You don’t need to buy everything in the Cabela’s catalog to be seen as a seasoned hunter. Of course, the gear you designate for this outing is important, but there’s also other critical elements like permits, tents and your weapon of choice.
Still, when you’re planning a hunting trip, the last thing you want to waste your time on is deciding what gear to pack. You want to be laser-focused on your destination — not on what to bring. We got your back. For your next hunting trip, we want to save you some valuable time and energy by providing you with this essential list of hunting gear.
The weapon you decide to bring will obviously depend on the type of game you plan to hunt as well as any personal preferences. Just don’t forget to pack one — and the requisite ammunition and cleaning kit — or your trip may become short and quickly disappointing.
As a hunter, there are few things worse than being caught in the woods without a license, especially at the end of the day. With that in mind, make sure you obtain and pack the correct documents leading up to your hunt to avoid any future heartache and/or confusion. You may want to visit websites like WhereToHunt.org, which provides a state-by-state listing of places to hunt and the required licenses you’ll need for your outing.
You’re probably wondering why tires appear on this list, but having the right set for your vehicle is as important to your hunt as your weapon of choice. Be sure your tires can safely drive on back roads and can handle the extra weight of any big game you plan to take home. An all-terrain tire, like the Falken Wildpeak, can handle heavy loads in any weather as well as on back roads and for off-roading purposes.
Even if you plan to leave before sunset, you’ll want to bring a tactical flashlight or headlamp as well as some matches or a lighter to navigate those tricky, hard-to-see areas when the sun is faint. Of course, any time you’re in nature, there is a possibility of getting lost — and light becomes essential to keep safe and calm. Not sure which light source to choose? MyHuntinGear.com named the Solaray Pro ZX-2 its editor’s choice as the top hunting flashlight. Now, just don’t forget the batteries.
You’re bound to build up a big appetite while searching for your potential next meal. Because you can’t simply rely on eating any of the game you kill, make sure to bring along easy-to-carry foods that pack a nutritious punch, including energy bars, bananas and beef jerky, as well as plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
6. First-Aid/Survival Kit
You don’t need to pack the entire contents of your home medicine cabinet, but make sure to bring the essentials to stave off any headaches, drowsiness and/or pain before returning to civilization. Items like bandages, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, water purifiers, matches, a whistle, blister kit and emergency blanket are all good options.
When you’re choosing the right pair of binoculars for your hunting expedition, your top considerations should include proper magnification and its ability to provide quality views, as well as its overall size and weight. Pickabow.com recommends the Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 as its top pick for hunting binoculars due to its image quality, rugged body and waterproofing feature.
8. Rain Gear
Even the most sunny days can quickly become dreary and/or wet. And, like many of your fellow outdoorsmen, you’d hate to have your day ruined because you didn’t consider packing a rain jacket. Knowing all this, invest in a lightweight jacket that won’t weigh down your pack and is breathable to prevent overheating. The Rocky Silent Hunter rain jacket is a lightweight jacket featuring excellent rain protection in a camouflage pattern with a mesh lining for moisture wicking.
Your standard hunting knife has a single purpose: Processing meat after a kill. Of course, it should also have a secondary purpose that makes it vital for survival and all-around utility purposes. With that in mind, pack your knife, and as an insurance policy, a backup knife and sharpening stone to ensure you’re fully prepared for your hunt.
10. Miscellaneous Items
Other items to consider bringing should include bug repellent, extra socks, garbage bags, nylon rope and bandanas.