Solo backpackers ???

dmj

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Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
991
At 71 my wife put her foot down this year and said, no more packing in and hunting alone with out some kind of communication. I was only about about 7 or 8 hours late of making my rendezvous time. I had a good excuse, I had killed a 6x6 bull that morning and it takes me a fair amount of time to field dress, break it down, bag it and pack out one quarter. Well I thought it was a good excuse. It didn't fly with her. Just ordered the zoleo satellite communication system. Also wish to express my gratitude to my brother. My wife drove to town and called him. He drove a little over 100 miles to help me pack out the rest of the elk. Hunt safe everyone and be careful.
 

CONatureBoy

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May 19, 2021
Messages
138
Location
Colorado
At 71 my wife put her foot down this year and said, no more packing in and hunting alone with out some kind of communication. I was only about about 7 or 8 hours late of making my rendezvous time. I had a good excuse, I had killed a 6x6 bull that morning and it takes me a fair amount of time to field dress, break it down, bag it and pack out one quarter. Well I thought it was a good excuse. It didn't fly with her. Just ordered the zoleo satellite communication system. Also wish to express my gratitude to my brother. My wife drove to town and called him. He drove a little over 100 miles to help me pack out the rest of the elk. Hunt safe everyone and be careful.
Thanks for the tip. Zoleo sounds like just the thing!
 

dmj

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Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
991
I haven't used it yet. So can't speak personally to how well it works. But in the GPS section of this forum there is a member that gives a lot of good information on the Zoleo. Also there are some pretty good buys on the zoleo units out there. Good luck and be safe.
 

KSB209

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Sep 17, 2014
Messages
375
Location
Republic of California
I believe REI has the Zoleo unit on sale this week. I have the Spot and thinking about upgrading to the Spot that I can send texts from but of course that unit never goes on sale!
 

svgreg

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Mar 25, 2021
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139
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America
All the time. From scouting in the summer to hunting through most of September and October. I'm in the west, in the mountains 6-10K ft. Lots of wolves, black bears, moose, etc. Biggest threat so far is that I was almost stepped on by an elk @ 2 am. I carry an InReach. Works great. My mindset is always "expect to self rescue", so the InReach is just to keep my wife happy. In the West, that InReach is most likely not going to get you any help any time soon. It will get people to you eventually.
 

GREATSCOTT!

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Jan 22, 2020
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204
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Wetside of WA
I hunt solo as often as possible. The freedom to do whatever, whenever for how ever long. Removes the "democratic" decision making process with another hunter of what to do, where to go, how to get there, etc. I've always killed my best animals, seen my best views, and appreciated my hunt and coming home more in solitary.
 

flyguy1

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Oct 17, 2015
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395
Location
Montana
Probably the single dumbest comment I've seen on LRH thus far.
Have you LOOKED at the crime rates in the aforementioned cities lately? It may not fit your sensibilities, nor your politics, but data is data. I don't recall many assaults in the Scapegoats. So yes, you are statistically safer in the wilderness than in downtown Chicago.
 

WeekendWarrior

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Mar 1, 2021
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70
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United States
Yeah my wife and my dad tell me all the time it’s not safe to go out by myself but with my schedule I don’t always have a hunting partner so I go by myself. Usually I make it back to my truck and sleep inside or in the bed of the truck. How many of you go on backpack trips by yourself?
I sort of find it peaceful by myself in the woods even if it isn’t “safe” but that’s me. Some might find it boring but one thing I like is watching the sunrise and sun set over the mountains
I know many have commented already, and I know my reply is redundant, but know that you are safe backpacking and hunting alone. The media and many of us over hype cougar and bear attacks, as well as violence between humans, and injury risk when solo backpacking and hunting. I hunt for 10 days solo in the Colorado wilderness for elk every year, as well as several three day trips throughout the summer and fall while hunting for other species. I just did a week in Idaho for spring bear. I have gone out solo for as long as three weeks in the Yukon too, and used to take two weeks trips regularly (family and job make that more difficult). In my younger days, I routinely did 50-100 mile solo ultra-runs through wilderness in southern Canada and northern Washington. I have dealt with cougars, bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and nothing is more scary than a mother moose with calf or drunk and poorly socialized people - but all of this you can be prepared for and confidently and safely manage with ease.

Hunting solo requires a no-******** view of actual dangers, and the personal responsibility to prepare for what you can, and genuine acceptance of the few elements you cannot control. There is almost nothing you cannot control with a little forethought (liker don't camp below loose rock faces if you are worried about rock fall). In terms of being prepared, you need a fast means of self defense (plenty of good arguments between non-lethal and lethal forms) and the training and practice to execute, as well as first aid knowledge to correctly splint and move with an injury (or treat a more catastrophic injury), extra food and water treatment in the event you are injured or lost and it takes you more time to get out... etc etc. Take a WFR course and a self defense shooting training course, these are all good starts. I still like bear spray for cougars, moose and and people.. but guns for bears. Dont wear headphones, listen to music, or do anything to distract you from your environment. Being aware is the first step in being prepared - it helps you notice where you are so you don't get lost, where you are stepping so you don't get hurt, and what is around you so you don't get attacked unexpectedly... as a bonus it helps you see more animals which makes for a better hunt and hike. Because actual danger is rare, you end up noticing more things like edible plants and more nuanced aspects of nature's beauty than things to be afraid of. Makes for many enjoyable trips.
 

WeekendWarrior

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Mar 1, 2021
Messages
70
Location
United States
I wonder how all these people backpack for months the AT, CDT, PCT solo ever year without fear but then a big burly armed hunter that watches too much television can turn a week long backpack hunt into some major endeavor.
I am one of those people who ultra runs for a 100 miles solo in the wilderness and have through hiked most of the PCT and CDT. Backpack hunting is harder, and worth thinking about more. Being off trail is harder on the body, carrying a heavy pack is harder on the body, and packing out an animal is harder on the body, and the psychological paranoia of truly being alone and the need to be more deliberate with route choices weigh more heavily too. When I am through-hiking or running I pound trail and move - 20 miles is nothing but an afternoon on trail and I know where I will end up by staying on the trail and most towns aren't all that far away. Plus those trails are often crowded, you see people every other day at the worst. As far as all the fear of "dangers"... thats silly. Driving to the trail head on the highway is far more dangerous than anything in the mountains - you and I can agree on that.
 

CONatureBoy

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Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
138
Location
Colorado
I know many have commented already, and I know my reply is redundant, but know that you are safe backpacking and hunting alone. The media and many of us over hype cougar and bear attacks, as well as violence between humans, and injury risk when solo backpacking and hunting. I hunt for 10 days solo in the Colorado wilderness for elk every year, as well as several three day trips throughout the summer and fall while hunting for other species. I just did a week in Idaho for spring bear. I have gone out solo for as long as three weeks in the Yukon too, and used to take two weeks trips regularly (family and job make that more difficult). In my younger days, I routinely did 50-100 mile solo ultra-runs through wilderness in southern Canada and northern Washington. I have dealt with cougars, bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and nothing is more scary than a mother moose with calf or drunk and poorly socialized people - but all of this you can be prepared for and confidently and safely manage with ease.

Hunting solo requires a no-******** view of actual dangers, and the personal responsibility to prepare for what you can, and genuine acceptance of the few elements you cannot control. There is almost nothing you cannot control with a little forethought (liker don't camp below loose rock faces if you are worried about rock fall). In terms of being prepared, you need a fast means of self defense (plenty of good arguments between non-lethal and lethal forms) and the training and practice to execute, as well as first aid knowledge to correctly splint and move with an injury (or treat a more catastrophic injury), extra food and water treatment in the event you are injured or lost and it takes you more time to get out... etc etc. Take a WFR course and a self defense shooting training course, these are all good starts. I still like bear spray for cougars, moose and and people.. but guns for bears. Dont wear headphones, listen to music, or do anything to distract you from your environment. Being aware is the first step in being prepared - it helps you notice where you are so you don't get lost, where you are stepping so you don't get hurt, and what is around you so you don't get attacked unexpectedly... as a bonus it helps you see more animals which makes for a better hunt and hike. Because actual danger is rare, you end up noticing more things like edible plants and more nuanced aspects of nature's beauty than things to be afraid of. Makes for many enjoyable trips.
Amen. I also have trained for a handful of ironman triathlons and ultramarathons by running trails (mostly solo), and have hunted deer, elk, bear, and moose alone in the backcountry. I and a buddy had a close call with a cow moose and her calf just last weekend. I've had to warn off a pair of mountain-lion siblings who started to approach me while I was hunting solo. WeekendWarrior's recommendations are spot on. The scariest thing? Idiots shooting at/near camp at trailheads, and careless hunters shooting towards me regardless of my hunter orange. I haven't figured out how to deal with that yet, except to enter and exit the forest away from trailheads, and to hunt the backcountry where hunters tend to be of a more serious and cautious mind. You can't get more than six miles away from a road in the lower 48. Worry more about getting shot than getting lost.
 

KSB209

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Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
375
Location
Republic of California
Great info and knowledge shared in this board. I plan on taking off this season until I fill my tag. It will be back country in the Sierras in CA so I’m not real concerned with bears or large kitties. The bears we have around here are black bears and I have had more then a couple encounters with them and all have run away. The higher in elevation the less I worry about the lions and rattle snakes. It is more stupid people and the possibility of getting lost but I always carry way more food then I need. Water this year may be difficult but the area I plan on going has a bunch of small lakes so I should be able to find water daily. I always carry about a gallon when I start and have more then 1 way to filter water when I find it.
Great idea on the WFR class. I will be looking for one in my area. Most seem to be about a week long and I need to find something more like weekend courses to work for my schedule. Some seem to be pretty basic which could be fun to do with the kids.
 

WeekendWarrior

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Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
70
Location
United States
Great info and knowledge shared in this board. I plan on taking off this season until I fill my tag. It will be back country in the Sierras in CA so I’m not real concerned with bears or large kitties. The bears we have around here are black bears and I have had more then a couple encounters with them and all have run away. The higher in elevation the less I worry about the lions and rattle snakes. It is more stupid people and the possibility of getting lost but I always carry way more food then I need. Water this year may be difficult but the area I plan on going has a bunch of small lakes so I should be able to find water daily. I always carry about a gallon when I start and have more then 1 way to filter water when I find it.
Great idea on the WFR class. I will be looking for one in my area. Most seem to be about a week long and I need to find something more like weekend courses to work for my schedule. Some seem to be pretty basic which could be fun to do with the kids.
The point of a WFR course is to know how to stabilize and treat injuries, you want a hands on course to push you. Ideally one with simulations so you can practice moving people around and applying bandages and splints and check airways, etc (unusually hard when the person is unconscious, hence the need for simulations). In the one I took we had a husband and wife pair, and the husband was reduced to tears while rocking back and forth on the ground at the sight of his wife acting unconscious covered in fake blood during their first simulation. He was basically incapacitated with emotion for a good 5minutes, and was someone who worked as an EMT so its not like the gore was disturbing, rather the sight of his wife in that condition was that profound. You need to feel the emotions, you need the simulations if you dont already have this experience. There is a difference between reading about it in a class room and doing it in real life. Don't go for the basic foofoo ones, take a proper 7-10day course. Some places offer these over a series of weekends. Remember you are after real knowledge, not just a certification. Real knowledge will give you real confidence, a half ***-ed certification will just give you imposter syndrome.

In real life I am an MD, and we dont have this training. I know what to do once in the hospital with all the equipment I need, but not in the field with basic stuff. Except I do now because I took the course... anyway, many trauma and ER docs have worked hard to piece together a series of best practices with respect to supplies and protocols for these WFR courses. A proper course is worth every penny and every second of your time. Do note that many courses do suck and they are not all the same. So do your homework.
 
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