quiver-killer that we’ve come to love. The Nevada is the definition of comfort and durability, with a robust construction that will keep your dogs from barkin’ when you’re putting on the miles. Although we prefer the non-insulated model, Crispi does offer an insulated version of the Nevada for colder hunts.
It can be argued that a good backpack is most important for prolonged backcountry hunts. While we agree with the general sentiment, we are firm believers in the value of a high-quality pack, even on shorter weekend excursions. Having a pack that fits properly with ample storage and organization that suits your style of hunting, will ensure that you’re maximizing efficiency in the field as a result. EXO’s new K3 3200 is a bomb-proof pack that is surprisingly light given their new K794 Alloy frame. The Boise-based company offers a wide selection of bag sizes that are interchangeable with the K2 and new K3 frames. Because of this feature, you can buy a single packframe to support 1 of 3 different bag capacities. For quick weekend hunts, the 3200 is our go-to, no questions asked.
Food preparation can fall by the wayside, as we often hyper-focus on our non-edible hunting necessities (i.e. bows, rifles, tents, etc). As a result, we tend to lean towards quick and easy meals that will provide sufficient energy to make it through a long day. Mountain House has been a staple in the freeze-dried meal realm for decades, and their Just In Case…14 Day Emergency Food Supply makes it easy to grab a day’s worth of meals, and hit the trail. Simply add boiling water and enjoy!
A wise ancient philosopher once said, “Happy knife, happy life”, or something along those lines…Keeping your knife sharp is imperative to ensuring your safety and efficiency once you’ve successfully harvested your critter of choice. A dull knife is a dangerous knife, so we collaborated with WorkSharp to create a field-friendly sharpening system that will fit conveniently in your pack. The Guided Field Sharpener offers a foolproof method for servicing your edge on the go. This piece also offers two options for tightening/loosening broadheads on your arrow, and a ceramic groove to sharpen up your fishing hooks, making this a well-rounded investment no matter your outdoor pursuits.
The key to outerwear is bringing enough, without bringing too much. Technical outerwear has been revolutionized over the past 10 years in the hunting space, allowing outdoorsmen and women to withstand the elements for longer periods of time. First Lite has established themselves as the preeminent manufacturer of merino-based hunting clothing, as the material provides unrivaled odor resistance and moisture wicking properties. The key to staying comfortable despite the occasional swings in weather, is layering your kit effectively. Given it’s versatility as a base layer, and primary layer (when the weather allows), First Lite’s Wick Hoody never gets left behind.
While they aren’t merino, the Guide Lite Pant has quickly become one of our favorite offerings from First Lite. As an ultralight nylon pant, the Guide Lites are durable enough to fight through thick brush without disintegrating by the time you’re back in camp. With enough room to layer underneath, these pants are a great piece from early to late season, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Be sure to pick up your Benchmade Hunt Tag for a chance to win this gear, and more!