5 Other Essentials for a Backcountry Hunt
One of the most exciting parts of a long, backcountry hunting trip is preparing your gear for the adventure. Laying it all out on the floor of your study or rec room weeks ahead of the departure date to decide what’s important, what can be thrown away and what needs replacing. There are the essentials – water bottles, camping gear, waterproof matches, ammo, toilet paper, etc. And then there are, for a lack of a better word, the essentials – the odd things some of us like to pack along because, despite the humble beginnings of mankind, we are now by nature “creatures of comfort.”
Coffee is likely going to be there regardless. Tea, maybe not so much. Some folks can drink coffee until the cows come home which means they never stop drinking it. Others contract a headache or heartburns. Tea doesn’t have near the caffeine of coffee yet the warming effects seem far greater for some reason.
Tea is great before, during or after a hunt. As long as you have some water and a burner, you can have hot tea warming your interior in minutes. It helps you shed the shivers despite wet clothing and dropping temperatures.
We prefer Capstick, Hemingway and Ruark, just to name a few, though any book will do. Backcountry hunts can be full of adrenaline rushes and crashes, and what better way to take your mind off matters than with a book? It’s just relaxing to plop down into the dirt and read a book. Sometimes they even help us sleep. Plus, you never know when osmosis will help you channel your inner Corbett or Roosevelt when the moment of truth arrives.
A sure-enough creature comfort. To some men (and some women), cigars are synonymous with relaxation. If you’ve chosen a good outfitter, your guide is going to see to it that you have a comfortable spot to sit after returning from a day’s hunt. If you’re hunting by yourself, just be sure to see to it that you have a comfortable spot to sit after a day’s hunt.
Just a small bottle to provide relief at the end of the day. Something to take the edge off of stone-bruised feet, achy legs, a sore back and sodden clothing. Done in moderation and your whole body will feel the euphoria provided only by a hot tub or a taste of brown water.
We typically wouldn’t divulge this to our hunting buddies that aren’t on the trip. But, man, it sure does feel good to slip into a soft pair of house shoes after a day tromping through the mud and the muck. You can associate peeling off hunting boots and wet socks with some of the best feelings on earth.
Imagine sitting close to a hot fire on a cold, moonless night; a cigar in hand, your body wrapped in the warm blanket from a nip of whiskey. Some see paradise in a sandy setting, but for those of us who live to hunt, all the cares in the world can’t penetrate this little oasis.