There will always be someone you hunt with that will claim they don’t have to pack a bunch of gear. You know the type. There’s nothing you can do to change their mind and most of the time we don’t even bother.
In my experience that just means they’ll end up hitting up responsible people like you when a need arises and that can be a little bit frustrating. If you are one of these guys it’s time to change your ways it’s not fair to those you hunt with to have to pick up your slack all the time.
Everyone has different ideas about what they think are the essential items that have to be in the pack, but there are probably some items that will make just about every list.
We’ve put together our own personal top ten list of pieces of gear you should take on a hunting trip. You really don’t want to leave any of these items at home.
When you’re sitting in a tree for hours on end or in your favorite hunting shack the last thing you want is to quit early because you’re feeling dehydrated. There are those that will claim drinking water can be a distraction because you may have to venture out to use nature’s facilities, but that’s something you just have to deal with.
No hunter should head on a hunt without a water bottle with some type of liquid refreshment. The key is to take small sips when necessary and avoid guzzling liquids. This will keep the number of bathroom trips you have to take to a minimum.
#2 Energy Bars or Jerky
Another thing that can bring a hunt to a premature conclusion is failure to bring adequate nourishment to get you through the day. We all have our own personal preferences – I prefer energy bars, but you may be more of a jerky guy.
It doesn’t really matter what you choose as long as you have something on hand to keep you going. It’s also important to take extra care if you’re diabetic.
Make sure you have something with sugar on hand such as a chocolate bar on hand just in case – although taking your insulin along with you would be an even better idea.
My hunting buddies and I are the type to wait until the last possible moment to pack things in and head for camp. That means it’s often pitch-black before we start heading back.
That’s not a big deal if you have a flashlight with you, but have you ever tried navigating your way back to camp without one? I have and it wasn’t much fun.
We did eventually find our way, but it was a nerve racking experience and one I’d rather not repeat. These days we always make sure each member of our party has a flashlight and it’s a lot less stressful that way.
I can’t imagine the embarrassment of leaving your ammunition back at the camp or, worse yet, leaving it at home. Oh, wait a minute that’s exactly what I did on a hunting trip a couple of years ago. It was a mortifying experience and ever since then it’s the first thing that goes into my pack before I head out the door.
Fortunately on that occasion I had some understanding friends who were using the same calibre ammunition I was otherwise it would have been a long week.
#5 Rope/Parachute Cord
One of the most versatile items you can take with you in your pack is parachute cord or paracord to some. A traditional rope can be good to, but I prefer parachute cord.
Why do you need something like this with you? You can use it for tying the animal you just took down feet together, you can use it to make a sling if somebody’s injured, and you can use it for hanging various items just to name a few things. This is definitely a useful item that any well equipped hunter should have in their pack.
#6 Safety Belt and Harness
Don’t be that macho guy that refuses to take the proper safety precautions when climbing a tree to hunt from a better vantage point. Even if you think you aren’t in any real danger because you’re only a few feet off the ground think again.
All it takes is an off balance fall from a couple of feet to dislocate a shoulder or break an arm. If this happens because you didn’t use a safety belt and harness you’ll only have yourself to blame and you’ll likely feel pretty bad for ruining the rest of your groups hunting trip as well.
Sure you can use your rifles scope to check out the terrain and see if there’s some game in the area, but personally I think a pair of binoculars is a lot more convenient.
They’re compact and you can reach for them quickly when you see the slightest sign of movement without creating too much noise and disturbance.
If you’re hunting in cold wet weather it’s extremely important to keep warm and that means making sure you have enough warm layers on and that your extremities are protected from the cold.
A good pair of boots is a good starting place, but don’t forget a good a pair of gloves as well.
#9 Lightweight Rain Gear
The other thing you need to protect yourself on a cold rainy day is some good lightweight rain gear that you can easily fold up and store in your pack for when it’s needed.
You’ll want something that’s designed to fold up into a very small package that will take up the minimum amount of room in your pack.
#10 Scent Killer
Last, but not least don’t forget to take a can of scent killer with you. Deer have an excellent sense of smell and if you use a can of scent killer you can disguise your scent from the deer. I recommend spraying it on all of your gear as well as your clothing.