Good posting. Well i recon it also depends on where and what terain you will be on for example if you will be stalk and walk over here by us in the Northern cape province / Free state we have some areas with loads of " Steek Gras " its a type of grass which sticks right through your soft parts of your shoes , socks and is irritating as hell !!! I tell you this its really bad ! To provent this you can get really nice garters nearly like those you wear around ur ankles for snakes. These are made from some kind of canvas its light and works well. PS dont forget snake garters if you stalking in summer months !!
Safari Chick, as mentioned by owenowen, it depends largely on the environment you are going to be in. Forest, woodland, swamp, dessert - they all dictate the necessities, but my priority list always has the following as a standard MUST HAVE;
GUN - AMMO - BINO - CAP - KNIFE - WIND DUST - GPS - SALT - WATER - LIGHTER... these items accompany the worn necessities such as good lightweight, appropriately colored clothing and a good pair of shoes. There can be a lot more, but that would slowly be turning into a load.
Ryan has the list of essentials nailed down and knows what to carry as, lets face it, he lives and breathes African hunting. He has learned what to take when hunting in Tanzania after many years and thousands of miles of walking in pursuit of game. So when you are going on a hunt with Ryan he will be able to tell you what you need to bring.........and it would be good advice to heed.
This should apply anywhere you are going. If you have booked a hunt with a reputable and experienced outfitter, just ask. Most will provide you with a list as a matter of course.
My big peeve is that few hunters listen. The tendency is to bring too much, the wrong type of gear and in most cases both. On pack trips in western and northern Canada I usually have told hunters to limit their gear to 75 pounds and provided them with a list of what they need, how to pack and what to pack it in. Invariably they will arrive with 125 to 250 pounds of gear, packed in fairly typical airline luggage. Much of the gear will be new.............and all too often that will include their hunting boots and...... GASP! ........their rifle.
Trust me, you do not need an entire change of clothing for every day of the hunt, three pairs of boots, five knives (in most cases clients only open one of these to cut a string or trim their finger nails), 200 rounds of ammunition, or the couple of dozen hunting gadgets you bought as a result of watching the Outdoor Channel to much.
Fortunately the current trend with airline regulations, reductions in allowable baggage and excess baggage fees, most hunters are learning to be a bit ruthless when assessing their 'must take' items. Best advice..................listen to your outfitter or PH and if you don't know.....ask!
Safari Chick, after my rifle and ammo the most important thing for me is boots and bino's. most of your safari will be spent walking and looking so these two items will be in constant use. Another thing that I have been taking with me the last five years is a journal. I write down everybody I come into contact with while hunting (PH, tracker, skinner, cook etc...) and every animal seen each day. I write of each days events and anything interesting that happens. It is hard to explain the joy that I feel when reading what I had written five years before. It is amazing how much you forget over time, the journal will refresh your memory.
Boots, knife, rifle, ammo, GPS/Nav gear, spare water and Binos - I keep the load light where possible, i imagine the hunting in Africa is reasonably similar to our hunting in nth Australia - can be plenty of distance....
Proper broken in boots is very important , but I would say that a proper hat with a lot of sun screen is nearly as important. After your gun and ammo, I would say a light pair of binos. The rest your PH should take care of.
Firstly, let me say that my moniker is safari chick, not dumb chick, I was surprised by answers like rifle, ammo and boots then I revisited how I posed the question and I suppose I was unclear... Rifle-check, ammo-check, well worn in boots-check, sunscreen-absolutely (I am a blonde), hat-check, clothing-optional (just checking to see if you're paying attention). Oh by the way I do know which end of the rifle shoots .
I was really looking for some good ideas like what Jaustin suggested, a journal I love that idea. Funny thing is I always used to journal while traveling to interesting parts of the world when I was younger and recently came upon one of them, can't remember so many things I had written, but it was nice to read.
I guess I was curious about what Skyline called those gadgets that hunters buy who watch too much outdoor tv, but I see everyone here is very fundamental... no cool gadgets?
Night-Vision Mono/Binoculars... on a good night, by a good spot, you could be in for quite a treat that you would otherwise miss. Now that you have clarified that you know all the basic stuff - take candy (my crew always enjoys treats). Glow in the dark underwear??? (was paying attention this time). Am sure you got it all covered. Get out there & enjoy!
SC...........a couple things I might mention (You very well may already have them) are...... one of the newfangled binocular shoulder harnesses for carrying your binos. There are several kinds and they work so well. Distribute the weight and keep them from bouncing and wearing a hole in your neck on long walks.
And I never go anywhere without a camera. I always take my big digital SLR and lenses on a trip like that, but they are not practical to carry with you all of the time. There are so many very good 8 to 12 mp P&S 'idiot proof' digital cameras now that are very slim and light weight, most have a 3 or 4x zoom. I always carry one with me and I mean always. I have taken some great shots of things that I would otherwise have only been able to talk about if I did not have a little digital instantly at my disposal.
Besides your cameras, make sure you take several extra mega GB cards for them so you can take lots of pics.
If possible I try to get a camera with an optical viewfinder, as the LCD can be almost impossible to frame up a shot with when you are in bright sunlight.....and odds are you are going to get plenty of that. Most of the optical viewfinders on the small cameras are not great, but they will help to get the job done.
I agree with the camera it is the one item that will play back the memories over & over again.Keeping A journal was great also. One thing I would ask the outfitter before going is if he has shooting sticks! You watch the hunting channels & it's a given everyone has shooting sticks in Africa. Well my last trip the outfitter didn't. Having shot competitive hand gun & rifle for the past 19 years it didn't bother me alot but it could have taken the fear in the back of my mind away of possibly wounding & animal. Fortunately I didn't but I wouldn't want anyone to travel that far & have to deoend on a sling or whatever may be around especially if you don't practice that much!!!
Binos plain in simple. They would be the last thing to go before the weapon. The bino harness is one of the best things ever invented. I am going to buy #3 before i head to africa. My second one is worn out.
Next would probably be a range finder. Might not be as important with a PH along who judges distance all the time. I find that personely when i go out west, i cant judge distance in the wide open spaces. I just dont hunt in those conditions.
Boots. They will make or break your hunt. Buy them a year before you take them to africa and wear them until they are comfortable. If I ever made one big mistake it was once wearing a pair of boots that were not broken in. I paid in spades. You never forget the painfull mistakes in life. I take two pairs of boots, you never no what can happen. I have a pair of Courtneys but I find myself wearing my Russels most of the time. Of course you need a rifle and good binos but they wont do you any good if you cant walk.
Good question Safari Chick. My answer is not really something that I couldn't live without when on safari, it's something I choose not to be without.
I think it's a good idea to use the occasion to improve your mind. I take a book or books that I would otherwise never read, not just take the same old same old stuff that I usually buy. I find it hugely valuable to make time to relax and reflect, to lie back quietly between the hunting and get lost in a good book that is going to broaden my horizons.
Over the last few safaris I have read: Joseph Conrad, Dostoevsky, Juvenal, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Hemingway, Tennyson, Coleridge, Theodore Roosevelt and many more.
When I get back home I tend to revert to the same old easy-to-read crap, but a safari is such a great experience in such a beautiful part of the world that I think it warrants delving into some of the great works of literature.
I suggest an extra pocket digital camera. Give it to your PH and tell him to just take pictures of whatever strikes his fancy. I once did a fishing trip that I took a ton of pictures of everybody else. A full seven days in the bush, and you would not know from the pictures that I was there. Nice to have some unposed pictures of yourself.
The basic safari things I would carry on myself after my .375 H&H Weatherby , buck 110 my nikon EDG binocs, cabela pro hunter boots , my nikon digicam and a little daily organiser where i write all the events of the day good bad or ugly .