Late fall has been unseasonably mild for us in northcentral BC. Despite flirting with winter for a few days in late October, the little snow we had has now all but disappeared after days and days of above zero temperatures and rainy nights. By this point, I am normally bundled up in my warmest of camo, embraced by the warmth of my boyfriend’s oversized wool jacket and hunting pants.
That’s not how my deer season is playing out this year – it’s all about the layers and rain gear, baby! And while I typically have switched my backpack around for the colder weather by now, the spring-like conditions have me only partially swapping around the gear that I pack with me daily.
Of course, some essentials stay the same time and time again. My inReach, first aid kit, water bladder, Life Straw and headlamp stay in my pack year-round – as does a roll of flagging tape, my knives (which have either had the blades sharpened or exchanged so they are ready to go after lots of early season use) and the must-never-be-forgotten toilet paper. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down!
With all the rain that’s fallen, my poor hunting boots are struggling to keep my feet dry throughout the day. While they desperately need replacing, in the meantime I like to have a thick pair of warm socks in my pack just in case my feet get too wet. Same thing goes for my toque and gloves – having an extra one of each to switch out when things get too soggy makes a world of a difference.
In the spirit of attempting to keep dry, my hunting attire is a bit different than it normally is this time of year. Instead of switching to warmer gear, I’m getting creative with layering underneath my early season camo – and tucking rain pants and a rain jacket into my day pack, ready to throw on at a moment’s notice if the forecast takes a turn for the worse.
This last addition, while undoubtedly a bit of a luxury, I like to think of as a way of making a dreary, cold November day of hunting more enjoyable. A Jetboil, freeze-dried meal and some tea are worth a bit of extra weight on my shoulders. In early fall, I can get by with just some jerky, trail mix or granola bars; but the colder temperatures sure make a person appreciate a bit of a warm meal while trekking through the wet brush.
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