As my elk hunt quickly approaches I am in the midst of making the final plans on what I will be taking in with me. Some of my gear will be tried and true but I’ve got a few new items going with me this time. Over the last couple hunts I’ve come to understand a little more of what one needs in the backcountry and am continually refining what I trust to keep me safe and comfortable. Here are a few items that I believe will help improve my odds of being successful by keeping me in the field longer and wasting less time.
As you know Sitka is one of the premier clothing manufactures for the more adventurous type hunter that truly depends on their clothing to perform. It could be the difference between life in death in some situations. I had the pleasure of deer hunting in their Fanatic Series and was totally impressed. This year I’m breaking out the Subalpine pattern in the Timberline Pant and Jetstream Jacket along with the Core Mid Weight Zip T. After trying them on and giving them a good once through I’m thinking this combo is definitely an upgrade from previous clothing selections I’ve carried with me.
I have to admit until recently I had never heard of Le Chameau. After getting a pair of the Condor LCX Hunting Boots and logging 20-30 miles on them with a 40 pound pack getting prepared for my hunt I have nothing but fantastic things to say about them. I’m very surprised that I’ve never been exposed to them before as I put a very high value on my footwear. I am going to go out on a limb and say these may be my best mountain boots yet.
After avoiding replaceable blade knives for as long as I could I finally made the jump to give to give them a shot. The Arctic Fox from Wiebe did not disappoint. I used it on several hogs this summer and have my fingers crossed I’ll get to put it to use on an elk or two this year. Having a razor blade to make intricate cuts and peel the hide back on a monster elk (or any elk!) will be a welcome addition this year to my pack.
I’ve reviewed and talked about Paleo Meals to Go several times on HuntingFit.com. This will be the first opportunity I’ve had to take them into the backcountry. When considering what food to take in to keep me going I didn’t hesitate to select PMTG based on my previous experiences with them. Low sodium and no added crap makes me feel good about eating them and not making sacrifices to my diet. Not to mention they’re tasty and make you really feel like you’re eating a wholesome meal and not some processed garbage. (Don’t forget to use code HF25 for 25% off)
Another food item I’ve really come to appreciate over the last year or so are products from EPIC. Once you try and EPIC bar, strips, or bites the mass produced jerky in the grocery store will have zero appeal to you. They use simple, clean ingredients that actually taste great. EPIC also added some Hunt and Harvest Mixes to their meat lineup to give you a little more substance during snack time. I’ll be carrying EPIC in my pack with me to keep me going throughout the course of the day.
Up till this year I had just borrowed a hunting buddies radio for our elk hunts. This time I’ll be armed with my own X-Talker. Based on my review I should have no problems keeping in touch with my camp mates. I can say having good communication amoungst campmates is a necessity. Being able to reach out to one another at all times of the day or night is a huge benefit in the back country.
During my elk hunts there’s been times when I completely overlooked the fact that I might actually kill something and want to eat it right then and there and then there’s been times when I was worried about packing in too much weight. Not this time. I am optimistic that someone in my camp will kill something, we have horses to get us in, so I’m bringing in some spices to make what is an amazing meal even better. I’ve had the chance to try out Miley Brand Spices and have been extremely pleased with how my meals have turned out. They will be going with me into the mountains this year to hopefully turn a hunk up meat into a delicious memory.
Ok, so this is my list of gear I’ll be taking to drop camp this year that will be making it’s initial voyage. If my experiences thus far with them remain consistent, they will be accompanying me on many more.