Planning a remote hunt in northern BC requires detailed packing. You are limited by weight and space but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice on the essentials. Some gear is simply too important to leave behind on a remote hunt. The following four items are simple and easy to overlook but you’ll be thankful for stuffing them in your pack.
Rain Gear + Pack Cover
Northern BC is a wet environment and rain is sometimes more of the rule than the exception. The foliage is also often wet and quality rain gear is an absolute necessity for bushwhacking through the willows and spruce thickets. Buy the best rain jacket and pants that you can afford. A lightweight, easily packable rain system is the best bet as it will work into your existing layering system without eating up too much pack space.
Modern rain gear is impressive with designs that pack down to a fist size ball that weighs mere ounces. Covering your pack is also important to keep your gear dry. Some packs come with built-in covers or you can purchase one separately. Check with your backpack manufacturer for the best sizing and recommendations.
First Aid and Repair Kit
Remote hunting calls for a quality first aid kit and a repair kit for equipment. The two have some overlap and can be creatively purposed to treat injuries and make field repairs to gear. Pack along some antiseptic, gauze, tape, thread, super glue, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, Benadryl and a few safety pins. The tape, thread and super glue can work for temporary repairs on bows, packs and clothes. They can also treat wounds and close cuts. Safety pins repair fabric and can turn a shirt into a sling.
Also throw in some fabric patches for tears in backpacks, rain gear and clothing – look for Tenacious Tape made by GearAid. It can repair nearly any clothing or tent material. If you get hot spots on your feet, the tape can even double as a blister treatment. However, Compeed Blister Pads are a better option for preventing and treating blisters.
Finally, put a few wraps of black electrical tape around the base of a Bic lighter. A lighter in your emergency kit can come in handy. Plus, the electrical tape serves a number of purposes, from covering your rifle barrel to simple repairs.
A quality light source is critical when hunting in the backcountry. I carry an extra headlamp and spare batteries as well. Check your batteries and bulb before heading out on a hunt. You’ll need it for camp setup, navigating around camp in the dark and for field dressing and packing out a kill.
Hot showers are not available in all remote wilderness camps, but keeping clean makes hunting much more enjoyable. Keep a package of baby wipes and some Gold Bond powder in your duffel bag at camp. It’s amazing how much a simple wet wipe bath can make you feel better after a long day of hunting.
When you put on a fresh pair of socks in the morning, throwing an extra pair in your daypack may not cross your mind. But hunting in British Columbia is often wet and hard on your feet. Having an extra pair of socks can be a game changer on the mountain. Keep a clean, dry pair of socks in your backpack and swap them out if your feet become wet and soggy throughout the day. On a tough day of hunting, a fresh pair of socks can make a big difference to keep you going. You might even begin carrying extra socks on all your hunts.
On most hunts at Kawdy Outfitters, we use horses to cover a lot of ground. But adding a set of trekking poles to your daypack can be a great idea. Even though horses do a lot of the work, hunters can still expect to tie up the animals and hunt on foot. Stone sheep and mountain goat hunters will be required to tackle especially steep terrain.
Take the pressure off your knees and get through those tough climbs with the assistance of poles. I resisted poles for years and wish I hadn’t because they extend your range and save your legs on those ultra steep slopes.
Pick up a lightweight, collapsible set of trekking poles like the Leki Micro Vario, which break down to about 16-inches, easily fitting in any daypack.
Optional – Backcountry Stove System
Backpacking stoves are not necessary on day hunts but they can be nice. Carry a single stove for the entire group and bring along hot chocolate, tea, instant coffee or whatever warms you and feels good. When you’re several hours into a day hunt and the wind is blowing on exposed slopes, using a lightweight stove system like the MSR Reactor to make fresh coffee helps the mental game. These stoves require surprisingly little space and heat water quickly. You can even keep these types of items in the saddlebags on your horse to avoid carrying extra weight in your daypack.
Contact Us with Questions
If you have questions about what to bring on a guided hunt in northern British Columbia, please contact us anytime. We look forward to helping you plan and pack for a memorable hunting trip! To learn more about the guided hunts we offer, please explore the rest of the website. For more gear-specific recommendations, please see the Gear Page here.