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First backpacking trip in 21 years

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First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby bcriner38 » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 1]

Trying to get ready for an elk hunt in Colorado in 2021. I did my first backpacking trip in 21 years this weekend. I wanted to test myself first to see where I am physically. I left Saturday morning and hiked into the Cohutta Wilderness in North Georgia. I left Dally Gap trailhead and went up Hemp Top Trail and down Penitentiary Branch Trail to the Jacks River and setup camp. Then I hiked back out Sunday morning. 12.5 miles round trip with a roughly 35-40lb pack (extras for weight). It was tiring but overall pleased with my overall condition plus no blisters. Covered the 6.2 miles out mostly uphill in 4hrs and 1 minute. Averaged 1.5mph according to GPS.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Elkhunttoo » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like your on the right path and having fun doing it. I’ve got a long ways to go before I’m where I want to be physically for next season.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Tigger » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 3]

I think you have this all wrong! You are supposed to be fat and out of shape for your first elk hunt! This is the time of year to layer on some cellulose!

Welcome to the forum and kudos to you for getting after it. I ate Christmas cookies yesterday, but.....but.....I made a separate trip to the kitchen for each cookie. Does that count as exercise?
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Indian Summer » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 4]

Well I can tell by the picture that you’re in better shape than me. Are the boots you’re using the same as the ones you’ll hunt in? If not I’d get started using those. Also Georgia is low elevation. Next time try doing all your breathing through a straw. Lol


Just kidding. Two very good friends of mine who are elk slayers are from Georgia. It sounds like you have a good start and a plan. Good luck and welcome to Wapiti Talk.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby bcriner38 » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 5]

Indian Summer wrote:Well I can tell by the picture that you’re in better shape than me. Are the boots you’re using the same as the ones you’ll hunt in? If not I’d get started using those. Also Georgia is low elevation. Next time try doing all your breathing through a straw. Lol


Just kidding. Two very good friends of mine who are elk slayers are from Georgia. It sounds like you have a good start and a plan. Good luck and welcome to Wapiti Talk.


Yeah the boots are my new Crispi Briksdal. That was my first hike in them. Breaking them in. Did good. I think I am going to try some Superfeet insoles though. Eventually I plan to get one of those training mask to simulate lower oxygen level for breathing and training.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby bcriner38 » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 6]

Tigger wrote:I think you have this all wrong! You are supposed to be fat and out of shape for your first elk hunt! This is the time of year to layer on some cellulose!

Welcome to the forum and kudos to you for getting after it. I ate Christmas cookies yesterday, but.....but.....I made a separate trip to the kitchen for each cookie. Does that count as exercise?


LOL. The wife made homemade chocolate chip cookies. I rewarded my hard work with a couple last night.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Old school » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 7]

You’re starting way too early - lol. Welcome to the forum and good luck on your elk hunt. I do know this, I’ve never been chasing elk and had the thought cross my mind that I was in too good of shape and had wasted my time on cardio...on the other hand... yeah, we’ve all been there.

-Mitch
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Swede » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 8]

Welcome to the forum bcriner. It looks like you have one of the Kuiu packs. How did it work for your trip?
I train on milk and cookies all winter. It makes elk hunting more of a challenge. :lol:
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 9]

Welcome to the forum mister, glad to have you on board. Great job on checking/working on your conditioning well in advance of your hunt. I will say that there is almost nothing that can prepare one for the elevation changes associated with elk hunting "but" what your doing (hiking elevation changes with a pack on) is probably the best thing you can do to reduce that acclimation period once you arrive at your elk camp. Good luck with your elk hunt preparation (almost as enjoyable as the hunt) and, your upcoming venture into the elk woods. RJ

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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby bcriner38 » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 10]

Swede wrote:Welcome to the forum bcriner. It looks like you have one of the Kuiu packs. How did it work for your trip?
I train on milk and cookies all winter. It makes elk hunting more of a challenge. :lol:


Actually worked great. No issues with the pack for how I used it. I guess I would note that when the side torpedo pouches are full, you cannot really get a water bottle out of the lower pockets unless you remove your pack. That is the only thing I would change. If the lower pouch had a stretch cord that would easily stretch to open easier you could probably reach back and pull out or put a water bottle in them. The way they are made, that is not possible. You will need a water bottle attached to the waist belt to use so you don't have to take your pack off. Otherwise you definitely have to run a bladder with a hose. Otherwise nothing I have found so far that I don't like but that.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Swede » 12 21, 2020 •  [Post 11]

I have been thinking about getting their 5500 pack. I will need it after a winter on milk and cookies.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Lefty » 12 22, 2020 •  [Post 12]

Congratulations. And Welcome!


Do you plan to backpack hunt?

Knowing what you don't need is even more important
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Elkhunttoo » 12 22, 2020 •  [Post 13]

Swede wrote:I have been thinking about getting their 5500 pack. I will need it after a winter on milk and cookies.



I didn’t know Santa clause hung out in a tree all of September!
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby bcriner38 » 12 23, 2020 •  [Post 14]

Lefty wrote:Congratulations. And Welcome!


Do you plan to backpack hunt?

Knowing what you don't need is even more important


I will be dropped off by a guide in an area and setup a base camp. Then day hunt from there and have the ability to stay away from camp overnight if needed. My daypack will likely be around 25lbs. I added more to this pack than needed to just keep the weight up for training.
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Re: First backpacking trip in 21 years

Postby Swede » 12 23, 2020 •  [Post 15]

Elkhunttoo wrote:I didn’t know Santa clause hung out in a tree all of September!


Santa Claus? I have been thinking about getting the pack for years, but always feel like I can do without it. I am more akin to Ebenezer Scrooge. The truth is I won't do a pack pack hunt as I am by myself far too much.
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