With elk season just a few weeks away, now’s a great time to get all your gear together and put it to the test on a trial run! It’s especially important to use any of that new gear you have purchased since last season. Nothing’s worse than getting into your favorite spot opening weekend only to find out that the new gear isn’t all you thought it would be. Load up your pack as if it were your first hunting trip of the season and use it like you will be using it this fall.
This last weekend I loaded up the Sitka Bivy 45 with gear and headed into elk country for a test run and to do some scouting with my son, Hunter.
With the valley temperature hovering around 100 degrees, the mountain air was greatly welcomed even though it was still in the low 80’s. My pack weighed in right at 33 lbs fully loaded with the bow strapped on. The 2.5 mile hike on a game trail into elk country was rather enjoyable and I’m thankful for the comfort of the Bivy 45.
I was able to stuff my tent, poles, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tarp into the standard stuff sac that came with the sleeping bag. This made it nice so once I found the place I was going to stay the night, I was able to just make two clicks and drop that off my pack before heading into a drainage without the extra weight of my overnight gear.
Didn’t take long to get into a napping position after setting up the sleeping quarters.
Plan on doing everything just as you would during your normal hunt right down to the food you plan on eating. If you’re trying something new it’s better to find out now that you don’t like it than when you’re worn out from a day of chasing elk. Find out just how many meals can be heated on that canister of fuel, how well are you going to sleep on that pad? Test out that flashlight, tent, sleeping bag, boots, even your range finder. Do you REALLY need everything in your pack?
What can you eliminate?
What do you need to add?