I usually keep a first aid kit in my pack all the time even when I'm rucking. I usually keep a tourniquet, basic first aid things with water purification tablets, headlight, small plastic bags, electrical tape, a gerber, small container of precut kt tape for blisters and of course paracord. I would probably be disowned by every Marine before me if I didn't at least have the paracord. lolHere are few things I’ve found to be helpful in overcoming small issues that have the potential to become big ones:
foot care - I don’t have the toughest feet; even when I was in the army in a light infantry unit and walking everywhere with everything on my back, I had to pay attention to foot care. So I always pre-tape my feet with Leuko tape and bring powder and extra socks (prefer darn tough). Leuko tape can also serve as a pseudo duct tape/adhesive for fixing stuff.
water - I always carry a couple iodine tabs or a small dropper of bleach for use in the event my filter (katadyn) breaks
first aid kit - I have a small circular plastic container thing that I use for a pill case. I keep a couple pain killers, aleve, couple Benadryl (for allergies or reactions), and a couple days worth of antibiotics (amoxicillin or doxycycline).
paracord - you were a devil dog, so I won’t belabor this point. Ha
Micro leatherman - not one of the standard size ones that weighs a pound
Great to hear you are looking to venture out more, and solo if need be. I hunt a lot solo, mostly by choice and sometimes because schedules with hunting buddies just don't align when they need to. Tons of great advice provided for sure.From the eastern part of WV. I have recently been looking into doing more solo hunting trips not only in the wilderness areas here in WV but also going west to hunt elk. I have solo hunted twice in national forest and wilderness areas here in WV over the past two seasons. I would like to hunt with my friend that I usually hunt with but more times than not our schedule doesn't match up or other obligations are in place prior to setting hunting trip dates. I prefer to do alot of backpack hunting to get into where alot of people don't go especially in the wilderness areas. Most others enjoy parking the truck and watching a corn field or bean field and I don't care for that type of hunting. I was in the Marines and have basic navigation skills with a compass and survival skills. I currently work 3 days a week as a nurse so I have flexibility with hunting and training year round. I typically do either the Mtn Ops elk fit program, ruck with weight, run and insanity max or other similar programs on my days off depending on what is scheduled for the day. The rifle I use is either a Weatherby Vanguard 7mm Rem Mag or Remington 700 .308.
Anyone with advice on what they would do differently on solo hunts that range from a day hunt to a 3-5 day hunt? What equipment is a must or which is preferred? I'm looking to purchase a seekoutside cimarron and stove combo and also was debating on which personal locator beacon to pick up. My wife will not let me go west in search of elk until 1. I go with my hunting buddy or 2. I have some way of contacting her and help in case of emergency.
I already have a Mystery Ranch Metcalf with a first aid kit/headlight, etc and a pair of Zamberlan Saguaro boots I purchased in 2019. Any advice would be appreciated and I have learned alot already from this forum.
Thanks for the info! Appreciate everyones input. I'm in the process of getting my shelter, stove and in reach well before hunting season this fall. I'm also planning on going to a nearby wilderness area that I hike and will be hunting in this fall for an overnight hunting trip to try out the setup I have to see what works and what doesn't work. I've day hunted myself before from dawn to dusk and was comfortable but I know that it does not compare to overnight and multiple days to boot.Great to hear you are looking to venture out more, and solo if need be. I hunt a lot solo, mostly by choice and sometimes because schedules with hunting buddies just don't align when they need to. Tons of great advice provided for sure.
This may be a repeat of some of the other advice given, but I think you can boil it down to:
- get an InReach or something similar. I use the Mini paired up with my phone, and it has been a great addition. Peace of mind for my wife, and I can ping friends to help on long/tough packouts.
- Being solo, you will be carrying more weight/gear as you have no one to split it with -- shelter, stove, etc. Where you can, save weight on the big items, namely shelter/sleeping bag and the "extras" you bring.
- Try a handful of overnight hunts to dial in your gear and system without a big commitment (great time to test drive the gear you need and don't need) and do it when the forecast is good or terrible -- nothing will show you how well you prepared like below freezing temps and sideways snow!
- Get comfortable with the being alone part of solo hunting. I do pretty well alone for a few days, but it becomes more of a grind if the trip goes more than 4 days. Others really enjoy lengthy solo outings, but I find my sweet spot is about 2-3 days. That amount of time really gives me a good dose of solitude and being able to hunt how I want.
- Keep on your fitness regimen. The better my aerobic base and overall muscle endurance (especially legs) is as the season arrives, the better my hunts are, regardless of duration.
- Rinse, repeat. Have fun, stay safe.