First solo trip.any advice

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
This year my elk trip to Idaho became a solo trip.my buddy that I've gone with the last 2 years had to bail. This is my 3rd trip elk hunting and first trip by myself. The area I go to is a 3 mile hike from the truck and the other 2 years we have only seen 3 other hunters in the area. I feel confident in the area about seeing elk and getting on them as we have had numerous opportunities but for one reason or another didn't get it done. The first year was a little scary going out west and experiencing the wild country with no idea what to expect. I know what I am getting into now but my question is how many people go solo and what are any suggestions for a first time solo trip. I will admit the first year we had a tent and I slept ok but the next year to cut weight we had a kelty tarp and I had a he'll of a time sleeping as we had a black bear come in to camp just as we got there at dark.sleeping is one of my big hangups about going solo any advice would be great.
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
I will be in the backcountry for 7 days unless I kill earlier
 

realunlucky

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Messages
10,591
Location
Eastern Utah
Tylenol pm will help you sleep. Have a plan for when you get one down how your getting it back to truck
 

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
Tylenol pm will help you sleep. Have a plan for when you get one down how your getting it back to truck

The sleepy-time agent in Tylenol PM is identical to what's in Benadryl. The latter will help you sleep just as well, and is less harsh on the liver and kidneys.
 

Darren Best

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
682
Location
North Idaho
Practice sleeping under your tarp during the summer so you get used to it.

Make sure your pad is comfortable enough and your bag warm enough.

Cook your meals and hang your food away from your camp and put your cooking gear in with it. I know it's inconvenient, but having late night prowlers is not conducive to a good nights sleep.

Avoid the pills, they just make you groggy during the day.
 

Bighorse

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2012
Messages
445
Location
SE Alaska
I hunt solo alot. Realizing your alone and responsible for your every move can be fun. Realizing that it can get genuinly lonely is also important. If your a social personality than you might find yourself desiring companionship more than the hunt. I don't know you so take that tidbit with a grain of salt.

I hunt the backcountry of Alaska alone. So I'm dealing with Brown Bears. They always leave me fearing for my life. Yet I always muster the courage to point my boots into the hills. The constant focus while solo can be draining. Find a safe location to just unwind durring your hunt.

I'm going on a solo Caribou and Sheep trip this fall in the Alaska Range. I expect to have many challenges. The work part of it will be carefully done. I anticipate doing a few heavy slogs and for climbs I'll ferry loads. Nothing happens quick. Be kind to yourself and take plenty of time for your endeavor.

Solo hunts really can cement your place as a hunter. Your out there hunting for you and yours. Why your there isn't social, it's primal. Bring your best gear. Eat and drink as needed. Kill when you can!
 
Last edited:

Solitude

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
337
Location
Northern CA
As stated above, hang all food items away from camp, cook away from camp, take a Tylenol PM and lastly I would add a can of bear spray next to your bedroll.

I know it is a metal thing, but black bears......you will be fine. The grizz is all I worry some about when hunting solo as everything else I have ran into turns tail and runs. Have not seen a grizz yet, but do not want too either.
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
Thanks for the info. Being from the Midwest its hard to get alot of experience in the mountains it takes years of trips to gain knowledge and trouble shoot your equipment. Reading info on this Site has been invaluable and has really helped improve my gear. I think I have a good meat care plan for when I kill this year but the weather can always change a good plan. I have a therma rest neo air lite pad that was pretty comfortable but was worried about sleeping to heavy with a sleeping pill. Also I haven't brought a sidearm withme but was considering for this year's trip.
 

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
Been hunting for years without a sidearm, would leave it at home, unless you are along the border in Southern Arizona. If you are concerned about bear attacks (which are far and few in between) bring bear repellent / spray. I pack some bug-off for the insects.
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
I am bowhunting. Getting to the mountains sept 20th and have to leave the 28th
 

Craig4791

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
2,142
Location
Soldotna,AK
I hunt solo a lot, a few of the areas have lots of black bears. i pack the bear spray as well and don't carry a side arm. As far as sleeping get a good sleep system that keeps you dry and warm and for getting used to being solo in the backcountry the only thing I know of is experience, the more you do it the more comfortable you will get. Not sure there is a way around that one.
 
Last edited:

Gman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
551
Location
Colorado baby!
All the above tips a good. In addition I download some books to my iPhone. Helps fill the time between dinner and sleep and helps me fall asleep. Just nothing about bears or bear attacks. :)
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
The more I think about the trip the more excited I get. The thought of doing everything solo with no one else to depend on will be a rush I would like to think that after the first or second nite I would get used to sleeping alone.
 

Ridge Ghost

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
1,061
Location
Missoula, MT
I always sleep better with the bear spray right next to my pillow.

I have never had a problem with bears, but last year I did have a bull moose show up and start thrashing a tree and stomping around about 15 yards from my tarp at around midnight. This went on for about 20 minutes, and I kept my hand on the spray the whole time. I was solo and it scared the crap out of me. He finally got spooked by the tarp and trotted off, but I didn't sleep the rest of night.
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
Downloading some books would be a good idea. How far in do you think is to far for a solo hunter? I will turn 40 on the mountain am in good shape 6'4". 225lbs and my initial camp is just under 3 miles from my truck 2000 feet higher. The country is more open than timbered and if I move camp like we did in the past its another 1-2 miles with 1000 feet up and down and back up to the next spot. Water is scarce so that has always dictated where we camped
 

Darren Best

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
682
Location
North Idaho
Check the regs where you are going, some states do not allow a firearm during archery season, so you may be stuck with bear spray by default.

I always carry a pistol when I don't have a rifle, had a few close calls with black bears, they almost always run and had one really close call with a grizzly, he chose to run.

Avoidance is your best bet, keeping your cooking, food and food smells away from your sleeping area and keep your eyes and ears sharp all the time, even during the day. In all the years and nights I've spent in camps, I've never had a bear in camp.
 

blb078

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
306
Location
Wentzville, MO & Port Charlotte, FL
I always sleep better with the bear spray right next to my pillow.

I have never had a problem with bears, but last year I did have a bull moose show up and start thrashing a tree and stomping around about 15 yards from my tarp at around midnight. This went on for about 20 minutes, and I kept my hand on the spray the whole time. I was solo and it scared the crap out of me. He finally got spooked by the tarp and trotted off, but I didn't sleep the rest of night.

That's funny, but kind of nerve racking like confronting a bear too. You come across a bull moose in a bad mood and he'll mess you up too. I'd almost be more worried about a moose over a black bear.
 
OP
R

reid

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
19
I will be in east Central idaho.I don't think their are any grizzly but plenty of black bears.haven't ran into any wolfs the last 2 years but lots of bears and coyotes. Going solo do you rely less on calling then you do when hunting with a buddy or do you still tryto work a bull then just keep moving in on him? Considering a decoy we see alot of elk there but it's so open they hung up alot when trying to call them in
 

Darren Best

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
682
Location
North Idaho
Sorry missed that you are coming to Idaho.

Handgun is legal during archery here.

There are grizzly bears in the area you are going, but rare, the little blacks are far more common.

Calling in a bull solo is tougher, but can be done, it's how I got my first bull.
 
Top