Essential Moose Hunting Gear

posted on August 20, 2013

I couldn’t manage a horseback hunt without my pet backpack, an Eberlestock X2. I’ve been hunting out of this pack for three seasons because it’s like Goldilocks—not too big, not too small. Just right. It fits the overhead bins on commercial flights, yet holds essential gear for a serious hunt plus survival gear in case of a bivouac. Long, roomy, zippered side pockets fit spotting scopes and big telephoto lenses or rolled-up jackets. Two external pouch pockets hold water bottles, the butt of a rifle or legs of a tripod. The main pocket is about 12 inches wide by 20 inches high and about 7 inches deep. An extension collar raises that another 5 inches. That’s enough space for all the hunting tools I need plus food and extra clothing. Zippered slash pockets let me isolate small items and maps, and a top lid pocket swallows all sorts of odds and ends.

Several compression straps cinch everything tight, and extend to take in extra coats, and a sleeping pad and sleeping bag if necessary. And professional, padded waist and shoulder straps distribute the weight beautifully whether I’m walking or riding. The X2 is like the bed of my Ram 4x4. It hauls the stuff I need on a hunt.

A solid night’s sleep makes every hunt better, and I get it with my Mont-Bell UltraLight Down Hugger 1 sleeping bag atop a 1-pound Therm A Rest pad. The 2-pound, 3-ounce bag compresses into a space hardly larger than a loaf of bread, yet its 800-Fill Power goose down keeps me toasty well below freezing. It’s rated to 15 degrees.

I can’t imagine any hunt without a binocular in hand. But I don’t enjoy an albatross swinging ’round my neck. Swarovski’s 18-ounce 8x30 CL Companion binocular was the perfect compromise—plenty powerful and bright enough for moose hunting, but light enough that I could keep it slung for instant use. Close-up views of grizzlies, ptarmigan, songbirds—even suspicious tracks on a distant mudflat—make every hunt richer.


Build Your Own Home Butcher Shop Lead
Build Your Own Home Butcher Shop Lead

How to Build a Home Butcher Shop

Any space including a garage, shop or storage shed can be turned into a game-processing center. Learn about hoists, knives, vacuum sealers, grinders and dehydrators you need to build your own butcher shop.

Head to Head: .348 Winchester vs. .358 Winchester

Between the .348 Winchester and .358 Winchester, which cartridge is the better all-around choice for the hunter? Contributor Philip Massaro examines the pros and cons of each.

New for 2023: HatsanUSA .62 Caliber PileDriver

HatsanUSA has announced its largest airgun to date—the .62 caliber PileDriver, designed for high-powered hunting applications.

Mauser Introduces M18 Bolt-Action Rifle in Camo Patterns

Blaser Group has announced the importation of the Mauser M18 bolt-action rifle in two camo patterns—U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and Fred Bear Old School Camo.

A Recipe for Reloading the .45-70 Government

Contributor Barb Melloni takes her readers through the process of reloading the .45-70, and her eventually precise result.

NRA-Backed Constitutional Carry Introduced in Florida

Once signed into law, more than half of the nation will recognize this fundamental right. 


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.