How to Stay Positive While Hunting in the Backcountry

I am not much of a camper. Typically I camp only when I have to for hunting, fishing, or rafting purposes. Because of this I consider myself more of a glamper, a glamorous camper. I try to make the experience as comfortable as possible so that I can spend my energy on something more valuable like hunting or trapping. Over the years I have picked up a few tips in order to make my hunting situations as smooth as possible. If you want to be happier and last longer in the backwoods follow these tips.

‘If you don’t make it like home you will want to go home’

Max’s boss often reiterates the point that if you try to tough it out in the wilderness you are going to burn out. A good way to avoid this is to carry in some food in that you eat at home that you typically don’t get out in the bush. Eggs can be carried into the backwoods with moderate care, and you can carry in ground beef as well. This might not be a great idea if you are in bear country, but you can cook up spaghetti the first night. Carry it with you in a ziplock container. You’ll feel much better the second day than if you were eating freeze dried chicken tofu.

Showers

This applies to all of life: showering make you feel better. Even with the river temp barely above freezing and rain pissing down, jump in and scrub yourself off. You will feel better afterwards. My brothers and I try to shower everyday that we are in the backwoods as a reset button. I have been pretty impressed with solar showers in the past if you don’t like frigid streams. Shaving isn’t a bad idea; if you miss a shot it’s best to not feel and look like a bum. Take care of your hygiene, and you will be more likely to keep a positive frame of mind. Remember a toothbrush, floss, and whatever other care you need, it may be fun to live like Grizzly Adams on day one, but it will wear you down by day ten.

Hot food and a fire

Even if your cold food has the same amount of calories, hot food boosts morale. After a long day of hunting it’s nice to have something go right, and some days the only thing that goes as planned is a warm food and a fire at night. Have only one person make the fire. Trying to start a fire with a buddy and failing leads to more bickering in camp than its worth. Let one person start the fire while the other one gets water or does another task.

Snacks and candy

I am a big fan of chocolate and candy. Oftentimes we will bring a candy bar that we split up over the length of the trip. This gives us something to look forward to and can be a nice surprise when you open your pack and find that treat you forgot about. It’s surprising how much a snack can pick up spirits. Pack a giant candy bar next trip and plan to split it with your buddy when you reach the top of the ridge.

‘If you hunt in the rain you have to rest in the sun’

Even if you plan to hunt the entire month of September, take a rest day when it rains. Rain can crush morale and you will have to take a day off eventually, it is better to rest when it is raining than have to take a day to let all your gear dry on a perfect day for hunting.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any other tips for staying positive in the backwoods let me know. My next article will discuss how to save money on food while gearing up for an extended stay in the backwoods. Good luck and keep hunting.

Harrison

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