Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Article by Beau Martonik
I’ve come to really appreciate the value you can get from investing in your mind and body. I’ve noticed that people tend to spend money easier on physical items rather than services or products that help them learn and progress their health. My belief is that we know if we were to buy new gear, a new vehicle, etc. that we tend to get a slight rush from it. Am I right? Well, that feeling typically diminishes over time, or “loses value”. When you invest in yourself through knowledge and in your body/health - those typically increase in value over time. During this time at home as we think of the safety of ourselves and others during the Coronavirus global pandemic, you should consider investing in a few of these things yourself. Here is a list of 5 things I’ve personally invested in over the years that have helped me drastically improve in one way or another.
1. onX Hunt App
The onX Hunt app is a tool that I use more than any other piece of gear or service for everything from whitetails in the Appalachian range to elk in the Rockies. Being able to use the app whether you are at home on your computer or tablet, as well as on the go utilizing your smartphone, makes for time well spent in preparation for the upcoming hunting season. The app was built for hunters by hunters, making mobile GPS mapping at your fingertips easy to use and navigate. During the springtime, I spend many hours scouring new whitetail locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond, while also planning my next western adventure. You can mark waypoints in locations you want to scout or hunt easily and efficiently with many color-coded icons to choose from. The data is synced together between the web map and your phone so you are always up to date and ready to go. When traveling to new locations or hunting the same piece you have for years, scouting and knowing the land will undoubtedly increase your success.
You can check out the onX Hunt app and learn more at:
https://www.onxmaps.com/ - Use code EMW to save 20%!
2. University of Elk Hunting
The University of Elk Hunting is the most comprehensive elk hunting learning course available from Elk 101 and Corey Jacobsen. The first time I went through this course was in 2016, when I was preparing for my first hunt. Not only was it the most helpful since source of information I had found, but it’s continued to be for me every year since. Whether you’re trying to plan your first elk hunt or your 15th, the course has valuable information for all levels. In addition, the course provides you with a mobile app that can work without cell reception and a ton of discounts from Elk 101 partners. If you need to buy a few gear items, this course will pay for itself in this way alone. The membership is good for 1 year and takes a significant amount of time to complete, because of the immense amount of information.
For more information on the University of Elk Hunting:
https://www.elk101.com/onlinecourse/ - use the code eastmeetswest to save 20%!
3. The Hunting Photographer
Last year, I heard about the new online course for hunters who wanted to not only become better photographers, but wanted to make a living at doing so. My personal goal wasn’t to become a full-time hunting photographer, but stepping up my photo game for writing and for telling a better story intrigued me. The Hunting Photographer course is not cheap, but it is led by a couple of the best photographers in the game, Zack Boughton and Steven Drake. You not only get a ton of information on becoming a better photographer, but you get one-on-one mentorship time with Steven and Zack. That mentorship is invaluable in my opinion. Learning from the guys who have “made it” is not only inspiring, but will teach you much more than you can read in any book or watch on YouTube. The business module was the most beneficial for me personally. No one talks about how to price your work, pitch projects to companies and things along those lines, but they don’t keep any secrets. The course will take you about a month to complete at your own pace, so I don’t see a better time to check it out if you’re serious about being your own boss and becoming a photographer in the hunting industry.
Learn more and save a few dollars:
https://www.thehuntingphotographer.com/ - use code SPRING15 to save 15% off for a limited time.
4. MTNTOUGH Fitness Labs 30-30
In addition to investing in your mind, I believe that investing in your body is just as important. Being healthy and in good physical shape has many benefits beyond just aesthetics (although you’ll look pretty damn good, too). I’ve been doing the MTNTOUGH workout programs built specifically for the backcountry hunter for the last 2 years and have never felt in any better shape than I am now. The programs are on-demand, on your phone, ready for you every single day with video coaching, written instructions and a motivational community of people with the common goal of being the best backcountry hunter possible. In the current state where gyms are closed and we should stay at home, their new 30-30 program is great to keep you pushing yourself without a need for any equipment. 30 workouts, 30 minutes or less than can be done in your living room, garage or in your driveway with no equipment.
To learn more about the 30-30 program and the other offerings:
https://mtntough.com/ - use code eastmeetswest to save 30% off of all programs for a limited time!
5. MTN OPS
Going hand-in-hand with your physical fitness is your nutrition. Eating as healthy as possible is the most important thing, but sometimes you just aren’t getting everything you need. Supplementing your body with the proper vitamins, minerals, proteins and etc. will help with recovery after difficult work outs while allowing for your brain and body to operate at an optimal level. During this time of social distancing, I’m spending a lot of time behind the computer and in the woods to get away from people. My favorite product for mornings in the office is Hot Ignite for increased energy and focus. For scouting in the woods, I like to mix Enduro and BCAA’s for all day stamina and recovery. In addition, take a look at their new Immune packets to keep you healthy in a time where we need it more than ever!
You can learn more and check out all of the MTN OPS products:
https://mtnops.com/ - use code BEAUFREESHIP for free shipping on ALL orders!
I am a believer in taking the situation you’re dealt with and making the best of it! We are all in a difficult time that we will eventually get through, but in the meantime, I want to make the best of the time we have and continue to improve. Invest in yourself - you won’t regret it!