logs burning in fire
episode 89 | Nov 8, 2022
Hunting & Fishing

Ep. 89: Fly in Backcountry Hunting

Travis Bader and Paul Ballard have a fireside chat in a hunting lodge, recounting the many lessons learned from past hunts in the remote Canadian wilderness. This episode is designed to be a primer for those who are interested in broadening their remote back country adventures and to act as a resource for everyone to ask questions and share their knowledge in the comments section.
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Transcript

[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader, and this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for.

[00:00:40] If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at Silvercore.ca.

[00:00:51] Okay, we're sitting in a hunting shack. 

[00:00:54] Paul Ballard: Huddle Duck 

[00:00:55] Travis Bader: Lodge Huddle Duck Lodge. Myself and recurring podcast guest, Paul Ballard. I don't remember him from such episodes as first time Hunters, What Firearm to look for, what ignition to look for. And we were talking about fly-in hunts. 

[00:01:11] Paul Ballard: Yeah. Yeah. And we thought, you know, we live in this fantastic province where the hunting opportunities are, they're second to none.

[00:01:21] Yeah. The opportunities, the this, the variation in species that's available to a resident hunter here, but it's just a matter of getting to where some of those species are. 

[00:01:32] Travis Bader: Right? Yeah. Bc, beautiful British Columbia, fantastic hunting opportunities. And I know some people when they think about hunting, they think, Well, okay, I'm gonna be in remote, but you see, I wanna fly into an area, Jenny, for example.

[00:01:45] Mm-hmm. , you know, Jenny, her very first hunt, she went through her hunter education course, she met somebody else on the course and. They decide just to fly in. I think they flew into the itches. They went on a caribou hunt. They were successful, but there's so much that they learned on that hunt. That they wished they knew going into it, which would've saved them a whole lot of money, a lot of time.

[00:02:07] And that's kind of the purpose of this episode here, is to try to kind of get people on the right path. 

[00:02:12] Paul Ballard: Yeah. And I, after doing it, I dunno, 15 or 16 times now, I go back to that first trip and boy, I learned, uh, substantial amount. And with every subsequent trip I've learned, And you know, it, it, you know, if we can share that bit of experience with your listeners, with the members, uh, that are out there, so be it.

[00:02:34] And we also offer up, you know, the opportunity to ask some questions down the road here and we can help with answering that. Totally. 

[00:02:41] Travis Bader: So hopefully we can get through this in one episode. If not, it'll be two episodes. This is an attempt here, I'm doing some remote recording, the hunting lodge that we're in.

[00:02:51] No power. So we're operating off battery power for the lights, battery, power for the cameras battery, power for the audio. So it's all a learning experience. 

[00:02:58] Paul Ballard: Wood power over here is keeping us warm, a 

[00:03:00] Travis Bader: little wood power to a side. We'll do a pan around. We will throw that in as the intro so people can kind of see what the, uh, the 

[00:03:06] Paul Ballard: area here looks like.

[00:03:06] And what nobody knows is we have two d a WGS in the room as well. So if you hear a little bit of winding in the background, they want to get back out to the 

[00:03:16] Travis Bader: marsh. They do so fly in hunting. Lot of things to consider. We're looking at kit, uh, clothing, food, um, looking at accommodation, sleep systems, uh, tents we're looking at, 

[00:03:29] Paul Ballard: and let's kind of break, break it down, sort of, you know, the first and foremost thing to consider is what species do you want to pursue and what part of the province do you want to go to.

[00:03:38] Mm-hmm. . So as you mentioned, the itchy Mountains, which you know, Known for its caribou. Mm. Uh, that portion that goes, uh, region six is still open. Mm-hmm. at the north end of the itches and, and up into the CAS for, for caribou. So, uh, individual wants to pursue caribou. You pick a location and there you go. Um, I've been fortunate enough to harvest a caribou on a fly in trip.

[00:04:05] I wouldn't, it would've never occurred to me to go on a, a drive-in, uh, hunt for that. And, you know, we, we say in fly in, but, you know, honestly, fly in, um, Jet boat. Boat, boat. Yes. Almost identical, uh, for, you know, your weight restrictions, gear restrictions, space, space, space especially. It's shocking. People ought, you know, they look at these as being the one tru trucks of the, of the rivers, but they don't have a lot of room.

[00:04:32] Right. They've got a, they are very, very thirsty beasts. So a lot of what's taken up in deck space or storage space is, is, is 45 gallon drums full of fuel. Mm. Mm-hmm. , I mean, a lot of the outfitters will go out and stash fuel and, and, you know, have it that way. But it, it's a similar thing. So, , There are some options between the two.

[00:04:53] Uh, I have not done a, uh, Jetboat trip, but I've talked to enough people comparatively, and I think I'd stay with aircraft. Yes, a jetboat can get you in as long as the water's high enough a little bit later in the season. Mm-hmm. in some cases. Mm-hmm. . But that is the issue as you get later in the season, the trade off is, you know, the, if the water's going down, but, you know, the issue being with aircraft later on in the, in the season frees up.

[00:05:20] It's an no-go. So most of this is gonna happen, uh, before about the eighth of, of October. So we're talking for a northern British Columbia hunt. Uh, a lot of the seasons start to open early in August, mid-August. Mm-hmm. for the moose, uh, and the elk. And then with the closures on, you know, those species actually going much further.

[00:05:45] The reality is you gotta plan on being outta there towards the very first week of October. Mm-hmm. , 

[00:05:52] Travis Bader: when people are planning for these hunts, they're gonna be taking time off work. They're gonna get their friends to coordinate. Perhaps maybe they're going all by themselves, which is a daunting endeavor boy.

[00:06:03] Um, but there's a mindset that goes with it as well. If you're coming from a built up area, you're coming from a city environment and you're used to being able to go to your corner store and get your conveniences and having, uh, the competitive market of, of businesses around being Johnny on the spot for you, that changes a little bit when you get start talking to bush pilots.

[00:06:24] Well, yes. And boat captains and weather as 

[00:06:27] Paul Ballard: well. Right. And as you know, because you've done it, um, once you. , once you land there, they're not coming back to bring you toilet paper. Mm-hmm. , you know, if you've forgotten something, you've gotta, you've gotta have that contingency plan for everything. Mm-hmm. as you go in, you know, many people go on a drive in hunt and all of a sudden realize that they've forgotten something essential.

[00:06:49] Uh, one of the parties is gonna turn around and drive out to go get whatever's needed and then probably get some other bonus and then come back. Mm. And that option really isn't there. And particularly with the pilots, even though you might, uh, take some form of communication in with them, it's not a taxi service.

[00:07:05] You set a date that you want to get in. No guarantees that you know the weather's gonna cooperate, but to the best of their ability, they'll get you in, you know, within a day or two of what you wanted to get in on. Hmm. And then of course, the later you go in the season, it's that coming out, are you gonna be right on time?

[00:07:21] So you always. Have that big contingency plan when you plan to do this. These are the dates I wanna do. And boss, if I'm not back at work on this day, we couldn't get out of the bush. And, uh, I'll be, you know, back to work whenever 

[00:07:35] Travis Bader: I can. And that's definitely something that has to be accounted for. And a high level of, um, ingenuity, being able to figure out how to get by with things that you will inevitably forget or maybe you brought but stops working or 

[00:07:48] Paul Ballard: broke.

[00:07:49] I keep going back to redundancy. So where we've gone wrong on trips is a rifle broke. Mm. I had, uh, yeah, it happened to me once. Then it's, I think two other folks now on other, you know, parts of our party. A rifle that's non serviceable. Mm. So that's, you know, if you're gonna go in with four guys, maybe you can forego something else for weight to put one more rifle into the, into the camp so that you've got, uh, a way to make up.

[00:08:16] Or if there's just two of you going, you share one guy's rifle once the other one breaks. But, uh, we were in grizzly country. I was convinced that the 300 Winchester Short Magnum was the way to go. I got one of the very first production rifles made by that W company. Mm-hmm. , I guess it's a different company now, right?

[00:08:34] Yeah. So I can actually say it, and that rifle completely failed on me. Um, about two days into a 12 or 14 day trip. What happened? I couldn't get the bolt open. So once the bolt closed, I could. Shy of anything but beating it with a piece of wood. Open the bolt, extract the cartridge, who was in there. So I had a single shot firearm.

[00:08:59] Right. Uh, it would fire, but then I wouldn't be able to work the bolt afterwards. Were you loading 

[00:09:04] Travis Bader: your own ammo or is 

[00:09:05] Paul Ballard: that factory ammo? You know what that was factory ammo. Okay. Because that was, I didn't even have dyes for the short Magnum, the 300 short Magnum. This would've been, oh, probably about 2002.

[00:09:17] Okay. 2003 maybe. And that rifle had only come out, you know, a year or so before. And the cartridge was about five years old by that time. But I was convinced it was the way to go. And I put my beloved 30 odd six aside, which never gave me any problems and killed a lot of game. But I took that, uh, that Magnum plunge and there was my problem.

[00:09:38] Travis Bader: Well, from my perspective, I think the very first thing somebody should be looking at, if they're planning a fly in hunt or a boat in hunt, would be just the mindset, getting the mind in the right place. And that can be assisted by understanding some of the variables that are. And it can also be assisted by going out and practicing a bit with your kit, practicing a bit with, uh, developing 

[00:10:02] Paul Ballard: some bushcraft skills, developing bushcraft skills.

[00:10:04] Like if you're not a person that's, that's used to sleeping on the ground. Hmm. You need to work on that because you'll figure it out quick. I mean, let's, you can go on a flying trip in the lap of luxury. Hmm. It all depends on how much money you've got because they will, you know, keep flying more gear in, more gear in, more gear in.

[00:10:26] But come a point, you know, it, it becomes out of the reach of the common guy. Mm-hmm. . And so what I would like to say is that this is, uh, if you wanna save up for it, this is as affordable as a, a 10 day all-inclusive vacation in Mao land or something like that. It, it's kind of equivalent. Mm-hmm. , it really is.

[00:10:48] So if you wanna do, you know, 10 or 12 days in a, in a remote northern lake, uh, it's about the same as a, a good all inclusive type of vacation. Five star. Of course, of course. But the accommodations are not gonna be five star. If you want five star, then it's probably gonna cost you. Almost, it's safe to say thousands of dollars more.

[00:11:12] Travis Bader: So I did a, um, fly in into the SPEA area. Yes. And, uh, we arrive, we've got our kit, we've got the right mindset. We've all been exercising ahead of time, wearing the packs we're gonna be wearing, taking 'em up the mountain. Everybody who's on the trip is capable and, and confident in their kit and their abilities.

[00:11:33] Uh, accounting for weight, of course, because weight's gonna be an issue. And we got in and there's one other group that came in and the first plane that landed was only one passenger on it, and cooler and cooler and tote and cooler after one after the other. Bringing in all their beer, bringing in all their food, all the luxuries that they want.

[00:11:55] Next plane came in, brought some more passengers and some more kit. Holy Crow, the amount of stuff that these people had. And there's a fellow, um, uh, Mark Twight, uh, if they, I've talked about him before. He's gonna be on the podcast at some point in the future. Uh, but he has written a book on extreme alpinism, and he takes an approach, which I think is, uh, similar, that should be used for the, uh, person who's gonna be going out and hunting or doing a fly-in trip, which is the more kit that you have with you that's gonna make you comfortable, can actually jeopardize your safety, can really slow you down, make you spend way, much, way more time in the mountains than you necessarily need to.

[00:12:38] And he goes fast, he goes hard, he goes light, but he turns around. Like if there's an issue, he'll turn back down to a base camp and he'll, he'll make sure that he's, uh, uh, watching the weather systems. So he, he takes a very minimalist approach. These guys came in, took a very Maximus approach. One of the guys forgot his tags, which was a whole other story on this.

[00:13:01] So that's something if people are listening, read the book. Make a list. Make a list, right? Make sure 

[00:13:06] Paul Ballard: you have your tags and, and it, and that list ends with a check mark as everything goes onto the, I went in, uh, to a northern lake. Uh, we were in for elk, a very steep. We had met as a group, there was six, seven in that hunting party.

[00:13:25] So we were going in, uh, two flights with a a de Avalon Otter. Uh, but we knew what our weight con restrictions were, so it made a determination. We had x number of pounds for the camp. That means the tents, uh, the ax, the chainsaw, the big stuff that, you know, was, you know, for everybody to use. Mm. And then each hunter had a weight allowance.

[00:13:47] And let's just say it was your pack. Rifle was 70 pounds. Hmm. So everything you got to bring, besides yourself, 70 pounds, that meant if you were gonna bring liquor, if you were gonna bring, you know, a super duty air mattress or anything, you had 70 pounds. Hmm. We took all of our stuff where one of the fellows had a set of horse scales and we were weighing everything, marking on it, what everybody's weight, where there's some other stories to this.

[00:14:14] But the point I wanna make is all of our kit was at one place. We loaded it all into a trailer at this place, and we let set off two days later for. The air base to fly in from. Sure. And I kept saying, you know, people were helping with the kit and everything else like this. Everybody seen my boots. Yeah.

[00:14:34] Yeah. I put a pair of boots in the plane. I saw your boots go in the plane. I saw your boots go in the plane. Well, my boots never even got in the trailer. Come on from what we did. So I had gum boots. Yeah. And Crocs. That was it. And I, I fit one of the other guys had a spare pair of boots, so I kind of could wear those.

[00:14:51] They weren't right. But, you know, it got me around a little bit. But that's, that's tragedy. Like boots that boots is your, you know, your, your hunting boots. Is everything on those type of trips. More kind of on that later. But you know, you just planning is everything. So on the list. Yeah. So let's pick, you know, we've kind of said you're gonna find the spot you're gonna go, that's gonna be up.

[00:15:14] Everybody knows how to do their research. I hope, you know, you gotta talk to other hunters. Uh, you start interviewing these Packer, Outfitters that are up there. Mm-hmm. , uh, in most cases, guides are not gonna be a huge amount of help because you're a resident hunter. Uh, in British Columbia in particular, you're a resident hunter.

[00:15:33] You can go anywhere you want. In this province, their hunting concession is not private property. Mm-hmm. , uh, and therefore they're not gonna help you by, uh, wanting you to come into that cherry spot that they have, you know? Mm-hmm. , they've got, they've got money to make big, big money to make on this, and they're not interested in a lot of cases of even entertaining taking a resident hunter into their camp.

[00:15:56] Mm-hmm. . So you've gotta look at the guy who makes his money by taking you in there, whether he takes you in by aircraft. Jetboat or by even horseback. Mm-hmm. , they can't guide you. They can't put you on animals. They can say yes from this camp. The last time I picked somebody up, they came out with two elk, or they came out with a sheep or whatever.

[00:16:17] They'll go that far, but they're not gonna, they're not gonna put you on animals. That's, that's, that's where the conflict between a guide and a packer really exists. You know what I mean? 

[00:16:26] Travis Bader: You, you know, one of the areas, So you're talking about doing the research, talking to different people, uh, how you're talking to another hunter, they might not put you on.

[00:16:34] Right. Yeah. Maybe if they're out of the area and they've already been in, they might say, Okay, now that I'm done, I'll let you know what I've seen. Um, what some people will do is they'll go on to like Facebook groups for hikers. Mm-hmm. , Reddit groups for hikers. If you're in an area where it's gonna be frequented by hikers, fisherman, or anglers, because they'll be talking and like 

[00:16:52] Paul Ballard: Reddit.

[00:16:52] When I said fisherman, I should have said anglers. Right. Well, how politically incorrect of me . 

[00:16:57] Travis Bader: So. Uh, you can actually put flags on it, like in Reddit and say, Give me an email if this word comes up, or if they talk about this. So you go into a hunting forum and, Sorry. Yeah. You go into a hunting forum, you try and put those flags and everyone's tight lipped.

[00:17:09] Mm-hmm. , you go into a hiking forum and people will say, Oh, I saw a moose. You should have seen the antlers, and, or, I saw whatever it is. And those are your key words. And all of a sudden you start getting emails and you can, you can either try and suss out the proximity from where they're talking about, or you can message 'em directly.

[00:17:26] And quite often people are, are happy to 

[00:17:27] Paul Ballard: share that with you. It's, it's all about any hunting trip is all about the intel before you go in. Huge, You know, you, you can put together, you know, the time of year, the potential for the rut being on all these other things. But animals are in pockets. They're in pockets.

[00:17:43] Game is always in pockets. And if somebody's been seeing a lot, then that's probably the likely place to go. Mm. Um, again, the outfitter, the packer that's taking you into this place, , he might or she might want to take you to a place where it's a good lake to land, knows there's some good camps and everything else.

[00:18:01] Mm. But there hasn't been a hair come out of there in, you know, a couple of seasons. They're not gonna tell you that. Right. They're, you know, they're happy to say there are animals there. You're gonna read lots of the blogs where people are talking about, you know, the stuff has come out of there. It's been good.

[00:18:16] Traditionally, you read some of the old books, you know, those are, you know, some of the other ones, like right now, Caribou's in Jeopardy. There's no open, there's no open season caribou in, in seven. Mm-hmm. , you have to go to six for any open caribou, right? Mm-hmm. . So, you know, you're, you're looking at, uh, or is No, I think.

[00:18:38] Seven A, there might be some caribou still open, but I can 

[00:18:42] Travis Bader: guarantee you somebody in the comments will let us know. 

[00:18:44] Paul Ballard: Yeah. Uh, within a heartbeat. Yes. Because there's nothing more important than to correct some loud mouth on a podcast and make sure that you knew more than he did. That's, that's, And and can I just say I don't know at all?

[00:18:57] I do not know at all , but I know some 

[00:19:00] Travis Bader: stuff. There's a, a very interesting, and this is totally an aside, but the Guinness Book of World Records Yes. Was created by the Guinness Beer Company. Yeah. Guinness Beer Company says, How do we get people into bars drinking more beer? And they said, Well, they like football.

[00:19:12] Right. Soccer. And, uh, people seem to like trivia. So maybe if we made a book with trivia in it, it would keep 'em, you know, eating pretzels and nuts and drinking beer more. How do we make this book on trivia? Well, I guess we gotta figure out who the fastest runner is and the highest jumper. Some right person said no, we'll just make those stats up ourselves cuz people are more inclined to correct us than they already give us that information.

[00:19:36] So they made up the stats to begin with and they found that, uh, they didn't have to pay people for information cuz people would jump on the boat and correct 'em right 

[00:19:42] Paul Ballard: away. Okay. Dear listener, it's up to you to make this right. We'll do our best. Yes. To go for it. So where were we? You pick your location, you pick, you, you start to interview the outfitters in the area and some of them are, are legit and read ratings that other people have given him.

[00:20:01] I tend to look oh five star rating. You know, 95% of the people that have rated this guy has given him five stars. I go immediately start the one star workup from that mm-hmm. and just see what kind of things. And usually, you know, you can read between the lines. Somebody's giving 'em one star because I don't know, they didn't give a champagne on the flight or something like that.

[00:20:20] Yeah. And, and everybody's got a bad day. So if, if it looks good, then that's the person typically. Um, if you book far in advance, you're gonna get a discount on the flights. Mm-hmm. , it's an awful time in the world for fuel costs. When I first did a fly-in trip, I think it cost under a thousand dollars for each guy.

[00:20:45] I'm not talking just the air for, I'm talking virtually everything. Right. You know, from the fuel to drive from, you know, the lower mainland up to the north, uh, to, to take the flight in, uh, the, you know, one flight plus an extra flight that was bringing out the, the harvest with us. Hmm. So, you know, To where four years ago, five years ago.

[00:21:07] Must have been five years ago. The, the last one, uh, we were talk, probably talking about 2,500 per person. You're probably looking at about three grand now. Yeah. You know, on a, on a shared camp situation. So, you know, expect it to, you know, put some money away for this thing, but expect it to be between three and $4,500.

[00:21:27] And just what you're comparing that to is you are now potentially hunting where people will pay a guide. $40,000 us to pursue that sheep on the same mountain that you now have wide open to you. Mm-hmm. . Okay. They may have the experience and everything else, but you've now got the out of pocket spending to give you that determination to get up and work that hill.

[00:21:51] Mm-hmm. . And, and there it is. That's, that's the motivation. Is the hunting easier on a fly-in trip? Hell no. Hell no. If you've able to go on a moose hunt and you'd be able to drive a truck within 200 yards of, you know, the dead moose and you gotta yard it down the hill, you know, we've all been there. Right?

[00:22:10] Sure. That's, And we complain about how tough that was going through the buck brush and the, you know, and or you came in coming out of a logging cut, cut block and the slash that you climbed over you. Oh man, that was really tough. Shoot a moose six miles from where your base camp is, and every ounce of that edible portion of that animal's gotta go on your back.

[00:22:31] Mm-hmm. . And if there's two of you, that means however many trips. And usually a moose is, in my experience, bounded out about nine full packs. Mm. And that's a reasonable amount for a, you know, a good fit man, woman to, uh, to carry, to, to carry from, from the place of the kill back to the camp. Yeah. You know, and, and then therein, you know, in these remote situations lies some of the other, some of the other issues that, you know, normally you can leave bones in, in a quarter of moose, you're not probably gonna do that on 

[00:23:05] Travis Bader: a fly.

[00:23:06] No. And so that, and of course those are the dogs we hear in the background. They're, they're pretty eager to get back out and do a little bit of hunting, but, uh, well, who's 

[00:23:13] Paul Ballard: not, but you know, it is hunting 

[00:23:15] Travis Bader: season. It is. But there's some useful information here, and I figure if we just take a little bit of time.

[00:23:20] We'll have an posterity for people for a long time. 

[00:23:23] Paul Ballard: I think so we've, we've kind of, you know, shot around. So now we've, we've picked our species, we've found an outfitter. The questions to ask, Okay, what type of equipment are they gonna take in? When I say equipment, what, what's the aircraft? You know, what's the weight carrying of the aircraft?

[00:23:38] So usually like the, you know, the, the 1 180 2 s Yeah. 180 2 Ssta. That's about 600 pounds plus the pilot. Hmm. So you get 2, 250 pound guys, there's 500 pounds, you get another a hundred pounds of gear, that's all you're allowed. Mm-hmm. . So you gotta think about that. Mm-hmm. , you know, often, uh, people going in, in, in the 180 2 s.

[00:24:00] they might have to go two flights in like that to, to get it. Or now you start looking who's flying a beaver de javelin. Yeah. Yeah. So the de javelin beaver is about a thousand pounds plus the, plus the pilot. And then you go up to the otter, which is like the one ton truck of the sky. Mm-hmm. , it's about 2000 pounds, you know, and, and it just goes on and on and on.

[00:24:20] And they, you know, basically you can't cheat it. There's a great big scale right there on the dock. Mm-hmm. . And you climb on that scale, they weigh you. So, you know, and we've had guys trying to cheat stuff, uh, you know, by loading up their pockets and the pilot weighs you before you get on and they're pretty sharp.

[00:24:37] Cuz honestly, people's lives depend on, on that, that, uh, you know, critical balance of the aircraft, how much weight, you know, on there. Mm-hmm. . So it is serious. So you picked your outfitter, you got your weight. Start thinking now. You gotta start planning on equipment. Of course, first thing is going to everybody.

[00:24:58] Well, this is the caliber rifle I'm gonna take. This is the scope that's gonna be on it, eh? Think about safety and, and you know your sur ultimate survival. Mm-hmm. , because the potential is there. The weather turns. The atmospheric river, as we all experience now, shows up and you're gonna. Days, week longer.

[00:25:19] There's been guys that, you know, have told stories of being in two weeks longer than what they expected. There's been guys who have had, you know, the sound of a helicopter is the first thing they hear, and a helicopter is coming in as a rescue. Right. And, and I mean, that's the obligation that the, you know, the, the, the packer has, if they can't fly in a helicopter can take much worse weather, but none of your hunting gear is coming out.

[00:25:43] Mm-hmm. , you're coming out. You're coming out. That's it. And if the helicopter comes in, uh, you know, you better spray your rifles down with lots of oil, soak up some your sleeping bags. So maybe in the spring you can go back and get your stuff. But you know that, that really is the truth. They can't transport your rifle, they can't transport any of your meat, any of that.

[00:26:04] They're gonna just bring you in a limited amount of gear out if the helicopter goes in. Well, you've had 

[00:26:08] Travis Bader: experiences where you've been out and a couple days are going by with other. Pilot coming in. 

[00:26:13] Paul Ballard: Oh, yeah. Yeah. You want to try that one on for size. So, you know, you're counting down and of course everybody's getting a little bit on everybody's nerves.

[00:26:23] That's another point. Yeah. You, and, and that's the thing you need to pick. If you're gonna go with a group, you better, you know, like the guys that you're going with, a lot of cases, a solo hunter, you're probably in love with yourself. So it's gonna be, you know, there's no question of when you're gonna eat, how far you're gonna go each day because you're making those decisions.

[00:26:41] Mm-hmm. , you know, as soon as you add that next person in, then there's always an issue. And it's a good idea to, to pick somebody that you've been on a few trips with before and you know what each other's limitations are. And then that's the other thing too, is you set that, um, hey, if I get under your skin, you gotta tell me there's nothing worse.

[00:27:00] That people that do slow boils, you know, underneath, and then all of a sudden the pot, you know, Comes apart, right? You know the, the lid blows off and there's a big fight. It's when you say, Look, you gotta stop doing whatever you're doing cuz it's starting to really bug me and don't be afraid to say it.

[00:27:16] And the other guy's gotta have enough. The other person's gotta have thick enough skin to accept that. 

[00:27:20] Travis Bader: That's a really good point when going and choosing the people you're gonna be with because doesn't matter if you guys are best buds. When you're going days without food and you're lugging your whole life on your back up and down hills.

[00:27:34] Well, 

[00:27:34] Paul Ballard: well, here's how it goes. Attitudes can change. You know, come down at a sheep camp, you know, after one guy's success. We've been down there. Uh, we're in base camp Harvest a oh, a moose, two moose, another elk, uh, and a caribou on that trip. So everything's looking good. Uh, we've gotta, you know, we're coming out heavy.

[00:27:54] There's no question about it. Uh, we're all set up. This is the exit day. The lake we're on is beautiful. Hmm. Bluebird skies. The weather's nice. There's no wind or anything else. Collapse the base camp, pack everything. Get everything down to the beach. You ready for the aircraft to arrive and tick, tick sitting around, get your pocket books out, you're reading, waiting, join a little bit of sun sight seeing, and four o'clock comes that there's, and there's no sound of an aircraft.

[00:28:24] Mm-hmm. , pull the tents out, go back up, get a fire going, pull the stoves out, have a meal and everything else for four nights doing that. Mm-hmm. and that's really where you saw, you know, there's, the food is now down to, you know, freeze diet food. There's, you know, the, you know, there stuff's gone. Right? Or you're down to sort of minimal ration.

[00:28:47] So this is the thing, always plan, you know, for that unexpected. So again, with the redundancy thing, yeah, I've got enough food for 10 days, let's make it enough food for 15 days. And if, if things start to happen, then we know we can sort of start rationing what remains, uh, What's really different now though, is the opportunity to take communications with you.

[00:29:13] We first started going there was sat phones, but they were so free, inexpensive, nobody even thought to take 'em. Our emergency signal was an orange tarp on the beach, and hopefully if the pilot flew over, they'd see it. So we're younger. Uh, and fortunately nothing big ever happened, but I kind of think back on that.

[00:29:35] I couldn't do it anymore. So, uh, having that ability to communicate with the pilot. by satellite link of some form and they can either text you or you've got your so phone to say, Hey look, we're not coming in for, you know, several days. That's a, it's a nice heads up to have spot 

[00:29:52] Travis Bader: in reach Zo. Yeah. The new iPhones have satellite communications on them for sos.

[00:29:57] But there's one thing that you mentioned that I thought was kind of an interesting point just to kind of hammer home when we're talking about the group, the people that you're going up with. Yeah. Uh, it's like getting into a contract. People say, Well, I got this contract in place so if things go wrong, I can sue you.

[00:30:12] Well, no, you've got a contract in place so you don't have to reach that point. Cuz everybody knows the ground rules going into the, the whatever it is that they're entering into a contract on. So entering it in with your mates, you're gonna be out in the back country with and saying, Look at, here's some things that really annoy me and I'll give you a heads up if it starts happening or if I haven't eaten in a while, I can get cranky or here's some.

[00:30:38] Paul Ballard: Or the other thing too is to have somebody that can intervene when two of the people are starting to go loggerheads the, the third person in the group. You know, if you have more than two on that, on that, uh, on that hunt, that can be helpful as well. Mm. I mean, I gotta be honest, the guys I've flown in with, um, shy a few in the first part, and then a couple of the bigger groups, like sometimes these things get outta hand.

[00:31:01] I think four is an ideal number. Mm two is an ideal number. You start going beyond that and getting five or six people and, and what tends to happen is it's just, we just throw money at the, at the packer and they just take another flight, take another flight, take another flight. And we've had, you know, as many as seven and I think eight actually in one flight.

[00:31:21] And that was just too much. Mm. First of all, you get too many people work in the. So you, it's almost like being in, you know, the, the road access areas. There's so many other hunters. I mean, the area is vast that you're in, but there's only so far you can travel, right? Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, you know what's good if a portion of the group is gonna spike out and, and put a spike camp, you know, for sheep or, or something like that, where the other guys are gonna focus on hell yeah.

[00:31:47] That, that works. That works. Uh, and there's a potential, So you've got a great base camp for the, the sheep hunters to come back to, you know, for, uh, for, for, you know, taking care of their hides and this sort of stuff. There's, there's all, you know, some security in heaven, big numbers like that. Everybody's got more eyes out for, you know, for, for predators if they're gonna cause you a problem.

[00:32:09] If bears are gonna come around, that's all you know, it's okay. But boy, when you decide to go, you gotta make sure you're gonna love those people, you know? A little bit more than you think. 

[00:32:20] Travis Bader: Well, this one group, I'm talking to Bo that brought all the kit in. Uh, we got up early in the morning, we're hiking up the mountain and, you know, going slow.

[00:32:31] We got our packs on, We got what we need for the day. We're just gonna do a quick day, Wrecky check, check the place out in behind us. These guys come running up, they're up drinking all night. So they woke up a little bit later and they're in shorts and runners and they're running up the mountain and there's my son.

[00:32:47] He was like, Oh, are they gonna find the animals before we do? And we told him, I said, Don't worry about it. You just, you just watch. We just keep plugging through. We do our thing. We'll be good. Right. Lots of. Anyways, we gaining elevation, gaining elevation, getting colder. Turned into a bit of, this is in August.

[00:33:04] A uh, snowstorm comes up. One guy is just out on the trail by himself. The rest of the group were in, split up and then went around the side. He looks like he's almost in tears cuz he's tired and hungry and cold and doesn't know where the other people are and says he wants to go home. This is day one for them.

[00:33:22] He says they're already fighting, they're already arguing. And these guys were best buds in the city. The mountains will bring out things and you, which you might not know of, maybe go for a trip with your buddies ahead 

[00:33:36] Paul Ballard: of time. Oh yeah. And we've, you know, we've had that happen on a couple trips where you didn't know some of the guys.

[00:33:41] And boy did you get a surprise. Mm-hmm. , you know, and, and that's not good. That's not good. So yes, it's good to do a couple of, you know, Four truck hunts where if you do have that fight, you just get in your drunk leaves , you know? Yes. That, that's, that kind of kind of works, I mean, your relationship and my, you know, with mm-hmm.

[00:34:00] our relationship is one that I don't think, you know, we're going to, we're gonna do, do this one day together, but our, so far our hunts have been great. We'll be just fine. We just, you know, I know that, you know, we understand each other's quirks. Gotcha. You know? Yes. I like that. But, uh, it is, it is important to know the group that you're going with, getting back to it so you know the group that you're going with.

[00:34:22] It's not a taxi service. You're gonna be in there for a set period of time. Weather plays a huge role. Yeah. Well, and then there's the other thing too, when you're sitting there about to make a play on a nice bull caribou and, uh, that you spotted from the outhouse in the that exists up there, believe it or not.

[00:34:40] Um, so you run back, get your, your pack board on, and you, you get your rifle and you're starting to go and all of a sudden, hey, There's our pilot coming in, we've only been in for a few days, and he comes in and he's got a weather report in his hand and he says, You guys, you really need to think about how much longer you stay.

[00:34:56] You either come out now or you're gonna be in for days, days and days longer than what you expect. So that was one of those unfortunate times we had to call it, you know, call it short and, and go out. So, and 

[00:35:09] Travis Bader: I'll add to that, if your pilot comes back and says that these bush pilots, particularly in British Columbia, are a different breed, they are pay special heed to what they say, they're built a little bit different.

[00:35:21] Yeah. And, and I'll give an example. We had a, um, uh, a fly in for fishing and, uh, flying into a lake. This guy's got, uh, he flies into this area for the Outfitters for Moose, and he built his own little cabin out there for fishing. He's got an accord with him. I won't bring anybody on my own in for hunting, just for fishing because I bring your guys in for, for hunting.

[00:35:42] Yeah. And. So anyways, he had a, we've flown with him before on other trips and he had a helper this time. This guy was really nice, really friendly and helped load the, the plane up and got everything ready. Pilot comes down, we're flying off, and, and, uh, first thing I said, I said, Well, what happened to your 180 2?

[00:36:02] And he's like, Well, you know, I don't mean to scare you, but these things break all the time, right. , they're, uh, they're old planes. And so it goes into this whole thing and then we're talking about his helper and said, um, how fantastic it was and how much it's gonna help him. And, and as we're flying in, he keeps taking pictures and I'm looking around, I'm like, There's nothing really photographic scenic that he's taking pictures of.

[00:36:24] So finally I say, What are you taking pictures of? He's like, Oh, just the weather patterns. I want to show the new guy kind of what it looks like and okay. And what he can expect. And as we're flying further and further, we'll get about an hour and a half into it and he says, Okay, next bend, we're gonna see what our window looks like.

[00:36:40] I don't know, but the weather, to me, the weather looked pretty darn good, right? And he says, I don't know about this. We might not be able to get in. Okay, fair enough. Lands us quick, All of our stuff off. Bang, he's gone. Week later he comes, picks us up. Of course, during this time, the fridge that we had supposed to have there didn't work.

[00:36:56] So thankfully we could catch fish because all of our fresh food ends up only lasting so long. It's another consideration. Kit can break, picks us up after, um, my seat breaks in the plane, and we figure a way to kind of get that thing together as we're, I'm doing a permanent ab crunches. Were coming out here.

[00:37:15] I'm asking him, I said, Well, how's the new pilot working out? He says, Oh, he. Like, what? What do you mean he quit? He's said, Yeah. I came back, I showed him those pictures that I took and he said he didn't have the stomach for it. He flew helicopters commercially for, uh, skiing. He flew to havelin beavers for logging companies.

[00:37:32] But this is 10 minutes up, 10 minutes down. This is 20 minutes here. These bush pilots are going out one, two hour out. Whether systems change things can. They're built differently. If they come in with a caution, don't think that perhaps you know better than them because there's a good possibility. Their threshold for danger and fear in the air exceeds yours.

[00:37:52] Paul Ballard: Right. And that's, and that's the thing. So if they say they don't wanna fly, cuz we've flown and you're thinking really and Yeah. And then, uh, you, you know, you, you want to get a hand on that air sickness bag before you hit in because when that thing like loses, you watch the al Alternator just dialing like crazy and, and you know, you've just lost 400 feet just like that and you know, your stomach is still up there.

[00:38:18] Yeah. It it and it, one kind is for a flying trip sitting in the back seat and there's an alarm that goes off in the aircraft that, you know, just keeps going on and on and on whenever they, soon as he started up, I don't know what it is, but it's nothing to worry about. Every plane does it and you can hear him cuz we all have headsets and, you know, Mike's on and, and he, he's going.

[00:38:40] Can anybody else hear that alarm ? You know it, and it is, it's unnerving to, to people to, to go up there. But it is worth it. The scenery from the flight is just stend us. Mm-hmm. spotting game on the tops of these mountains as you're hitting. That's amazing. It's just, it's worth the price of admission, you know?

[00:39:00] Absolutely. Seeing where, and then, and then coming in and he says, See that lake up in the, you know, in, you know, at the 11 o'clock there, that's where we're going. And you go, Wow. And it's like a, a pinpoint, you know, And you near it, you near it and you start to descend and just seeing the trees start to rise up and then crystal clear lake that you'll land on, there's nothing like it.

[00:39:22] Yeah. It's not easy hunting. , but it's great hunting and it's a great experience. And you know, the beaches up there that looked like something outta The Bahamas and some of these lakes, you can't believe it. Sometimes you get in there and it's like the, I remember the 4th of October and of course I deal in Fahrenheit 98 degrees for, you know, midday at one day up there where it had been down well below zero for a week before we were up there.

[00:39:51] Just weird, you know, weather is, is a thing and, and it's a, it's an issue, but getting back to it. Pick a good pilot. Pick a pilot with a safe record, Pick a pilot who is serious about what he's doing, the weights, all those things. Um, these guys are in the tourism. when they're not taking hunters and anglers in, they're taking site, Sears in, you know, they're, they, you know, they're, they're up to talking to you.

[00:40:16] Mm. Quite often, you know, in, if you go one of the outdoor hunting or angling shows, a lot of times these pilots will be there. They'll have maps, they'll have ideas, they'll have suggestions. So once you've made that selection, we're digressing. I was talking a little bit about before you plan what kind of kit you want to go in, you want to have that safety equipment.

[00:40:36] So communication now is everything. Mm. Once you've figured out what you want to take, be a SAT phone, uh, one of the, you know, text type communicators, any of those, they all seem to work good. I know you and I are both using inReach. Mm-hmm. , uh, shameless plug for them. Uh, but Garmin has got a great product there and it works and it works well.

[00:40:59] Travis Bader: Lio is another one that's been rated quite well based on how they work. Uh, downside is you need to, it'll send an SOS or I think a couple of, uh, predetermined messages, but you need to have your phone integrate and if you want to type something out. 

[00:41:13] Paul Ballard: Right. Whereas the inReach can, it'll fail back to the instrument, so.

[00:41:17] Right. It's nice to have your, your, your smartphone beside you and then they just wirelessly way easier way to type. Yes. So the brick, I think is another one Yes. That people talk about. We see that being used, but we're regardless. You should plan on that. Mm-hmm. and. If not, if all else you can rent a SAT phone, you can.

[00:41:36] Right. You know, they're available at the airport. You can order one, they deliver it by, you know, whatever, Amazon or whatever delivery company is there, and then you just mail it back after the thing's over. One 

[00:41:47] Travis Bader: caveat though, um, you've rented SAT phones, I've rented SAT phones. Uh, they don't always 

[00:41:53] Paul Ballard: work.

[00:41:53] They don't work very, Yeah. They're surprising. And then that's the other thing too, is, you know, figure out which network it's on because, uh, um, and I don't wanna name names, but you know what, you know, they're, they said the pilot looks that goes, Oh, you've bought. That one. Those aren't really good up here,

[00:42:12] So if you're planning on bringing this, that phone, ask the pilot what they're using. Mm. Okay. Ask him if he has the ability, if you're gonna send texts to him or her, uh, or are you gonna have to do it through a third party or something like that. Mm-hmm. . And then all in all, remember that SOS on there.

[00:42:28] That's calling out, you know, the, the World Search and Rescue Network for you. And it's not gonna go directly to the pilot. That's important. So communication, very important. A lot of guys get up there and when you have that emergency cell phone, they're phone and home and everything else. Now you get homesick and people wanna go home.

[00:42:47] Right, Right. So, it is what it is, you know. Sure. You know, having that can be, it can be, it can be a bit of a curse, but boy, in the, in the event of an emergency, it's. Talk about communication first fly and trip nine 11. We were the first flight the pilot was legally allowed to do after the grounding of nine 11.

[00:43:09] So I think we went in on the 14th or the 15th of September and the party that we were bumping off of the lake that we were going to. So the pilot, typically the way they work is they like to take you in somewhere where they're picking somebody else up and it may be actually on a direct spot. So we went in and these were a bunch of firefighters, some retired firefighters and, and a, you know, with a big link.

[00:43:33] And it was, you know, my nine 11 moment was, was, you know, telling these guys that the World Trade Center had come down both towers and, and a great loss of life amongst the firefighting community. And it was just, I get it, goosebumps now when I think about it. It was just a moving moment. But it's all about, you know, the point being communication, you know?

[00:43:53] Right. And, uh, and go for there. Radios, I don't think are gonna be the right thing. You've gotta, you gotta really know how to put some kind of monster antenna up. And you're gonna be 

[00:44:04] Travis Bader: like, if you know what you're doing with the radio, maybe, but most people don't. And that's extra weight that you're bringing.

[00:44:10] Paul Ballard: Yeah. And, and that's the, the thing with the inre, it's idiot proof. Now you gotta remember. You gotta finite battery life on these rechargeable devices. A power pack may now be the thing that you need to consider in your weight load. Hmm. Uh, so even these little power packs that'll jumpstart your car and things like that, a lot of them will give you sufficient charges for, you know, a attendee or, uh, trip so that you can keep your devices, both your, you know, cuz who's bringing a camera anymore, except you,

[00:44:42] Most people are gonna bring their, their cell phone in, right? To take pictures. So you gotta charge that up. Um, you know, it's, it's not gonna be using a lot of data, but, you know, you want to get those nice files on the, on your phone, uh, the beautiful scenery. And so many phones take better pictures than any of the cameras, and they're light and easy to carry.

[00:45:00] Travis Bader: Small solar system, uh, solar panel. Uh, a battery system that can, you can just leave out to charge up. So you don't plug your device directly into the solar panel. Yeah. And then you can come back and charge up your phone, which is a fantastic navigational tool. We'll see how the iPhone, whatever it is now, fifteens, fourteens to do with their set.

[00:45:19] The, 

[00:45:20] Paul Ballard: the thing is, if you leave your phone on the whole time, it's, you know, it doesn't have to be a satellite communication. I mean, it's just doing it by Yeah. You know, whatever voodoo lives with inside that machine that I don't understand. But yeah, it could be used for navigation. Your maps and everything are, are on there.

[00:45:37] So we've got communication. We just talked about navigation, uh, map and compass. Never run outta batteries. Right. But 

[00:45:45] Travis Bader: you have to know 

[00:45:46] Paul Ballard: how to use them. Right. And, and I am really fortunate because, you know, more than 50 years of using maps and compasses. I don't really feel the obligation to use my GPS to navigate.

[00:45:59] Right. I feel totally confident with just the map and compass and you know, showing people the wonders of how to do, you know, a resection on a map. Yeah. With your compass to show exactly where you are. And when people are saying, Well I can't do that, and they're checking their gps and sure enough the coordinates are the same.

[00:46:17] Mm-hmm. and then whip the GPS lights go out and what do you do now? Right. And that was one of the things that I noticed when we first started carrying GPS on. Any hunting trip, they weren't rechargeable and they just sucked those batteries up. Mm-hmm. You probably had to carry pounds worth of, you know, AA batteries to keep putting back into your little, you know, what was it, the 3 360 Garmin 360 or something like that.

[00:46:40] Sure. You had the little tiny screen on it, but like I say, map and compass, the eTrex. Yeah. It's gotta, Yeah. eTrex. Yeah. That's what it was. Uh, but you gotta have your map encompass. Yeah. So that's your backup to your whatever electronic navigation and communication you're gonna have. The map encompass is there.

[00:46:58] Mm. Your backup to your communication in the case of an emergency should have flares. Yep. Signal panel. Yep. You know 

[00:47:06] Travis Bader: your compass will have a 

[00:47:07] Paul Ballard: mirror. You're Exactly. And that's what, but you want to bring another mirror cuz you get those nice little ones that you can aim, but nonetheless. Redundancy is everything.

[00:47:16] So as they, you know, I like to say in the tactical operators world, one is none. Yeah. Two is one. Yeah, it's true. Yeah, it's true. We had a, you know, pro propane stove. We were relying on a two bearer propane stove in our, uh, base camp. And everybody of course had their, you know, their little, uh, pack stoves. I don't think, uh, they had, um, what's the, the one, the jet boils right then.

[00:47:43] But we were using little, you know, white gas pump up stoves and stuff like that. And of course our propane stove crapped out because propane, you know, again, you run that risk, you know, if you, it, and it was actually the stove, the jets and the stove wouldn't work. So we did, you know, another eight, nine days of cooking just on the little backpack stoves, which was fine, you 

[00:48:06] Travis Bader: know, Well in the whole one is none.

[00:48:08] Two is one. There is a limit to what you can haul on the plane to what you can haul on your back. Right. And so there, there has to start building some non-negotiables. If you're going up with a, a team, a group, you can start bringing in more equipment. Someone can have the, uh, the major parts of a tent, let's say, and the other person can have, uh, the cookware and you can start sharing amongst each other.

[00:48:30] And it wouldn't make sense for everyone to, to double up on those things. Um, but there are some things that you definitely would want to double up on. Yeah. What would you say are non-negotiables that you want to make sure that you, you have sorted, you have maybe doubles of? Uh, 

[00:48:47] Paul Ballard: I, I definitely two cooking systems, cuz that did prove out okay to say, Oh, I can cook everything on a fire.

[00:48:54] What if you can't get a fire going? If it's that wet or you're so high 

[00:48:58] Travis Bader: in the alpine, you have no fuel. Right? 

[00:48:59] Paul Ballard: And, and that's, that's the other thing. So you get up into a lot of these sheep camps. There, there there's no fire that's stove only operations. So you, you know, mean. It's crazy in the north, the, you know, the, the, the weather or not, I shouldn't say the ecosystems from, you know, one range to the next.

[00:49:18] You go to one and it's like the go be desert. You go to another and it's, and you go like, Man, I didn't think anybody could be that wet up here. You know? Yes. And, and it's just shocking. It's, it's, and also, I mean, you can actually walk from one area to another and be surprised. Mm-hmm. You know, in, in your hunt as to how.

[00:49:37] Mountain weather changes, I would definitely have two cooking systems. Okay. I would definitely have, in addition to my shelter, backup shelter, because we have been in hurricane force winds. Yes. And if you, you know, went cheap and didn't get a decent tent and that thing blows, its mo rings, you're done, you're done.

[00:49:59] Then shelter, shelter is everything. So you need, you know, a si tarp or something of that nature that you can put together a hasty shelter. If you lose your, your principal shelter, it won't be pretty, 

[00:50:11] Travis Bader: but you'll be 

[00:50:12] Paul Ballard: alive. That's right. You've gotta get out of that wind, out of that rain, out of that storm. Um, we had a.

[00:50:18] The wind was going so hard, broke a, a fiberglass tent pole. Right. And it broke between the joints. And, you know, you'd think, How am I gonna fix this? I fired off a cartridge, 30 out six. I took my leather man out. I worked for quite a while, but I cut the hat off. Yeah. And then I pushed the two pieces into the 36 cartridge and then taped it up with duct tape.

[00:50:42] And, you know, that held wasn't pretty. 

[00:50:45] Travis Bader: That's ingenuity. And that goes back to what we were talking, the mindset and ingenuity 

[00:50:48] Paul Ballard: at the beginning. Yeah. You get, you should be prepared. So, but, uh, the other thing that I definitely have a backup on, you don't have to have the same kind of boots, but you certainly need to be able to preserve your feet.

[00:51:01] Mm. So you should. a change of footwear. Okay. Quite often, you know, if you're gonna be hunting off of a lake, you might be taking water outta the lake. So a pair of these, you know, mock, uh, Irish setter, bogs, I'm trying to get hit all the big ones. Yeah. You know, Hunts worth all these, you know, high top. Rubber boots that have a bit of insulation, that have a nice tight ankle fit.

[00:51:26] So in a pinch you can pack with them, you can walk and everything else like that. I'm not talking, you know, big old gum boots. Yeah. The old army and navy red bottom black tops that used to get when you went back to school in the fall. , Yes. Yeah. Uh, but you know, those good quality rubber boots to back up your mountain boots and, and you need of course, you know, a good sturdy set of, of boots.

[00:51:50] So, yeah. And in addition to, I, I just, If you can only take the one pair of boots, you still gotta save your feet at some point. Crocs are something Crocs. Yeah. Crocs are sandals and Crocs weigh nothing. You could even get, you know, those other ones that are now super air light and, and things like that. And those are absolute life savers on a, you know, when you've been on your dogs all day, you gotta get your boots dried out.

[00:52:15] You gotta get, uh, get your feet back in shape. Those, those can save. Well, river crossings true 

[00:52:19] Travis Bader: enough. Roll up the, the take your pants off Yep. And throw your CROs on. Save your feet. Because if you, if you bugger your feet, you're your trip. 

[00:52:28] Paul Ballard: That's right. Yeah. Barefooting across the stuff is not the way to go.

[00:52:31] It's, it's not If you can avoid it Yeah. And everything is sharp. Of course. If it didn't look sharp, you're gonna find just how sharp it was as soon as you put your bare feet in there. No, I, The cro Yeah. So footwear, Absolutely. You've gotta have a backup on that. Mm. Um. The rifle we kind of talked about. Not super essential.

[00:52:53] Most rifles, you know, and, and that maybe was the error I made. That rifle had basically been sighted in, broken in, but it hadn't been used on, That was the first hunt that rifle went, uh, went on. Mm. It didn't bloody anything on that. And I was, you know, we were in grizzly country as well. Yeah. So you, you may need that firearm for that.

[00:53:12] So you, you 

[00:53:13] Travis Bader: know what else I will bring with me Slingshot and a small spincaster, and I don't pack 'em with me. I'll sew 'em someplace, but I know if I need food, hopefully I can catch fish. If I'm in an area, hopefully I can get a, a tar again or, 

[00:53:31] Paul Ballard: or or something. Yeah. It's, it's funny how I, you know, the poor fool hand has been called the fool hand.

[00:53:36] And, and I remember as a kid, you know, listening to all these Hunter saying, Oh yeah, they just stand, there you go. Whack 'em with a stick. . I've never seen one. I could've whacked with a stick. I've seen a couple that maybe if I had have been, you know, highly adept with a throwing stick, might have been able to get, you might have got '

[00:53:54] Travis Bader: em with, uh, throwing knife younger.

[00:53:57] Yeah. And um, it actually hit backwards, but it did the trick. Yeah. And, um, and a but, uh, most of the time you just gotta be either a really good shot or really lucky when you're throwing these things. Because if you're not, they're, they're, they're 

[00:54:12] Paul Ballard: up and they're gone. Right. And, but that is, that's a great way to supplement your diet while you're on there too.

[00:54:17] So, you know what, I'd be more inclined to put a 22 in there somewhere, get, you know, Yeah. You get a little undersized kid size 22 doesn't weigh anything. Yeah. You know? Good point. And, and the ammos cheap. Little game getter. Yeah. Little game getters is worth heaven. Yeah. I mean, if you, you know, tag out, of course, then you're gonna be able to supplement, uh, with the, the tenderloins or something of that nature.

[00:54:40] You know, you can eat the tongue, the heart, all that is more protein while you're there. Uh, but, uh, like you say, you know, nothing more frustrating to be on one of these hunts and maybe it's a, it's a down day, you've gotta do some firewood gathering or whatever. It's handy to pack that little 22 around. I might, you know, get some ditch chickens as Adam Bach would like to say.

[00:55:01] uh, and uh, bring those back. I think it's disrespectful to call 'em ditch chicken. Ditch chicken. I just like to call them delicious. 

[00:55:08] Travis Bader: Delicious. Yeah. So, uh, what we eat when we're on a fly in hunt is something that if you're expending a lot of energy, you're gonna need calories. And some people say you can't eat enough calories to make up for what you're expending.

[00:55:22] I don't know if that's true, but I think when it comes down to what you're able to pack in your options start to get limited. So knowing, like typically I like sweet things, I got a bit of a sweet tooth. If I'm in the mountain, remember one of my first times going out and I pack some sweets cause I figured, you know, it's gonna be some good energy.

[00:55:41] I had a hard time choking this stuff down. After a while, I, I found I craved fatty and salty foods just to try and re I guess, replace electrolytes. Hawkins cheeses for me have been a life saver cuz it gives you some food in your building. They're nice 

[00:55:55] Paul Ballard: and light to pack along. They're a little bulky, but yeah.

[00:55:58] Travis Bader: Oh, I, I love 'em. I love 'em because of the, the amount of, um, calories that they, they end up giving you and then like gummies, a little, um, gummy that you can put in your mouth and you're hiking or you're moving. It just kind of keeps your, uh, your blood sugar level up and it keeps the attitude in the right place.

[00:56:15] Paul Ballard: Yeah. You know, and, and we planned on going on these trips, you know, lots of times. And the, and the idea is a lack of refrigeration. So taking fresh food is not necessarily an option, but often it's the fresh food that has the higher caloric content to it to get you through. So, Apples, dried apples, dried fruits, you know, those are all fairly high in the sugar and the carbohydrates that you need for that boost of energy.

[00:56:42] Hmm. But you're right in the long run, it's the fats that are gonna keep you warm and, and, and go through. So if you can get, you know, that, um, attitude, I mean freeze dried food, you look, and the calories on those are only like five or 600. Right. You know, per package, which is making you think of something.

[00:57:01] Right 

[00:57:01] Travis Bader: now, it's making me think of the freeze dried food. We got a bunch of this Silvercore freeze dried food, which I've been testing out different recipes and different kinds, and I should actually find it, I think I brought some around here with me somewhere, but, uh Oh, it's in the kitchen, is it? Yeah.

[00:57:17] Yeah, we'll 

[00:57:18] Paul Ballard: pick it out after. Yeah, we can add that in. But, but that's, you know, one of the things is that's great. It's super convenient. It feels good to, you know, to. , heat that up and get that in you. And it's easy to, you know, there's no cooking. You just pour some boiling water in there, let the thing set, do whatever it is.

[00:57:34] Put your tent up. Well, well, you know, the it reconstitutes and then you eat, and it's a real kind of filling, hearty, flavorful thing to get in you mm-hmm. , but you're not really getting the calories. So power bars and cookie bars and, and all of those things need to keep going in you while you're going through mm-hmm.

[00:57:53] Um, you know, that you gotta figure what your average person's gonna burn. You know, a man's gonna a couple thousand calories in a day. You go and you start going up, you know, near vertical mountainsides, carrying 60 pounds in your back at times, you know, all the other physical exertion and, and keeping.

[00:58:14] Right. Because you don't burn calories when you come in and you have a beautiful fire next to you. You know, we're not burning calories now, but just sitting glassing is burning calories. Mm-hmm. . Cause your body's trying to keep itself warm and there is a, a degree of a climatization that you will find too if you, if you really haven't spent, you know, my whole life has been, you know, going from living in a house to going out there and hanging out in the outdoors for a while, and I always feel a little cold in the first bit, but then it goes away.

[00:58:43] You get used to it. Right. And then you come home and you can't, like, , I can't stand this way too hot. The only thing I like is the running water. Yeah. When you get home, the hot running water, that's good. But you know, sometimes it's just too hot. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and you struggle with that. But once you get a climatized, why it's happening is your body's burning those calories.

[00:59:01] So you gotta, you gotta keep it up. You really gotta, you gotta pick the food. There's lots and lots of great, uh, YouTube channels 

[00:59:10] Travis Bader: talking about that. Okay. So I got up, checked it out. Uh, calories 1010 per serving, and you 

[00:59:18] Paul Ballard: will not, you know, and not ashamed. It's 

[00:59:20] Travis Bader: delicious. Delicious Dellys. Yeah, absolutely. Ds 

[00:59:23] Paul Ballard: Shameless plug, because it is a Silvercore product, but that's sure far exceeds anything.

[00:59:28] You're gonna find, uh, you know, at, at some of the other places you might shop at. I mean, I think talking about food would be a whole podcast on its own. And I, I'm gonna, I've got some ideas of people that you should bring on for that, uh, that are, you know, really got it figured. And, you know, that out's gonna come from, you know, the, the backpackers handbook, right?

[00:59:48] Mm-hmm. , you know, those, those guys got that stuff figured. So you wanna hunt. That's one thing you want to hunt out of a backpack. You should talk to a backpacker and see what the, what they do, right? Okay. All right. So we're talking about things that would essential, uh, for redundancy. Shelter, fire starting.

[01:00:08] Mm-hmm. . Okay, now, Yeah, bring some paper and bring some fire starting cubes for sure. But make sure that you know how to make a fuzz stick with your knife. Yep. Make sure that when your Bic lighter runs out and alls you got is spark that you know how to, you know, that you've got some form of tinder that will get your kindling to go, you know, uh, setting f a fire and, you know, and processing fire wood on these trips is important.

[01:00:38] I've gone with only a bow saw, right. And an ax. Um, and that's going light. And you know what? You got plenty of time on your hands, but it is a calorie expenditure. Uh, if you've got enough food, then that's fine. Then, then, you know, go, because a lot of these, like silky, silky boy saws, Those things just fly through, you know, stuff that's up to six inches and it's really not a great amount of effort that you need to do that.

[01:01:05] Uh, but having a little, you know, 14 inch bar chain saw has gone on a lot of flying trips with us. Okay. And, 

[01:01:14] Travis Bader: uh, well, just the 

[01:01:15] Paul Ballard: dog here. Yeah. He's pulling on my wire. Nope, I can't say that . The, uh, but having a chainsaw has, has been great because in a lot of cases, you know, that's your, you know, coming home at the end of it, a long days hunting is nice, having that fire at night to keep you warm and, you know, in the social side of the fire, but definitely redundancy and your, you know, your, your fire preparation tools and you know, if you're gonna bring power saw, then you need an ax, you know?

[01:01:44] Mm-hmm. , because when the, you run outta gas for the power saw, or you pinch the bar in a tree, now you've got nothing. So an ax is important. Mm-hmm. . You can use the ax to get the saw out of the tree and all these things. Sure. Um, knives. Right? We all have our favorite hunting knife, but you know, what you need in addition to your hunting knife is you need a multi-tool.

[01:02:08] Mm. You'd be crazy not to go with a multi-tool. I think the minimum though, for me would be my hunting knife if I couldn't bring a multi tool, cuz they are kind of heavy, but not that heavy. Uh, would also be a, a large, um, more of a bushcraft knife than a hunting knife. Right. I mean, I still use it for, for game preparation, but if I'm packing out from a base camp or if I'm going into a spike camp, that big knife can be a godsend.

[01:02:41] Mm-hmm. , because you can baton it through to split wood. You can chop small, you know, wood for processing for your firewood, so mm-hmm. , that kind of a nice, So let's you know, ideal. And money's no object, Chainsaw, chainsaw, fuel. Um, if weight is a concern, then a good quality, like a Silky boy style saw or one of the other folding type buck saws, those can, and I don't mean made by buck, but, uh, that, and then the other thing about those saws too is you're gonna have to process your game.

[01:03:10] Mm-hmm. , the saw is gonna be very handy. Uh, and ax, uh, probably like a forest ax size, you know? Mm-hmm. . Um, you don't really need a giant heavy splitting mall cuz it's a lot of weight to pack in. But that forest ax you can process, you know, six inch rounds no problem by splitting it. Uh, you can use it for cracking pelvis, you can use it, you know, for, uh, opening up the sternum, all those sorts of things so that, that acts no.

[01:03:40] Ax. Yeah. Big knife. You're probably okay if that's how you're gonna wanna look on a minimalist 

[01:03:46] Travis Bader: approach. You know, I generally always have a little ax, whether it be a little Gerber or I think so makes wine. But they're, they're lightweight, they're small, they're sharp, they're durable. And I've got one of my vehicle, if I'm going out and I'm doing a, um, a backpack hunt, a truck hunt, a fly-in hunt, I've always got in one of little pockets in my pack, a little, little ax.

[01:04:07] Cause it's amazing. Your tent pole goes down. If you can set something up, you chop something down. Uh, you're out on my, my side-by-side. I've got a little ax in the glove compartment. Uh, it takes a while, but you can actually take care of some pretty big obstacles. 

[01:04:23] Paul Ballard: Yeah, no, I like, I get my halto force, you know, and that's razor sharp.

[01:04:28] Yeah. It's not a great ax for splitting or anything else, but it will split. Yeah, I can certainly clear brush with it. I can process firewood, I can, you know, do anything else. And I just love that ax to, to bits, you know, that's, it's, uh, it's always with me. It's always on my, if, if I'm not, uh, using a pack board's, always on my day pack, always.

[01:04:47] And, uh, on the opposite side of my rifle, rifle goes here, Handle of the ax is by my ear over here, but it's always there. So, for 

[01:04:54] Travis Bader: sleeping, are you a, uh, a down or synthetic type person? Synthetic, yeah. 

[01:04:58] Paul Ballard: Yeah. You know, . 

[01:05:02] Travis Bader: Down is lightweight, it's compressible, it's got all these great things, it's 

[01:05:05] Paul Ballard: warm, you know, all this thing.

[01:05:06] But boy, when you're wet, you're, it's toast Arora, man. Yeah. And you are invariably either going to, you know, get wet from frost or you're gonna get wet from just, you know, condensation within the tent. Yes. All this is, now we have this vision of going up north and you know, it's gonna be super cold. Hmm.

[01:05:26] Most of the times, if you're in that, you know, even in the Northern Rockies, uh, up in the Cassius on the lakes, Okay, I'm not talking at, you know, top elevation. But, you know, we've seen temperature fluctuations from, like I say, 90 degrees during the day, which is a real anomaly, but most of the time it runs around four to six degrees Celsius during the day and gets down to minus.

[01:05:52] 10 minus 12 sometimes at night. Right. So, you know the need for a huge, you know, Trapper Nelson type, uh, you know those old pioneer bags? Yeah, sure. They'd be nice cuz you just throw 'em on the ground. Yeah. But you don't really need it. A good synthetic bag, even though it may not be as, as compressible.

[01:06:13] Travis Bader: You're gonna be warm and warm. Yeah. 

[01:06:15] Paul Ballard: You know, I got this crazy, these thin light bags I, I got years ago, and I still use them. They're mummy bags and man, they work really well and they are tiny when they're packed up. Mm-hmm. . But they, you know, they will take you down. So again, you want to trade off. It's all about backpacking again, What do the backpackers say and talk to them.

[01:06:36] But if you want to get a, you know, a small bag, and then what you do is you wear your layers underneath. You're gonna wear clothing, a beanie, uh, you know, keep your socks on when you go to bed 

[01:06:46] Travis Bader: and stuff, and, and the clothing system that you use. You're gonna want to have a hard shell so that you're able to be waterproof.

[01:06:52] You're gonna want to have water, windproof water and windproof. You're gonna want to have an insulating layer. You're gonna want to have some wicking layer under. And it's one of these places where you can cut a lot of weight because you're probably gonna be wearing basically the same thing all the time.

[01:07:06] It's not like in, in your built up areas where you're from, where gonna be 

[01:07:10] Paul Ballard: changing something, clothes, you know, do, do take up a ton of room and wait. We've often though, you know, reward yourself about halfway through the trip by having a, you know, clean, boiling up a lot of water, and, you know, changing out your underwear.

[01:07:24] Yeah. And maybe your, you know, your, your mid-layer, right? Yeah. But most of the time now, I would stay away from traditional style clothing, like a button up shirt with a collar. Mm-hmm. , everything you should be wearing, you know, should be super thin next to your body, wicking, then your mid layer, then you start maybe getting an insulating layer of either, you know, Marino wool or, or some of these finer down products, you know, or synthetic down.

[01:07:52] That would be good. Um, but by all means, having that ability to get the shell on. So if you know that when you've got every piece of clothing on, you're good for minus 20 mm. Uh, but you can also vary what you have in those layers back forth. , we always talk about the importance of breaking in that clothing as well and trying it out.

[01:08:12] You know, you don't want to head out there, uh, and not know, and that goes back to some of our other lessons on that. But your, your packing trip like this may require a little bit more specialized clothing, but nonetheless, the most important thing I always say is at night when it's bedtime, you don't go to bed in the clothes that you're, you wore all day, right?

[01:08:34] You gotta go to bed in dry clothes. So even if you're switching out, you get up in the morning, it's awful cold to get naked and get into those slightly damn clothes that you sweat in the day before. Keep that sleeping stuff dry. Mm-hmm. and I, you know, even the beanie and everything else that'll, that'll make for a huge issue.

[01:08:52] And can we actually just one step back on the, Yeah. On the sleeping side of things, super important to keep some form of insulation between you and the ground. You have to have it. So all of these new inflatable mats that are out there from climate and thermal rest and, and the like, that, uh, you know, they have that ability to give you that r value between the ground and your sleeping bag.

[01:09:12] Cause remember, you know, as soon as you're in your sleeping bag, you've taken away all the insulating value as your body crushes it down. Yeah. Right. So that's the, the importance of the pad. Air mattresses seen so many guys, you know, bring a nice, big thick, you know, air bad in, say I'm tired of sleeping so close to the ground, I could be covered, and they freeze to death.

[01:09:34] Mm-hmm. . So, um, if you need it, you know, you can buy, I have Climate has an awesome thick mattress, which only folds up to about that because not too big, but once it's inflated, it, it really gives you, uh, you know, a lot of cushioning, but also a lot of insulation value because inside now by the feet it's just air chambers.

[01:09:57] Mm-hmm. , but up where your body is, it's got, you know, uh, foam, like a, a high, uh, low density foam. Of course that's, you know, your body's able to heat that up. 

[01:10:06] Travis Bader: So those inflatable mattresses, in my opinion are, are a godsend. I mean, I'm a side sleeper and I need to slide sleep, otherwise I'm not gonna have a good sleep.

[01:10:15] I'll be snoring all night long. Yeah. Um, those inflatable thick ones are great. , putting something down between that inflatable thick layer, even if it's just a bit of a tarp or something a little, Keep it from getting from abrasions or from pops. Yeah. And bringing an emergency patch kit are so needed.

[01:10:33] Paul Ballard: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's again, in your, you know, being prepared for any emergency. So how will this piece of kit fail me? Mm-hmm. . So if it, you know, a catastrophic failure means you've gotta go to plan B, which is now head off and get a whole bunch of hemlock bows and, and put those down to, to cushion you from the ground.

[01:10:52] Mm-hmm. , because they will cushion you and more importantly, they will insulate you. Mm-hmm. , and, you know, and, and if it gets down to where you're, that's what you're gonna do, or if that's your plan right from the beginning, you should practice that an awful lot. Mm-hmm. before you get up there and, and, and, no, you know, there's hemlock in the north, but most of it's, you know, Spruce and spruce isn't quite as nice to lay on as, as hemlock, you know, and, and, and so on.

[01:11:16] Um, What can go wrong? Some people get these cots as well. Mm-hmm. , and again, with a cot, you're, it's getting that r value between the cold air space, between the ground and the cot and your sleeping bag. So you still need the air mattress. I don't know whether the cot on its own is, is the greatest idea. You know, it's certainly for comfort, for side sleeper it would be good, but still having that, you know, thermos climate pad or whatever in there.

[01:11:44] There is 

[01:11:45] Travis Bader: another thing that people might want to think about depending on the area that they're going to, is predatory protection. So I bring a, an electric fence, super lightweight. There's a company in Alaska that makes these things, Yeah, nine volt battery. Yeah. I think this is on double A's and it's, Yeah.

[01:12:02] But yeah, it's, it's a series of them, so it's probably same kind of voltage and it beeps, you get a little bit of a, Beep e every so often, and that's a nice comforting beep as you're going to sleep, that you know that the thing's working. If you stop hearing that beep, you realize time to change those 

[01:12:19] Paul Ballard: batteries.

[01:12:20] I have not invested one of those. I do recommend them. I think it's a great idea. Uh, what we've done is just, there's litter everywhere in the north, so even if you don't bring tin cans in, you can pretty quick find, you know, a half a dozen tin cans, fishing line strung around your camp, couple of stones in there.

[01:12:38] It's a classic early warning system, you know, for, for predators coming around, Right? Yeah, predators. I guess we've gotta talk about that. Where did we go? We were talking about betting. Yes, we were talking about layered clothing. Predators are a very real thing and keeping a sloppy camp may not be the best idea.

[01:12:59] Watch the prevailing wind. The wind's coming from my back blowing towards you, so, I'm where my camp is gonna be, where my tent is going to be in my tent. No toothpaste, no feminine products. No nothing in my tent except me. My sleeping gear and my clothing. Mm-hmm. , my cooking area, it moves as we go, you know, we follow the wind.

[01:13:22] So if a predator's following the wind backwards, he's gonna encounter all these other things. I'm gonna be, you know, while I'm sleeping in my tent, the last thing that they're gonna find. Mm-hmm. my cooking food preparation area, and fire my food cash minimum 16 feet in the air. Mm-hmm. , what's really wild when you go up to the north, um, you're not gonna end up in being the first person that's ever camped in that place.

[01:13:47] On a lake you might be when you spike out, up onto the mountain side. Mm-hmm. , you know, nobody slept in that little, you know, crevice that you found up there. But down on the lake side, they're all got camps all over them. Hmm. And often what's happened is if you're hunting in one of the Northern Parks BC parks, they have gone in their personnel and put, uh, cable up in the trees and put a piece of conduit, plastic conduit over the cable.

[01:14:11] So you get your rope over there and you can use it like a hoist to get your stuff well up off the ground. Mm-hmm. , you'd be a fool not to do that. A hundred percent agree. You'd be a fool not to do that. Your game pull again, as high as you can make it, you know, you use a little bit of ingenuity to figure out, uh, you know, how to build a ladder, bushcraft ladder to get up there, but that get that game pull up and often the game that you deal with in those circumstances, you're gonna have bone out anyways.

[01:14:39] Mm-hmm. . So it's not like hauling a a quarter of moose way up in the air. You're going to, you know, have a, a game bag full of meat, uh, which again, two of you or some even a little pulley, like to go with these block and tackles. . If you're going heavy camping, if you're going in, you know, with, you know, money to burn, that's fine.

[01:14:57] Maybe you want to bring a real block and tackling. But in a lot of cases, you know, your five 50 para court is what you're, you're gonna pull your game, meet up there with So an adequate pulley to put through that. Or if you're lucky enough to find one of these camps that have the, the conduit, uh, system, it's excellent and not too close to the trees because we always think about grizzly bears, but the north of bounds with black bears.

[01:15:21] Mm-hmm. . And they can climb trees like nobody's business. 

[01:15:24] Travis Bader: So tell me, um, I keep a tiny little Garmin, uh, I think they call it a temp, e n p e, but it's, it communicates with my watch, it tells me what the temperature is outside based on my pack as opposed to the temperature for my wrist, which is gonna be throwing it off a little bit so I can kind of keep an eye on a food safe range for any meat that I down.

[01:15:45] You find yourself out there. And it's a balmy hot day. What are you doing with your meat? 

[01:15:52] Paul Ballard: Oh, that's a great question cuz that has, has happened more than once. Now I'm going to proudly brag that the only meat we ever lost once was a moose that we'd, uh, dropped in the evening. And when we got back to it the next day that the grizzly had on, I mean, we packed out what we could in the initial go.

[01:16:10] Uh, we took out the tenderloins backstraps and I think, uh, a portion of one of the HD quarters. But uh, that was it on the first leavings. When we came back, the rest was gone. So that's a loss of meat. But to spoilage, we've been very lucky. Uh, I find that as long as the temperature sort of stays, About eight degrees or below.

[01:16:31] It's not a concern. It can just hang there and, and it's, and it's good. We try and find a good shady place always for our game pole. And if you can get kind of close to the lake again so that, you know, not only we're talking about prevailing wins from camp and, and you know, just predator protection, but if you can get it down there where the air is moving over it as well, that, um, Oh, what's the correction?

[01:16:57] It's not condensation, but the, uh, evaporative effect Right. Can also help to cool the meat. Right? As, as the meat dries it, it actually kind of cools from the right evaporative effect. So those are the, the right things to do. And we should all know that, you know, we should know how to hang meat from just, you know, our, our hunting experiences in the past, however, we have really got a spike in temperature, uh, getting to the meat where it starts to lose its crust.

[01:17:24] What we've done is taken totes and put totes into the lake, putting, you know, rocks in the bottom of the tote, plus the weight to the meat. But putting the tote in, uh, putting the, the lid back on the tote, covering it up with branches so it's shaded and the coolness of the lake. Cuz I'm telling you, those lakes up there are cold old.

[01:17:44] Yeah, they're all the time. There's, there's, you know, the odd time I've taken a dip in there to try and get cleaned off. They are cold. Right. Cold. Which kind of brings another point too. Um, Be very careful on any of these trips because again, help. Outweighs away couple hours at best. You know, even when you're communicator and something stupid is that, you know what?

[01:18:06] That cold shock that you can get from jumping into a lake. Yes. You know, it's a very real thing. Yeah. You don't wanna do that. You don't wanna risk anything. Mm-hmm. , if, if, you know, if you're gonna cross water and there's like a big slimy pole there that you think, well, I'll just, you know, walk across like the Great Will Enda or something like that, that's not a good idea.

[01:18:23] You can slip, break a leg, do all sorts of things. So stripping down with your Crocs, waiting across, using, you know, walking sticks or another thing that are always helpful on those. Mm-hmm. , um, extra caution. Yeah. Don't take risks, you know? Uh, Yeah. Don't take risks because you jeopardize everybody else that's on the trip as well.

[01:18:47] Mm-hmm. , because if you do something that now they have to rescue you or you have to be evacuated or treated or, or something of that nature, you, everybody else has gotta risk themselves to help you out. Mm-hmm. . I mean, we still haven't ki you know, we are gonna have to do a session too, where we're gonna have to do like a gear load out almost.

[01:19:06] Maybe that's what we're gonna have to, to try and talk about. But again, keep in mind on these things, um, to keep your equipment, uh, redundant that you've got a, a backup plan for every single piece of equipment you have. Say, if that thing fails, what have I got to back it up? And usually, you know, you're pretty safe with one backup.

[01:19:29] Mm. Uh, I always say, and, uh, you know, so that's, be prepared. Be a good boy scout if you're gonna do this. Consider all the, the ins and outs of it. Um, another thing always comes up, Well, what's the right caliber for this stuff? Well, we talked a lot about, we did caliber selection and everything else. If I were to say now on one of these northern hunts, I would probably offer for more horse.

[01:19:59] Hmm. You know, the, the, the 6.5 CREEDMORE craze is there, the 6.5 PRC great cartridges. Sure. We talked about, you know, the effectiveness based on their section loan. I want some horsepower. I'd be going the 300 PRC 

[01:20:12] Travis Bader: that you got there. Well, yeah, , 

[01:20:14] Paul Ballard: uh, but I mean, nothing's, you know, that's a heavy, that's a heavy rifle to carry around.

[01:20:19] It does what it's supposed to do and it does it very well. But I'd be, I'd be kind of inclined to be looking at, uh, a 300 wind mag or something like that. Right. Uh, 300 short mag, either seven millimeter or 30 caliber, uh, that, you know, that's, that's got some, some set down power because knock on wood, and as you're putting wood in the fireplace.

[01:20:45] Yes. Um, we never, uh, have actually had to shoot a grizzly bear on any of these trips. We've seen plenty. Right. Uh, and. You want to have an effective firearm for that. Right. A lot of times we talk about, you know, we always bring a, a shotgun for camp. Now we are talking about a small game getter. Yeah. If you bring a, a shotgun along, then some seven and a half shot buck shot, uh, and you know, for whatever predators and slugs, of course for bears,

[01:21:17] Having a light on that shotgun is pretty handy. Yes. Yeah. Uh, we have gone out for recovering game in absolute pitch dark and a headlamp and a scoped rifle is about as useless as, pardon my language, it tits on a Turkey. Right? Uh, there is, that is not gonna work for you. You need to, you know, your headlamp of course for navigation, but you need a lighted, uh, for end on that firearm.

[01:21:44] Mm-hmm. . So, you know, even if you, you know, the, like, it would be nice, your backup firearm if you want to take a third firearm or whatever, in case a rifle breaks something like a 45 70 with a little short picketing rail to put a light on, that'll be a help. You know, that'll be a 

[01:22:01] Travis Bader: help. What about water? So everyone's got their different ideas on water.

[01:22:05] I think this would be a good one to chat. 

[01:22:08] Paul Ballard: First couple of trips we're filter and air water. Hmm. If you're on a glacier lake that, you know, sort of milky, milky blue, can't see through the filter just plugs right up. Yeah. And what we found was, uh, a group of five on that one trip, two guys got really bad diarrhea and it had to be water born, you know?

[01:22:31] Sure. And, and so the filter gets as much as it does. We switched out, take a, you know, and if space allows, take a food grade five gallon bucket, which is good for your load in cause you'd put stuff in it to bring in. But you take, you fill that bucket up, you put water treatment in there, let it settle the, all of the, you know, the solids, all that, you know, glacier silt will settle to the bottom and you'll have a nice, you know, safe water to drink.

[01:23:02] Mm-hmm. . If you don't like the taste of that water purifier, then, you know, systems like, uh, well, Grail and, uh, Katie Di and I think there's other ones where you just sort of scoop the water, push the press down. Right. And it looks just like a regular water bottle that tends to take that taste out. Yeah. You know?

[01:23:20] Yeah. They work well. I mean, and then your redundancy to all this, if you were to lose your treatment, boil your water mm-hmm. boil it. Yeah. You know, to, to go through. I would, I would treat all the water I'm gonna drink because, you know, hey, it's a pristine looking creek now, and we've learned enough that, you know, there's a dead moose, a hundred feet up there that you can't see smell or whatever, and he's rotting in that creek and you start drinking, getting that bacteria or, you know, I heard a caribou's gone by and every one of them has had a leak in that water before you, you drink it, it's a problem.

[01:23:59] You know it, it's 

[01:24:00] Travis Bader: a pretty simple precaution to take. Oh, totally. If you have it, bring it. It's takes up so little, so little room. Treat 

[01:24:06] Paul Ballard: your water. Yeah. Yeah. And, and you know, life straw and, you know, grail and all those other systems for filtering the water are so much better than what they used to be.

[01:24:15] Those little, those little water 

[01:24:17] Travis Bader: pumps. The little handheld ones. Yeah. Yeah. They can be great. You find a little, maybe you can't get your canteen or your water bottle in to scoop it up, but you can pump it outta of there. Right. And then you put your water purification in. Yeah. I, I've got a little, uh, pocket bells I'll bring with me.

[01:24:31] Yeah. And I use this pocket bellows for starting fires so you're not breathing in it in and takes up no room. I keep it in my Bino pouch. Super handy little thing, but you pump water with it too. Well, the other thing is it works as a straw , I mean, I've been out there and I mean, your parts water's gone and you're in a pinch.

[01:24:48] Get it in below the scum, layer on the top. Drink something from underneath. Yeah. So I've, I've been there, I've been lucky. I've been lucky with the, um, uh, never having Giardia or anything like this. But why, why leave it up to 

[01:25:00] Paul Ballard: luck, Right. Purify. And now we, you know, the D word, I don't mean Dallas. Hmm. Uh, diarrhea are other ailments and everything else.

[01:25:09] When you go on these trips, you should have a good broad spectrum set of medications, you know, for headaches, for muscle cramping, all these things. Because if you don't drink enough water, you're gonna get muscle cramps. Yep. So it's nice to be able to treat that so you can sleep. There's a whole host of things that'll make that trip that much more enjoyable.

[01:25:27] But make sure you've got antidiarrhea, stomach medicine, uh, all the differents, analgesics and, and so on, and all that goes with a first rate, first aid kit, you know. Uh, people often think associated to hunting are gonna be gunshot wounds, which we really know is not, not really the truth. Uh, 

[01:25:47] Travis Bader: sprains and 

[01:25:48] Paul Ballard: breaks.

[01:25:50] In sized wounds as seems to be the worst thing that I've encountered time and time again. Sure. Because, you know, you're either sharp hunting knives up inside the cavity of an animal, or broken bones or things like that. So make sure you're capable of doing that. Talk to your family doctor. He might be the kind of person that will give you a bit of a broad spectrum antibiotic that you can bring along with you so that if somebody does get cut early on the trip, they can start administering this stuff.

[01:26:17] You know, they're, they can, they can prescribe that for you, just, you know, based on the faith that they know you that well or whatever. And it, and it's 

[01:26:25] Travis Bader: worth a try that some buddies go up and do Denali and their doctor prescribed them some morphine. Yeah. I don't know how many doctors will do that, but hey, they're able to head up there and do it.

[01:26:35] So maybe that's a relationship they have. Yeah, exactly. 

[01:26:38] Paul Ballard: And that, and it's always nice. Firefighters are great hunting partners because they are super well trained. First aid. Yes, they are. You know, and, and having a, you know, one of your, your hunting party being a firefighter is a good thing. There's my, as a police officer, a shameless plug for a former police officer , um, the, uh, Oh, I was gonna say something else about the first aid kit.

[01:27:01] It just popped outta my head. 

[01:27:04] Travis Bader: Crazy glue sutures. Oh, 

[01:27:07] Paul Ballard: compression. Yeah. And, and if, if everybody could take a first aid course before you go on one of these, it's extremely important. Sure. 

[01:27:16] Travis Bader: Very important duct tape, man. I use duct tape for everything. I, and I wrap it around my water bottles, get good quality duct tape.

[01:27:24] And I've got someone, some water bottles out here that have been sitting out in the rain forever. You can still peel it off and it still sticks, 

[01:27:30] Paul Ballard: Gor. Gorilla tape Yeah. Is good because you'd also use it as a fire starter. Yes. You know, you need to, you know, have a, a good amount. And again, just like you say, so you know, your, your, your fire steel, your phac rod to wrap that around, make a knob on the end of it.

[01:27:45] But do it with gorilla tape so you can peel that off. Um, the, uh, make sure that you've got that tape for repairing everything. Gorilla tape will often make an airtight seal on your air mattress too. If you know the first, you know, attempt at at seal it up works. Okay. We tore the bottom out of a canoe once.

[01:28:05] Gorilla tape. Well, yeah. It was actually duct tape on that one. But what we did was we tore the out of a fiberglass canoe, we laid a round piece of willow in there. Yep. And then we brought shoe. Okay. Which is another great product. And so we use the gorilla or the duct tape shoe goo everything. We're able to make the, the canoe waterproof again, which gave us the ability to 

[01:28:29] Travis Bader: get, You're going in with a lot more kit than I'm going in with.

[01:28:32] I'm, I'm coming up to this conclusion here. If, if, 

[01:28:34] Paul Ballard: if everybody's gone a, you know, a roll of tape, if everybody's got a little bit of shoe glue and it doesn't weigh much, Yeah. You know, it's good. Speaking of shoes and feet, man. Oh man, you've gotta have blister remedy with you. So, Duct tape. Yeah, duct tape will actually work.

[01:28:50] Um, there's some other products that are a little nicer, uh, that'll stay on your feet for quite a while too. There's different types of tape, but you can't fool around. As soon as you get a hotspot on your foot, you gotta treat it. You gotta, you gotta get that blister prevented or, 

[01:29:04] Travis Bader: or protect, you know, That's, uh, a very interesting.

[01:29:07] Talking about stopping and treating it. So, uh, many years back, buddy of mine just came outta the British military. He'd done SAS selection a couple times. He's been on the podcast here in the past, and he says, Trav, I'm, I'm gonna go do hike some of the hills around here. You want to come along? Absolutely I do.

[01:29:23] Right? So I go on out there. Geez, what boots should I use? Everyone's raving about these Dan boots. Totally inappropriate boot for me. And Boots are such a personal thing. You can never say, this is the best boot to get. People have to try it out and figure it out for themselves. Anyways, I, I'm going out there and, uh, there's another fellow with us as well, or hiking up the mountain side and he's getting some hot spots on his feet.

[01:29:46] And man, I'd had hot spots for quite some time already, but I can't say nothing, right? This guy just got outta the British military done SAS selection. I'm keeping him mouth shut, plugging along lets to our thing. I don't want to be looking like a wuss on this. The other guy says, Oh, you know, my feet are kind of bothering me.

[01:30:02] And he's like, Stop. Sit down, take off your boots, address 'em. He says, Okay, administrate yourself. Okay. So he is doing his thing and I'm looking and Oh, maybe I should do the same thing going up the mountain guys kind of shivering. It's like, Hold on, stop. Get, get your uh, get your jacket on. Warm up. Right?

[01:30:21] And it was a very different mindset than how I was raised and what I was used to. I was always raised and used to be tough. Keep going, don't complain. Right? And we can power through this. There'll be a deadline or a finish line, and then you can warm up and nurse your wounds afterwards. This guy goes on and on and on.

[01:30:40] He doesn't pick the fastest pace. He's not screaming through. But whenever there's an issue, you need some food. You stop, get some food in, get going. You need your feet done. You stop, you address your feet. And that little mindset, which turns out is a special forest mindset. What a game changer to the comfort level and ability just to enjoy your hunt, your hike, your your back country a.

[01:31:03] Like, I spent the next two and a half, three weeks in flip flops because I had such huge scabs on the back of my feet after that that I couldn't get shoes on. So stopping the second you get a hotpot, the second you start getting a little bit cold, put something on right before it gets too far, because there's nobody gonna be out there to, to fix 

[01:31:23] Paul Ballard: that for you.

[01:31:24] Yeah. And keep watching your, your partners that are with you, because we're not all, we all don't have the same metabolic rate or, or, you know, energy level or anything else like that. Because, and being the tough 

[01:31:34] Travis Bader: guy doesn't do the group help. 

[01:31:36] Paul Ballard: And let's skip all the way back to the beginning of this. How much did this thing cost?

[01:31:42] Mm-hmm. . So why ruin, you know, something that I've invested quite a bit of money to be out there to do right by not taking five minutes outta my day to get my socks off, treat my dogs, put my socks back on and continue on. Right. Speaking of which, another little helpful hint, which I know I've offered up as a pro tip in the past, but Gore-Tex socks, you can't help but get your boots soaked through.

[01:32:06] You take your wet socks off, you put dry socks on, you put a set of Gore-Tex socks on, put your wet boots, you know, try and blo as much water out, but put your goretex socks back on and you can walk with dry feet again. And often you can walk your boots dry over a day or so as well with that, even though you're not having to put them to a fire to warm them up or dry them, anything like that.

[01:32:27] Well, 

[01:32:27] Travis Bader: you had that other tip as well, that sham Wow tip. 

[01:32:30] Paul Ballard: Yep. Well that's it at night. Uh, carry those little sham wows, twist them up, put them up inside your boot, and it works like a capillary siphon to right to take the water out. So toes up, shamma up inside. And it 

[01:32:43] Travis Bader: can also use it on the inside of your tent to dry things off with all the condensation that you're gonna get on a 

[01:32:48] Paul Ballard: single wall tent.

[01:32:49] Any way. Nothing. And, and that's the, you know, rather than being a Terry cloth towel, get one of those microfiber towels. Yeah, Which same thing. You can use it for so many things and it doesn't take up any space or weight or anything like that, but you don't need like a, you know, a face towel, pant towel, bath towel, that sort of stuff.

[01:33:06] One of those little ones. And talking about keeping clean is keeping warm too. Mm-hmm. You know, on the subject of tells, make sure you bring along, you know, some scent-free, uh, biodegradable, you know, soap camp suds or something like that. You wash the dishes, wash your clothes if you need to wash your, your body, it's all good.

[01:33:23] Mm-hmm. . Um, some of the other things, again though, as much comfort as you want to have. Um, being careful. There's always liquor in my hunting camp, but, you know, so. On these types of camps, take in just, you know, a little bit of sip and liquor or something like that. It'll cut way back. You can, don't bother bringing glass in the know.

[01:33:48] That's kind of a, a personal request cuz glass either gets broken and never, never comes out. Or people say, Oh, it just throw it in the fire and it turns to slide. Oh it doesn't really. Right. It's still there. It's still there. There's always glass, uh, packing in your garbage. The ethos. Pack it in, pack it out.

[01:34:05] Yeah. Right. You know, just whatever you're taking in now, I always say you gotta burn your food scraps, You know, that helps with predators. Take your tin cans, burn them, but then take them out and smash them flat and then put them into a bag. But don't there, there seems to be this thought that went back cuz the guys that were in those and, and that will be the shocking thing you will find when you go into these northern lakes and remote areas.

[01:34:30] There's people who have been there for a hundred years before you. Sure. And you'll find areas where people have, you know, dumped a whole bunch of cans into a hole in the ground and they're still there. 

[01:34:40] Travis Bader: Well, even going back further than that, there's like obsidian arrowheads in, uh, 

[01:34:45] Paul Ballard: mids and things like that.

[01:34:46] Yeah, exactly. Like people have been there, people have. Uh, fires another couple things. You know, wherever you, you go in and there's already an established fire pit, but for whatever reason, somebody says, Well, I don't really like the view from that fire pit, so I'm gonna put another fire pit there. So you've now created another 30,000 year scar on the ground, Right?

[01:35:04] Right. So just stick with, you know, what's there. Use what people have had. Cutting, cutting live trees. Uh, if you're operating in one of the northern parks up there, in many of these areas, you know, our, our parks, they're regulated by BC parks. You cannot cut the live, uh, conifers trees. That's a fine Right.

[01:35:26] And. Have run into, you know, if you hear a helicopter coming, it's one of two things. It's somebody coming to rescue or it's gonna be the co conservation officer service. And they usually come with a BC parks ranger that comes in there mm-hmm. . And that ranger is looking to see what you've cut mm-hmm. and that can a amount to quite a, a hefty fine.

[01:35:46] So there's no reason to cut. There is so much dead standing stuff. Um, if you're any one of the lake shores, you know, for firewood, and then, you know, if you do need structural things, cut the aspens, nobody, you know, they're fine. You grow right back, cut the alder, cut the, the willow and, and, and that type of, you know, um, weed tree, for lack of a better term, that that's all fine.

[01:36:10] Sure. They don't care about that. But when you're finished, if you've cut a bunch of tent poles from what's up there, stand them up so they don't rot. And then the next person that arrives can use them to, to string their wall tent on or whatever they, they, they care to do. I think, you know, we, it was a traditional thing to take, you know, a, a frameless wall tent in, and then cut your poles, cut your poles and everything else.

[01:36:34] Today there is such a variety of the hot tents that are out there. Most of them like a, a, a a teepee style or, or something like that. But a a, a circular, you know, allows, uh, for your tall center pole to go up. And that center pole can either be, you know, an expandable one that you brought, one that you cut, or you can actually use a little pulley system and pull the center of that thing up a little small wood stove inside there.

[01:37:04] And you've got comfort beyond. Imagine, you know, you know who 

[01:37:08] Travis Bader: makes a really good, lightweight, spacious tent. Mm. Brad Brooks from Rali. Oh, really? Past podcast guest. And, uh, just Google up Rali check, check out the tents that he makes. He's was one of the consultants on some other big name lightweight back country tents.

[01:37:28] And he says, You know, I still have ideas. I still want to make innovations. And he's made those innovations within the tents that he has there. So I would definitely recommend people check that one out. Yeah, they're awesome. 

[01:37:39] Paul Ballard: Well, that's gonna be your home for while you're in there, right? So you wanna make sure that you know, you, you've taken good accounts.

[01:37:46] I mean, we talked about bringing some tarps because you can't spend all your time in the tent. Uh, and if you get a big roar and fire outside, you know, it's nice to have, uh, a bit of a tarp to reflect the heat back from that fire onto your back and also keep you out of the mist or whatever that's coming down.

[01:38:04] Travis Bader: So we've covered a fair bit of ground here. Oh, man. You know, mindset going in, being the group, the people that you're picking, making the decision whether you're gonna go by yourself or with a group. Understanding bush pilots and weather systems and how that's, there's no guarantees there really. There is no guarantees.

[01:38:21] And just because you're guarantee book in with a pilot doesn't mean that you're necessarily taking voice 

[01:38:25] Paul Ballard: scout attitude. Be 

[01:38:26] Travis Bader: prepared, be prepared. Um, communication systems. We touched a little bit on food. You're right that it's a much bigger area. We could, uh, we could get into sleeping systems, both shelters, backup systems.

[01:38:39] Talked a bit about firearms. W I don't know if there's too much else within the scope of this that we can really be delving into, but the, 

[01:38:48] Paul Ballard: you know, the basics, optics, firearms, that's all there. But I would just say with the firearms opt for a bit of redundancy so that you do have, you know, some kind of a backup for the firearms.

[01:38:58] Mm-hmm. , I mean, if you and I, if I was, you know, 40 years younger and we were going in on a sheep hunt and we're going in on a, in a 1 72 or a 180 2 or you know, a small float plane onto a high altitude lake, it might be just backpack and a little box of, you know, snacks or something like that. So there that redundancy thing's gonna be wa Yes.

[01:39:20] Right. You know, we're not gonna have a whole ton of stuff, but if you and I and a couple other guys are gonna, you know, pay for a, an otter flight in, we could be relatively comfortable, but be smart about it. Mm-hmm. , you know, what we're bringing in. We wanna have a good shelter. We want to have the ability to sit around the fire at night, Those things.

[01:39:38] Mm-hmm. , you know, Firearms. It remains the same. Optics remains the same. You know, those, those things don't change too much. But the specialty specialness of, of this remote, you know, um, packing and hunting trip requires that we do some, some real thinking. 

[01:39:57] Travis Bader: Why don't we give it a wrap up right there. Okay. If people have, uh, questions on specifics, we can always delve into the minutia.

[01:40:04] Yeah. But this should give a good overall for people who are thinking about doing a flying hunt, particularly in the British Columbia area. And, uh, I mean, I've got pack lists. I'm sure you do too. I've got stuff we can put as offline assets. Yeah. People are looking at what, uh, what we've used in the past and, uh, they might even have suggestions that make it better for our next fly in that we're gonna do together.

[01:40:26] Right. Where, where is that ? 

[01:40:28] Paul Ballard: Yeah. It's by Whisper Lake next to Never, Never Tell Mountain. That's in Region nine. Oh, it, Well, I think they moved it to Region 10 by now. Oh, is it? Okay. Okay. Yeah. No, we'll, we'll have a spot and we'll, you know, see if you can figure it out. Just like right here at Fu Duck Lodge.

[01:40:45] Fu Duck Lodge.

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