Any Minimalists?


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WayBeau
December 18, 2013, 10:45 AM
Who here goes into the woods/hunting with just their weapon of choice and the bare essentials? What do you carry on your hunts if you consider yourself a minimalist? I took inventory of my hunting pack this past weekend and I think I'm taking a lot more than I actually need when I hunt, so I'm trying to get feel for what others take with them.

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Patocazador
December 18, 2013, 10:55 AM
As the season progresses, I bring less and less. At the end I wind up with a gun, binocs, and a folding knife.

I don't consider myself a minimalist .. just getting worn out after 5 months of hunting.

m1k3dasa1nt
December 18, 2013, 11:42 AM
If you think in terms of basic survival you'll trim your carry weight nicely.

WayBeau
December 18, 2013, 11:44 AM
If you think in terms of basic survival you'll trim your carry weight nicely.

Hmmm. Without looking at what's in there at the moment, I think I would trim it completely if I think in terms of basic survival.

MCgunner
December 18, 2013, 01:24 PM
Well, early, I carry my thermocell and my binocs, gun. Later on, I'll leave the thermocell, maybe carry a spare propane bottle for my heater once in a while. Morning hunts, I'll often carry my thermos. I've carried my Bible before to continue reading my studies. There's a gun magazine and a duck and retriever magazine out there already. I often carry a knife, but if I shoot something, I have to go back to the house anyway for my motorcycle so I can drag it out.

:D

ldlfh7
December 18, 2013, 01:31 PM
I use a rifle and knife. Thats all I have ever needed. Anything else is just foo fa ra

gspn
December 18, 2013, 01:31 PM
The definition of "minimalist" will change depending on where/how you hunt.

I hunt private land so while I may appear minimalist in my loadout...I have a huge barn/work shop full of everything I could ever need just a few minutes away.

MCgunner
December 18, 2013, 01:46 PM
Oh, I forgot about the flashlight if the moon's not out. Wouldn't wanna stumble into the fence or something.

buck460XVR
December 18, 2013, 04:14 PM
The definition of "minimalist" will change depending on where/how you hunt.



^^^This. What is bare minimum to take along varies greatly with the scenario. If it's a 30 minute stand on a drive and I can drive my truck to get the deer if I shoot one, then all I need is my firearm, a pocket knife and bullets. If it's an all dayer in a deer blind or an all day still hunt for deer or runnin' and gunnin for turkey, it's another story. Grouse and woodcock huntin' with the dog means a different collection of items. What I take with me changes daily. Experience and doin' without has taught me what I need to take in various hunts. In Wisconsin we need to tag a deer or turkey immediately after killing it. Don't bring a string or cable ties and you will be cuttin' a bootlace. Pretty soon they're too short to tie anymore. Shoot a deer a half mile back and don't bring a rope, you better hope you pants stay up without your belt. After the half mile drag, it'll never look like it used to. Cold or warm, if you are gonna be out all day, you need to hydrate. Big woods, good compass. A good well fittting comfortable pack makes a difference to what you bring along also, because there are the rathers. Depending on the hunt or how long you are gonna be out, you have things you'd rather not be without. I'd rather bring along a pair of rubber gloves to dress my deer out than spend the rest of the day with tallow and blood under my fingernails. I'd rather have T.P. than have to use leaves when nature calls. Antibacterial wet-wipes help with both. They also help if you cut yourself. Ticks around here all carry Lyme's. Only about 4 months a year that you are sure they are not active. There's always a small bottle of repellent in my pack, cause I'd rather have it than another bout with Lyme's. Along with a whistle and a way to make fire. If it's cold and wet, there's probably a spare pair of gloves. Sammies, Jerky, munchies, books, binos, all make it in sooner or later, again, depending on the hunt. Come Turkey season, different calls, and decoys may or may not be needed. Later in the week, I might need another pad for my butt.

Used to be, my license, firearm, a small pocketknife and enough ammo was all I ever took. Really all you ever NEED for a day hunt outside of the mountains or the wilds of Alaska. But then came "rather".

Sol
December 18, 2013, 04:25 PM
"another bout with Lyme's"
Ooh sorry about that, are you well?

sixgunner455
December 20, 2013, 10:58 AM
I hunt in the Rocky Mountains. Things I have learned:

The right stuff makes your hunt more comfortable. The right stuff can make your hunt more successful. The right stuff can save your life.

Too much crap will hurt you, and can kill you.

jmr40
December 20, 2013, 11:09 AM
^^^ Well said with a minimum or words. I also hunt public land in the North GA mountains, and have hunted public land in the west. Some days I'm less than 1/4 mile from the road, other days I may be 4-5 miles. It depends on how late in the season and the weather. Some days I only carry my rifle and a knife. Other days I may carry enough gear to keep me alive for 2-3 days in bad weather if an emergency develops.

When I was younger I often carried more than I needed, not much fun carrying around un needed weight. With time and experience I've learned what works and what doesn't, what I really need, and what I don't.

A lot of guys dismiss lighter rifles, but losing 1-2 lbs on the rifle/scope combo along with other carefully chosen gear can add up to an easy 10-12 lbs not carried each day.

1911 guy
December 21, 2013, 06:52 PM
I'm thinking one day hunts here, not extended stays.

If you can't stuff it all into your pockets or small pack (I use a fanny pack - camo so I get to keep my man card), you're carrying too much. Compass, knives, couple spare rounds, para-cord, survival blanket (the ones that fold up smaller than a deck of cards), lighter and light.

SC Shooter
December 21, 2013, 07:35 PM
When deer hunting this year, I carried my rifle, a good knife, a pair of disposable gloves, a cell phone, and a compass.

Arkansas Paul
December 21, 2013, 07:39 PM
Well, my stand is only about a quarter mile off a main road and camp is 5 minutes away so I don't have to carry much.

Gun
binos
iPhone
headlamp
thermos of coffee (morning hunt only)
maybe a book
1# propane bottle as needed for Mr Buddy heater

tahunua001
December 21, 2013, 07:45 PM
gun
knife
rope
lighter
flashlight
and GPS/radio combo.

if I'm just after deer and in easier territory where I can easily get my truck near my kill I just take gun and knife.

twofifty
December 21, 2013, 07:48 PM
A sensible hunter packs the minimum needed to deal safely with the challenges of the environment(s) in which s/he hunts.

Some of us hunt at sea level in tropical climes, others above treeline, some where water is scarce. No matter, lack of preparedness kills.

Safety is one thing. Comfort is another.

As I get older comfort takes up a bit more room in my pack: thermos of hot coffee...insulated seat pad...better food.

TIMC
December 21, 2013, 11:12 PM
I take my rifle, a knife, flashlight and sidearm. I usually have something to drink and something to snack on. Cell phone to play in the Internet when I get bored. Only a out 1000 yards back to camp with a 30 foot travel trailer packed with all the comforts of home. Yep I'm a true minimalist!

skiking
December 22, 2013, 01:39 AM
I view being a minimalist as carrying only necessities. I used to hunt whitetails in an area where I would rarely travel more than a mile from my vehicle. Now I am usually no less than a mile and a half from my vehicle at shooting light, often finding myself 5-6 miles in at times, and pursue much larger critters. Needless to say, necessary items have changed.

It used to be I would carry my rifle and a knife. Now if that is all I am carrying I am seriously lacking in the gear department. Water, food, rope, game bags, a flashlight and survival gear are now mandatory. Even if they are not used on every outing, being without them can either mean wasted meat or potentially death.

I can say that everything I carry has been needed during a hunt in the last 4 years. So I guess I consider myself a minimalist.

BigBore44
January 3, 2014, 05:26 AM
Bow, 4 broadheaded arrows, 2 field pointed arrows, release, pocket knife, phone (for texting fellow hunting buddies, GPS and compass), lighter, water. Add my Summit climber if I'm stand hunting. My climber has 50 feet of paracord attached for a bow rope. So should I need rope, I already have it. But I don't drag deer anymore. I use a deer dolly. Best investment I ever made for deer hunting. It's saved me 3 times having to drag 2 deer over a mile out of the woods when I shot a double.

If I'm hunting in a new place, my 44 mag or XD45 goes with me. But before I go to a new place I mark GPS coordinates on my phone, screen shot it and send a pic of the coordinates, and a screen shot of the area map with a dropped pin to my brother, father, and best friend. Never needed the help. But it only takes one time of being complacent to end up dead or severely injured and no one can come help you. I figure that's a minimum of what you should do before you go out.

swampcrawler
January 4, 2014, 11:58 PM
I probably carry too little. I hunt public land mostly in the swamps where I'm almost certain IL eventually get lost. Just carry my weapon, ammo, a folder and fixed blade, cell phone, and thermacell If I can find one of the 4 or 5 that I constantly miss place. I'm thinking of investing in a good GPS with topo maps if such a varmint exists.

kbheiner7
January 5, 2014, 12:40 AM
Some of my favorite hunting memories were as a high school student running for the hills after school with just my bow and knife - hunted in my socks. Learned a ton and loved it.

AKElroy
January 5, 2014, 12:55 AM
I posed much of this in a similar thread awhile back, but since this helps me re-live my love of hunting, I'll paste it here as well. I have a deer lease with a well stocked travel trailer, so I will go over actual blind gear. In the 4x8 box blind, I have a small wooden box with a few bottled waters, toilet paper, a few rounds of .308 & .30-30, leather gloves (to use as shooting rests on the metal window frames, so as not to scratch the rifles), surgical gloves in case I shoot one too big to load by myself without parting it out, some inexpensive but surprisingly bright bushnell 12x50 binocs, bug repellant, and a quality LED flashlight.

For the evening hunts, I make sure to have a very bright mag light LED in the Sammy for tracking in the dark.

All I carry to the blind is the rifle, I-phone, leatherman waive, Gerber folder w/ gut hook, case stockman and zippo lighter in the pocket, plus an LED headlight if cloudy or moonless. Both my blinds are a couple of miles from camp, so I keep a 1992 Suzuki samurai parked there year round. I usually park a few hundred yards from the blind, and walk in quiet an hour before first light.

In the Sammy, I keep some "hard use" gloves for loading animals (they are always covered in cactus thorns here), some rope for dragging big boars to the boneyard, spare batteries for the game cams.

For guns, I have a marlin 336 w/ a 2.5x7x33 leupold for the shorter blind and for walking around, and this year I've been using a savage weather warrior .308 w/a bushnell elite 5x15x50 ao in a DNZ tactical base most often. I do rotate other guns a bit just to convince myself I need them, but the marlin and the savage are my two primary game getters.

If my son is in camp while I'm hunting, each of us has a long-range walkie-talkie. I like to hunt the mornings alone, and since he is allergic to both cold and 5am wake-ups, he's good with it.

With so many pigs this year, I've been wearing a 4" S&W 686 on my hip, loaded with hot 158gr Golddots, two spare speed loaders in the jacket pocket.

red rick
January 5, 2014, 01:18 AM
Knife
Flashlight
GPS
Camera
Water
Rope
Cell Phone
Toilet Paper
Chair or Tree Stand

Bobson
January 5, 2014, 01:51 AM
Bow, 4 broadheaded arrows, 2 field pointed arrows. . .

But before I go to a new place I mark GPS coordinates on my phone, screen shot it and send a pic of the coordinates, and a screen shot of the area map with a dropped pin to my brother, father, and best friend. Never needed the help. But it only takes one time of being complacent to end up dead or severely injured and no one can come help you. I figure that's a minimum of what you should do before you go out.
Wise words.

Out of curiosity, why do you include two field point arrows on your hunts?

WayBeau
January 5, 2014, 07:38 AM
Went out yesterday with what I considered minimal and it turned out to be only slightly more than what I needed. I could have left the grunt tubes, heavy skinning knife, and liner gloves in the truck since it's a little late for grunting and I ended up wearing my thicker gloves anyway. However, when the doe I shot piled up on the side of a steep hill, I was glad I hadn't taken out the two sections of 550-cord I put in there a while back. I actually thought about just putting my heavy gloves in my cargo pocket and hitting the woods. Kinda glad I didn't.

T.R.
January 5, 2014, 02:04 PM
I only carry what I need:

- compass
- toilet paper
- lighter
- small 10X binoculars by Bushnell
- 3 blade stockman knife
- BUCK model 105 hunting knife
- grunt tube
- rifle & 10 cartridges
- steel whistle
- small flashlight
- canteen ( 1 quart )
- License, tag, and short wire

TR

Daveboone
January 5, 2014, 07:45 PM
Where I am and how long I am going to be out will make a difference. For most of my deer hunting from my camp, I travel pretty light. Rifle, 5 rounds, knife, cord, flashlight, water. Add a light for pm hunts.All my hunting coats already have a firestarting kit (waxed cardboard, matchsafe,and firestick, compass and a small coil of paracord.
If I am bear hunting or going to be out for a good portion of the day, I have all the above in my pockets still ,but a thermocell in warm buggy weather, pee bottle, sandwich/ etc, and a fleece or vest, in a daypack.

Elkins45
January 5, 2014, 08:29 PM
I only hunt on my own property these days, so I don't need to carry very much. My pack holds my heavy jacket, flashlight, knife, binoculars, field dressing gloves, butt out tool, water. If I'm stand hunting I also include a tree stand safety harness. I might carry a grunt tube if I happen to remember it.

ZeroJunk
January 5, 2014, 09:02 PM
The only thing I take hunting that I don't always have on me is something to drink and a flashlight. If I am in the Rocky Mountain wilderness you can add a sandwich to that.

Bobson
January 6, 2014, 02:30 AM
The only thing I take hunting that I don't always have on me is something to drink and a flashlight. If I am in the Rocky Mountain wilderness you can add a sandwich to that.
You typically walk around with a rifle/bow, but not a flashlight or bottle of water?

=P

Bobson
January 6, 2014, 02:36 AM
Bow, 4 broadheaded arrows, 2 field pointed arrows. . .
I'd love to hear the thought-process behind this, BigBore44. Why take field point arrows hunting? Never been bowhunting, but been interested in it and am working on my gear.

Pete D.
January 6, 2014, 04:37 AM
Choices depend on what and how one is hunting. Sitting in a tree blind all day...sitting on a paint bucket in your backyard....walking a lot....different needs. Terrain?
Most of the posts above reference some sort of big game hunt.
I hunt upland game exclusively....i have the setter, Belle, with me all the time.
I carry what I consider a minimalist gun....a 16 gauge flintlock fowler and maybe a half dozen reloads.
I have a whistle, a compass, a bird knife, a small hatchet, about 3ft of baling wire for repairing things - from rips in fabric or shoes/use as a snare, etc.. Matches or a lighter. a roll of medical stretch tape. A refillable water filtered bottle. A snack of some sort for both myself and the dog.
I can walk all day with this.

Elkins45
January 6, 2014, 08:06 AM
I'd love to hear the thought-process behind this, BigBore44. Why take field point arrows hunting? Never been bowhunting, but been interested in it and am working on my gear.
I used to carry an arrow with a bludgeon point in case I wanted to whack a squirrel who made the mistake of climbing up a nearby tree. That was back when I used to eat squirrels (and bowhunt).

Barry the Bear
January 6, 2014, 09:08 AM
I normally take a rifle(winchester mod 70 in .243 win.),smith and wesson model 29(for back up),condor hudson bay knife,i dont use binoculars as I just use scope,a small pocket flashlight, and 2 speedloaders for the 29.

ZeroJunk
January 6, 2014, 04:22 PM
You typically walk around with a rifle/bow, but not a flashlight or bottle of water?

=P
I was hoping that most would be sharp enough to grant that.

kbbailey
January 8, 2014, 09:15 PM
I used to carry an arrow with a bludgeon point in case I wanted to whack a squirrel

I know a guy who carries a bludgeon point for those times when you get 'made' by a doe and all she wants to do is blow and flag you. Rather than have her hang around a ruin your stand, you can encourage her to move along. (Recurves only)

torqem
January 8, 2014, 09:45 PM
A lot depends upon climate and terrain. I aint going into the mountains, late in the year, without quite a bit of "survival" type gear. I hunt alone, tho, and I'm getting older. My actual hunting tools don't change.

ApacheCoTodd
January 14, 2014, 10:55 PM
Rifle, knives, binos, fire fixins, warm&drystuff, 550 cord, whistle, water and some calories.

cammogunner
January 16, 2014, 06:24 PM
I carry a rifle a knife and a little cammo belt bag that has in it...spare ammo 3-4 rounds..latex gloves 2 pair....small shapening stone....sometimes a cig lighter... and I also carry my grunr call and
Ratling bag that's it don't know if that's minamalist or not

kbbailey
January 19, 2014, 09:39 PM
......reminds me of an old Steve Martin bit:
Gun, knives, fire, warm clothes, ammo, binos, tp, food, drink, axe, rope, tent, light, that's all I need. And this lamp. And this phonebook that's it. That's all I need. And this spotting scope. And a torch that's it. And my cell phone, and that's all.....cause I travel light. And my permits.

LRShooting
January 26, 2014, 12:29 AM
Well, I guess you could consider me a minimalist with what your asking. I never feel like spending money on gear, so I hunt with my farm work overalls and a pocket knife and gun. The obvious permits, hunter orange, and cellphone come along too.

torqem
January 27, 2014, 09:21 PM
A lot depends upon where you are. In the mountains, I aint going without 15lbs of pack, camping gear, medical, sleep gear, extra clothing, etc, 1/2 gallon of water and a lb or so of food. If I was carrying nothing more than a shotgun or a bolt action, I'd for sure have my EDC pocket 9 along, too. No matter if it's july, it can get down to 50+ F in the daytime, and snow at night, at 10,000 ft or so, Add some wind and rain, and you can be all messed up in a less than an hour, if you lack the gear to handle it. Water can be a long walk off, too. As in 1/2 a day's hike, and then you have to walk back to your hunting area.

heathkiks
January 30, 2014, 11:20 PM
I normally take a rifle(winchester mod 70 in .243 win.),smith and wesson model 29(for back up),condor hudson bay knife,i dont use binoculars as I just use scope,a small pocket flashlight, and 2 speedloaders for the 29.
This is a big pet peeve of mine (not to mention gun safety 101) and have been "looked" at by a someone using a scope to scout, I hope that he learned his lesson after I caught up with him and broke his nose.

Anyway, I only carry what is necessary. That could mean anything from 35-80lb on a 5 day hunt.

m1k3dasa1nt
February 7, 2014, 10:21 PM
Yes camera!!! Disposable. Negligible weight with incalculable memories. Filing a "flight plan" is ALWAYS the first step regardless where and why you go. Communication is vital to ALL animals. Warm and dry. Exposure will show you the bright light a lot quicker than thirst or hunger. Fire making. First aid. Water treatment. Chocolate or whatever makes you smile. A happy smile does wonders for one's attitude (and those around them). A Kukri is indispensable. A 4" folding knife. Jerky and 2 cans of "Chef" and you're well under 12 pounds. 8 pound rifle and ammo. Rope. Let's say 20 pounds on the outside. If it is an overnight in cold climes I would consider a second pair of boots. That pack would never be beyond arms reach. Start there. Then if you find yourself yearning for something you can always add.

m1k3dasa1nt
February 7, 2014, 10:42 PM
Side note...Bumper sticker I was behind
VEGETARIAN
old Indian word for bad hunter
hahahahahahah

mbt2001
February 8, 2014, 03:39 PM
Minimalism is a romantic ideal. I bring what is convenient, what I Might need, and what will keep me from suffering. I have spent too much time freezing to not want to have proper layers somewhere nearby.

KC45
February 14, 2014, 05:13 PM
Here in FL you don't need much but you need water.
It doesn't matter if you are just going to the tree stand 500 yards from your farm house or going 5 miles in public land, you need water. We had a guy here who almost died of heatstroke when he went hunting less than half mile from his house one morning couple summers ago. He broke his leg while coming down from the tree stand and had to crawl home and got over heated after he finished his soda. He was lucky his wife went looking for him when he didn't come home for lunch.
I've been known to go out wearing shorts and tee shirt with Krocs on my foot. I carry my rifle in one hand and Camelbak in the other hand. I can always walk 500 yards back to the house if I need anything else. Oh yeah, I always carry my cellular phone.

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