As a hunter, your pack is important for a number of reasons. A well prepped pack is a supply cache, a place to hold tools, and in a dire situation it can even be your lifeline. Ensuring you adequately cover all of these bases before tackling a hunt can mean the difference between a great trip and one that ends in complete disappointment. To make sure that is not your result, we’ve taken some time to detail what we feel are essential hunting needs. Some are obvious, but a few may surprise you! Take a moment and look over this list before your next outing.
- Water. This is an obvious one, but we list it first because many hunters don’t take enough. Dehydration is a real threat regardless of season. If you go dry, you go home. Keep a hydration bladder, or at least two bottles of water in your pack. To be on the safe side, it’s best to stash another smaller one in case of emergencies.
- Food. Another basic essential, but keep in mind what you’re packing. Avoid sugar-loaded snacks like candy bars; these will have you feeling sluggish extremely quickly and can negatively impact your hunting performance. Try some jerky or nutrition bars – these can be really tasty, as well as having everything you need to keep performing at your best.
- First-Aid. A well stocked first-aid kit is absolutely mandatory. Be sure it has an allergy medication, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Ibuprofen for pain, aspirin for swelling. Bandages, anti-itch cream, and topical antibacterial ointments are standard. Tick removers are also extremely handy, as well as gauze or something to stop bleeding.
- A Lighter. This one carries a multitude of uses, from sealing plastic to starting an emergency fire. Lighters make great multi-tools, and we guarantee you’ll find almost as many uses for it as you would your knife.
- Travel Poncho/Rain Cover. You can’t always count on the forecast, and you definitely don’t want to be caught out in the wild with no refuge from a sudden storm. It’s also a must to have some kind of covering that will keep your supplies dry. If you’re looking to avoid cost, even garbage bags work in a pinch.
- Map/Compass. Be familiar with the area where you’re hunting. If the area is new to you, get ahold of a topographical map and note anything you may be needing in the area, including cover, water resources if you need to fill up on a longer trip, and quick ways to civilization. You should also own a compass and know how to use it.
- Wipes. Wipes have plenty of use on a hunting trip, from cleaning an open wound to tidying up after field-dressing your catch.
- Landscape Clippers. A stout pair of clippers can do you a world of good, from clearing your line of sight in the stand to marking your path.
Nothing on this list will add much physical weight, so there’s not much concern about burden. What it will add is safety and peace of mind. Hunting is an awesome experience, and being properly prepared ensures you get to enjoy yourself to the fullest.