So most of us have our gear lists pretty well dialed in, but what always gets me is my re-entry list. I call it re-entry because we’ve normally been so far removed from civilization that it just feels foreign when you finally make it back to your rig at the trail-head. It’s at that moment that I realize I’m going to have to interact with folks other then the fellas on the mountain. I’m always so focused on what I’m going to need to have a successful outcome of each hunt that I often overlook having some creature comforts when I get back to the trail head. Since we tend to lay it all out on our hunts and come dragging back to the truck worn out and sore, it’s a reassuring thought to know you have a little welcome home kit that you had the forethought to put together before you left.
So as I’m hobbling down the last couple miles of trail toward the truck my thoughts always start to drift, starting the wonder where I’ll find the nearest greasy cheeseburger and cold beer! But than I remember I’m probably half covered with face camo, my brain switched off its own stank-o-meter about 5 days ago when I couldn’t stand my own stench any longer, the clean clothes I drove up in are wadded up in a heap on the floor boards, etc. So I’ve been getting better about making sure I’ve got a select few items to get me cleaned up enough to stop at a gas station or get that burger without worrying (too much) about the attendant calling this cops, reporting a “wild man” on the loose!
Items I like to have in a spare duffel waiting for me are:
Deodorant – for obviously reasons
Beverage/snacks – even cold tap water after drinking stuff that either tastes like iodine or charcoal is sometimes a godsend after drinking the “muck” for a week.
Clean change of clothes – preferably something like sweat pants & Crocs (whatever is your comfort lounge wear)
Wet wipes – you know a real shower is only a few hours away but this will help get you over that last hump. Also, help get rid of any left over face camo.
Cash – sometimes out in the sticks it’s tough to find someone who takes a credit/debit/checks. Cash is king. Helps keep folks like packers, meat lockers, etc. in your good graces.
And for those still working on putting that elk hunting gear list together, here’s my basic list – http://thinairoutdoors.com/elk-hunting-gear-list-2/