Top 10 Overnight Hunting Essentials
Article Written By; Robert Foster,
Spending a night out in the wild is exciting, but it requires preparation. Even if you’re an experienced hunter, there are always things you can learn and improve in your hunting routine. It’s always fun and relaxing to get out of the city for a while and let your senses guide you, as long as you know what to do in any and every situation that nature can throw at you. If you want to try hunting and all it has to offer, then you’ll be on a steep learning curve for a while, but it will be well worth it. For your first overnight hunting trip, here are 10 essentials that you should have with you.
1. A Good Knife
We’ll start our list with recommending you have a strong blade with you at all times, after all, you are a hunter, and you really won’t be able to budge anywhere without one. Whether it’s foldable of with a fixed blade, a good knife is a must for hunting, not only for catching animals and preparing food, but also for setting traps, cutting wood and making your own shelter. You’ll feel safer with a blade on your hip and able to do whatever comes your way.
2. A Source of Fire
One of the greatest concerns during the night is how to stay warm, so having ways to light a fire and keep it burning is a must. There are many different options here, from magnesium fire starters and lighters to using cotton balls dipped in Vaseline for tinder. I practice having a flint with me wherever I go, it doesn’t take up much space, but it can be a lifesaver in damp weather conditions. When you’ve got fire, you can keep yourself warm, cook or reheat food, not to mention that the light will keep the animals at bay, so make sure you’ve got it covered.
Another essential that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked is rope or any form of cordage you’ve got on you. Fish line and parachute cords are a great solution here because they’re strong and you can use them for just about anything – from building a shelter to hoisting food to keep it safe from animals. You can never know what you will need the rope for, which is why you should never leave your house without. Climbing, repairs even self-defense is much easier when you’ve got a strong and long piece of rope with you.
4. Clean Water
Having plenty of water to drink is absolutely crucial for functioning normally, especially when you’re in the wild. Of course, you can’t bring gallons of water with you on a hunting trip so you will need to work out a plan to have access to water throughout your trip regularly. I strongly suggest purifying all water before you drink it, even when it looks perfectly safe. You can do by using iodine crystals or water purifying straws that will make any water good to drink. You should also have a handy water bottle of a water container with you, which will allow you to stay hydrated all the time during your hunting trip and especially at night when you shouldn’t wander off alone to quench your thirst. Also, make sure to purify cooking water as well, you can never be too safe.
5. Food Supplies
Seeing that you’re out on a hunt and that you’re spending a night out in the open by your own choice, finding food shouldn’t be a problem. Fishing and hunting small animals is the best option here, though you can always go for all kinds of travel foods that you can carry with you and that won’t take up too much space. Depending on how long you’re planning to stay on your trip, you should plan your meals accordingly and decide whether or not you’ll be hunting your food on a daily basis. If you’re not certain that every hunt will be successful, then be sure to pack extra freeze-dried foods or MREs, just in case.
When you stop and make camp for the night, the crucial thing to do is to chart a plan for the next phase of the journey ahead. Nothing can help you in this endeavor better than having accurate maps of the area you’re in, as well as a compass that you know how to use. Sure you can always use GPS devices that are getting better with each day, but electronics are known to fail, while compass will always work flawlessly. I’m not saying you shouldn’t embrace the twenty-first century, but have a backup plan that you know will work in case push comes to a shove. And by all the gods, know how to find your way in nature without any additional help, as it will significantly improve your hunting skills, as well as chances for survival in a crisis.
7. Sleeping Arrangements
If you want to continue your hunting trip alert and ready, then having a good night’s sleep is an absolute must. For that reason, you need to have your sleeping arrangements in order before you step foot out of your door, and I’m not talking about hotel reservations. If you’re going to sleep under an open sky, then you at least need a sleeping bag that is good quality and will keep you warm against the cold ground. Having a foldable tent is another great option to consider, but a trustworthy sleeping or bivvy bag is definitely one of the essentials.
8. First Aid Kit
We all want our adventures to go flawlessly, but unfortunately, things aren’t always as we expect them to be, which is why we need to be prepared for every crisis. Having a well-made first aid kit can easily save your life, so make sure to bring one with you every time. Just make sure that the contents of it are adapted to treat common injuries and problems that happen on the terrain you’ll be hunting on. Same things won’t happen to you if you’re hunting in a forest and on a mountain, so you need to know what to bring for every scenario, from poison ivy to climbing injuries.
9. Clothes for the Occasion
When you’re asleep, your sleeping bag and the fire should keep you warm, but you also need good-quality clothes to protect you from the elements and nature which isn’t always too kind. Wool and synthetic are always the best options when it comes to materials, and you should devise a layering system that will keep you covered no matter what weather you come across. And no, you don’t need camouflage clothes unless you really want it, just comfortable, waterproof and strong pieces that will keep you safe from smaller cuts and bruises that can happen along the way.
10. A Strong Backpack
Once you’ve gathered everything you need for your overnight hunting adventure, you better have a good compact backpack where you can put it all in. You really don’t want to get stuck with a bulky monster on your back that makes every step painful for your whole body. A comfortable backpack isn’t just vital when you’re on the go, but also when you settle down for the night – you can easily find everything you need and you can use the pack as a pillow even. You need good support for your back and having a high-quality backpack will make sure that your entire hunting experience isn’t soured by aches. – Robert Foster
Robert Foster is a 30-year-old fitness instructor, nature survivalist and a part-time blogger for http://prosurvivalist.com/. He spends most of his free time outdoors and if you can’t find him for a couple of days, he’s probably somewhere on a biking, cycling or a hiking holiday again.