If you have ever spent a day in the truck chasing the elusive ringneck pheasant or any of the other incredible upland species, you may know that your day is likely going to have some ups and downs. Some days can feel longer as they go on if you are not seeing much action. One way to keep you and your crew going strong throughout the day or week is a well planned and thought out snack pack! Here are few of my must have items:
When traveling around Iowa and other states to upland hunt, it is essential to have a well stocked cooler. For starters, get yourself some "high quality h20" as the great 'Waterboy', Bobby Boucher', would say. Not only enough water for yourself but your furry best friends as well. The amount of water needed will vary from crew to crew depending on the number of hunters and dogs. I also like to keep a small amount of instant-coffee in my pack as well in case I am not near a gas station for my classic morning oil sludge gas station coffee! Next up, we always ensure to pack some electrolyte drinks such as Powerade to help keep us feeling good as we walk mile upon mile. Now you can't forget the soda pops or a couple frosty beers to "cheers" with your fellow crew as the sun sets on a beautiful day of fellowship afield. Additional items to consider are: juice powder packets to mix with water or liquid style additives such as Mio if plain water is not your favorite. These are usually small and convenient to carry as long as you have a water bottle to mix it in. You can get these in a caffeinated versions as well if you prefer those. If you are a tea drinker, bring along a few tea bags or liquid tea additives to mix with water as those are a great option as well!
Snacks are the 'pick me ups' during the day, especially if you have kiddos along. Our crew's standard list of snacks starts with some sweet treats including but not limited to: suckers, jolly ranchers, bit o' honey, fruit snacks and more. Sugar is a good way to help keep energy stored and is an instant mood booster which is critical to help keep youth engaged as this gives them something to look forward to in-between fields. And let's be honest...who doesn't love a good sugar rush for additional energy! When I need a little more sustenance, I reach for some homemade deer jerky or a solid store bought jerky. This is an easy protein snack. Protein is important while in the field to help curb hunger and keep you feeling fuller longer. Protein is also essential for muscle recovery after all those miles your crew puts in. Other snack items up for consideration could be peanut butter or cheese sandwich crackers, peanuts, dunkaroos, a sleeve of pringles or ritz crackers. You can always toss in a few pop tarts or granola/protein bars for emergencies.
A jet boil stove is a nice, relatively small tool you can keep in your snack pack as well. This can be used for hot drinks or to even cook a meal if you are out in the 'boonies'. Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides can be a nice easy addition to cook for lunch in your jet boil or any dehydrated MRE meal kits. If you have a cooler, you could also toss in some hot dogs to boil in the jet boil stove. Boiling deer dogs/hot dogs is a favorite field treat of our crew with a bag of chips to boot. Napkins, toothpicks and gum can be a nice finish for your crew after a well earned lunch at the tailgate. If you are traveling and staying at a hotel, most will have a continental breakfast. Go ahead and grab an extra orange, banana or apple for the road for a late morning treat.
My crew utilizes the sidio crate. This is a plastic crate that has individual dividers added to help separate/categorize snacks and accessories. See below on how we put our crate together.