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AlderCreekRanch's picture
Joined: 03/06/2015
Posts: 13
Being Prepared for the Worst

While for those of us who live in the west, we know how to prepare our rigs, camps and daypack for the worst.  But if you are traveling to the Rocky Mountains for the first time, you should first ask some questions to help spec out your vital equipment unless someone already has it waiting for you.  Once you answer these questions, you can prepare for the worst as the mountains and deserts in the west can be violently unpredictable.  These basic questions are as follows:

(1) What do I know about the area where I am going relative to elevation, location including ingress/egress, nearest towns and medical centers?

(2) What sort of weather extremes are possible in and around my hunting area and what will protect me in such extreme?

(3) If alone or separated from a group, what would I do if I was lost, hurt or downed a large animal?

(4) Are there common dangers in the area where I am headed and what do I do in such situation?

(5) If I am driving, what can I do if we get stuck or break down on our own?

(6) If any of my critical equipment fails such as firearms, bow or binoculars, do I have a backup?

(7) Most phones will not work in the mountains and especially canyons...how do I communicate in the event of emergency?

(8) Do I really know how to read topographic maps, GPS or compass?

(9) How much emergency food or water is needed on a hunt in case of an unexpected stay overnight?

(10) What do I need if I am stuck alone in adverse conditions for several days?

(11) Are there dangerous animals, plants or insects where I am going and am I prepared for preventative actions and follow-up treatment in the bush?

(12) How can I prepare yet not have too much equipment that it impedes my ability to travel?

Feel free to ask for advice on any of these questions as it could save your life or at least prevent a very bad experience.



Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Joined: 04/16/2009
Posts: 662

I invested in a spot this year and would highly recommend getting one. So far I have not had any problems with it not getting a signal. I have the newest generation 2 I think they call it. It is a little slow sometimes taking upwards of 10 minutes to know they have sent a signal. But if nothing else and it's your last chance at survival it's worth a shot.

Joined: 06/15/2009
Posts: 80

Until you are in a pickle in a remote place you do not realize how tricky it can be.  That is not the time to think of solutions.  I have only been out west a couple times but it amazed me how unprepared some people were for anything but the best of situations.

sledhead004's picture
Location: Craig Colorado
Joined: 09/12/2010
Posts: 5
Excellent article! Hunters

Excellent article! Hunters should always go out prepared for the worst! I know of a guy that got lost the night before opening day. He walked a little ways from camp and didn't return back until search and rescue found him the next afternnoon! All he was going to do was do some scouting and all he took was a bottle water! Lesson learned, put some jerky and granola bars and always take plenty of water. You can still pack lightly and have enough stuff in your pack to survive a night or two. Take at least two lighters and waterproof matches and a flint. You never know whats going to work when you need it.

R. Smith's picture
Location: Greeley Co
Joined: 04/14/2010
Posts: 92
GREAT article and ADVICE!!!!

GREAT article and ADVICE!!!! I am in total agreement with what everyone has said. I make sure in my back pack that I carry the following, matches(waterproof), lighter, space blanket, firestarter, a sharp knife and stones, compass, fishing line and hook, and game bags( the bags will help keep you warm if needed). And also carry plenty of snack food(at least enough for overnight). There are some items that i will be adding to my pack, thank to the article!! For myself I dress in layers, due to the sudden change in the weather here in Co. Thanks to everyone and May everyone be lucky this year on their hunt BE SAFE!!

Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 34

+1 on the water.  Never stop drinking it.  I keep my camelbak hose right next to my face while sleeping.  If at any time I wake up in the slightest subconscious state throughout the night, I've trained myself to take a long draw from the hose.  It makes all the difference 12 hours later in the middle of the day.

CVC's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3587
It is important to drink not

It is important to drink not only in hot weather, but cold weather too.  You can easily get dehydrated when it is cold so drink up in all weather conditions.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
Be prepared for everything

Be prepared for everything and most importantly be aware of your own limitations.

I drew a mountain goat tag a few years ago and due to all my preseason scouting felt sure I would get one in a couple of days. After three days of nothing my friend was forced to go home. I had a few opportunities on some good goats after that but was forced to call it off after several hours of stalking because of the terrian. I'm sure I could have made it but knew if I slipped going farther or coming back down it could be days before they found me. That was not the place to be hunting alone and I was not prepared for it.

Maybe in another 15 years I'll get another chance.lol

groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539

Good tips.  Back to the basics of safety is always a good idea. Let people know where you are going and when you plan to be back, carry water and a means of making fire, plus a shelter - can't argue with any of that.  I also pack a cell phone but hunt where coverage is not always available.  I also just picked up one of those SPOT satellite beacons - just in case.

Joined: 03/17/2011
Posts: 1
One of the biggest things you

One of the biggest things you can do in the Rockies is just let someone know exactly where you will be hunting or fishing.  I always tell a couple of family members and even some friends.

The buddy system is always a good bet as well!  There is nothing that beats the Rockies!  I have hunted there my whole life.

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