"Oh no", I groaned to myself on a recent hunting trip to the Midwest, "I left my flashlight at the base of the tree when I left the woods this morning".
It was after the evening hunt and I realized that I had indeed left my SureFire flashlight (won on BGH!) at my original stand location from that morning.
It was the last day of the hunt and there was no way I was going to lose my flashlight...
I drove back to the hunting area and walked the 800+ yards in the darkness to my stand location - I even knew exactly which tree I had climbed that morning - but in the leaves, I could not find the light.
I began to question if it was really back in the truck... or in my pack... or had I put it in the cabin at lunch time????
On hands and knees, I raked through the leaves over and over again... man, I hated to leave and not have that light.
Finally, I looked just to the right about a yard or so - and there the light lay, right on top of the leaves... I must have dropped it a little further from the base of the tree than I thought!
When I returned home, I began to think how catastropic losing certain items in the darkness might be... what if you lost your release for the bow and did not have a spare - that would be a hunt ending loss at least for that morning!
Using the same reflective material I use to make trail markers, I started to cut strips to mark items that could easily be dropped in the darkness... I marked my flashlight, my release, my grunt call - all of these items are black and would be hard to find in the dark!
I also marked my pack, my rifles, my thermos.. it takes only moments to do so and you might avert a problem... I know people who have actually lost firearms in the darkness... all you have to do is sit it down and walk a few yards away and it may be hard to find!
I had used these to mark my stands previously - when you are coming back to your stand in the morning (if left in the woods) these make the stand all the easier to find also.
You can get this reflective material at most major home improvement stores - it is commonly used on equipment trailers. If they do not have that type, get mailbox reflefctive numbers and cut them up - they work well too!
You may be able to prevent a lost item and maybe even a lost hunt!