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Camp Essentials

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Camp Essentials

Postby Swede » 12 30, 2020 •  [Post 1]

Having done enough damage to RJ thread on tents, I have decided to give him a little break for a change.
Admittedly, I am a champion for the new hunter and those that just can't afford the best of everything, all at once. I hope that deer and elk hunting never becomes a sport for the rich. It certainly does not have to be. I know many of you started off on a shoe string and you will not last long out hunting cold, wet and miserable. There are ways to stay comfortable and hunt effectively that will not break the bank.
Different seasons call for different gear, so what would you recommend for essential gear and for what season?

#1 Partner up if possible. You can divide a lot of the travel and camp costs there.
#2 Get good advise from someone that knows where to hunt and how.
#3 Buy from places like Good Will and garage sales. You can get a lot of camp supplies and clothing there.
#4 You do not need camouflage clothing. Despite common belief, it is totally unnecessary.
#5 You do need clothes that will keep you warm and dry, and I would recommend you avoid clothing that makes a sound when a branch brushes up against you.
#6 I think you can rifle hunt cheaper that with a bow if you are careful what you buy.
#7 You do not need a bunch of high end optics to hunt effectively. I will admit they are worth the cost, but so is a new truck. They are just not essential, and you are better off going hunting without them than staying home and waiting another year and losing out on the experience. Honestly, I cannot attribute any of my animals to high end optics or cheap ones either for that matter.

Ok, so have I started an argument or can you add to the list?
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Tigger » 12 30, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Hunting anything makes you a better elk hunter. Many of the tactics are different, but learning how to control your emotions in crunch time is crucial. Learning what side of the bush to be on is critical. Learning when to call or when to shut up. Learning body language. All that stuff is second nature for some and harder than rocket surgery for others, but you have to have good closing skills. I have 1 son who has it at 12. He kills stuff. Consistently. The other son will have it before long. He just needs a little more practice.

Above all, go hunting. Never let gear stop you from hunting. But when it comes to gear, buy once-cry once. Buy quality stuff that will last and you will be comfortable. My $375 boots date to 2008. 13 hard seasons on them. $375 divided by 13 is $28.84 per season and they still have life left in them. And those are hard seasons.
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Swede » 12 30, 2020 •  [Post 3]

I get ten years out of a pair of $200 boots. If my math is right that is $20 per year. I agree that buying quality equipment may be the best bargain in the long run, but do you need $3,500 binoculars to get out and hunt? The experience you gain from getting out to hunt will often outweigh the value of the real high end equipment. I can buy one $35 titanium pot or go to Good Will and get an aluminum one for under $5. Which will last longer and just how much is that minute weight saving worth? I guess I am not impressed that someone can purchase a Sitka Marino wool sweater for $90 when I have gone into Good Will and got two new, or almost new Marino wool sweaters for $16.
Shop carefully, and don't get caught up in the trendy stuff that Joe Blow endorses. You can really hunt effectively on a budget. BTW: nobody really knows what the cooking pot you used is made of, or where you got that Marino wool sweater.
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby 7mmfan » 12 31, 2020 •  [Post 4]

I agree strongly with a few of Swede's points. Solid colors are fine, and the more I hunt the more I actually prefer them.

Keep an eye out at places like Costco for deals on great outdoor clothing. I've got good Merino base layers for $15, puffy jackets for $25, and comfortable pants for $15. Their merino socks are excellent and you can get a 5 pack for about $20 or so. The cost of one pair of Smartwool socks.

Like others have said, the most important part is to just get out there. Use whatever gear you have. Take the Coleman 4 man tent you have and throw a good tarp over it toss a buddy heater in it to warm things up a bit and you have an ok base camp now. Grab your weapon and get out there.
I hunt therefore I am. I fish therefore I lie.
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Lefty » 12 31, 2020 •  [Post 5]

A new hunter doesn't have to have the highest quality new gear.

Buy multi purpose stuff. Clothing as a whole is much cheaper than years ago,.. quiet synthetics are everywhere. And high end clothing gear 20 years ago is now cheap.

2 pair long underwear tops and bottoms at Costco,.. less than $35.00, Marino wool socks $3.00 They even had new, day packs better and cheaper then my 25 year old factory second
You dont need much clothing for a day to day hunt.

Ive had my very best buys from quitters, Bought out a waterfowl guides gear,.. New stuff, pennies on a dollar literally my pickup stuffed full jackets hats a box of calls 8 dozen new in the box decoys , 8 dozen used duck $80-90 goose floaters,.. $157

My brother gave away all sorts of trapping gear,. floats, stakes and hundreds and hundreds of traps
But used, gently or heavily used. Realistically if you want to hunt cheap you can. Let others know what you want, somebody had a dead grandpas whose junk the family needs to get rid of, and it can be your treasure.


Check after season Christmas , and clearance sales. Most of my clothing the past few years I bought the first day of the International Sportsman's expo, Brand name T shirts $1.00
And huge clearance and 2nds from real outlets do they still exist?.

When living in Washington we bought Nike and Danner. Utah,... Browning outlet.

Cabelas in Utah , South Dakota and Minnesota, Ive bough stuff that never hit the general market. Bought a great fleece jacket,.. with upside-down print for $5.00



And Forum classifieds and offers,.. and do in search of. ISO In classifies , forums, Craiglist facebook
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Swede » 01 13, 2021 •  [Post 6]

I like Lefty's thoughts on multipurpose gear. We should also recognize that most things we use on an elk hunt will work fine on a deer hunt, and vice versa.
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Lefty » 01 17, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Swede wrote:I like Lefty's thoughts on multipurpose gear. We should also recognize that most things we use on an elk hunt will work fine on a deer hunt, and vice versa.
More than hunting.
I haven't bought Carhartt in 10 years or Big Mac Work wear.
My daughters grew up wearing bright colored girls jackets covered with 2 nd hand militay camo. They snow skied in cheap camo Bibs Really very common in Idaho :lol: Base layers were work wear.
Neighbor kid won a Sika Vest from a local bow club. Every Sunday for two years that was his dress wear at church passing the sacrament.
And since We live in Idaho; cold weather camo is common wear for "normal" people just like western wear.
My 2nd to last year year in education A number of grade school kids wear inexpensive Walmart and some wear top end Sitka kid wear
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby >>>---WW----> » 01 17, 2021 •  [Post 8]

I hate to admit it, but Swede and I think a lot alike. Heaven forbid!!!!!! :roll: :o
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby Swede » 01 17, 2021 •  [Post 9]

WW: It is because we came from a different era and knew real poverty. We learned how to thrive, and not just survive with very little. You and I could get deer and elk with just one rifle equipped with iron sights. We could pack it out on our back with no pack frame to load it on. We would throw all but the largest deer over our shoulders, and carry it out whole.
It was a luxury to have a Trapper Nelson pack, which I did not have for many years. I had one Western Boulder hunting knife. The crazy part is that I did not realize I was poor, and never thought I was in need of anything.
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Re: Camp Essentials

Postby >>>---WW----> » 01 18, 2021 •  [Post 10]

Swede wrote:WW: It is because we came from a different era and knew real poverty. We learned how to thrive, and not just survive with very little. You and I could get deer and elk with just one rifle equipped with iron sights. We could pack it out on our back with no pack frame to load it on. We would throw all but the largest deer over our shoulders, and carry it out whole.
It was a luxury to have a Trapper Nelson pack, which I did not have for many years. I had one Western Boulder hunting knife. The crazy part is that I did not realize I was poor, and never thought I was in need of anything.


Right on Swede!
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