||12-30-2012 05:55 AM
I grew up hunting in Wisconson and never really gave a lot of thought to having any kind of a pack. You carried your rifle, some extra ammo, a hunting knife on your belt, and maybe a sandwich and Snickers bar in your coat pocket. When I moved to Colorado in 1978, hunting, and surviving became a whole new experience. In the farm country of Wisconsin you were never far from a road or someones farm and if you just kept going in one direction for a few minutes you would get to someplace you could find your way home from. In the Colorado mountains, you can get 100 yards from your truck and be hopelessly turned around. Throw in the early afternoon sunset, the warm fall day that turned to a cold front complete with heavy track covering snow, add a little panic, and your fun hunting trip turns to a nightmare. I now take survival prep vary seriously and never head out without at the very least some basic survival equipment and a compass.
Put yourself together a small day pack with fire starter, water and some way to purify more, something to shelter you from mositure and wind like a good size piece of 6 mil plastic or large heavy duty trash bag, a small first aid kit, not just a boo boo kit with bandaids, but a few things for splinting and stopping serious blood loss as well. Add a compass, a good knife, flashlight and anything else thats appropriate for terrain you venture into. And don't leave home without it. Just before this years hunting season, I bought a Army surplus vest with lots of pockets front and back. I was able to carry my survival kit, first aid kit, compass, GPS, extra ammo, multi tool, map, a few snacks and probably a few more things I dont remember. The point is, I keep the vest on all day and even if I jump out of my truck to run to the ridge and see which way that herd of elk went, I've got everything I need to either find my way back, survive if I can't, and make it easier for rescuers to find me.
Depending on where you are you may not need as much stuff as I believe in but make sure you have some basics. Good luck.:)