Today’s Tip: Elk Hunting in a Canvas Wall Tent
I’ve done a ton of elk hunting over the past 30 years, spending a lot of time in extremely remote wilderness. In my younger days I used to back-pack to places far away from any roads, and I would take everything I needed for a week or so on my back. Those were some good, adventurous times, and I fared well in those conditions, even on the days I was soaking wet from rain or snow and had only a primitive camp to come back to at night. I remember many a night spent under a huge Douglas Fir tree in the Service Creek Wilderness area where I camped; under the large canopy I made a living area that kept me fairly protected from the elements, but not completely.
But as I got more serious about elk hunting and eventually using an outfitter to pack me in on horseback, I realized the true value and comfort of a good canvas wall tent. It’s basically like a cabin in the wilderness, with so many more of the amenities than I had when I was back packing. It’s amazing how much harder you can hunt when you have some comforts in the wilderness, like a cot to sleep on, a stove for cooking, pots and pans, a wood stove for warmth, tables and chairs, and most of all protection from the elements.
I know canvas wall tents aren’t for everybody, but for me, they make an excursion into the wild a much more pleasant experience, especially during the hunting seasons when there is a 100% chance that it is going to rain or snow, I can’t remember a single elk hunt where it didn’t do either, or both.
If you don’t have your own gear, most outfitters will pack you into a spike camp with all of their gear, or even a fully guided camp where someone else does all the camp chores. I have my own gear, but also use an outfitter for certain hunting trips to pack me in to a remote area, and then leave me there until I have them come back. The fully guided camps can be expensive, but the drop camps are very affordable. Some outfitters, like Sable Mountain Outfitters in Colorado where I sometimes work, will pack you and your gear into the wilderness, then come and pick you up (and your elk) for a very reasonable fee. The experience of a trip in a remote area in a wall tent is one you will always remember, whether it be hunting, fishing, or just camping. It is something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime.