By Troy Paulson Explore Big Sky Contributor
Stone Glacier Solo
After packing out my last bull elk with a 15-year-old, ski-specific backpack, I knew it was time for an upgrade. In summer 2013, I came across a new company out of Bozeman founded by Kurt Racicot called Stone Glacier. Racicot designed a hunting-specific pack that weighs a mere 3.7 pounds, but is rated to carry up to 130. Stone Glacier uses a Krux frame that’s compatible with any of the multiple packs offered by the company.
The Solo is 3,300 cubic inches and the frame comes with a load shelf so you can expand the pack by an additional 2,700 cubic inches – this allows the Solo to carry an entire boned-out mule deer. Designed as a no frills bag, it has only one exterior and one interior pocket, but the materials are tough – the bag is built with Cordura 500 and Xpac fabrics, as well as heavy-duty, 1-inch military-approved buckles. The Solo is hydration compatible, with full-zip access to the main compartment. If you plan on packing your game out, look no further than the Stone Glacier Solo. It’s lightweight, tough and built for hunters. $559
Schnee’s Beartooth Insulated boot
If you like to hunt from your feet and not a tree stand, take a look at Schnee’s Beartooth Insulated boot. Made in Italy, the Beartooth Insulated is an 8-inch leather boot with 200 grams of Thinsulate and a waterproof, breathable liner. It’s a great all-around boot for both archery and rifle hunters that will see temps from the 80s down to 10 F in the mountains. Weighing in at only 3.6 pounds the Beartooth Insulate is lightweight, comfortable and has great traction with its Vibram Tsavo outsole.
Not as stiff as some of Schnee’s other boots, the Beartooth Insulated still has great support and mine hardly required a break-in period. With almost 70 miles on them this archery season, they’ve performed great in the wet weather and kept my feet dry and blister-free. $389