We all love going hunting and fishing, but we all hate waking up early! Getting up at 3am to drive a few hours, to set up and get ready to go is tough. Your entire body cycle is thrown off. Morning rituals are ruined, and routines are broken.
The initial get up early routine is tough but once you have a sip of coffee, have some clothes on, and begin to clear out the cobwebs, you are happier.
Nothing beats a beautiful sunrise. When the elk begin to bugle, the turkeys start gobbling, pheasants start cackling, and the waters flow with a beautiful layer of mist upon them, life is easier, and the early awakening is worth it.
The trick is to prepare for waking up. This starts by getting to bed sooner. A couple hours of sleep are not enough. You need to be fully alert when the big buck, bull, bird, or opportunity presents itself.
Staying up into the wee hours drinking beer and stinking of a campfire smoke will not help tomorrow. 6-8 hours is smarter. Have your gear laid out and ready to go. You do not want to be looking for anything at first light. Have the coffee pot loaded and ready to make a quick brew. Assign someone to turn on the heat or throw some wood onto the fire.
Sleeping comfortably is critical. Make sure that you are clean before you hit the sack. Make sure that the sack is on a comfortable cot or mattress. Sleep in clothes for sleeping, not the same garments you wore all day or will wear tomorrow. Take a pillow, not a bag shoved full of dirty laundry. A warm, comfortable bed will help you go to sleep easier.
Earplugs are a good idea. If you are in a camp of snorers, wheezers, and farters, what you don’t hear won’t hurt you.
Clear your mind before you rest. Count sheep, trout, elk, or whatever it takes. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that may help. For this pill to work, you need to use it routinely. Start taking the pills a few weeks ahead of time.
Don’t eat or drink a lot before you hit the sack. They do suggest that if the weather is cold, a candy bar before bed will keep you warm as your body generates heat from digesting the sugars.
Many of us are at our worst when we first get up. Some buddies are better. An old camp friend of mine always came to wake me up with a hot cup of coffee in hand. A few sips later, all was well with the world. Thank you!
Choose a pleasant alarm. Revile may not be your best choice. Loud rock music or clanging bells instantly ruins your day. Humans need to awaken smoothly and gradually. Select something smooth and simple that may escalate if you fail to respond quickly. Place the alarm where you can easily access it.
The first ones up also get to be first in line at the crapper. Just saying!