I have an old wool scarf that my father was issued when he began his service in the United States Marine Corps in 1942. He served in the South Pacific, so that scarf is in remarkably good shape, as he never had need of it during the war. He often carried the scarf while hunting throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. By the time I arrived on the scene, my father had largely put aside his hunting interests. He died when I was 11, and the scarf was passed on to me.

Whenever I am loading my pack, whether for an afternoon whitetail sit or a multi-day elk hunt, that old wool scarf has its place. It is, by far, the most sentimental item that I carry hunting, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually deployed it, just as my father never did. But I believe it kept him alive in the sultry South Pacific, and it has brought me plenty of game to feed his grandchildren.

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