Please critique my packing list

Bert the Turtle

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Royal, 100% correct on wool socks. All I ever wear winter or summer wet or dry. The retractable lens brush is a good idea; I have one myself.

For all the subtracting I was suggesting, I forgot to add Chapstick. If you are going somewhere very dry from somewhere very humid, you will be happy you brought it. After a few days (at least for me) the body adjusts, but the first couple days can be rough.
 

RolandtheHeadless

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Yes, I know all about wool socks. They're all I wear, even around the house.

The reason I have as much clothes as I do is that we're going to be spending about six days in hotels for sightseeing, away from the luxury of hunting outfitters' laundry service. They are likely to spoil me at these hunting camps. I'm used to self-guided Alaska hunts. Clean clothes? Ha! Never mind dirty, I'm happy if they're just reasonably dry and unfrozen.
 

AB2506

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Yes, I know all about wool socks. They're all I wear, even around the house.

The reason I have as much clothes as I do is that we're going to be spending about six days in hotels for sightseeing, away from the luxury of hunting outfitters' laundry service. They are likely to spoil me at these hunting camps. I'm used to self-guided Alaska hunts. Clean clothes? Ha! Never mind dirty, I'm happy if they're just reasonably dry and unfrozen.
I was in the same boat. Two different climates, and didn't want to look safari while in the tourist areas, so extra clothes. However, you do run out of underwear eventually. The hotel had very reasonable and prompt laundry service. We made sure that we had them wash what was needed before we left. We had 2 days tenting in Addo National Park after the Morgan Bay Hotel, before heading to Hotfire for hunting.
 

AB2506

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Roland, I really think it would help others critique your packing if you indicated where and what time of year you are hunting. To me you seem to be taking too much clothing that you will not wear. But then I am from Alberta and might be more cold tolerant. I also hunted in May, it would be colder later in the winter.

In the Eastern Cape in May, for hunting, I took:
Eddie Bauer forest green lightweight rain jacket (never wore it),
LLBean Windpro fleece jacket (wore it some mornings and evenings)
MEC lightweight fleece long sleeve zip-t pullover (x2) (wore them when some insulation was needed, but the jacket was too much)
Cabela's Lightweight Microtex shirts (x2)
Cabela's 7 pocket hiker pants (3) (great warm weather hunting pants that look good enough to wear to dinner in the hotel or on the plane)(had same in shorts, but only wore them on the coast, decided to save myself from bleeding too much from thorns)
Sitka ball cap
Tilley hat (never wore it hunting but did on the coast when the sun actually shone)
Cabela's Meindl uninsulated Ultralight boots (lightweight, comfy, yet very supportive for those who have weak and damaged ankles) I would consider Lowa Zephyrs in the high model, I just couldn't find any to try to size in person
Cabela's Ingenious ultra lightweight socks.
Jockey boxer brief
Cabela's Buffalo leather gloves
Sitka Core gloves
Texas Hunt Co Omni gaiters
Texas Hunt Co airport friendly belt (love not having to take the belt off at security)
Goretex lowrise hiker shoes to backup boots (wore on plane and on coast/park)
Crocs (as camp slippers/shoes)

Next time, I will leave the Tilley hat at home. Looking for a zip-t pullover that won't collect black jacks and other assorted thorns/seeds. Ain't found it yet. Maybe just stop by a surplus store and purchase RSA military sweaters. Leave them at camp when done? I spent a lot of time removing black jacks from the fleece clothing.

One thing to consider, especially if you ride on the back of the truck, what ever your insulating layer is, sleeves that close tight are a great idea. It had rained in Addo, so the the sunset game drive was a wee bit cool when the air rushed up the sleeves. Was warm otherwise.
 

RolandtheHeadless

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We'll be hunting on the Eastern Cape from June 5-13, then 14-21 in Zambia. Both outfitters mentioned it gets cold in morning and at night. I don't know whether their standard of cold is quite up to Alaska standards, but even fifty degrees F can be cold if you're riding in an open truck.

Outfitters both say we don't need to bring rain-jackets. Now my mentioning it will jinx the weather for sure. I need a brimmed hat, I sunburn so easily.

Forgot to mention, the reason for two pairs of gaiters is that I don't want my wife to be less well-equipped than me. I'd never hear the end of it.
 

AB2506

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A light rain jacket can make a great wind blocker for the back of the truck, especially if your insulating layer does is not wind proof.
 

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Thanks a lot for the detailed advice, Velo Dog; and I really enjoyed our pizza and beers the other day.

I've never used a range-finder on a game animal--never thought I had time; but then I'm not a long-range shooter. I like to carry the rangefinder to check my own guess of distance. I'll judge a tree or rock at, say, 150 yards, then shoot the tree or rock with the rangefinder. I find this helps improve my own judgment of range, and I expect the country to look different on the Eastern Cape and in Zambia than what I'm used to. But maybe I'll leave it behind if space is tight.

Yes, I was going to wear one pair of boots, just to make it through the airports. I have a bone spur on my right foot that requires me to wear moderately-heavy hiking/backpacking boots. I know they won't be quiet, but without that kind of boot I can't walk far at all.

Neither of the rifles I'll be taking have open sights. And the two scopes aren't interchangeable (one-inch and 30mm). One rifle is a .300 WM, for the eastern Cape, and the other a .416 with which I hope to shoot a buffalo. So the two rifles aren't really interchangeable either. Both rifles wear new scopes, which haven't been used enough to reveal any defects. That's why I include a spare scope and rings.

I had to submit a copy of the SAR outfitter's invitation letter with the SAPS permit application. Do I need to show an additional copy too? The Zambian guy says he'll get the permit and issue an invitation letter. I will carry copies of both with me.

I feel sort of obligated to take the Camelback. Our son gave it to me for Christmas for use on this trip.

Both outfitters mentioned camo clothing (along with dark olive, etc), so I assume it will be okay.

I read in a couple of books you should take a pair of gaiters to keep ticks and seeds out of your boots. I ordered a couple pairs of these: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/112445/boyt-shumba-safari-gaiters-canvas-khaki

You have some great ideas I haven't thought of. Thanks again.

Next lunch is on me for sure.
You are one of the most articulate chaps I have known and I hope we can raid the local food joints now and then in furtherance of discussing Africa and such.
Your use of a range finder is wise.
We all could take a lesson from you on that one.

Sorry to learn of your foot issue.
I'm getting to that point slowly but surely myself.
In my case it's the beginning onset of arthritis and I fear my long range walks through the back woods are not necessarily a sure thing every time any more.
What you said about the spare scope makes perfect sense since your rifles have no iron sights.

Perhaps your PH can answer the invitation to hunt question better than I can, because I do not remember how it goes.
All I recall is having it or perhaps it was only a copy of it with me when I went to the Airport SAPS office.
I understand about the Camel Back being a gift and all.
Under those circumstances, I would do exactly the same as you.

If your outfitters say camo is acceptable then I am confident that it is fine these days/where you are going.
Tick gaiters seem like a good idea and one of these days I expect to get a pair, probably from MidwayUSA as well.
Cheerio for now.
 
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Boela

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You can add Eye drops, it can be quite dusty and after a couple of days your eyes can become quite sensitive due to the dust, sweat. Keep a pair of tweezers close too - plenty of thorns that will stay behind in your skin, especially after a follow-up when little attention is given to what gets hooked on thorns.
 

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This is mainly my stuff, not counting my wife's clothes and personal items. Seems like a lot of stuff to me.


Hunting

2 Binoculars………………………….Carry-on (for wife and me)
Range finder………………………….Carry-on bag
Cartridge holder……………………Check-in bag or ammo case
Sling……………………………………..Ammo case
Rifle case.……………………………..Gun case
Gun cleaning kit?…………………..Check-in
Silicone cloth…………………………Vest
Bore snakes for .308 and .416…Check-in
2 Headlamps…………………………..Check-in (for wife and me)
Spare scope……………………………Check-in
Scope wrenches, Ruger/Talley…Check-in
Camel back pack…………………….Check-in
Pocket knife…………………………...Check-in
Ammo case…………………………….Check-in
Taxidermy tags………………………Check-in
Cable ties for tags…………………...Check-in
Ear plugs………………………………..Vest
Optics cleaning paper……………..vest

Personal

Medicications w. prescriptions..Carry-on
Malarone………………………………..Carry-on
Alarm clock…………………………….Carry on
Nikon D7200 & telephoto lens…Carry-on
Nikon Coolpix S7000……………….Vest
Spare memory cards/batteries…Check-in
Camera battery chargers………….Check-in
Ipod………………………………………..Vest
Ipad………………………………………..Vest
Jackery battery charger……………Vest
Spare AA and AAA batteries……..Check-in
Nail clippers, finger and toe……...Check-in
Book………………………………………..Carry-on
“The Perfect Shot, Africa”…………Vest
2 pair sunglasses……………………...Vest and Check-in
3 pair reading glasses……………….Vest and Check-in
Ziplock bags…………………………….Check-in
Power plug adapters………………..Check-in
Notebook…………………………………Carry on
Africa file…………………………………Carry-on
3 pens……………………………………...Carry-on
Electric shaver…………………………Check-in
Toothbrush, paste……………………Check-in
Shampoo…………………………………Check-in
Insect repellant……………………….Check-in
Sun screen………………..…………….Check-in
Med kit-moleskin, etc…………..….Check-in
Envelopes for tips……………………Check-in

Clothing

1 pair long pants………..……………..Check-in
Camo pants………………………………Check-in
1 pair shorts…………………………….Check-in
2 long-sleeve shirts…………………...Check-in
1 Camo shirt……………………………..Carry-on
2 short-sleeve shirts………………….Check-in
Underwear, four sets…………………Check-in
Smartwool long underwear?..........Check-in
Blue nylon jacket………......................Check-in
5 pairs socks… ...........…………………Check-in
Pile jacket …………..……………………Check-in
Tilley hat…………………………………..Check-in
Thin gloves……………………………….Carry-on
1 or 2 pairs boots……………………...Carry-on/Check-in
1 pair slip-on camp shoes…………Carry-on
Vest…………………………………………Wear/Carry-on
2 pair Gaiters……………………………Check-in
Pile vest……………………………………Check-in
Belt…………………………………………..Check-in

Gifts

Hard candy………………………………Check-in
Socks………………….……………………Check-in
T-shirts…………………………………….Check-in


Africa file

Original 4457
SAP application
Copies of passport
Itinerary
Maps
Contracts
Reservation numbers
Contact numbers
Don't forget the letter of Invitation to hunt!!!!
 
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caddman

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Good one Hogpatrol - just when I thought the collective list was complete - you tack on another 'can't do without'! Good work. Think we'll see any others?
 

Desperatezulu

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The spare scope thing is overkill unless you MUST use your own rifle. The PH will have a back up gun for PG or DG if one of your scopes conks out - maybe a well-used rifle and not fancy but it will keep you hunting.

In terms of personal items, I would add some sunscreen, especially if you can get the long-lasting alcohol based type (I'm sure there are specific brands but the names escape me now). Alcohol based because it's less greasy/shiny and leaves less residue. Put it on when you wake up and forget about it for the rest of the day.
Getting sunburnt ears or neck or arms is just not fun, not to mention the long term consequences. Bearing in mind that most of our visitors come from northern climes and the timing is usually the end of your winter, so skins are particularly pale and susceptible to sunburn.

I would also second the suggestion of a leatherman. It's unlikely you'll need serious tools or knives as the PH and staff will have the necessary but if you're 10 km from the vehicle in the baking heat and your rifle sling screw falls out, it's nice to be able to re-attach.

Also remember that it's common practice here to let your trackers carry your excess gear in the field - so carry 5 or 10 rounds of ammo yourself and get your tracker to carry some extra rounds. You would need suitable containers for this - having your tracker rattling along carrying loose rounds in his backpack isn't going to fly.

The other thing I see repeated here is the emphasis on cold weather gear - your PH's idea of cold versus cold in the northern half of the US, Canada and Europe is completely different! Anything below 70 deg F is regarded as COLD here - trackers will be wrapped up in beanies and every layer of clothing they own. Sure it can be a little brisk before sunrise riding on an open vehicle but my advice is not to overdo the warm clothing. Hunting in the mountains in the Eastern Cape is probably the coldest area in the whole of Southern Africa and if there's a cold snap you could encounter snow and freezing temps, so plan accordingly.
If you're in the Limpopo, Zim lowveld or Moz, you're more in danger of heat-stroke in mid-winter than of goosebumps!
 

Hogpatrol

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Good one Hogpatrol - just when I thought the collective list was complete - you tack on another 'can't do without'! Good work. Think we'll see any others?
If one is doing any night hunting, a clip on light that goes on the bill of a baseball cap, preferably one that has red AND white and can be rotated downward. I have a Browning brand one that has two switches on it, one for red and one for white. Don't know if they're still made but I bought mine at Walmart. It takes one AAA battery.
May have missed it but I take a tall bipod, one I can sit flat on the ground and shoot with. Mine is the Harris that goes to 25 inches.
 
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Buckdog

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I am in Africa now midway 2 week adventure and I way over packed most of the stuff on your list is not needed. binos, gun and ammo and some clothes minimal as they wash the stuff, a good hat for the sun, gaiters not needed wear long pants, sun screen a fleece and that all I use every day. don't need range finder PH calls the distance and the animal and I smoke em, so far 15 animals down! will file a full report when I get back with pics of 58 7/8 kudu, 30 water buck, 40 gemsbuck many monsters on the ground. they supply bottled water and beer and I haven't use 1/2 of the stuff I brought so think about lightening the list, gun cleaning stuff a waste, range finder a waste let ph call it and hold over if needed, shot distance is all over the place so be ready for 30yds to 350 yds. Africa is awesomee! practice practice and more practice shooting is the KEY!!!!! off hand, sticks everything
 

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Buckdog, Wow, congrats on your trip's successes. Overpacked? LOL, Welcome to the club.:A Bonk:
 

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I think that we all over pack on the first trip, I know that I did and I thought that I had brought just what I needed.
 

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How about:

Water purifier (there is one that works like a French press and it then is sippable like a coffee thermos, the other is by sawyer and it purifies as you suck out the water from an oversized sport bottle. You want to drink often and you don't want to get sick, I filled up many times in the bush because we'd end up a long way from the rig.

Shemagh (the scarf that Arabs wear...invaluable for the bush. I wrap them around my scopes during transport too)

Black diamond brand LED night stand portable lantern

You had pocket knife. How about a Kukri for blind making, hacking, busting the rusted lock off the spare tire on the safari rig so you can change a flat? Highly recommend a Kukri in lieu of a pocket knife. I let the skinners and cooks carry cutlery for dressing game, I just bring a bludgeon because you'll only need a knife if you're trying to bash/crush/abuse something and that's a Kukri. :)

A full pack of premium AA batteries for all this stuff

Extra battery for your rangefinder.

Optional: deck of cards

And I should mention I pack light. One carry on duffle. One checked bag small roller. One huge rolling rifle case by americase. And bungees to strap it all to the rifle case while in airports.
 

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You had pocket knife. How about a Kukri for blind making, hacking, busting the rusted lock off the spare tire on the safari rig so you can change a flat? Highly recommend a Kukri in lieu of a pocket knife. I let the skinners and cooks carry cutlery for dressing game, I just bring a bludgeon because you'll only need a knife if you're trying to bash/crush/abuse something and that's a Kukri.

I've never taken mine to Africa, but I have one that stays in the truck here at home. I haven't used a machete since the day I got it.

Maybe I will throw it in for this trip. I will be sitting in some blinds. :)
 

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@Buckdog congrats on your success! Looking forward to the report!
 

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