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Old October 9, 2016, 12:35 PM   #1
Mr. Hill
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List important equipment for hunting camp

I'm leaving for an elk hunt at the end of the week. We'll have a large canvas tent with a stove. I'll be there 3 or 4 days. I've never been on an extended hunt for elk in the mountains before. Can you elk hunters provide a list of critical equipment for an elk hunt/camp in the Rockies, and any tips about equipment? I'm borrowing a cot and sleeping bag. Thanks!
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Old October 9, 2016, 07:40 PM   #2
shafter
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Check out this thread.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=661698
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Old October 9, 2016, 08:37 PM   #3
Mr. Hill
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Thanks !
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Old October 9, 2016, 09:16 PM   #4
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That is an excellent link. Most of the things there I would agree with.

One thing I recommend very highly is a folding pruning saw. Useful for everything from cutting wood to pelvis bones and leg bones.

He makes a good point about scope failures. It can happen to any scope and the cheep Chinese scopes fail a LOT!
I am a firm believe in iron sights on a rifle you are taking on "dream hunts' If you have a scope failure you are not out of the game if you have irons on the rifle zeroed in properly.
(As a side not, the biggest bull I ever killed was back in my 20. I had a 1-4 Leupold scope on my rifle and I fell off a rim-rock and hit the scope on a rock. The objective lens was broken. I took off the scope and 2 days later I kill a very big bull with the iron sights. Made a believer out of me!

Put you license in your pack so you can't leave it in camp.

A large Swiss Army knife is also something you will fall in love with. Keep a diamond sharpener with your pack too. They won't break like a stone will.

A water purifier is worthwhile in case you drink up all you have on you. You can draw it form creeks or springs, or even rivers, but purify it before you drink. Small and light, they won't add much to your load.

One tip I have given for many years is to go to NAPA and get a road flare. If you find yourself in an emergency you can light a fire with one even if all the wood you gather is wet.

Another thing I carry that I find very useful is about 20 feet of light rope. If you kill an elk on steep ground you will find the rope very handy for tying it off so you can gut it. 550 Para cord is good and very light to carry.

One thing that seems very inconsequential but you will love it if you are in high country long is Chap-Stick. Use it on both lips and hands as hand lotion.

A GOOD compass is good to have. And maps of your area. If you are not familiar with the mountains you will find is VERY easy to get turned around and go in the wrong direction. If it snows you can EXPECT to get turned around.
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Old October 9, 2016, 10:45 PM   #5
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S-paper and Copenhagen, don't forget those.
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Old October 9, 2016, 11:23 PM   #6
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Good Compass that's capable of glowing in the dark. A small AAA flashlight with fresh battery's.
Single layer cloth gloves. Sun glass's.
Tube of; pain relieving Neosporin for those times when a fellow develops a case of gaulding. A container of Wet Ones.
Your own (metal) tableware and plate setting. A spare hat to wear in camp. And enough rope to make a reasonable cloths-line in the open air or tent on rainy days.
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Old October 10, 2016, 01:05 AM   #7
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More gun oil / clp than you think you need. Most ugly spots of regret I see on hunting guns have stories about "it was a 4 day hunt and way more rain than I expected". For some the finish injury might be a fond memory, for others an annoyance. Pack accordingly.
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Old October 10, 2016, 01:30 AM   #8
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Can't forget a good sharp solid knife
And a gun, must have a gun or bow w/ ammo of course
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Old October 10, 2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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Nobody mention the most important.

A coffee pot.
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Old October 10, 2016, 02:46 PM   #10
AllenJ
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For camp:

Sleeping Pad, a couple nights on a cot and you'll know why.
If room bring a camp chair. Sitting on the cot with no back support gets old quick.
Evening shoes are also nice plus it allows the inside of your boots more time to dry out.

For field:

I never leave the tent without my multi-tool, 2 knives, Wyoming saw, pocket diamond sharpener, para cord, lighter, fire starter, headlamp, and more lunch than I can eat. You never know when you'll be out late, sometimes even the night, and it's nice to be as comfortable as possible.
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Old October 10, 2016, 03:18 PM   #11
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2 of everything is a good idea, but not often practical, or possible. Two knives, two pair of boots and gloves, two sets of orange is always with me. Often one for cold and wet and one for moderate. Most of the big items have been mentioned, so these are only add-ons.

I completely de-oil/degrease my guns. Oils smell, elk don't like it. A microfiber towel in your pack is a great idea for wiping off, drying off your gun in case it snows or rains. A silicon cloth or clp wipe is good for when you are done and heading home...wipe down the rifle.

A bone saw of some sort. I have several, but unless you have a guide who is field dressing for you, you will need a sturdy saw.

Frame pack, game bags, 18x24 ziplocs, freezer tape and a sharpie, a dozen nitrile gloves, pen, zipties. Depending on where you get an elk, you may be packing it out. Game officers are writing tickets for waste of meat. If it is going to be warm, coolers packed with blocks of ice in camp. I have fully butchered elk in the field and the small cuts (tenderloins and ribeyes) I put in the large ziplocs and label them. Also use those for hamburger scraps and chunks. Large groups off of the quarters in the game bags so they can be lashed to a pack and carried out. I have packed out a 320 point bull 4 miles by myself...took two full days. Packed ice in after first trip out. Nitrile gloves for gutting, pen to sign your carcass tag after kill, zip tie to attach the carcass tag. I put a short pen, 6 gloves, zitptie in a small ziploc in my pack, times two.

Tip, if you kill an elk in deep, take off your innermost shirt and after you have tied up the elk as good as you can, tie the shirt to the elk. It will stave off most animals for a day.
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Old October 10, 2016, 03:39 PM   #12
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camel-bak style hydration pack.
and chap stick
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Old October 10, 2016, 04:24 PM   #13
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Biodegradable TP and a small "sturdy" shovel. I have seen many a poor shovel break on backpacking trips.

Tarp
Moleskin (trust me)
Tinder
Ursack (something to keep food in and bears out of)
Bic Lighter
Hat/sunscreen (protect yourself from sun)

Lastly one of my favorites I have discovered is a shemagh. A real one that is thin. Amazing to keep your heat in around your neck and if too hot, soak and it stays wet or absorbs sweat, for as long as I have ever had it on.
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Old October 10, 2016, 04:30 PM   #14
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Chapstick and Sunscreen...if you must, make sure it is unscented.
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Old October 10, 2016, 04:33 PM   #15
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Could be its just me,but hard walking and maybe a little dehydration is a setup for leg cramps .I have found magnesium and maybe potassium to be helpful for me.So is a powdered electrolyte drink.
Elk hunting,weather is unpredictable. At some time during the day you will sit.I don't care for a soggy seat britches,and I can only sit still on snow for a little while.A butt sized rectangular piece of thin closed cell sleeping pad foam in my day pack is good.
A packet of baby wipes can be handy,but most are scented.
They make a larger wet towelette for "bathing" that is meant for adult incontinent cleanup.They are near the "depends" in the grocery store.
I prefer a little face camo to take the bright shine off.

I really like having binoculars.

From REI I get heavy weight merino wool sox.

I don't know what your water situation will be.If you use wild water,purify it.If you use something like an MSR filter,keep it from freezing.
W found trying to teeter on the wet,sloped edge of a stream pumping and purifying water precarious.Slipping and getting wet is a problem.REI sells a super light,compact cloth bucket.You can even use it with a stick to dip water out of a stream or pond.
A whisk broom helps get snow and mud out of the tent.Something like a cutoff laundry soap jug or plastic coffee can can be packed with stuff in it,but in the tent it can be a sink or trash can.
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Old October 10, 2016, 09:55 PM   #16
Mr. Hill
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Thanks everyone. I'll make a list tomorrow and start gathering stuff. Those are excellent suggestions!
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Old October 11, 2016, 03:05 PM   #17
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One more thing.GPS's are great!!.Nothing bad to say about them.Make sure you are quite familiar ahead of time.Figuring out the buttons on you new GPS is not good on the hunt.
Get the 1 :24000 topo of your hunting ground.Get more than one.

You can use them folded.Its good to have the full map .You might move around.It can also be good to have a smaller,cut down map that is easier to manage.

In the marginal info at the bottom of the map is the magnetic declination.Depends on where you are.Around here,its about 14 degrees East.
That's how much error your compass will have.Draw some of those lines on your map with a straight edge. If you put the edge of an orienteering type compass( Silva,Brunton,etc) set on zero (N) on one of those lines your map will be oriented to the ground.

Have you ever lost signal in a storm with satellite TV? Same thing happens with a GPS.You get in a snow squall your GPS quits.Tracks and trail disappear,and you have little visibility.
Been there. Compass and map still work.Protect the map from water.You can laminate,treat it with some waterproofing,put it in a ziplock,just don't let it turn to mush.
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Old October 11, 2016, 03:41 PM   #18
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Depending on where you live, compared to the elevation you'll be at is serious conditioning (kinda late now), so learn and watch out for signs of altitude sickness - easily curable and just as easily deadly. Well broken in boots - at least several pairs and layers with silk or man-made and wool (and moleskin just in case) all the various safety survival gear already mentioned; along with hats and sunscreen, good sunglasses if you will be where there is snow on the ground. The reflections can be blinding.

Safety first. Used to live in CO, there were always reports of folks not fairing well for being unprepared for the unpredictable weather
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Old October 11, 2016, 03:43 PM   #19
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An aspirin at night with a LARGE glass of water (not alcohol) will help some with altitude sickness/fatigue.
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Old October 11, 2016, 03:47 PM   #20
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As will getting down below 9000'
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Old October 11, 2016, 04:10 PM   #21
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I'm at 6000 feet now, so hopefully altitude will be less of a problem.
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Old October 11, 2016, 06:10 PM   #22
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If you're borrowing a sleeping bag, see if you can borrow a second one. Put it under the one you're sleeping in on the cot. Leave the sleeping bag you use open during the day when you're gone to make sure that any condensation from overnight is able to escape.

The linked list is really good. And ditto on the aspirin/ibuprofen and water at night.

In addition to a seat pad thingy, I bring a turkey hunter's seat that gets me up off the ground about 3". It's much nicer than trying to be comfortable for hours on a spot that isn't exactly level or with a stick or a rock that is in the "wrong" place.

I bring a crap ton of water with me. I fill my hydration bladder and also a 1 liter bottle in my day pack. I head out way before it gets light, and make a cup of oatmeal over the little stove that I pack when I get to my spot. It's good to refuel, and something warm really helps in the morning.

I bring both a head lamp and a 2 cell AAA flashlight. When meeting people on the trail in the dark, I turn off the head lamp and turn on the flashlight. Most people don't realize that when you look at someone in the dark with the headlamp, you blind them because you shine the light right in their eyes. It's the most annoying thing ever.

I bring layers. When I hike in, I'm wearing an orange hoodie, and have my orange jacket strapped to my pack. I also bring a vest and long underwear in the daypack, along with extra socks. I hike in about 3 1/2 miles and at the end there is a 600ft elevation gain, so it's easy to get overheated if I wear too much.

Bring spare batteries for anything that need it. For me that means AA for the GPS and AAA for the flashlight and head lamp.

If you're buying any new clothing or equipment, steer away from stuff with Velcro. Look for snaps or zippers. Opening Velcro is unlike any sound in nature, and it's impossible to pull apart Velcro silently. I really had to search to find gloves that I like that don't have Velcro.
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Old October 11, 2016, 07:58 PM   #23
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I've posted this before. Take a good compass . . . and take a second good compass. They will probably "agree" so you won't have to disagree with them or argue with others in your group. I am not kidding. You don't have to be a compass "expert" but a little study of the use of a compass will also help.
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Old October 11, 2016, 08:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
If you're borrowing a sleeping bag, see if you can borrow a second one. Put it under the one you're sleeping in on the cot. Leave the sleeping bag you use open during the day when you're gone to make sure that any condensation from overnight is able to escape.
If you have a good sleeping bag the moisture should be cleared out by your body heat.

Quote:
When meeting people on the trail in the dark, I turn off the head lamp and turn on the flashlight. Most people don't realize that when you look at someone in the dark with the headlamp, you blind them because you shine the light right in their eyes. It's the most annoying thing ever.
Get an adjustable headlamp where you can orient the beam down. Almost all of princeton tec's lights have this feature. It allows you to keep your head up while walking and eliminates the blinding effect.

A compass or two... I'd use a GPS primarily, but having a compass and some idea how to use it as a back-up isn't a bad idea.

Good wool socks do make a difference to me. Not necessarily merino or "smart" but 100% wool and reasonably thick.

I don;t recommend the moleskin. I took one backpacking once. I received a lot of attention from wild animals at night.
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Old October 11, 2016, 08:45 PM   #25
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Get your OWN sleeping bag no less than 0 Degree ratging..

for 2 o'clock in the AM is NOT the time to decide that you need a warmer bag.

A good night sleep is imperative!

Make a fannel liner bag for sleeping in, it will keep your bag cleaner.

A mini-mag AA light ALWAYS ON you, second in your sleeping bag.

Compass and map for you,don't rely on someone else.

Lighter and the food warmer tabs for making small fire.

Whistle around your neck

Space blanket unopend in pocket.

A CLEAR head and open mind, in case of emergency.

Have fun and enjoy. Show some pic's when you return

GOOD LUCK!
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