Hunting is a passion for millions of Americans. It can trace its roots to the nation’s founding when the first settlers hunted wild game for survival. According to the Conservation Force website, hunting now generates a whopping $25 billion in retail sales, which gives us some idea of just how popular it is. Today, many Americans are taking hunting trips to destinations near and far, but what should they pack for one of them? Here at We The People Holsters, we’ve thought about what to take on a hunting trip, and it comes down to the following:
General Packing Needs
Packing for a hunting trip mostly depends on what type of game you’re going to be hunting. Also, what you pack depends on your hunting destination. Still, there are certain items all hunters should pack for their trips, including but not limited to:
Parachute cord for repairing packs, erecting shelters, tying gear down, making slings and hammocks, and so forth. This cord comes in handy for all sorts of “just in case” scenarios, and you can find it online and in many outdoor and hobby stores.
Depending on the season, you never know if it will rain or snow when you’re hunting. You may even get lost, so packing a tarp and using it with your parachute cord to erect a shelter is a must.
Duct Tape and Electrical Tape
Duct tape, which comes in camouflage and other colors. As with parachute cord, you’ll find that there are many uses for duct tape when you’re out hunting.
You can use this tape to cover over your rifle’s muzzle to keep dirt and moisture out when you’re not actively hunting with it.
Multi-Tool (Think Swiss Knife)
A quality multi-tool to use for cutting, screwing, gripping, and many other activities. A good folding knife. If you’re going to be out in the field for some time, you’ll need to dress any game you take, and you’ll need a good knife to do so.
Take a candling device such as a flashlight or a headlamp with you when you go out hunting, even if you intend only to hunt during the day. Candling is another “just in case” item.
A Fire-Starting Device And Sharpener
A fire-starting device, such as a disposable butane lighter, should always be part of your gear for any hunting trip. If you can find or make shelter and you can build a fire, your chances of surviving in the wilderness should rise greatly. A small sharpening tool or a whetstone is also essential to sharpen your knives, if they become dull.
Extra-large plastic resealable bags for packing up your dressed game meat and for many other purposes, especially if you’re hunting in snowy or wet conditions.
Compass and Emergency Locator
Put an emergency locator in your hunting pack for use if you become lost or injured and need rescuing. Always pack a decent compass with you when you go hunting, and make sure you know how to use it for primary land navigation.
Other Hunting Items
Most of the items we’ve discussed above fall into the category of “just in case” when you’re out hunting. There are other items you should consider putting into your hunting backpack, though, such as:
- A backpack cover to keep your hunting backpack and its contents dry.
- Select your hunting clothes based on your trip destination as well as its climate. For instance, you may need waterproof jackets and pants over a thick jacket or gaiters to slip over your lower pant legs and the tops of your boots. Gaiters help keep snow and water out of your footwear.
- Make sure you pack some high-energy snack bars if you’re going on a hunting trip. Snack bars provide calories when you’re hunting, which can be a strenuous activity if you have to track down your game.
- Pack canteens or a water bladder system of some type if you’re going on a hunting trip and intend to hunt away from your lodge or campsite, even for a few hours.
Take care, though, not to load your hunting or field backpack down with too much gear, as you’re the one who will have to carry it. Your pack should have only the essentials in it, including a small first aid kit and gloves, while you’re out hunting. Leave any nonessential equipment or clothing at your hunting camp or lodge.
Game and Location
The type of game you’re hunting will also help determine the kind of items you should pack for your hunting trip. High-altitude hunting, such as mountain elk or bighorn sheep, comes with different gear needs than hunting for deer in a Midwestern state such as Michigan. Hunting for waterfowl such as ducks or geese also requires other gear you wouldn’t see when deer or high-altitude hunting.
Here are some considerations for each type of game hunting we’ve mentioned:
- On high-altitude hunting trips, make sure you’ve packed excellent footwear and a good hydration setup. Hunting in the mountains will quickly dehydrate you if you’re not taking in fluids regularly.
- If you’re going on a deer hunting trip, don’t forget to pack attractant scents to help bring the deer to you. A pop-up ground blind is also helpful when deer hunting unless you’re going to sit in a tree stand all day.
- Waterfowl hunting usually requires the least amount of gear. Consider taking items such as:
- Camo outerwear and camo netting if you’re going to set up a waterfowl blind.
- Duck or geese calls.
- Game bags or a cooler.
- Waterproof boots.
Have a Plan
We The People Holsters is invested in your hunting success. Remember that packing for a hunting trip is mainly about having a plan. We believe that if you sit down before your hunting trip and plan out what to pack, you’ll also be more likely to take only what you need to ensure a successful hunting experience.
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