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Thread: Float Hunt Must Haves (but not really)

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    Default Float Hunt Must Haves (but not really)

    We are getting our gear ready for shipment next week and finalizing the last odds and ends. I'm working off Mike's gear list and limited to 125 lbs/person and currently sitting at 100 with all the necessities (food, shelter, clothing, gun/ammo, etc).

    This is our first float hunt (moose) and we know that we will ultimately have several things with us that we never use and probably some that we wished we thought of.

    So all that said what are some of those things that you came back from your first trip saying "I really wished I had ...." ??

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I wish I had more snacks, candy, nuts, granola, etc.

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    Mesh rock bags (Campmor) to secure tent corners rather than stakes if camping on gravel bars. If you are using stakes, perhaps in unison with rock bags, use the MSR Rockbuster stakes. Many of the metal ones I tried prior to going this route look like pretzels in some landfill now.

    Take twice as much guy out line as you think you will use. Comes in handy if the weather turns south on you. Reflective guy line is a must if you drink as much as I do on float trips.

    Tape a disposable spoon to any Mountain House lasagna packs, you will spend an hour trying to get cheese off lexan spoons.

    Even better, stop eating the Mt House all together. I am now buying food from Pack it Gourmet. Ten times better taste and cost is the same, portions are the same or bigger. Their gumbo, chicken and dumplins, banana pudding, lemon cheesecake, pumkin cheese cake, hot pepperoni rolls, chedder jack cheese spread, etc... will class up any gravel bar meal. It is just better food, plain and simple.

    If drinking coffee, take Pete's Arabian Mocha Java and order online to get medium ground. It won't slip through the french press. As for the french press, the 30 ounce GSI lexan is the best I have found.

    Don't vacuum seal dried fruit, especially apricots or mango's. It is a sticky mess when you go to eating it.

    A few of the individually wrapped gun oil wipes and a silicone cloth keep firearms in good order.

    The only decent collapsible water bucket I ever bought was from LL Bean's website. A blue, heavier material, folding bucket that actually stays erect.

    A Petzl e-lite is the perfect head lamp for around camp, especially inside the tent. Smaller than anything out there, batteries last forever.

    Baby wipes come in handy to keep clean on longer trips and pack well. Rinseless shampoo (campmor, rei, etc..) is great. Just get head wet and run some shampoo through your head and air dry. Almost feels like you got a shower.

    If you use a dutch oven (aluminum of course) bake a batch of biscuits after dinner and have biscuits and gravy for breakfast, just the instant kind of gravy mix in the morning and you are ready to eat.

    Hot chocolate and 100 proof peppermint schnapps is one hell of a campfire drink.

    Duct tape and paracord will fix 90% of things on the planet. Mini rolls of duct tape can be found at Campmor, REI, etc..

    3 packs of instant oat meal or grits is an easy and quick breakfast. Put beef jerky, dried fruit, Cliff Shot Bloks, and a candy bar in a quart freezer bag for lunch. Make dinner special every night, aluminum dutch oven is 3-4 lbs and Bisquick garlic biscuits sure go good with grayling gumbo.

    If using a frying pan or dutch oven, don't take oil, it is messy and heavy. Buy powdered shortening from Harvest Foodworks (Canada). Just as it sounds, it is powdered oil, just sprinkle it on the pan/dutch oven, and heat turns it to oil.

    Take ISI flexible silicone bowls to eat out of. You can order them in varying sizes on Amazon. Big enough for 3 packs of oatmeal for breakfast, and any gumbo, chilli, etc.. you have for dinner. They pack anywhere due to be flexible and clean easy. The silicone is great for holding piping hot food. Ever tried that with one of them titanium bowls? They also make a silicone flexible 1, 2, 4, etc.. measuring cup.

    On cold weather trips, throw a Nalgene full of water in the foot of your sleeping bag. In really cold weather, boil water first then put in the bag just before bed. Either way, you wake up with 'room temp' water for boiling for breakfast/coffee and this saves you fuel due to less time to boil.

    Carry smokes and lighter in a small Pelican style case.

    Always have 2-3 devices to make a fire, one of which is always on your person. Mini bic is my choice as much as I hate to admit it.

    Take twice as much liquor as you think you will drink. Must think about the gravel bar factor. Everything is 1.5 times better. Food, company, liquor, etc.. you always need more liquor around a willow fire than when at home.

    And the most important thing of all, a 1 liter gatorade or wide mouth soda bottle. When you wake up at 3 am to pee from all the liquor, sure is nice turning on the Petzl e-lite headlamp and peeing in the bottle rather than walking outside in the cold, barefooted on gravel, trying not to trip over your guy lines, hoping a bear ain't eating the biscuits out of your dutch oven.

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    Question gr8 tips

    Wow. Some great info there. Nice reference to the food source - I didn't know about them. Have you tried their Za'tar sauce? I'm ready to order it and eat it here; the heck with waiting until I can get back out and about...

    http://www.packitgourmet.com/Zatar-D...auce-p150.html

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Take ISI flexible silicone bowls to eat out of. You can order them in varying sizes on Amazon. Big enough for 3 packs of oatmeal for breakfast, and any gumbo, chilli, etc.. you have for dinner. They pack anywhere due to be flexible and clean easy. The silicone is great for holding piping hot food. Ever tried that with one of them titanium bowls? They also make a silicone flexible 1, 2, 4, etc.. measuring cup.

    believe it or not...
    PETCO in the travel isle for your dog... water bowls and feed bowls that fit in her purse collapsible... and affordable
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Good stuff Danno!! I'll be runnin Hawk Vittles for lunch and dinners and filling the void with some breakfast skillets, oatmeal and bagels.

    Another good option for you coffee lovers is to stop by All I Saw cookware in Wasilla and check out there selection of gourmet coffee. Over 40 selections, some pretty high end stuff in there at $30/lb. that's where I get the goods.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Make sure to have several tarps. Nice to use one for a cook tent, meat cover etc.....
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    That's a great question. We are getting together this afternoon and going thru our gear to get rid of duplicates we don't need. I never thought about a pee bottle for night or putting a bottle of water in the bottom of my sleeping bag. Wouldn't want to get those mixed up. We have numbered our boxes 1 thru X and made a list of what's in each box. We are sending them parcel post with insurance and return receipt next weekthru the U.S. mail. This way if one of them doesn't make it we'll know exactly what we need to replace before we leave in September. Yes, I'm getting excited...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 450grandpa View Post
    We are sending them parcel post
    You're likely aware that parcel post takes about 6 weeks; it literally goes by slow boat to get here.

    If you need to re-mail anything or mail extra, with less than a week to go, try usps priority flat rate boxes. Not a cheap as parcel post, but it often arrives in 3 days and shipping cost is reasonable. Free boxes to do this can be picked up at any Post Office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    You're likely aware that parcel post takes about 6 weeks; it literally goes by slow boat to get here.

    If you need to re-mail anything or mail extra, with less than a week to go, try usps priority flat rate boxes. Not a cheap as parcel post, but it often arrives in 3 days and shipping cost is reasonable. Free boxes to do this can be picked up at any Post Office.
    +1,,, Last package I got PP took almost 6 weeks. It also gets worse around Xmas and hunting season. Lots of guys get here and have to buy more gear or do without.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Made my lunches today. As I said earlier, I don't cook lunch anymore. When floating, especially mid day, I don't want to stop and cook anything. Also, this allows me to pack the stove, pots, etc.. away with my gear each morning while packing camp rather than storing it in an easy to reach mesh bag or what have you. With no cook lunches, you can focus on the task at hand. Covering miles, hunting, fishing, whatever. I made twelve 1200 calorie each lunch bags today and the total volume is about the size of a basketball. Not bad for all lunches for a 13 day float trip. Dried fruit and GORP went into the 1/2 size sandwich bags. Beef/cheddar sticks and small summer sausage into some. Cereal bars in some, granola bars in some. Clif shot bloks (200 cal and many electrolytes) into all bags. After pic was taken, added 20 or so chocolate covered expresso beans to each bag. 1200 calories per bag. Fiber from the fruit. Fat from the meat/cheese. Calories from most everything. Much better (to me) than a sodium loaded Mt House. And my favorite aspect aside from the variety, no cooking time required.





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    Another cool tool to have with several uses, lightweight. 5000# rating. Baby snatch block for a the rope a long. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1343623235.794718.jpg
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    +1,,, Last package I got PP took almost 6 weeks. It also gets worse around Xmas and hunting season. Lots of guys get here and have to buy more gear or do without.
    We have all of our stuff boxed and I am planning on sending it August 2nd. Hopefully weather permitting, we'll be flying out
    for our hunt beginning September 14th. That should be enough time I hope. If not, we'll buy whatever didn't arrrive in Fairbanks.

  14. #14

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    Perhaps already on your list or mentioned by someone else, but if not consider bringing along some comfy camp shoes. Tevas, Crocs, old sneakers, whatever you like. On a float hunt you're either living in your waders or hunting boots. It is nice to give your feet a breather in the evening while hanging out around camp, doing light chores, sitting by the fire, etc.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 450grandpa View Post
    We have all of our stuff boxed and I am planning on sending it August 2nd. Hopefully weather permitting, we'll be flying out
    for our hunt beginning September 14th. That should be enough time I hope. If not, we'll buy whatever didn't arrrive in Fairbanks.
    Steve was 100% correct. parcel post to AK can take a minimum.. of 4-6 weeks.. the added expence of first class.. is worth not owning two of each at the end of your hunt...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default Another tip

    Quote Originally Posted by 450grandpa View Post
    We have all of our stuff boxed and I am planning on sending it August 2nd. Hopefully weather permitting, we'll be flying out
    for our hunt beginning September 14th. That should be enough time I hope. If not, we'll buy whatever didn't arrrive in Fairbanks.
    That is some gambling, there. Despite my present sig line, I'd give you an 80-90 percent chance of complete success with your mailing. Glad you have a plan B, and it sounds like a good one.

    Since you're very tight, time wise, consider using labels that will route your boxes with little/no human USPS intervention, which is bar coding. If you go to usps.com you can download a program for free from called Click-N-Ship, which will print out very nicely formatted bar codes and human readable labels. I've used Click-N-Ship's previous version called USPS Shipping Assistant quite a lot, and it did all that plus gave me free online tracking for my shipments.

    Another tip is to put clear packing tape over all human and computer readable labels, so that sweat off the brow of the tireless postal service employees won't make the labels you print smear and become unreadable.

    Have a wonderful trip, and post lots of pictures on here when you return.

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    I went to the post office and mailed all of our stuff today. The computer said the delivery date is August 17th. The lady at the post office just laughed. It has 6 weeks to get there so I'm hoping we'll be O.K. I'm glad you guys mentioned it takes between 4 to 6 weeks to get stuff there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Made my lunches today. As I said earlier, I don't cook lunch anymore. When floating, especially mid day, I don't want to stop and cook anything. Also, this allows me to pack the stove, pots, etc.. away with my gear each morning while packing camp rather than storing it in an easy to reach mesh bag or what have you. With no cook lunches, you can focus on the task at hand. Covering miles, hunting, fishing, whatever. I made twelve 1200 calorie each lunch bags today and the total volume is about the size of a basketball. Not bad for all lunches for a 13 day float trip. Dried fruit and GORP went into the 1/2 size sandwich bags. Beef/cheddar sticks and small summer sausage into some. Cereal bars in some, granola bars in some. Clif shot bloks (200 cal and many electrolytes) into all bags. After pic was taken, added 20 or so chocolate covered expresso beans to each bag. 1200 calories per bag. Fiber from the fruit. Fat from the meat/cheese. Calories from most everything. Much better (to me) than a sodium loaded Mt House. And my favorite aspect aside from the variety, no cooking time required.




    Dan, whats the plan for this trip?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Default Hands!

    I don't have an answer for this, so hopefully the experienced floaters will pitch in, but you need to bring items to take care of your hands. After a couple days of floating, you fingers are going to start to crack and become VERY painful. I suspect there is a way to prevent this, and good ways to deal with the situation when/if it happens, but with all the planning and prep I did before my hunt, I don't recall reading or being warned of this issue anywhere. I know Larry touches on it a bit in a few of his videos, but I guess I just glassed over those parts without a second thought. I wish I had picked up on the hint and planned for it. We ended up using med tape, duck tape, applying various med creams and wearing cleaning/surgical gloves to bed at night, all kinds of crazy stuff. Again, I don't have the answer, but have been meaning to ping the experts ever since I got back, and just haven't gotten around to it. Be sure you don't make the same mistake... be prepared. Or better yet, prevent it from happening if possible.

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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 450grandpa View Post
    That's a great question. We are getting together this afternoon and going thru our gear to get rid of duplicates we don't need. I never thought about a pee bottle for night or putting a bottle of water in the bottom of my sleeping bag. Wouldn't want to get those mixed up. We have numbered our boxes 1 thru X and made a list of what's in each box. We are sending them parcel post with insurance and return receipt next weekthru the U.S. mail. This way if one of them doesn't make it we'll know exactly what we need to replace before we leave in September. Yes, I'm getting excited...
    - Depending on how far north you are floating. Add a garbage bag for your waders and put them in the tent with you. It beats the heck out thawing them enough to get your feet in frozen boots!

    - As others Tarps, Duct Tape and rope/cord are must haves!

    - I always bring one Ice Chest with real food. I cook gumbo and the wife cooks stew, then we freeze them in 2 qt blocks to serve as ice to help keep everything in the ice chest cold. Only open it when necessary and keep it away from heat and it will keep for the whole trip. Once empty it's a great drybox. I use it for my backstraps and tnederloins.
    - My gear is on the way now :-)

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