Winter has ceased its final death throes and Spring is moving in quickly. As such, the outdoor seasons are upon us! Its time to dust off your camping gear, repack your ruck and get ready to hit the trail. Below I’ll discuss my hiking and hunting loadouts.
One of the most crucial elements to a successful day on the mountain or in the valley is a solid pair of boots. They should be well broken in before you rely on them for extended use! Most Rangers I know used to (and still do) wear their boots in the shower a couple of times to shorten the break-in period. This year I’ll be taking out Danner’s ultralight Tachyon for mountain hiking and their all-purpose Reckoning for when I’m stalking game.
While wonder fabrics and stretchy-wicking-hydrorepulsive materials have carved off a large segment of the outdoor clothing market, few come close to the all-around performance of good ‘ol wool. So, unless it’s mighty hot out, I’ll be wearing Prometheus Design Werx’s Woodsman shirt. Given how often we’re prone to rain here in the Pacific Northwest, wool’s ability to insulate when wet (and regulate temperature when hot) make it a sage choice.
For camping I still like the spacious interior of my old Alice rucksack. For hunting, something a little more svelte is in order. Vorn Equipment’s Lynx pack, with its built-in quick-release rifle scabbard is just the ticket. With the Lynx more suitable for a day trip, Vorn offers a larger version for extended forays into the wilds.
With a Glock 17 tagging along for general purpose use, I like to keep it secured in a Safariland QLS holster (the 7377 7TS). The QLS system makes switching mounting platforms a breeze, and the holster itself is top notch. When it’s game I’m after, it’s almost always my Remington 700 SPS Tactical AAC-SD I’m carrying. If so, it’s riding in the above mentioned Vorn Lynx pack.
It almost seems unfair to put so many items in the “misc” category when they can make or break a trip. Each warranted its own article and received it, so here’s a summary of what else fills up my ruck.
- Nite Ize LED mini glow stick. Great for marking people and places in the dark.
- Princeton Tec’s Fred Headlamp. Tiny weight, effective function.
- Nikon Monarch rangefinder. This has made it into my range bag more often than my hunting gear, but this fall promises to be one where I need just this capability.
- Geigerrig Tactical hydration unit. 70 fl oz in a rugged, pressurized design.
- Kershaw Blur. This is in my EDC, which follows me to the forest as well. Sharp blade, excellent grip.
There are of course other items take see their way into my gear. As they become more permanent pieces I’ll include them in the next loadout article. Let me know in the comments below what your loadouts for hunting and hiking look like.