11 Things To Keep In Your Hunting Pack
The essential thing to all life. Without water you can find yourself in a bad situation very quickly which may be hard to recover from. Even if you aren’t planning on going far or staying out long, you should always carry some water. You never know what might happen! I generally carry around 40 ounces while deer hunting and double that when small game hunting where I’m more active. If you’re planning a long adventure a LifeStraw can serve as your form of water purification.
I usually carry both a pocket knife and a multi tool. A pocket knife allows for quick and easy access while remaining light on your person and a multi tool gives the luxury or many options, which I carry in my backpack. A sharp knife is not only important for preparing game after a harvest but can be used for a number of other tasks in the outdoors.
A heavy-duty disposable lighter doesn’t weigh much and takes up little room. It can be used for starting fires to boil water and cook meat but also has a ton of other uses. I often use mine to light incense style deer lures and to melt the ends of paracord to keep it from fraying. A fire starter is a fantastic back up option in the event that your lighter runs out of flint or fluid.
4. Headlamp with extra batteries
Getting lost in the woods is bad enough, but can you imagine being stuck in the dark with no light? A good headlamp brings ease and security while remaining light and easily packable. I carry a highly adjustable and waterproof headlamp with four different color options which are capable of being dimmed or brightened with a simple click. A good headlamp will allow you to proficiently move around the woods at night, track game, and signal for help in the case of an emergency. Don’t forget extra batteries!
5. 550 paracord
If you’ve never heard of this stuff you don’t know what you’re missing. Paracord is a relatively small diameter rope made out of nylon, initially invented for the purpose of rigging parachutes. Highly durable and light, 550 paracord has a ton of uses in my pack including; equipment tow ropes, makeshift rifle slings, game drags, tie ropes for skinning animals, etc. I buy mine in 50-foot sections which is just the right amount to carry. You can find paracord online or in your local army surplus shop.
6. Cell phone with portable charger
I know I’m going to catch some flak for this but here me out. Not only does a cell phone allow you to document your amazing moments in the outdoors, but it can also save your life. In the case you or a friend gets critically injured, a cell phone can allow you to make a call for help. What if you don’t have signal you ask? I use an app which preloads maps and coordinates which allows me to navigate freely without any cellular service. A portable charger can be found cheaply on the internet or in big box stores.
7. Glow Sticks
Weird right? Have you ever tracked an animal at night with a trickling blood trial? Glow sticks are perfect for marking blood as you go, allowing you to track back if you make a wrong turn. You can stick them in the ground or hang them from trees with paracord. In the event that you get lost and find yourself in a survival situation, glow sticks can be used to mark trails and signal for help. Glowsticks are also waterproof!
You can’t harvest game if you can’t see it. Binoculars allow you to observe your quarry without alerting or spooking it. A range finder will give you an accurate reading on the distance between the animal and yourself, which assures you adjust your scope or sights to make the best possible and ethical shot. On a small game hunt, I carry binoculars and on a big game hunt I carry both. In the event of a survival situation, seeing long distances gives you the advantage of knowing what’s far away without actually having to expend calories by walking there.
9. Permanent marker
Another odd one, right? I always carry a permanent marker in the case that I need to relay some type of information. You never know when you might need to write your information down for someone or mark a rock for navigation reasons. I often re trace my personal information on tree stands I have placed on public land, something required in the state that I live in. It doesn’t weigh that much, so why not?
10.Unscented baby wipes
Forget the scent free wipes that cost 10 bucks for just a few thin rags. I generally buy the cheapest scent free baby wipes I can find and then transfer 10-15 wipes into a plastic bag. By doing this I keep the wipes moist and avoid carrying a full heavy package. Scent free wipes have a number of uses including but not limited to cleaning hands, cleaning cuts, and answering the call of mother nature. Don’t leave them behind!
11. Small medical kit
Common sense, right? You’d be surprised at the amount of people who go on hunts and adventures without carrying a medical kit. In my small medical kit, I like to carry an assortment of band aids, icepack, insect bite cream, snake bite kit, gauze, medical tape, medical scissors, compression wrap, alcohol swabs and Neosporin cream. I know that sounds like a lot, but there are a lot of medical kits sold with this stuff in them and its pretty compact and doesn’t weigh a ton. You’ll be happy you have it when it means the most!