HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 08 - HUNTING PREPARATION
Some organized hunting groups establish certain fitness criteria that new members of their group are expected to meet. For example, they may insist that you be able to run five miles before you can join them on a hunting trip. Can you run five miles? How about walk it comfortably? Know before you go.
Start your physical conditioning a few months in advance of the trip. Joining a gym isn’t necessary—just wear your hunting gear and hit the terrain you know you’ll be up against. See how it goes and keep hiking it until you start to feel comfortable out there.
There are multiple health-related factors that can affect your ability to be safe and responsible when hunting. For example:
- Your body weight: Would your endurance improve if you lost a few pounds?
- Allergies: Should you carry an Epipen or any other meds?
- Asthma: Should you carry a puffer or any other meds?
- Physical conditioning: How much activity can your body handle in a day?
- Preparation: Are you prepared for the physical demands of the trip?
- Mental attitude/aptitude: Are you in the right state of mind for this?
- Vision quality: Have you checked your eyes lately?
- Hearing quality: Will you be able to hear someone calling for help?
If you’re taking medication for a health condition let the other hunters in your group know about your condition and pack enough meds for the duration of your trip.
Be confident in your health and fitness level and never push yourself too far. Speak up if you're feeling over-tired or out of breath because there’s a good chance that someone else in your group could use a break too. Rest often and stay hydrated. Take rests, not risks.
Wise Words: Be a DIY Doc
Take a first aid course and learn the basics so that if an emergency arises, you can react effectively. You might even save a friend’s life if you have the right skill set at the right time.