What To Take In The Field

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by Aaron Nietfeld, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    532
    Video/Photo:
    7
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Hunted:
    Canada, South Africa
    Here's a question for all the veteran hunters - What should I bring with me during the day while hunting.

    Apart from the obvious, gun, ammo, a good knife, camera, bino's, change of socks/shirt, rain gear, what else should I have that the PH won't provide? What about rangefinder, sticks, repellent, first aid stuff, water, snacks, a full flask? I've never been on a guided hunt, but I'm assuming I won't need a pack that's full to the brim.
     

  2. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,281
    Video/Photo:
    20
    Likes Received:
    748
    sticks and a camelback
     
    ve7poi and Bindie like this.

  3. James.Grage

    James.Grage AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,620
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    667
    Member of:
    NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
    Hunted:
    USA - Canada -Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe
    Items that could be help full.

    1. take a half roll of t. paper
    2. Take some Aspirin/Advil/Aleve along - small packet
    3. sun glasses if your eyes are sensitive.
    4. sun screen - small
    5. a few band-aids in you billfold. (4)
    6. gum and/or soft candy or both. I take enough for a new package each day.
    7. second and/or 3rd camera.
    8. torch/flash light - head lamp if you will be out after dark (spare batteries)
    9. jacket or pullover - leave the other clothing in camp.
    10. rangefinder
    11. anti-acid tablets - small roll
    12. gloves
     

  4. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,683
    Video/Photo:
    97
    Likes Received:
    3,154
    Location:
    Pa.
    Hunted:
    united state- Co Nm Mt Wy Pa , canada ,mexico ,south africa- Northwest, Limpopo, freestste.Northern cape,East cape, namibia
    aaron your list looks good. The knife is if you want to have one on you. Pieter or the tracker will have one. The extra cloth you can keep in the truck with a lot of other stuff. I don't like carrying more then needed when I am out walking. Extra ammo,bino,range finder,sun screen since you will be hunting in march and camera.

    They will have drinks and snacks in the truck and more when you get back to the lodge for lunch. Don't take to much that the pack becomes heavy and a pain to carry in the thick bush. The truck will never be that far that a tracker or driver will not be able to get to it to drive and pick you up after a nice walk in the bush
     
    ack likes this.

  5. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    642
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Michigan
    -chap stick
    -Leatherman or Swiss army knife
    -tick repellant
    -pressure bandage (snake bite or sprains)
    -moleskin
    -hankercheif/neckerchief
    -spare glasses (if perscription)
    Irregardless if there is water on the truck, I always carry some with me.......never know when it might come in handy for washing out a cut or dust in the eye or something.

    I was once hunting grouse and came in contact with some stinging nettle....didn't realize I was allergic to it until I brushed against it; then my skin started to burn and my fingers swelled up to twice normal size!!! I had a tube of hydorcortisone creme in my vehicle. Managed to get back and apply it, and relief came quickly, but I now carry a small tube in my kit, as well as some triple antibiotic ointment.
    Sometimes early treatment can save you a lot of pain/grief later........
     

  6. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    8,783
    Video/Photo:
    82
    Likes Received:
    10,734
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
    I took my backpack (with water bladder) and never took it out of the truck. It had all the stuff you mention. Now for everything I carried with me during the day.

    1. Gun
    2. Ammo pouch on belt
    3. Camera pouch on other side of belt
    4. Binoculars around neck
    5. Small flashlight in one pocket
    6. Small pocket knife in the other
    That was it. Nothing else. The tracker carried water And the PH's medical kit. If they hadn't I would have carried some myself, but there was no need.
     
    ufg8r93, ack, ve7poi and 6 others like this.

  7. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,448
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Hunted:
    Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
    I use a small pack of baby wipes (unscented) instead of the 1/2 roll of toilet paper. much more usable, and you can use them on your hands or face as well. I didn't leave the truck without my day pack, especially in Zim. One day we went 14 miles from the truck, and 105 degrees. That water was sure used.
     
    Foxi likes this.

  8. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    8,783
    Video/Photo:
    82
    Likes Received:
    10,734
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
    I lied. I did have some toilet paper in a pocket in a zip lock sandwich bag. I ain't that tuf!!! :A Fart:
     
    ack, CAustin and JimP like this.

  9. bluey

    bluey AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    4,804
    Video/Photo:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1,941
    Location:
    australia/zambia
    Member of:
    ssaa, aba ,bairnsdale field archers SFP
    Hunted:
    australia south africa (limpopo, north west,eastcape) canada (b.c)zambia
    absolutely, never leave your pack..........
    couldn't think of anything more embarrising
     

  10. bluey

    bluey AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    4,804
    Video/Photo:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1,941
    Location:
    australia/zambia
    Member of:
    ssaa, aba ,bairnsdale field archers SFP
    Hunted:
    australia south africa (limpopo, north west,eastcape) canada (b.c)zambia
    as for the asswipe , royal
    at worst , that's why your camo top has long sleeves in the morning , mate.......
     

  11. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,448
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Hunted:
    Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
    I agree about don't make your pack too heavy, but you must be talking about fenced properties, 20, 000 acres or so. We ended up over 2 hours away at sunset. No one is going back for the truck in that scenario.
     

  12. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    8,783
    Video/Photo:
    82
    Likes Received:
    10,734
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA, SCI
    Hunted:
    USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
    Yup. I've had a pair.of thermal underwear with only one long sleeve before! :)
     

  13. Aaron Nietfeld

    Aaron Nietfeld AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    532
    Video/Photo:
    7
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Hunted:
    Canada, South Africa
    I learnt my lesson about the toilet paper on an elk hunt one year in the middle of an Albertan November, when all there was around me was moss.......... I was never so glad to see a shower as that night! Thanks for all the help, it seems that everyone is following a common theme!
     
    billc likes this.

  14. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,875
    Video/Photo:
    58
    Likes Received:
    4,066
    Location:
    Anchorage
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    South Africa 3 times, Namibia 2 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
    I leave my day pack in the truck.

    But on my person, I carry the following, in my hands, on a strap/sling, in my pockets and / or on my belt in the cartridge loops:

    Rifle (sometimes on a sling sometimes I leave my sling in the truck),12 rounds of ammunition, 5 or 6 assorted "moleskin" fabric adhesive bandages (not the plastic type), pocket knife or small sheath knife, binoculars, 4 or 5 unscented baby wipes (in a zip lock), small "stick" type sun block (looks like a miniature deodorant "stick"), chap stick, bandana, pocket camera (in a zip lock to protect from sweat).

    Last but not least, I always carry two bore swabs, appropriate to my rifle caliber, that I make from a piece of cloth (one lightly greased and one dry), best quality nylon cord and a small fishing sinker and these I carry each in a separate little plastic film canister (getting nearly impossible to find now with the digital age).

    The two swabs idea is something I began doing 30some years ago in Alaska where the riflings can get rusty in one day of hunting, especially after firing a shot in the rain, then not oiling up for a 3 or 4 hour walk back to camp.

    However, I confess that in Africa, I've never been farther from the truck than about a two hour walk maximum and usually about half that, furthermore, I have never had to hunt in the rain there (two more reasons why I keep going back over - LOL).

    My list seems lengthy in writing but, when laid out on the table, it is really nothing much to look at.

    There have
     
    Bruce likes this.

  15. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    641
    The less you carry the better.

    I use binos a fair bit when I'm on a guided hunt, but I spend even more time wishing I wasn't carrying them. A lot depends on the situation whether you really need them or if it is just a want. My PH put it best when he told me "you can see the animal up close after you shoot it" and there is a lot of truth to that. But then again you may be handicapped without them, so discuss with your PH. I still carry binos, but after my recent trip to Argentina, I will be getting a compact pair for stalking and reserve the full sized ones for the lodge/vehicle/hunting blind.

    A knife is completely unnecessary unless you are carrying it as part of a survival kit, and then the kit should be just enough to get back to the truck where the main gear is, or overnight in the bush as the situation dictates. I never carried such a kit in Africa, but I can see circumstances where you might want perhaps a knife, whistle, some paracord, a space blanket, and a lighter. Just enough to overnight if you had to and your PH was incapacitated- but this is a very unlikely situation. You will absolutely not need a knife if the hunt goes as it usually does, and you will only be in the way if you for some reason tried to help the skinners. A swiss army knife may be useful for the tweezers to remove thorns.

    The diet in Africa (for the guests, not necessarily the locals!) is very high in meat. Use the toilet a couple days before you go to the field and you will be fine. Should you eat something wrong, all the TP you could fit in your pack is not enough. In the unlikely event you need to drop a deuce in the field, proper positioning in combination with the typical African diet will make wiping essentially superfluous.

    Rain gear: check the weather report before bothering with this. Unless there is a real chance of rain and it is cold enough that you even care if you get wet in the first place, rain gear is excessive.

    If you are going to be shooting from sticks, your PH should be carrying them, not you. His opening the sticks is the signal that you may be shooting soon. Also, it is unlikely you will be able to keep up with him if you are carrying sticks and a rifle and he is carrying either only a rifle or no long objects that catch on brush.

    Do wear a brimmed hat.

    Leather gloves and possibly knee pads could be helpful if you are going to be crawling in thorns and/or rocks.

    Ultrathon is a 12 hour insect repellant so no need to carry a tube of repellent. Depending on time of year and location, you may not need any. I do soak my clothes in permethrin before departure as I see no down side.

    Snacks: I've brought them for my son when I hunted with him when he was very young. Cranky 8 year olds do not a good hunt make. But otherwise, there are very few people from North America who aren't carrying enough fat to make it between meals without something to eat. Unless you are one of those few people, just eat well before you depart and live on your reserve. A lot of people in the States (and I'll assume Canada) don't skip many meals. Consequently, much like a muscle that is never used, their livers are never used to either mobilized stored glycogen or make new glucose from stores. The first time or two without a snack and the hunger will be as expected. Try it a few times, the body adapts, and is able to keep up the blood sugar without problems or excessive hunger.

    I like dry socks as much as the next guy and more than most, but unless you are spending a few days away from camp, I wouldn't bother. Just change when you get back or when you get back to the truck if you must.

    In Africa, for me it was the clothes on my back, rifle with the ammo that was in the magazine, binos, a hat, sunglasses, +/- a compact camera. And a Chapstick. I could see circumstances where I would carry extra ammo (dangerous game hunt/area) and/or water.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

  16. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    3,683
    Video/Photo:
    97
    Likes Received:
    3,154
    Location:
    Pa.
    Hunted:
    united state- Co Nm Mt Wy Pa , canada ,mexico ,south africa- Northwest, Limpopo, freestste.Northern cape,East cape, namibia

    For this post I was talking about a fenced hunt as he is hunting with paw print. My same pack would be with me though if I was hunting a unfenced area also and size of place would not change what I pack. To much stuff is no good and just weighs you down.

    I have ended up over two hours away on a elk hunt from camp or the truck. That just meant I had a long walk back to the truck . I had enough with me to get back no problem. Must of the time people take to much stuff with on a guided hunt. Your on your own in Alaska and weather can change different story. But from what I have seen from hunting south Africa only less is better.

    I also always have some toilet paper in a zip lock bag in my pack. I will carry those few ounce with pleasure for that comfort.
     
    Bert the Turtle likes this.

  17. brushmore

    brushmore AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    723
    Location:
    USA
    Hunted:
    South Africa
    Thanks Bert the Turtle for that very detailed response! I am literally starting to pack for my trip that's coming soon and this is a big help.
     

  18. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    641
    My pleasure. Where you hunt makes a some difference; this works well for central Namibia in the winter and assumes you will be staying at a place with daily laundry:

    Boots: Probably the only thing you cannot replace for any money is broken-in well fitting boots. I wear a pair on the plane and pack a second pair. Carry-on vs. checked is negotiable, I've packed the second both ways and lean towards carry-on. Stuff clothing (socks, underwear) into the packed boots so that the toes cannot become deformed/crushed en route. Although you may wish to pack moleskin/bandaids, etc, it is far better to prevent need for those items by wearing appropriate footwear. Some people may wish to have a pair of camp shoes as well and if you wear typical over-weight, over-engineered American boots it is not a bad idea. A lightweight pair of boots is a better overall choice in my opinion.

    Socks: One pair on your feet, one pair checked, one pair in carry-on.

    Pants: wear on the plane a pair of no-iron chinos that you can hunt in in a pinch and you will be covered for a trip into town. Two pairs of hunting pants or shorts at your preference, one checked, one in carry-on. I use BDU pants and prefer to cut off the thigh pocket.

    Underwear: as with socks, three total, with one in carry-on. I've gone 4 days without my checked luggage in Germany and so long as you wash in the sink each evening, it is not too bad.

    1 Belt, worn on the plane.

    Shirts: A no-iron oxford shirt on the plane covers you for town and if you chose colors carefully, you can hunt in it if your luggage goes astray. Two hunting shirts, one in checked, one carry-on.

    Sun hat, in carry on, your choice. A watch cap is convenient to have in the AM f you get cold easily and would be good reason to keep the thigh pocket on your pants.

    I get cold very easily and freeze my ass off most mornings if we sit in a stand. So I bring a pair of pajamas that I can wear under my clothes in the morning if needed. IF walking, do not wear anything under your clothes as you will overheat. The morning is cold but it warms up quickly and it is better to just walk off the cold than it is to have to try to take off long underwear. Most people will not need this unless sitting in a blind overnight for leopard.

    Outerwear. Checked. As needed. A sweater and an outer layer works for me. Wool is warm but picks up seeds and thorns and is best as a middle layer or at the lodge a sweater can be helpful. If you are going to walk in the morning, these will help for the truck ride. Ditch one or both layers before walking even if you start out cold.

    Spare glasses if you wear them.

    Cash can solve almost any problem.

    Talk with your cell phone company before you go. You should be able to get a text plan that is inexpensive.

    Toiletries you probably don't need help with, but I do recommend strongly that you bring a toothbrush, floss, and a tiny toothpaste in your carry-on. Take a shower and put on a 48 hour antiperspirant before departure. You are going to be grimy from a day on a plane any way you slice it, so avoid the TSA hassles and just pack antiperspirant and toothpaste in normal size in your checked luggage. Easier than dealing with the mini sizes allowed in carry-on. If your luggage gets lost, you can stop at a store en route from airport to the lodge. Bring whatever you need, but less is generally more. People have their quirks, so accommodate your own peculiarities. I always seem to need a nail clipper at the most unexpected moment, so I have one in carry-on. Most people could live without. My wife packs soap, for what I cannot imagine- they bathe in Africa and use soap which will be provided. I do carry Q-tips as I like to dry my ears. In a pinch, one can improvise with toilet paper, but a ration of 2 q-tips per day makes the list even for a minimalist like myself.

    Your need for sunscreen is dependent on complexion and base tan. Better to use more than you need than spend half the trip recovering from a sunburn.

    If you are going to carry binoculars, get one of the elastic waist straps that stops it swinging from your neck all day.

    Weigh your packed luggage before you leave the house. You already have a rifle case to deal with and pay for; make sure you are well under weight on the other checked bag. If you are anywhere near 50 lbs you've probably overpacked for a ranch/lodge hunt. I had just about 33 pounds for my hunt in Argentina which included a week at a ranch then a week in the city, so I basically had to pack for two trips.

    I very much prefer a soft-sided bag without wheels- the bag itself including the wheel hardware can be a fair bit of weight otherwise. My bag has shoulder straps. I find it easier to maneuver through the airport with a backpack than dragging a train of luggage. My wife prefers wheels, I think this comes down to upper body strength.

    One luxury I do pack is my down pillow. It weighs nothing, compresses to nothing, and it can serve to protect binoculars or other delicate items. I am very fussy about pillows and it is worth the few ounces to me. Pajamas are a consideration- the sheets may not be all you hope for and pajamas can also serve well as a base layer if you need them for warmth.

    Use your cell phone to take a picture of where you parked so you can find your car in two weeks.

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    ve7poi and Kento! like this.

  19. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    641
    I am 100% with James on the head lamp- very helpful.

    Some people are photo people, some aren't. I find a full-sized SLR totally incompatible with stalking, so if I carry a camera, it is compact. Most recently I just used my iPhone, but I am not much of a photo person. That said, I did bring a full sized SLR to Africa last trip and enjoyed using it while sitting in a stand by a water hole. That particular trip was centered around my wife's leopard hunt, so I mostly wasn't shooting and the camera was good entertainment for me.

    As far as a rangefinder, talk to your PH about the local terrain. With one exception, the longest shot I took in Africa was well under 200 yards, so rangefinder totally unnecessary. The only possibly longer shot I took was on mountain zebra and even then, I didn't need a rangefinder. I could have used one here in Argentina for stag, but then again, I was using a borrowed rifle and had no idea what the come-ups were so it would not have helped anyway. I just ended up correcting elevation as if it were mortar fire and connected on the third shot- first under, second over, third hit. Not perhaps the most efficient way to go but it worked. If you are archery hunting, then you may have more use for a rangefinder.
     

  20. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    642
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    840
    Location:
    Michigan
    Personally, I would not go anywhere without an edge (knife) of some kind, even if it were just a small pocket knife......better to have and not need than to need and not have!

    I would recommend some sort of eye protection; sunglasses are fine, but I prefer to where shooting glasses with either clear or yellow lenses (I've been told that the yellow lenses help to filter out grey, making movement more noticeable......can't speak so much for big game, but definite plus for wingshooting grouse in heavy cover!). With all the thorns, dust, etc. (not to mention snakes that spit!), I think that eye protection is a definite must!

    Velodog;
    I hear what you are saying about those 35mm film canisters......if you know someone who is a diabetic, you can probably get a similar canister from them; the glucose testing sticks for glucometers (to test blood sugar) come in similar vials.....a little smaller, but I think that they might fit your needs. If you can't find a source, let me know and I'll save you one from work next time I get one.
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice