As a break in the last half-dozen or so deer hunt updates from my 2013 season, I figured I’d make a quick post about a new piece of backcountry hunting gear I picked up with some Christmas money.
If you followed the gear reviews, physical preparation, and execution of my DIY Colorado elk hunt in 2012, then you’ll probably remember some of the disgusting water that was consumed via the Sawyer filtering system. On that trip, 2 of the guys were armed with Sawyer filters and the other 2 simply had filter-less bladders that we filled twice daily. It worked but we also wasted a solid 20-30 minutes daily just filtering water for each other. The alternative is to splice in a Sawyer filter directly into your bladder’s water line and drink as needed. Unscrew the lid on your bladder, fill with stream, pond, seep, or elk wallow water, screw the lid back on, and start walking again.
Previously, you had to purchase a water bottle kit and pilfer the filter from the rest of the equipment and it ran about $40. Now, there is a new Sawyer MINI that runs only $20. The flow rate is SLIGHTLY less and the need to back-flush becomes a SLIGHTLY more regular necessity, but this water filter is the real deal and has some neat features that allows you extreme versatility. Splice into a water bladder line, screw onto the top of a water bottle, attach a straw (included) and drink directly from a creek or pond, the list goes on.
I adapted mine into the Badlands water bladder that has served me well over a couple trips now and am so far extremely impressed. Same exact functionality of the filters that I was originally excited about, now at half the cost.
While I don’t have exact dates and commitments on the books yet, I’ll tease you with my long-term 2 year outlook on hunt plans. This September, I hope to spend 7-10 days chasing elk back in Colorado. Next spring, I’ve been planning a spring black bear hunt to a wilderness area in northwest Montana. For fall 2015, Kodiak Island, Alaska for Sitka black-tailed deer is high on the priority list. I’ll also have accumulated enough Wyoming antelope preference points to take a trip to one of the more premier hunt units in 2015 as well. I’ll continue my point accumulation for other species in other states, and there is always the near-certainty of an annual white-tailed deer hunt in the mix as well.
Again, just a teaser of what might be around the corner. The preparation, planning, and anticipation is honestly half the fun of planning annual “once-in-a-lifetime” trips. Hours spent pouring over maps, hunting forums, aerial images, gear lists – all part of the passion that drives me.
Alright, enough dreamy talk – back to deer hunt updates in the next post.