Re: What's the longest you stayed out ?
21 days on a fly-in sheep hunt in Alaska in 1979 during the first three weeks in September. Did a food drop 17 miles from our landing strip on the flight in. Didn't have a very great tent for mountain camping. The first night the wind blew our tent down on us. We never did find some of our tent stakes after that blow. It was a 4-person Eureka Timberland tent, if I recall correctly. We walked more than 100 mountain miles on this hunt, carrying back packs that weighed from 50 to 65 lbs. We ran into a guide and his client that told us he'd hunted that area for the prior 18 years and had never encountered another hunter... we were the first ones. The guide used horses to access that area. We walked in. Saw a dandy ram in that area but we were bowhunting at the time and never got close enough for a shot. Could have killed him easily with our rifle. I was 24 yrs old then and lost about 10 lbs during that hunt. The guy I went with was bigger than me and he lost closer to 15 lbs. When we took our first shower, we both initially concluded that our knees and ankles were swollen. Turns out they weren't swollen, we'd just burned away fat and muscle in the surrounding leg areas. First thing we ordered at the restaurant after we got out was a blueberry pie. We split it in half and finished it off.
No fancy hiking poles back then. I still use the same Trailwise backpack that I did on that hunt, but with an improved belt and shoulder harness from Barney's Sports Chalet in Anchorage, Alaska. Much better boots are available now than were available back then also. Good boots are critical if you're going to cover alot of ground. A good tent, sleeping bag, and rain gear are also mandatory.
I was only 24 at that time and had the energy and stamina of youth on my side. I wouldn't attempt the same type of hunt today. But I still backpack hunt on an annual basis now. My boots, socks, clothing, rain gear, and tent are all much improved from what I had in 79. LED flashlights and lighter cookstoves are other examples of improved gear.
We finally shot a calf caribou for food at the end of that hunt with a rifle. That fresh meat was a welcome relief to our diet. We saw a number of legal rams but never killed one with an arrow.
Last edited by phorwath; 08-17-2008 at 03:50 AM.