Tips for Planning an Extended Hunting Trip
If you’re extremely passionate about hunting or maybe you’re one of the hard-working few with a hunting TV show, you probably spend a great deal of the hunting season on the road. Mile after mile disappears in the rear-view mirror in pursuit of new species and hunting opportunities across the country. Maybe even around the world. On the other hand, maybe you have saved long enough to take that long-awaited, first big hunting trip away from home.
If any of those descriptions fit you, you’re certainly fortunate to have such opportunities. But there are also many challenges that come with hunting far from home for extended periods of time. You need to give some real thought to what you bring along since you can’t pack away your entire hunting supply with you. There’s no easy way to go back for items you may have forgotten in the garage, and simply being in a foreign place introduces new variables that usually seem to complicate things. That said, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re eyeing that hunting trip across the country this season.
Planning and Preparation
When you first decide to go on a hunting trip far from home, you need to invest some serious time in the planning stage. Let the nature of your future hunt determine how much preparation you need. If it’s a major backcountry trip in the mountains and you live in flat farm country, you should spend months preparing not only your gear, but your body. Condition yourself by carrying a similar-sized backpack you’ll use on the trip, and steadily increase the mileage you walk with it. There are even masks available that restrict oxygen to get you used to higher elevation hiking!
Research what you need to bring if you’ll be hunting on your own or with an outfitter. Plan ahead and coordinate with others who will be going on the hunting trip with you. Making lists are the absolute best way to save yourself from heartache down the literal road. Maintain separate lists of all your clothing, hunting gear, and food. As you pack your bags and load the vehicle, check them off the list. It sounds so simple, and it is! But so many people skip this step, and it is unbelievably helpful for leaving nothing behind.
Using a list will help you to remember the obvious items like your weapon, ammunition, and license. It seems like you’d never forget those three, right? Well, until you realize all too late you have forgotten your hunting license, which can cost you many precious days of hunting. Triple check you have these items in the vehicle before you leave!
As you pack the vehicle, it’s very helpful to label separate storage totes or hunting bags with what gear or food is contained within them. It probably sounds a little obsessive to reach this kind of detail, but it will streamline your life while you’re on your hunt. No more rummaging through bags trying to find your headlamp or matches.
When you’re at home, you can easily toss your hunting clothing in the washing machine when they get dirty, and hang them on the line to dry, naturally. When you’re on the road, it’s pretty rare to have the chance to do this. But continuing to hunt in dirty and smelly clothing isn’t going to help your chance at filling a tag. So what’s a traveling hunter to do?
The new Ozonics Dri-wash Bag is your solution. While it won’t remove all the mud you collected on your clothing, it will remove your human scent and deodorize your hunting gear. Simply hang the Dri-wash Bag from whatever you’ve got handy (e.g., tree branch, truck, hotel closet, etc.), and hang your hunting clothing loosely within it, this encourages proper airflow and ensures that the entire garment is exposed to odor eliminating ozone. You don’t want to crowd your garments because you need the correct amount of ozone to circulate around the clothes for the correct amount of time. Seal the bag and then insert the Ozonics HR 300 unit into the top. Switch it to the Dri-wash mode, which will produce a ten-minute cycle of boosted ozone that flows through the bag’s specially designed baffled airflow system. This ensures the ozone correctly circulates through the bag eliminating internal turbulence and effectively treating your clothing before exiting through the bags vent. In most cases, after ten minutes, your clothing should be thoroughly removed of scent molecules and ready for hunting again. If you still detect some odor, you can repeat the DRiWASH cycle an additional two times. In the event the garment is not deodorized after the three ten-minute cycles, it should be washed.
When you arrive to your hunting destination, try not to rush right in if possible. If you’re hunting with an outfitter, this is the time to ask any final questions about the hunting scenario or conditions you’ll face. If you’re hunting public land with some friends, it’s time to develop your game plan. In other words, what time are you setting out the next day, how will you communicate if you separate, where will you hunt, and other important details.
If you are lucky enough to harvest an animal, make sure you have a good meat preservation system ready to go. It’s likely took a long time for you to get to your hunting destination, so you need to keep your game meat from spoiling during the rest of the trip and the long ride home. Have ample coolers with lots of ice stops along the way.
Going on a hunting trip across the country is a great experience you should undertake at least once. Though there are complications, it’s still an adventure. And an adventure is always worth taking.