Solo backpackers ???

scopeye

Member
Joined
May 23, 2021
Messages
15
Location
MT
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 predominantly backpack hunt solo and find I prefer that type of hunting. As you mentioned it’s often hard to find buddies who can/want to hunt that style.

When solo you really get a unique experience in the woods. I find everything slows down and I am more connected to the experience. This translate into being a better hunter and more cautious about my movements around bears/dangerous terrain.

I started using a Garmin Inreach last year and it has been great to keep in touch with my wife. I always send a text when I get back to my camp at night. This alleviates a lot of her stress. It’s nice knowing that I can send a text out if I get into trouble or need some help packing out meat.
 

Shakyshot

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Washington
I predominantly backpack hunt solo and find I prefer that type of hunting. As you mentioned it’s often hard to find buddies who can/want to hunt that style.

When solo you really get a unique experience in the woods. I find everything slows down and I am more connected to the experience. This translate into being a better hunter and more cautious about my movements around bears/dangerous terrain.

I started using a Garmin Inreach last year and it has been great to keep in touch with my wife. I always send a text when I get back to my camp at night. This alleviates a lot of her stress. It’s nice knowing that I can send a text out if I get into trouble or need some help packing out meat.
I second the Inreach, just wanted to add that it also has the option to send your wife your location with each messege you send her.
 

dgogogomez

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2021
Messages
9
Location
Colorado
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.
I’m new to hunting, but not new to high elevation solo adventures/mountaineering. 20k+ feet, over a week, remote, and technical. Maybe 100+ solo trips of various types.

I agree with WeekendWarrior; do not under estimate the psychological paranoia. It’ll mess with logic. It can be very rewarding though if you can get past it. And I agree that you are more likely to die driving there than any outside “dangers” in the backcountry. I would add that being great at navigation/route finding is critical. Killing an animal is optional, making it back is not.
 

PRCReaper

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
14
Location
WA
This is a skill I'd definitely like to build over time. I think risk management goes long way when solo.
 

GW Hunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
460
Location
Orangevale, Ca
I’m new to hunting, but not new to high elevation solo adventures/mountaineering. 20k+ feet, over a week, remote, and technical. Maybe 100+ solo trips of various types.

I agree with WeekendWarrior; do not under estimate the psychological paranoia. It’ll mess with logic. It can be very rewarding though if you can get past it. And I agree that you are more likely to die driving there than any outside “dangers” in the backcountry. I would add that being great at navigation/route finding is critical. Killing an animal is optional, making it back is not.
Making it back from a solo drip is obviously the main goal, however, there is no better feeling than the moment when you’ve made it back to your vehicle and you remove your pack after a successful hunt. You feel like you own the world after one of these backcountry hunts….
 

mnoland30

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
312
Read Ray Jardin's book "Beyond Backpacking". I can spend the night in a light bivy under a tarp tent for about 6 lbs. added to my hunting pack. I use a Personal Locator Beacon ($250 and no subscription). I've hunted by myself for years and did it again last week. I'll be 68 this week. A dog will go **** off a bear or a herd of javelina and then run back to you for protection. Or it will find a skunk or porcupine. Ask me how I know. Tie your food up in a tree away from your camp and the bears generally won't bother you, especially if you're off the beaten trail, and not camping in the bottom where they tend to travel. I did have a cougar watch me cleaning my deer once. I didn't see him because i had slipped on some moss and landed my butt in a prickly pear. I was standing there with my pants down around my knees picking out spines when I caught his eyes with my headlamp. I was 10' from my rifle. I fired a round between his ears, and he leaped about 8' in the air and took off. I jacked another round into my rifle so fast that I never found the ejected shell, even when I went back for the rest of the meat. When I go back for meat, I carry my 11 oz. .357 S&W revolver. I've never used it, but when a bear found my elk before I did, it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling as I was butchering the elk, and looking over my shoulder. As wolf packs get bigger and bigger, they become much more dangerous. You'll want an AR-15 and 30 round mags then. As long as predators are hunted, they are less dangerous to man.
 

JTComfort

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Messages
184
Location
VA
>50x solo, including ~10x in the snow.
Maybe 5 times with someone else.
When I climb, also solo.
90% off trail
Still on the razor's edge of winning at "playing stupid games."
Shine on, you crazy diamond!
 
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