Monday, August 14, 2017

The Best Tips For Staying Awake While Hunting - Guest Post

Here is an interesting guest post on how to get the rest you need for a successful hunt. It is an important consideration that I had never thought of.

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If you are interested in staying awake as much as possible and maximizing the amount of sleep you get during the hunting season, read on. We will explore how to do it and the best way to ensure that you are not sleep deprived while hunting while at the same time ways to ensure that you get as much hunting time as possible.



Catch Up With Sleep
The number one strategy to ensure that you maximize the amount of time you have during the hunting season, you need to make up for the so-called "sleep debt" in the weeks leading up to the hunting season. Humans need at least one of sleep to properly function and stay alert for two hours. With this regard, if you are getting less than eight hours of sleep, there is an accumulation of sleep debt that needs to be made up for. In this regard, prior to the hunting season, try as much as possible to make up the debt.

Take Naps
During the hunting season, the tradition has been to hunt during the weekend and work throughout the week. After all, life must go on and responsibilities must be met. This means that during the weekends when you are hunting, you tend to build up a substantial sleep debt. As such, to make up for this debt, make a point of regularly taking naps during the week in order to offset the difference. Whenever you have a chance, take a nap. For instance, the period right after work is a good time to naps in readiness for hunting weekends.

Additionally, when you experience being sleepy while hunting, take 10- or 20-minute power naps. This gets rid of the adenosine (the chemical responsible for the grogginess feeling) out of your brain.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Those glasses of wine or bottles of beer that you regularly take after dinner tend may seem fine, but unbeknown to many, they do influence the quality of sleep that one gets during. As the alcohol wears off, there is a tendency for many people to experience subtle withdrawals. The withdrawals tend to cause the awakening, negating the quality of sleep that you experience, which in effects affects your alertness while hunting. In this regard, negate the amount of alcohol that you consume in the period leading up to the hunting season. Better yet, keep off alcohol completely.

Make Your Hunting Sleep Experience Comfortable
For proper rest and sleeping, make a point of making your sleeping experience as comfortable as possible. Therefore, if you are sleeping on the ground, carry with you supplies that make the sleeping experience comfortable. For instance, carry with you sleeping pads that are rated for all weather, earplug, and a blindfold. Additionally, carry items that simulate the feeling of being at home. For instance, carry your favorite pair of pajamas or sleep time book.

Opt For Medication
If you anticipate finding it difficult to sleep while on a hunting expedition, you should consider purchasing "hypotonics" sleeping pills that have been proved to be safe and effective to use on a short-term basis. Such medications include Ambien and Sonata.

If you need to stay focused for longer periods of time then there are a wide range of things that can help with that too. CogniTune has a great, wide selection of these.


You should also determine possible medical conditions that will interfere with your sleep quality. Such conditions include sleep apnea, heart conditions, and Parkinson's disease.


Monday, August 7, 2017

A Flashlight: The Most Important Piece of Outdoor Gear

I have two things I carry with me at all times, well five actually. My phone, wallet, and keys are always with me, but everyone has those! The other two "optional" things I always have with me is a good pocket knife (I personally carry a Swiss Army Champ) and a tactical flashlight.

If I had to choose between the pocket knife and the flashlight...... I don't know. Day to day, I'd probably choose the knife, I use it dozens or times a day at work. But if I am going out into the woods or on the water, it would be the flash light 100% of the time. It is without a doubt the most useful tool I own and the most critical safety device I carry.

Flashlights are not what they used to be when I was growing up. This is what I used for the first 15 years I spent outdoors:



I still keep it by my desk. Mostly for nostalgia. I have upgraded it with an LED bulb, but I never use it. It is simply inferior in every way to modern flashlights.

Like many things related to the outdoors, modern tactical flashlights were first designed for military use. Don't believe me? Check out this Wikipedia article. It is pretty fascinating.

Thankfully outdoorsmen can now greatly benefit from these advances in technology. Modern flashlights are tougher, more efficient, and much, much brighter than those common just ten years ago.

I have two main flashlights that I use often. My older one is a Mag-light LED.



I carried it everyday for several years. I liked it because it is small, light, and uses AA batteries. It is not the brightest light available, but it gets the job done.

About a year ago, I retired the Mag-light to my trucks center console in exchange for this bad boy:


It is a Slyde 6267. This thing is amazing! It is about 250 lumens, which is enough to blind something at night and illuminate shadows in the day and takes AAA batteries (I don't like buying special batteries for my flashlights). It is made super tough and is weather proof.

 The cool part is that it slides open to reveal a worklight!



 Its base has a super strong rare earth magnet, which is also extremely handy. The only down side is that it is quite heavy at 10.6 OZ with batteries (I just weighed it!)

 It stays on my hip in a Night-Eyez sheath. You can pick these up a Lowe's. They fit just about any flashlight out there.



 Everyone has different needs from their flashlight. I'm not going to go over all of them out there because I don't have to! Thankfully There is a great gear review website that did this for us. If you are looking for an outdoor flashlight check out Rangermade! That link will take you directly to their flashlight review page!

 Wow! I got off subject! Why do I think a flashlight is the most important tool for an outdoorsman?

 Simple.

 You have to see to do most things outdoors. You cannot see without light. Can you find your deer stand a 4:00 in the morning without a flashlight at least occasionally helping you? I can't. Can you find a blood trail at dusk without one? Me neither. Can you tie on a fly predawn without a flashlight? Unload a boat in the morning?  Find a dropped lure in the dark? Find your truck after the sun goes down? Make a fire at the campsite at night after a long day hiking? I need a flashlight to do these things and I bet you do too. 

The fact is, most of our prep work for a fun outdoors day is done in the dark. Almost everything we enjoy is done in the early morning or late evening. That requires getting up and ready before the sun does. Without a good flashlight we can't do these things.

There is also the safety side of things. Aside from your PFD, a flashlight is the most important safety device you own. It prevents accidents by lighting your way and gets you out of tight spots by showing you the way. Once the sun goes down and you are on the water or in the woods without a flashlight, you are in trouble. 

If for some reason you do get in trouble and cannot make it out, a flashlight is the perfect signalling tool. It can be seen for miles in the dark and, aside from a cell phone or radio, is your best best for getting help. 

The thought of being in the woods at night without a light terrifies me! So much that I always have at least three lights with me when I am hunting. My standard flashlight, a headlamp, and a tiny emergency flashlight in my kit.

What flashlight do you use? Why did you choose it? let me know in the comments!

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