So, on top of pushing our budget to fit this trip in after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, Kevin and I were very generous with what we packed. Both of us kept having “What if(s)” run through our minds. Like, what if we get lost? What if we get up there and we get hit with a blizzard? Which has happened to Kevin before.
Anyway, with all of those and many more hypothetical situations running through our mind, we knew one thing was for sure; we wanted to be prepared. So here’s the top 3 things we were glad we packed and for good reason. On top of the obvious!
1 – Footwear
There was a moment where I thought that I was good with my footwear choice. Kevin and I both purchased the same pair of boots. Fieldblazer All Terrain Sport Boot is what we both picked out. They were 16” high, somewhat lightweight, 100% waterproof, and rated for sub-freezing temperatures. I will say that my feet got really cold one 25 degree day. I believe that was partially because we weren’t doing a lot of walking and I was not wearing my full 100% wool socks like I should have been. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with a boot that was rated with high insulation. That being said we highly recommend these boots, they were extremely comfortable, when we were walking. When we were sitting, I did get a little cold.
Link to buy: http://bit.ly/1TUpIAC
2 – Comfortable Optics
When you’re up in the central United States, you will be glassing big canyons and open fields that could be miles away. Up in Nebraska there were times we just stopped and glassed for hours. And having a good set of optics, was absolutely crucial. I had a pair of Red Head 10×42 which in my opinions aren’t the best pair around. Kevin had the Diamondback by Vortex, which I often took when he was glassing through his Nikon Spotting Scope. Then Chuck had a pair of Cabela’s 8×42. Out of all of us, I had the most difficult seeing further and in darker light. So I wouldn’t recommend the Red Head pair but the other 2, go for it!
3 – Rangefinder(s)
Last of the top 3 essentials for our trip to Nebraska is, having a great range finder. When you’re glassing these huge canyons and see something on the other side; this is where judging the correct distance can be the difference in a perfect shot or not. One instance, when we were glassing there was a buck on the other hillside. It honestly looked to be close to 300 yards. When Kevin pulled up the gun to shoot I was able to put up my Nikon 800s and get a bead on him; I whispered, “it’s only 236”. Without this pair or even a decent set of rangefinder, I would have easily said to him, “about 300 yards” because those canyons were so deceiving. That could have been the difference in shot placement, especially with the Thompson Center Encore Muzzleloader.