Suggestions on Gear
CLOTHING: Bring as much wool as you can afford. Wool is warm when wet, durable and quiet. Light and medium weight wool is highly preferred over a heavy weight wool garment. In this climate and terrain you need to dress in layers. Archery season can be rather warm and the end of the rifle elk season very cold. Clothing should be comfortably baggy to allow freedom of movement and air space for insulation. Be sure to allow sufficient roominess in order to layer your clothes. Add your raingear on top of everything else to be sure it's big enough.
Try to bring as little clothing as possible that is made of nylon or other noisy fabrics. When necessary, substitute cotton, flannel or denim as these are quiet fabrics. Be conscious of the noise factor, especially in outerwear. Daypacks need to be checked as well. Test the noise level of the fabric when it's moved or rubbed. Consider shiny objects that might flash in the sun and alert wary game. Hunter orange is NOT required in Idaho but may be used in small amounts if you feel more comfortable.
RAIN GEAR - This is a must! Bring a good quality rain coat and pants. Cheap plastic will tear easily and leave you miserable. Most raingear will be a "noisy" fabric, but that is better than being wet.
HANDS - Insulated and water repellent gloves will be useful while riding or inactive if it turns wet and cold. Gloves should be easy to dry by a fire.
HEAD & NECK - A hat that sheds water and keeps in body heat is handy. Try to find one field hat that will offer you the most protection. A brim or visor to keep sun and/or rain out and maybe flaps for your ears. Something to tie or wear around your neck will conserve body heat if you're sitting still, once you start moving again you will probably want to take it off. A stocking cap will reduce heat loss while sleeping.
FOOTWEAR - Bring well broken-in, sturdy boots. Vibram soles will give good traction. Non-insulated will dry faster, but be sure to wear enough socks to stay warm. Wool socks with 100% cotton liners are great for feet sensitive to blisters or sweating. If you are prone to blisters stop at the first sign and put "moleskin" on the sensitive area. This will save you a lot of misery later. Also bring waterproof boots or Pack Boots that have rubber bottoms and leather uppers with felt liners. These aren't great for walking in but are GOOD to have if the weather is cold.
SLEEPING BAG - Good quality, winter-rated bag with 4-5 pounds of synthetic insulation. We do not recommend down bags as they will not keep you warm if they get wet and they are hard to get dry. A mattress pad will be provided to help insulate your backside when sleeping on your cot.
DUFFLE BAGS - Gear should be packed in sturdy duffle bags so that can be transported on horseback. Two smaller bags are much better than one big heavy bag. Your sleeping bag and pad are okay in its stuff sacks. Have plastic trash bags handy to cover each piece of your gear in case of rain on pack-in day. All gear is wrapped in canvas mantes for loading. TOTAL GEAR SHOULD NOT EXCEED 50 POUNDS EXCLUDING SLEEPING BAG, RIFLE OR BOW AND AMMO.
DAYPACK – A comfortable fitting shoulder or fanny pack will be used daily while hunting. You will also have a saddle bag to put gear in but you will not always be with your horse.
PERSONAL NEEDS - Please bring a small amount of your own personal products you regularly use such as antacids, decongestants, rash or hemorrhoid ointment, eye drops or pain relievers. We normally have on hand a variety of over-the-counter remedies, but possibly not your favorite. The staff is trained in first aid and will have a first aid kit, but it would be wise on your part to carry a small first aid kit with you in the field so you can treat a minor injury immediately.
MISCELLANEOUS - Large plastic trash bags and an assortment of "Ziploc" storage bags are so handy that it's well worth it to bring a few long.
CAMERAS - Equipment should be water-resistant and have padded cases. If you pack cameras (or any other breakables) in your duffle be sure and let the packers know before they start loading so they can cushion those spots.
FIREARMS - We recommend rifles of 270 caliber or better with scopes of 4X or variable power. Scopes improve clarity of vision in timbered areas. A scabbard will protect your rifle while you are on horseback and still provide easy access. We have scabbards available if you do not have your own.
MEAT BAGS - Are used to cover game quarters or halves to keep meat clean when transporting. Elk require 4, deer and bear require 2 each. Most sporting good stores sell these in appropriately sized packages.
BINOCULARS or SPOTTING SCOPE - Optional but highly recommended. Small lightweight mini-size binoculars are great and easy to carry.
SPACE BLANKET & MATCHES - You should stick these lightweight emergency items in your day pack and carry them with you. With a space blanket and a container of waterproof matches and/or a disposable lighter you have the means for heat and shelter from wind, rain or cold if necessary.
SMALL CANTEEN OR THERMOS - (unbreakable) The cook will fix hot or cold beverages to go upon request.
PRE-HUNT PHYSICAL CONDITIONING - The country you will be hunting in is extremely rugged. Hunting in good physical shape pays off. Any conditioning you choose to do that will strengthen your legs and wind will help you enjoy your hunt more; especially if you are not very active now. Most clients come from office jobs, so we expect you to set the pace for the hunt. Our guides will hunt as hard as you want to hunt. Success can be determined by your ability to hunt hard each and every day.
Suggestions as to what to Bring on your Trip
Flannel or wool shirts - 2 to 3
Long Johns - 2 pair top and bottom (Polypropylene Underwear work great)
Jeans - 2 pairs
Wool pants -1 light, 1 heavy
4-8 pair wool socks
Comfortable shoes for camp -1 pair
Waterproof boots with good tread for hunting -1 pair
Light boots with good tread for hunting -1 pair
Hats -1 stocking, 1 baseball cap
Gloves - 2 pair (Wool Gloves are recommended)
Wool or cotton warm outer coat
Rain gear-nylon or rubber coat and pants (not Plastic)
400 Square inches of Hunter Orange
1 small wash cloth
1 small hand towel
1 bath towel
prescription glasses & spare or contact lens kit
Compressible Sleeping Bag rated to zero degrees & Pillow
Bring your own candy stash
A Fanny Pack or Day Pack with:
2 sm. LED flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs (head light works best)
2 Bic Lighters
Waterproof fire starting kit
50' of parachute cord
Surveyor's flagging tape
Small notebook and pen
Binoculars or spotting scope
Range finder (Optional)
1 emergency "space blanket"
2 heavy duty large plastic trash bags
4-6 assorted "Ziploc" storage bags
Small candle stub
Additional Prescription medication if needed
Camera and Film
Rifle/scope with sling
Scabbard (check with us first, we have some available)
Ammunition (at least one full box)
Small gun cleaning kit
A minimum of 400 sq. inches of Blaze orange is required (a camouflage pattern does NOT meet this requirement)
Camouflage clothing in brown and grey colors
Hard case for bow
Extra bow string
Compound bow stringer
Extra peep sight
Remember, 2 duffle bags for your gear, totaling less than 50 pounds, excluding rifle/bow.