As a new hunter, what's the basic gear I need


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gfanikf
January 4, 2012, 02:14 PM
With Cabelas having end of hunting seasons sales what should I get? I'm trying to figure out what essential clothing and gear (besides a tree stand) I should get now in preparation for next fall (or even the late spring hunting seasons).

As of the moment this is the only thing I can think of (or pick for certain). I figure it covers any blaze regs I'll have to meet (at least after reading over the PA digest yesterday).

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Browning174-CapVest-Combo/1286952.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dbrowning%2Bblaze%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=browning+blaze&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

I have about $100-$150 to spend right now. One thing I know I need is new boots, but don't factor that into the cost considerations as I may be getting it as a gift from someone.

Regarding coats, actually just got this coat as a gift. Now before anyone says anything, it was massively on sale. So the price wasn't what's listed there. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/hawke...-xx.esn_results

I have to say standing on the platform at the Hamilton Train Station the last few days and getting in the car before the heat kicks on, the coat has performed great (it was around 15 degrees this morning). Any chance I could just use it then or should I get a coat I don't mind getting dinged up? Perhaps I could combo it with a cover up?

Thanks!

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Bobson
January 4, 2012, 03:12 PM
As of the moment this is the only thing I can think of (or pick for certain). I figure it covers any blaze regs I'll have to meet (at least after reading over the PA digest yesterday).
You'll want to be certain it meets any blaze requirements you'll have placed on you. Figuring isn't going to cut it.

Regarding your boots, heed Rule #1 of Walking/Hiking/Marching: Never wear low quality footwear.

I also suggest you invest in a quality Camelbak that you fill with water while hunting.

I'll let the others add to the other gear you'll want and/or need. Gonna need to take notes here, myself.

somoss
January 4, 2012, 03:17 PM
what kind of hunting? what animal? what weapon? what season? what will you PA hunt area be like? how much walking? climbing? any water to cross?
as far as clothes, i am sure you have what you need. dress in layers, blaze on the outside. thin gloves, hot hands in pockets for when its real cold.
buy the most boot you can afford. buy the most sock you can afford (i was amazed how much more comfortable $10 socks were compared to cheap crew socks).

insualted bibs are great but not needed. face mask, great but not needed.

gfanikf
January 4, 2012, 03:31 PM
You'll want to be certain it meets any blaze requirements you'll have placed on you. Figuring isn't going to cut it.

I double checked the amount Cabela lists in their Q&A with PA's 2010-2011 Hunter Trapper digest and it exceeds the amount by nearly 200 units (I forget the measurement unit off hand)

Regarding your boots, heed Rule #1 of Walking/Hiking/Marching: Never wear low quality footwear.

That's why I held off getting boots over the holiday as I wanted to make sure I got a quality pair (heck the last pair I have is from when I was in High School and must be nearly 11 years old.


what kind of hunting? what animal? what weapon? what season? what will you PA hunt area be like? how much walking? climbing? any water to cross?

Apologies I should have been more specific. It might be for Turkey in the spring, but the primary purpose would be for Deer, with a NEF Pardner Pump Action Protector Shotgun (I just need to know which new barrel to get with H&R), Deer Season is Late Fall/Early Winter (Nov-December),the area of PA is Bucks County (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=619923&mode=2) which is 5C on the map. I can't comment otherwise on terrain at the moment. There is a small chance it might also be in Chambersburg, PA (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=9109&PageID=659166&mode=2&contentid=http://pubcontent.state.pa.us/publishedcontent/publish/marketingsites/game_commission/content/wildlife/habitat_management/wildlife_management_units/wmu5a.html) which is 5A. I can't comment on the terrain again.

as far as clothes, i am sure you have what you need. dress in layers, blaze on the outside. thin gloves, hot hands in pockets for when its real cold.
buy the most boot you can afford. buy the most sock you can afford (i was amazed how much more comfortable $10 socks were compared to cheap crew socks).

insualted bibs are great but not needed. face mask, great but not needed.
Thanks, I'd love to keep it on the low end as it's easy to get into mall ninja hunter mode with so many options. My main goals for the first time are safety, warmth, and mobility. If I can use as much of my regular clothes as possible, so much the better!

Gunnerboy
January 4, 2012, 03:47 PM
Basics? hmm .... well how bout A firearm and some ammo and maybe a license :D

gfanikf
January 4, 2012, 03:59 PM
I'm taking the HTE course in March. I have a shotgun (NEF Pardner Pump Action Protector), but getting a new barrel for that is a bit of a process and I was going to do a separate thread (here or the shotgun section) to figure out which one(s) to get.
http://www.hr1871.com/Support/accessoryProgram.asp

brnmuenchow
January 4, 2012, 04:40 PM
A quality firearm, a really good scope (can't stress that one enough), a great pair of boots, and a way to hump the animal back to camp--this one depends also on location of the hunt too many variables can play into that one like distance to camp or terrain involved.
Also as a new hunter always remember to double check if your gun is sighted in before you leave to the field. :)

Doug S
January 4, 2012, 04:48 PM
A good hunting knife, and a bone saw if you plan to do some deer hunting. A lot of people will tell you that you don't need to split the pelvis or the sternum on a deer, but I find it much easier to dress a deer having done so. Being a new hunter, you might find it beneficial also. You don't want to bust a bladder full of urine on your deer meet, and splitting the pelvis helps to avoid this IMO. Here is what I use...

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp42/dmattaponi/FoldingHuntersSizeComparison.jpg
I use the Buck 110 at top, but I may give the 112 bottom a try next season.

http://i396.photobucket.com/albums/pp42/dmattaponi/gerberezsaw.jpg
Gerber EZ Saw does a nice job of cutting through pelvis and sternum, and is designed for the purpose, so there is less chance of cutting things you don't want to cut. Sheathed, the 3.5in bladed Gerber EZ saw is only slightly longer than the cased Buck 110. Also, it weighs next to nothing. Both easily fit on a belt or fanny pack.

Both of these are good tools for the job, and you can get both for only around $45 total.

T Bran
January 4, 2012, 05:06 PM
I dont turkey hunt much but the guys that do seem to use either a ground blind or really decent cammo. As for deer dont go too crazy on cammo as it is really not needed and will be under the blaze orange anyway. I hunt in insulated bluejeans and whatever shirts and jackets are at hand. Like anything else layer up so you can take stuff off as necessary.
A decent pair of binoculars are very nice to have and I'll second the Camelback as it has lots of pockets to store all the small items and munchies as well. If stand hunting a fall protection vest/harness is a must the easier and more comphy the better. The ones that come with most stands work but are a PITA to put on this lessens the chance that you will use them. I didnt see the point in this till I fell out of a stand for the first time after 20 years of hunting out of them. Luckily it was a 12ft leaner and not my climber. When buying a stand keep the weight in mind depending on how far you may have to carry it.
Good Hunting.

waffentomas
January 4, 2012, 05:12 PM
I'd say to be wary of shopping at Cabelas or any other retailer, if your funds are very limited. Cabelas bargain cave can be good, but that's about it.

Try a Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshalls for some layering stuff. Ebay's prices are always better than any retail store, often even better than TJ Maxx type stores.

With funds limited, don't be shy about trying out Goodwill or Value Village type stores. I've found some useful items there.

You can compensate for just about any gear/clothing deficiency one way or another, but you shouldn't skimp on boots and socks.

Good luck and have fun. I have all the crap I'll ever need...I miss 'hunting' for hunting gear.

Art Eatman
January 4, 2012, 05:49 PM
If you need the blaze orange, one of the highway worker's vests might well do, and they're cheap.

El cheapo clothing from Goodwill, generally earth tones, and select such that you can layer to deal with varying temperatures. Camo helps when you're hunting birds, but it's totally unnecessary for deer, coyotes and suchlike.

Gun? Most any good used bolt action from a pawn shop will work, as long as it's not all scuffy and beat up. Most are not. :) In general, the pawnshop won't have much over half of the asking price invested in the rifle, so bargain down as hard as you can. Any of the so-called "deer cartridges" are as good as any other, but stay away from magnums.

Knife? The main thing is one which you can easily sharpen. You sure don't need more than a three- to four-inch blade length. I mostly use an old Solingen folding pocket knife that my father brought back in 1945. I just tap with a rock on the back of the blade to split the pelvis when field-dressing a deer.

Boots? If where you hunt is pretty much dry country in the season, I'd go with Russell Bird Hunters or Red Wing Twenty-Mile. They're not cheap, but mine have lasted for over twenty years. Resoled a few times, but still good. Wet country, or snow? Not my deal, so I'm no help there.

Over all, the KISS principle works quite well.

somoss
January 4, 2012, 06:13 PM
KISS. agree 100%. Don't waste $1 on scent control product of any kind. Use the wind. Goodwill for camo/bdu's and under layers. Good luck.

LoonWulf
January 5, 2012, 12:51 PM
My personal hunting set up it is simple, since i dont have to deal with cold weather. Decent back pack, best quality (that you can afford) shoes/boots, REAL surplus BDUs if you can find them (They tend to be tougher then most comercial stuff), or what ever you can find that fits and is comfortable. I like to carry as many as 4 knives (mostly small, i usually have 1 with a 3-4" blade, and the rest are 2-3") as sharpening in the field can be annoying, one thing i get teased for is my flashlight, dosent matter when, or where we go hunting i have one in my bag. Other then water, a small roll of toilet paper, and a decent firearm/bow/hunting implement, I dont carry much more. I keep quite a bit of stuff in my truck so i can change out things before i go tho, if you have areas where youll sit on the ground and wait then i usually toss some kinda small ground cover in my bag, having a wet ass a few miles from your truck can be annoying. Hand cleaner and towls are good to keep in the vehicle, as are snacks and stuff (but alot of that goes without saying :D )

KodiakBeer
January 5, 2012, 01:34 PM
A topo map and compass.

Sav .250
January 5, 2012, 03:29 PM
You don`t have any buddies/friends you can talk to about this? :)

Art Eatman
January 6, 2012, 07:37 AM
Be helpful or be quiet. Non-negotiable...

Skyshot
January 6, 2012, 08:36 AM
1. A good backpack(big enough to carry extra clothing) 2. A good quality knife. 3. Some good quality rope (20 or 30 ft. in length). 4. A good thermos and water bottle. 5. A small packable 1st aid kit. 6. A packable rainsuit. 7. A firestarter with some tender. 8. A compass and map of area hunted. 9. A good flashlight. IMO these are necessities you need to carry always when going afield. As far as clothing goes, if your budget is limited I would buy mil-surplus BDU's and stuff you can layer with if it's cold. Boot's should be waterproof, peferably gortex. And wool socks and headcover and good gloves. You need to be prepared when deer hunting for all kinds of weather changes. If you got the gear you can tuff it out instead of heading to the truck! If you get these few essentials you'll figure out the other stuff you need after a few hunts.

nathan
January 6, 2012, 08:46 AM
A good quality hunting boots as you will be trudging on every possible terrain. Rain, water , mud and sand takes a toll . A good camou for the season. And dont forget the bug spray and caladryl ointment for the itchy bites that often happens. And gloves to keep hands warm and protect against thorns (thick underbrushes).

lyrikz
January 6, 2012, 10:47 AM
What do you guys recommend for boots?? I would like water proof and money isnt to much of an object when it comes to boots. There are just SO many choices.

brainwake
January 6, 2012, 12:47 PM
I chose some water proof hiking boots from Academy. The key is how they fit. Mine are just brown...I don't think they need to be camo..its not your feet that they will see.

I suggest go and try them on, starting with the cheapest first...by they time you try a few on, you will know which ones fit better than others.

Of course, if money is no object...then go to Bass Pro, or Cabela's..somewhere that has a good selection. But how they fit will make the most difference.

Skyshot
January 6, 2012, 01:16 PM
I would go and try on several pairs and see what feels the best. As a side note, take a pair of wool socks to put on when you try the boots on.

interlock
January 6, 2012, 02:27 PM
hi,
my hunting is all done on a tight budget. i really like some of the advice on here about boots and socks especially.... i would like to add that if you have to "tab" or "yomp" any sort of distance to cut your toe nails short and talc your feet.

I wear gaiters some times... the problem is some of the material can be a bit rustley.

consider army surplus stores, real tree etc is real nice and real expensive.... those designs are designed to get pound notes out of your wallet. (or dollar bills!).

The M65 combat jacket in woodland camo is good. Alpefleck aka flecktarn is pretty good. A goretex army surplus jacket is an essential part of my kit.

Gerber EZ Saw does a nice job of cutting through pelvis and sternum, and is designed for the purpose, so there is less chance of cutting things you don't want to cut. Sheathed, the 3.5in bladed Gerber EZ saw is only slightly longer than the cased Buck 110. Also, it weighs next to nothing. Both easily fit on a belt or fanny pack.

this is good advice.

for deer hunting consider getting the gerber ezisaw and ezi zip. as for a knife consider a mora knife. It is best not to use a folder because of all the places bits of blood and flesh can get... it only contaminates your meat. A 4 or 5 inch blade is needed so that you can reach into the chest cavity from the front and cut the aorta etc to allow a good bleed. Orange is a good colour... more dificult to lose.... especialy when it is very nearly dark and you have just Gralloched that buck! a textured handle is also important - this will stop your hand sliding forward onto the blade and give you better control. i have one of the orange ones.

http://www.bushwear.co.uk/prodimages/314713.jpg

http://www.bushwear.co.uk/prodimages/316921.jpg

a decent pair of Binos is very useful. 8 x 42 is a good size. good glass is very expensive indeed... moderate glass is not so bad, bargains can be had at second hand shops etc. If you hunt right you will spend a lot of times with your binos at your eyes.

Another piece of advice is to always keep your eyes open. If you are in a shooting shop prices will be premium. If you see something fit for purpose in the supermarket... buy it.

Some latex gloves and anti bacterial wipes are good.

Zombiphobia
January 6, 2012, 10:09 PM
a firearm with approrpriate ammunition.
that is the minimum you need. In terms of equipment, unless you're an archery hunter..

You don't NEED a knife, but it's better than sharp rocks, so it'd be a good investment.

It's also a good idea to have a hanging system. it makes butchering your harvest much easier than field dressing and allows for easier bleeding so your meat doesn't taste like burnt feces.

Clothing... eh, be careful of ultra-violet dyes.


Scents, if you are legally allowed. Just for god's sake don't cover yourself in estrous doe urine during the rut. You may get closer to a big buck than you wanna.

T.A.Sharps
January 7, 2012, 01:33 PM
All you need is:

1.Your gun
2. Knife
3. Tag

That is a quote from my Uncle Rebel to me every year I would go deer hunting with him when I was younger. I was always the kid that brought all this extra crap that I couldn't keep track of and didn't need in the end.

Peters923
January 9, 2012, 07:21 PM
Piranta.

22-rimfire
January 9, 2012, 07:44 PM
Camo if you are hunting spring turkey.
Blaze orange hat and probably a vest. I really like Cabelas' vests. I recommend these!
A reasonable knife. A pocket knife works too. But you want it sharp sharp sharp.
Brush pants if you are hunting small game and stomping briar patches.
Light hunting coat/field jacket for September/October. It will usually have blaze orange on it.
Compass if you are hunting really flat land (some of the State Game Lands are very flat and it is easy to get turned around.)
Comfortable boots. Rubber insulated boots perhaps for cold weather? Lacross?
Ammuntion
This is way way more than $150... unfortunately.

whetrock
January 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
I've come to appreciate a good qualtiy flashlight while out hunting and rambling in the woods they come in handy during the early dusk and evening dawn hours. As of right now my favorite hunting light is my Streamlight buckmaster Stylus pro. I also can not stress enough the importance of a good quality fixed blade ( or sturdy folder if you prefer ) knife, a Mora ( the 711 model is my favorite but the 511 is least expensive ) IMO would make an excellent entry level knife that won't break the bank and keep you under budget.

ShawnC
January 12, 2012, 02:54 AM
A good folding knife preferably with a gut hook. A fixed blade for heavier jobs. Your hunter safety class will give you a list of things to carry as far as safety kits and stuff.

Good boots with strong ankle support and waterproof!

If you can afford it, a decent gps will help keep you found, and mark interesting spots.

And a camera is a must.

One last thing...roll up some toilet paper and stow it in a zippy bag. This is a must have! You may never use it, but if you don't bring it, guaranteed you will need it!

gfanikf
January 18, 2012, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to give a look through and make sure I haven't missed anything good, especially with knives as I do need one.

I've been trying to take advantage of the end of the season and getting things on sale/clearance. 50% makes for some great deals (especially since PA doesn't charge sales tax on clothing!). One thing of note is the orange blaze should have been 50% off (and ~$12.50 less), but the cashier goofed on it, so I had to go back and get the price corrected.

Can anyone give me some feedback on what I've gotten and what I should be still trying to get? I swear Counter-Season shopping is a great to get good deals!

http://i.imgur.com/Tw12x.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/3n3Yc.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/xJg9z.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/rlAQk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/wQ70I.jpg

I also got boots about a week earlier. They're the Field and Stream Silent Tracker 1000 that seems to be a Dicks Exclusive. http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/men-field-stream-silent-tracker-1000-boot-reviews

My wife wanted a comprise with no camo on the boots incase I don't take to hunting, since I'll use them for cold weather and snow. I really like how warm and sturdy they are. I paid about 80 bucks instead of the normal ~120/130.

Since I'm spreading things out I can spend a little more. I just need to figure out when the clearance/sales on hunting stuff will end and the normal prices start up.

For a rifle I'll be picking up a Marlin 336 in .30-30 Win next week. :) It's very affordable and just fun to shoot, as I've really started to enjoy lever action since I borrowed a friends to try out.

Regarding my shotgun, I think I'll just get new barrels from NEF, though considering the wait and price of a new NEF gun, it may be simpler to just buy one. If anyone has suggestions on what barrels to get (I currently have the 18.5 Protector). I'm all ears!
http://www.hr1871.com/Support/accessoryProgram.asp

Any feedback on my buys, guns, or stuff I should get next is greatly appreciated!

mungry
January 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
If you're a sale shopper there are multiple websites that do the one-deal-at-a-time format with deeply discounted gear.

Check out Camofire.com. Also DOD tracker (deal of the Day) has a couple hunting oriented sites.

And Cabela's and Bass Pro have clearance/outlet sections that have some pretty good deals some times

Vel454
January 19, 2012, 01:27 PM
Make sure you break in your boots before your trip.

I don't know what kind of terrain you'll be hunting in, but some good binoculars are nice to have. Unless your hunting in some very big country - keep the magnification in the 7-8x range, and a big objective lense to gather as much light as possible for the early mornings and late evenings. A wide objective lens will also make glassing for game easier and more comfortable. 42mm+ would be your best bet.

When looking for a set of glass - pay attention to the 'Exit Pupil' rating. If the company doesn't offer it - just divide the objective lens by the power - i.e. 50/8 = 6.25mm. A healthy human eye will dilate to about 7mm when adjusted to the dark. Picking a compact set of binoculars with, for example a 12x25 power, gives a very small exit pupil... 25/12 = 2.08mm. The result, is a bit like the difference of the amount of light coming in a room from a large window, compared to a small window. If your eyes are dilated to 6-7mm and your binocular's exit pupil is only 2-3mm... your going to have a very dark image when you have overcast, or around dusk/dawn lighting.

10x magnification is also where most people draw the line, on where the natural shaking of your hands really starts to effect your image. If your tree-stand has a rail going around you in the front, you may be able to get a bit more support from it, but as a rule of thumb - 10x and higher, and you might want to think about bringing a tripod for any length of extended viewing.

You'll have to pick between a set of porro or roof prism binoculars as well. For a cheaper price point, you can generally get better quality bang for your buck with porro. At a mid to high price point that disperity drops though and it's really personal preference. Go with a set of rubber-armored binoculars though, they'll offer some protection to your investment, and are also more quiet for your hunt.

A last point on binoculars - If they dont say 'waterproof' then they aren't. Water-resistent, weather-resistent, or splash-proof aren't completely water-proof. Zoom binoculars might also capture your interest, but keep in mind, they are almost never fully waterproof. Stick with a fix-powered set.

I remember reading an older Boddington book - where he quoted a friend on the importance of quality optics - 'They cost nothing, and weigh nothing.' They can be that helpful. Hope this helps.

SouthernWake
January 19, 2012, 01:32 PM
1 compass
1 knife
1 loaded gun
1 bottle of water
food if youll be out that long

add that to your clothing selection and thats what itake on all my day trips

IllHunter
January 21, 2012, 10:48 AM
A day pack is necessary, orange if possible as your back should be orange. If turkey hunting, camo is the choice. I hunt in Mi UP and there's usually snow and always cold in Nov. In the dense forests, lines of sight are less than wide open fields and you can get away with compact binos. The emphasis on quality sox and boots are appropriate, no matter what terrain. Compass and topo map of your hunt area and a hunt plan, given to a family member insures your safety as well as her peace of mind. Don't forget a variety of hats. Where blaze is required, from ball cap to knit watch cap, have a choice to fit the weather. A hood is priceless if it rains or snows. I like layered outer garments like Columbia or NorthFace. But long ago I invested in quality hunt wear that I only use for hunting and it has served going on 20 years now. Another golden hint is polypropelene underwear. UA makes great stuff but is astronomical. This "always on" layer wicks moisture from your skin to keep you from chilling. Wool shirts, check Goodwill and Sal.Army will keep you warm even if wet. I bought some wool Austrian Army surplus pants at Pamida in the UP in 1993, still wearing them on occasion. I prefer gortex if it's wet out. Those pants cost $10 and if I ever wear out these, I'll be hunting online.
A plastic kids tobaggan ($6) can serve as a stand tow/deer sleigh and can be painted camo or covered with snow while hunting. Camo netting is cheap but usually you can buy a pop up ground blind for cheap during the off season. Now (Jan) is a good time. I was in Dicks' yesterday and they had popups for $40. Usually 79. In my pack I carry ziplock bags.
1) for snacks and tea and hot cocoa, soup mix.

2) for gutting, 2 knives rubber gloves (playtex) and some small zip locks for heart,liver. String to tie off an us and paracord to tie it up, on tree to drain and on sled. a pack of bio wipes helps clean upa messy job. Towel or rag also.

3)First aid : Cabelas small hunting kit which includes clotting powder. (Sh_t happens.)but I believe that if you plan for it , it usually doesn't. I also pack a personal jet stove and metal mug. I can stay out longer with a hot lunch, snack etc. Energy bars, granola also help with boredom, munchies.
I keep in the outside pouch of my pack some reflective tacks, flagging tape, wind indicator (powder in bottle) and a headband light. I also carry a maglight 2 AA. in a pocket. Many times the shots happen in the dusk and the cleaning in the dark. If by myself, the headlamp is key. I use the maglight and tacks to find my way in and out. The flagging tape to mark the blind & the shot site (if it runs off, easy to spot as I track the spoor.) Yes it is possible to carry only a gun and a knife, but you can hunt longer with some preparation and be ready for the opportunity when it shows up. I also really like a platypus hydration bottle I found. It folds flat when empty. Ordinary water bottles make noise when empty. And clutter /trash must be carried out. I do like a gatorade bottle (wide mouth) to collect my pee during the time on stand. It keeps my scent to a minimum. I usually empty it on the hike out. I have harvested deer from a ground blind while my son was building a fire, while I was boiling coffee and while drinking tomato soup. Scent is not that important if the wind is in your favor and if you minimize your remaining scent. I usually leave my blind up three or four days and have had success on all days. I also keep a journal in my pack and I write a running commentary every day. Weather, wind, partners, locations, gear, likes and dislikes etc. This helps me remember what to pack and what to leave and really promotes memories. Good luck in your hunt.

der Teufel
January 21, 2012, 11:35 AM
A small hand trowel and some toilet paper in a zip-loc bag.

ShawnC
January 23, 2012, 05:23 AM
Oh, and if you get anything small like a pocket knife or GPS or something, try to find one in hunter orange. Camo is cool as a fashion statement, but if you drop it in the woods it would be nice to be able to find it again.

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