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Old October 8, 2009, 08:53 AM   #26
ZeroJunk
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I don't carry a day pack. I can put what I want to take in my coat. Sandwich, water, Advil, matches, and a sharp knife. I'm bad about forgetting toilet paper and having to cut my underwear off.


It's hard to get lost in the mountains if you pay attention to where you are in relation to the peaks. If you go down you will come to a trail, and if you keep going down you will come to a bigger trail. I suspect many of these go back to the Indians.

Biggest threat is if you crossover in to another drainage and don't notice the transition. Where I hunt that could get you on the other side of the divide.

The mountains are not a place to hunt alone. i don't mean sitting with your back to each other, but you need to know about where somebody is all the time, for both of you.

Little bull last year.

That orange pack my partner has weighs about 40 pounds. I thought he was moving up here.

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Old October 8, 2009, 09:50 AM   #27
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Leave your cotton at home, and invest in wool everything.
This is very important. Synthetics will also work fine (fleece) for less $ and weight. I have both. Synthetic longs johns, some military wool pants I got at Salvation army and two synthetic layers (not counting the long johns) for my upper body (also from Salvation Army). Consider a thick vest and a light sweater. Top all that off with a warm hat (very important) and you are set for the cold. You'll also need good boots, synthetic/wool blend socks and a wind/rain jacket.

Cotton can kill you... This may sound crazy but it's true. Next to your brain the clothes you have are the #1 most important survival gear you've got.

Last edited by wyobohunter; October 8, 2009 at 09:56 AM.
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Old October 8, 2009, 09:54 AM   #28
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Go light, go quiet.

Carrying too much increases the chance of stuff rattling, making noise, the last thing you want.
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Old October 8, 2009, 10:42 AM   #29
ZeroJunk
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Go light, go quiet.
Lot to be said for that. But, if you can keep it quiet there is not much downside to taking a lot of stuff IF you can climb toting it.
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Old October 8, 2009, 12:09 PM   #30
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used to the cold?

Don't know if you get into the Northern rockies much (if that is where you are going) but it has the capacity of being a lot colder than you might think on a nice fall Oct hunt. I am in Cooke City, MT right now and the highs have been around the freezing temp. But forecast lows for next few days are below zero and this at about 7500 ft elevation...just sayin'. Also, water can be critical if you have to get off your daily course. Let's say you have been out most of the day, and it starts to get overcast and snow very lightly, and you think it would be a good time to head back to camp. It is at this point, you cut some big fresh elk tracks and you KNOW it had to be in the last 15 min. Are you going to go straight back to camp? I know I couldn't! And I haven't. I ran out of water on this trek and I swore I would never let it happen again. I purchased a portable water purifier (about $75) and make sure I have room for it -even a short day packer. (Oh good fire starter even wet: transistor battery and steel wool) Have a great hunt!
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Old October 8, 2009, 03:11 PM   #31
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I just stepped outside a minute ago and it was raining---cold, but still just rain at 7200 feet and only a light dust of white visible in the high peaks.
I take it back. It's raining this afternoon and shifting to sleet off and on. So the snow may very well be hitting pretty hard in higher elevations as soon as tonight.
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Old October 9, 2009, 09:13 AM   #32
Major Dave (retired)
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Reply to Rangefinder, comments to various others

Rangefinder, Specific hunt location is just south of Kremmling, CO. Weather there this week has been lows from 14 to 24, and highs in the 40's and 50's. But we won't hunt until Oct 17 thru 24th.Weather forecast for 16th and 17th is "snow showers". But that is for the city, and we will be about 2K to 3 K above the city - heavier snow, I guess?

Hogdog ( I think), where do you buy wax to melt and dip strips of corrugated cardboard in for fire starters?

What's with the candles (several have suggested them)? The tents at base camp will have lanterns, so the candles are used for what?

No cotton? Not even over a pair of light thermals, with heavy thermals, i.e., as the third and fourth layer? I do have one pair of Army wool "field pants, and a military wool sweater, and a civilian wool sweater with hood. Have wool socks, plus a pair of those "space socks" (white, thin fabric with conspicuous silver threads - works like the silver emergency blankets, I suppose. Put them next to the skin, or layered over wool socks, or don't use them at all?

You guys are really helping my learning curve, here. AND I'll bet others are reading this thread and learning a lot, too. I need to print out this entire thread and save it for future reference
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Last edited by Major Dave (retired); October 9, 2009 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Typo's, spelling, and more info
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Old October 9, 2009, 10:48 AM   #33
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Rangefinder, Specific hunt location is just south of Kremmling, CO.
Awesome area, when I lived in Wyo I'd hunt the border area (Wyoming side) just north of there.
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where do you buy wax to melt and dip strips of corrugated cardboard in for fire starters?
Hobby store, dryer lint works even better than cardboard IMO

Quote:
What's with the candles (several have suggested them)? The tents at base camp will have lanterns, so the candles are used for what?
If you end up having to bivouac or siwash (unplanned night on the mountain) you can wrap the space blanket (the one you should carry along with the one quality emergency type candle) around you in a sort of seated huddle and light the candle. You'd be surprised at how warm this can keep you for very little weight. I spent a night at over 12,000' (Grand Teton) during a late August blizzard using this trick. It weren't fun but I still gots all my parts

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No cotton? Not even over a pair of light thermals, with heavy thermals, i.e., as the third and fourth layer?
Nope, and here is why. Cotton soaks up water (and sweat), takes forever to dry and draws lots of heat away from your body. That's why cotton is so good in hot envitonments and you prolly wear it in the summer. Although Poly-Cotton blends (heavy on the poly, light on the cotton) make good long underwear. I'm not sure why the cotton is OK when blended with Polyester, but it is. I wear it while out & about during the winter.
Speaking of sweat, try not to. You should hike "comfortably cool" and save the extra layers for when you stop to glass. It's well worth the little bit of time it takes to adjust your layers as your activity level changes. Also, you lose mose of your body heat through the top of your head. Keep a nice stocking cap handy, it's the first thing you should put on to warm up and the first thing you take off to cool down.

Quote:
I do have one pair of Army wool "field pants, and a military wool sweater, and a civilian wool sweater with hood. Have wool socks,
Perfect! Wool retains about 80% of its insulating qualities if it gets soaking wet. Fleece (polyester pile) is about the same, it is lighterweight but not as durable as wool.

Quote:
plus a pair of those "space socks" (white, thin fabric with conspicuous silver threads - works like the silver emergency blankets, I suppose. Put them next to the skin, or layered over wool socks, or don't use them at all?
Next to the skin, they wick moisture away and help prevent blisters.
Don't forget a wing breaker.
Have fun, I really miss Elk hunting.

Last edited by wyobohunter; October 9, 2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old October 9, 2009, 11:44 AM   #34
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and equipment needed to dress and drag out the carcass.
By yourself? THAT ain't happening - not on an elk.......As mentioned above - altitude sickness will kill you if not careful - you need to get there a few days before you hunt just to let your lungs get used to it. I lived in CO and NV - average ASL about 5000......going to 8 or 9 will make your lungs feel like they are going to burst,.

You'll need survival gear - flame source, food, water, emergency sleeping bag/tarp/space blanket....rope, spare gun parts - scope, bolt, ammunition, extra socks - (dressing in layers) goretex everything helps.....toilet paper - besides the obvious, helps with starting a fire - GPS, maybe a sat phone or similar if you're hunting alone

If oit hasn't been mentioned - moleskin and a water purifier (looks like a straw), and a firestarter brick with striker, a whet stone to resharpen your knife - (amazing how fast an elk can dull the best knife)

As mentioned, NO cotton - silk or alternative to wick moisture and wool

don't forget GOOD glass, and sight your rifle in AFTER you get to your elevation

good luck
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Old October 9, 2009, 11:57 AM   #35
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This i't day pack,but it seems input on clothing is useful.The GI wool pants are a great piece.I use the German ones.I fitted the Carhart rivet type suspender buttons to them and added Carhart suspenders.

In a slightly different direction,two forces that will beat you down are wet and wind.An outer shell garment,like a parka with pants or bibs of a breathable Gore-tex like fabric are very good.Most of them are horribly noisy.
Cabelas and Browning and a few other outfits offer a quiet finished hunting breathable shell garments.I like Cabelas rainsuede.It is considered packable.It will stuff in its own pocket.I suggest uninsulated.

For undergarments,study the REI catalogue,and Cabela's REI will educate you .Look at 'Base Layers" Underarmour makes some good stuff.Merino wool sox work for me.

The synthetic underwears can be layered.THen,if needed,a layer of fleece is good.Polartec,etc.It is light,warm,and dries fast.

Then,I like a GI field jacket liner,the thinsulate one,as an aditional layer over the pile.You may want to have a synthetic fill(rather than down) vest with some loft to the fill,but a thin,light shell.

Have with you the knit wool gloves with no fingers,like Belker wore on "Hill Street Blues" Get the ones with the rubber polka dots on the palm.
These aren't enough for real cold but they camo your hands and are often enough.For cold,I use GI Artic mitten shells with the trigger finger over the fingerless gloves.

Those teabag type chemical handwarmers are good sometimes .Ice fishing,I put one in each glove.


If you are using a down bag,here is a tip.They have steamy air in them when you are nice and warm.When you get up,it freezes to ice crystals in the down.So,as soon as you get up,while the bag is warm,have a mesh stuff sack andstuff it to drive the damp air out.,then pull it back out,fluff it a bit,and lay it on your cot.If you get some sun,sun your bag.

Have a great trip!!
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Old October 9, 2009, 01:41 PM   #36
Major Dave (retired)
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What about chemical hand/foot/body warmers?

Only one person mentioned them. Anybody else use them?

I bought a bulk package containing 24 of them. Says they will heat up for up to 10 hours.

Comments, please.

By the way, I really appreciate all of the input. Thanks to all of you.
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Old October 9, 2009, 04:07 PM   #37
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I think the single best thing you can do, is once you get to the BIL's, drink a lot of water. When at high elevation, you can get dehydrated quickly. It's very low humidity, and your sweat can eveaporate without you knowing you're sweating. Drink lots of water. (And continue while you're here)

Also, as you noticed from the weather forcast, there will be a serious temperature swing between when you leave at O dark thirty, and the middle of the day. dress in layers. Someone already mentioned leaving the cotton at home, good advice.

I'm not sure it will be cold enough for you to want the handwarmers, but they're light, I'd go ahead and throw a couple in your pack.

If you will be hiking to a stand/sit down point, I'd reccomend not overdressing in the morning. The hike will warm you up. The last thing you want is to sweat heavily into all your layers and then sit down in the cold.
Put a couple layers in the pack, and dress up when you arrive at where you're sitting.

You are headed to a great area.

Another great firestarter, is cotton balls with vaseline on them. Nice and light and you can put them in a medicine bottle or small tin, even a ziplock.

Good luck. I'm hunting same season, differrent area.
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Old October 9, 2009, 04:14 PM   #38
stonedog406
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oneounce..

By yourself? THAT ain't happening - not on an elk

It depends on where you shoot your elk and how the snowpack is!! Sometimes you can ride the carcass down the mountain (provided you cut the rack off first)
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Old October 9, 2009, 04:31 PM   #39
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It depends on where you shoot your elk and how the snowpack is!! Sometimes you can ride the carcass down the mountain (provided you cut the rack off first
UNLESS you have to drag it UP hill first!...BTDT, ain't fun

OP - don't forget your blaze orange. When I lived in CO years ago, it was mandatory.

I would bring a second pair of boots to the base camp so you can let one pair dry whole you're hunting the next day
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Old October 9, 2009, 04:40 PM   #40
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I would bring a second pair of boots to the base camp so you can let one pair dry whole you're hunting the next day
+1, so long as you aren't backpacking into base camp. Putting on cold wet boots every morning:barf:

I'd also bring at least one change of socks per day. What works really well, if you have a super posh base camp and a generator is a Peet boot dryer http://www.peetshoedryer.com/ I have learned to love mine.
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Old October 9, 2009, 06:52 PM   #41
JD 500
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QUOTE by oneounceload:

OP - don't forget your blaze orange. When I lived in CO years ago, it was mandatory.


Still is mandatory. Solid Blaze orange (No patterns) Vest and a Solid Blaze orange Hat/Cap.
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Old October 9, 2009, 07:05 PM   #42
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If you need to ask this question (no shame in it), you should hire a competent guide. Novice expeditions into the back country, especially in mountains, can turn lethal in a hurry. You're not going camping, and your military training won't do you a whole lot of good. If you're going alone, stay close to your truck, and consider where that elk is in relation to your truck before you drop him.
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Old October 9, 2009, 07:44 PM   #43
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greensteelforge "If you need to ask this question (no shame in it), you should hire a competent guide".

WOW the guys just asking for opinions. That's what we do here.
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Old October 9, 2009, 07:53 PM   #44
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Everybody starts somewhere. If the OP has common sense he should be fine. No need to hire a guide unless you are after a huge trophy bull and not a meat/thrill of the hunt Elk. Hunting the mountains isn't rocket science and it doesn't need to be made out like it is.

Quote:
You're not going camping
uhh, yes he is, hunting is camping/hiking with a gun. Most of the replies (including mine) would be no different if somebody were asking about camping and hiking in the Rockies. Save for one fact, he needs to have a quality pack frame (with a shelf) and be ready to use it. I'd keep the frame with me while out & about, it really sucks to down an animal and have to hike all the way to camp to get the frame that you could have been using to haul the essential survival gear.

Quote:
your military training won't do you a whole lot of good.
Pretty general statement dont you think? If he said he went to "Advanced Logistical Administrative Scool", yeah, you'd probably be right. I went USMC mountain warfare school and I'd say it would be helpfull in mountain hunting. Funny thing is, his handle just says that he is retired military (likely Artillary). This means he could have served a fair amount of time as a forward observer and has had some pretty good training that would apply. Try not to make assumptions. He is just asking for a little inside advice from people who have hunted similar terrain/weather.

Last edited by wyobohunter; October 9, 2009 at 08:04 PM.
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Old October 9, 2009, 08:51 PM   #45
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Hunting the mountains isn't rocket science and it doesn't need to be made out like it is.
If someone has never been in that back country, and at those altitudes, it can damn sure be deadly. When I lived in Rifle there were always reports of out-of-state hunters getting lost, some perishing from exposure due to an unexpected storm, etc.......

I wound up buying the US Armed Forces Survival Guide back then - always took it, even if just 4-wheeling for fun

Keeping an awareness of what is happening around you - weather-wise, terrain, etc. is important
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Old October 10, 2009, 12:10 PM   #46
ZeroJunk
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I'd also bring at least one change of socks per day

Yep. Last year in seven days I changed clothes once, underwear twice, and socks every day.

And it was 20 below the first night. Take a very good bed roll.
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Old October 10, 2009, 07:58 PM   #47
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After hearing all the horror stories from the above respondants, about the hazards of 8-9-10,000' elevations Im stupdified. Apparently those altitudes cause sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, impotence, and pre mature tire wear. This is quite a relief to finally know its not actually me but the altitude that is causing all my problems. I live at over 9000' elevation and regularly work at up to 12,000'. All these years my wife and kids thought it was just me being wierd. Having lived and worked here all my 50 + years and being on local rescue teams I can suggest the following. A good spacebag and a mini 6oz wind and waterproof tent, plenty of water and high energy snacks. And most of all one of the new personal distress locator devices. These help rescuer find you in minutes instead of days if hurt or ill.
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Old October 10, 2009, 08:05 PM   #48
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30-, For a lowlander like me, 9K elevation is like doing drugs that make me lightheaded and goofy... BTW, The highest elevation is near me... 300 and some odd feet above sea level and I have to climb 250+ feet to the "summit"
Brent
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Old October 10, 2009, 10:23 PM   #49
30-30remchester
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HOTDOGS you ever get to these mountains I will DRIVE you up to the top of some 13,000' mountains while you suck on your oxygen bottle.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:13 AM   #50
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just a quick suggestion...

ziploc bags...put at least your undershirts and underwear in ziploc bags, prior to movement, so if you run into inclement weather, at least your balls'll be dry...i can be either cold, wet, tired, or hungry...but once i'm all four, it's a bad day
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