October 28, 2009
Petzal: How to Sweat Up A Ridge
By David E. Petzal
This past summer, a geezer friend of mine was railing at the current generation of hunters who roost in trees like so many spavined turkeys and rarely walk anywhere.
“They haven’t sweated up ridges like you and I have,” he snarled.
Sometimes, you gotta walk uphill, and if you haven’t done much of it, here are some tips from someone who has done a lot it and hated every yard.
*Pay careful attention to how much weight you’re packing, both on your carcass and in your pack. Your boots are especially important. A pair of heavy boots will weigh you down worse than would our current Secretary of State in your backpack.
*Before you start, take off your hat, your gloves, and whatever you wear around your neck. Open your coat. If you have a vest or a down shirt under the coat, put it in your pack. It will do you no good to get all the way to the top and then freeze in your own sweat.
*The way to climb is with a catatonic plod. If you have to stop and catch your breath every few minutes you’re going too fast.
*If you are 60 or older, do not hunt with people who are younger. No matter what kind of shape you are in you are not going to match strides with someone who is 20 years younger. Go with geezers only.
*If you do go hunting with people who are younger and fitter than you, don’t expect sympathy and don’t expect them to slow down for your benefit.
*Don’t look up, ever. Keep your eyes on the trail right in front of you.