When you’re out hunting in the wild, your survival depends on the items kept in your hunting pack. If you’re planning a long hike or hunting trip, your body will certainly feel exhausted by the end of the day. Thus, it’s essential that you only bring what is necessary and avoid carrying any extra weight.
Every hunter has a different opinion about what the most important item in their hunting pack is. However, the following are five items you’d absolutely regret not bringing with you on your hunt. So, whether you’re a novice or seasoned hunter, make sure you add these things to your pack!
Having the right multi-tool during a hunt is as important as having a quality bow or rifle. Most multi-tools are manufactured with stainless steel, like the one shown in the picture above, and are plier-based with several different pull-out tools including files, screwdrivers, saws, knife blades, and more. However, multi-tools with carbon steel blades are also becoming increasingly popular among hunters. Whether you want to skin a deer, gut it, or simply want to clean or adjust your weapon on the spot, a good multi-tool is certainly a handy item to have.
A quality multi-tool should have a sturdy construction, easy to access tools, locking blades, and a firm grip. The blade should have a curved tip, like the one in the picture, so you can easily separate the skin from the meat, without causing any damage to the muscle. Make sure you consider the design of the multi-tool’s handle as well. The blade should be comfortable in your hand and must provide enough traction for a firm grip so that you don’t pierce the stomach accidentally. A quality multi-tool also features an aggressive bone saw for splitting the pelvic bone, skull capping, and ribs. The end of the blade is also designed with a flat part to prevent puncturing the guts.
Success on the hunt usually depends on how far your feet are able to carry you. Without the right footwear, your feet might become too cold to stay in the stand, too sore and bruised to continue tracking your game, or so sweaty and overheated that you’d barely be able to withstand the discomfort.
Bushcraft boots are designed with different materials. Full-grain leather provides maximum protection against cactus-filled and rocky terrain while offering a moderate amount of protection from the cold. Mesh hunting boots are lightweight and durable, but they do not provide any protection against the cold. However, they’re breathable and help keep your feet warm. Rubber hunting boots are scent-free, and your prey won’t be able to smell you coming. They’re warm and waterproof, but they’re inflexible.
If you’re planning on hiking across rough terrain, make sure your boots provide dependable traction. Boots with cleats and molded rubber legs, like the one shown in the picture above, are able to grip slippery surfaces. Quality boots should also have proper insulation, with at least 200 to 600 grams of Thinsulate, so that you can comfortably sit in a deer stand or duck blind in November. Raised heels like the one in the picture also provide increased stability, which further ensures that you don’t end up getting hurt.
Specialist hunting whistles, safety and survival whistles, authentic duck calls, and bird calls are essential for hunting and for any field sports enthusiast. The main purpose of whistles, like the one shown above, is to signal for help in case there’s an emergency. They’re much louder, and their high-pitched and piercing sound travels further than the human voice. It’s essential that you carry a whistle in your survival and outdoor safety kit, especially if you’re planning a hike across rugged terrain or in adverse weather, as these factors can have a muffling effect on sounds.
Moreover, some whistles have been specifically designed for the outdoors, with waterproof containers, matches, and flint. Thanks to their unmistakable sound, hunting whistles and horns are the perfect sporting companion for hunters. Several different bird and duck calls are also used by hunters and photographers to ensure they get the perfect shot, while most outdoorsmen take advantage of the added security which comes with a trusted security whistle.
Whistles are extremely cheap and can be bought from any hunting store. However, if you’re ever caught off guard, you can create your own improvised survival whistle with a bullet casing.
A flashlight is another important item needed in the woods. A good quality tactical flashlight is essential for a successful hunt. Whether you want to locate stuff in your backpack, go back to your vehicle or camp, or just want to reach your stand in the early morning hours, a compact flashlight is certainly a handy item!
There’s also a possibility that you would have to track an animal you shot in the night. In case this happens, it would be better to have a flashlight with 300+ lumens to ensure you can see your surroundings, your path, and the trail. Most hunting flashlights are manufactured with aluminum, like the one shown in the picture above, but plastic units are available today as well. Make sure you also check the impact resistance rating of the unit before purchasing it.
Hunting flashlights are also water-resistant, so you don’t lose your way in adverse weather. An IPX rating of 4 means that the unit can work in the rain, but not underwater. On the other hand, IPX 7 ad IPX 8 can work underwater for up to 4 hours. Certain hunting flashlights are designed with light that makes blood glow in the dark, making it easier to track your prey. These flashlights use advanced filters and powerful LED lights to enhance light output and make blood glow.
Zip ties are one of the most important and useful items you can have in your hunting pack. They can be used to strap a splint to a broken wrist or finger, in case you get injured, and can be used to attach your tag to the animal. Zip ties can also be used to add more vegetation to your blinds and stands, as they secure leafy branches more firmly and easily than a string or wire. Extra gear can also be tied to the treestand pull-up ropes with zip ties, along with pee bottles, lunch bags, and water bottles.
An XL zip tie can also be looped through each of the deer’s hocks to create handles. Thus, you can easily grip the buck’s tail end and drag it out of a ravine without bouncing it as you walk. The product can also be used to fix a pop-up blind which has caved in, position a flashlight for a makeshift reading lamp, secure a camera mount to a stand, brush in the bottoms of treestands, and repair broken backpack straps. Make sure you purchase a large number of zip ties, along with a small pair of surgical scissors to cut them before going on your hunting trip.
Most hunters determine the essentials through trial and error over the years. While the best way to determine what you need is to experience the tribulations of being a hunter yourself, packing all the aforementioned things in your hunting pack will certainly improve your hunting game. By becoming a better-equipped hunter, you’ll be able to bag more game easily.