The GPS is very useful and handy. Don't assume you have to buy a very expensive GPS to get the job done, either. I bought a Garmin eTrex for about $120 in 2006 for a wilderness DIY elk hunt. Such a simple GPS can do a number of things for you: (1) inform you of the sunrise/sunset time at your exact location, (2) inform you of the altitude of your location, (3) set a way point which you can later select to navigate to -- for example, set a way point on your camp before leaving it in the morning and select to navigate to it on your way back home, and the GPS will give you a pointer in the direction of your camp and an indication of how far (10 miles, 1 mile, 400 feet). This can be particularly useful when it gets dark -- for example returning to camp after boning out your downed elk that you shot in the last minutes of shooting light. The GPS gives you some confidence that you wouldn't otherwise have, I think, to get after it and focus on your hunting.
Of course, you want a back-up in case the GPS fails -- map and compass. Additionally, the GPS may not work well under forest canopy or under very heavy clouds/precipitation. There is no substitute for the benefits of remaining generally oriented to your landscape (my truck is downhill, on the road, if I walk downhill -- on the correct side of the ridge -- I have to hit the road and hence my truck is either up or down the road from where I intersect the road).
Additionally, the GPS can be very handy in marking a kill site or a water hole you want to return to later.
So you've booked an outfitted hunt this year. And you're going to get to ride horses into the mountains to save your legs and your back.
I've met lots of guys who've been in this same situation. They figure, "heck, how hard can it be?" But, I assure you, if you don't learn to get along with your mount for the week, it's going to be a bumpy, scary, noisy, and life threatening experience.
First, let's start with the horse itself. A horse trained under western style has 4 gears. The walk, trot,...