Thank you for hunting with the Gunnison Country Guide Service in one of our drop camps. The following information is provided to help make your experience a successful and enjoyable one. The lists are not necessarily complete nor is all the suggested gear absolutely necessary. A drop camp is an ideal situation for hunters who enjoy hunting and camping on their own in the back country and the tasks and responsibility associated with it. It is highly recommended that you be in good physical condition and have the ability to orient yourself and find your way and the knowledge to use good judgment in mountain wilderness hunting conditions. Elk hunting can be very challenging and rewarding or very frustrating and difficult (or all of these) depending on your attitude. A drop camp situation is not right for every hunter, but for some it’s the very best way to hunt. I hope you have a great time in our camp.
CAMP EQUIPMENT PROVIDED: We provide the following equipment in each drop camp.
PLANNING MEALS/PACKING GROCERIES: Plan your meals well. Make a menu. Then build your grocery list from it. Pay attention to serving sizes and how much you will need. Where practical use lightweight alternatives (ie: powdered milk or canned milk, cool aid, dried and/or instant potatoes, etc.). The weight and bulk of your groceries can get way out of reason if you don’t plan properly or less often you may short yourself. You may bring canned goods, packaged dry goods, some produce, and frozen foods, etc. Wrap and freeze your meats ahead of time and you shouldn’t need ice. Put meats and other potential leaking foods in plastic zip lock bags. It’s a good idea to put pancake mix, flour, etc. in zip lock bags also to keep dry. Pack bread and eggs and other breakables in protective containers or sturdy cardboard boxes and label them so that we can try to protect them when packing horses. Ice chests and boxes should be approximately 25” x 15” or smaller.
BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE AND EQUIPMENT: Watch the area around the tent stove pipe opening and adjust the tent or pipe if necessary. You may want to pour water around the tent fabric near the stove on occasion. Do not leave the tent unattended with a fire in the stove. Shut down the damper on the stove when leaving camp. Watch for leaks on gas stoves and lanterns. Usually tightening the appropriate nut with a pair of pliers will stop most leaks. Keep plastic buckets and cups, etc. and other flammable materials away from stoves and lanterns. If your wood stove has a hot water tank, make sure there is some water in the tank before starting a fire in the stove.
Be very careful with axes and bow saws. Hang them up or store them in a wood stump. Stepping on them or falling on them in the dark can ruin your day. Always chop into a wood stump or block with the axe, not into the ground. Watch for overhanging obstacles. Please do not cut green trees nor the branches from green trees nor scar trees by storing the axe in a live tree. Do not put nails into live trees. I have to explain these actions to the Forest Service when they check our camps.
WATER AND SANITATION: I recommend that you boil drinking water from springs or streams or you can filter it if you bring a water filter. Use latrines or cat holes for sanitation. Always keep them away from open water, and always cover them with dirt at the end of your stay
WEIGHT AND LOAD LIMITS OF PERSONAL GEAR & FOOD (HOW MUCH CAN YOU BRING?) We will allow a maximum of one pack animal per person for your party. That means approximately 150 to 180 lbs per animal/person depending on bulk and size of packages. Not long ago, we considered that excessive, and in most cases it won’t take that many pack animals if you plan well and are even somewhat conservative. It costs us more to keep the extra pack horses and the staff necessary to handle them. These costs are passed on to you. Lately we’ve had groups that have exceeded this limit by a considerable amount. We could raise our rates for everyone, but we prefer to let those who bring excessive gear/food pay their own way. You agreed not to bring excessive gear in the contract you signed. We consider more than one pack animal per person to be excessive. You will be charged $200.00 per additional pack animal that exceeds this limit.