The success of your hunting trip depends largely on the hunting equipment you carry. You’ve got your permit gun, and shells, you’ve done your research on the best places to hunt, and if you don’t have the proper equipment in your pack, you won’t be able to endure the night and stay focused in a comfortable manner while hunting overnight.
Research and planning can help you decide what you need to put in your pack for hunting, and is crucial to making sure you have the right hunting gear. Planning and research only need to be completed after you have purchased all of your gear for the first time. On subsequent hunts, you don’t need to run to the nearest store at the last minute because it has everything you need.
At the end of each hunt, check your equipment to make sure everything is in good condition. If anything needs to be replaced, do so as soon as you get home. That way, you won’t have to think about replacing it before your next trip to the hunting area.
The type of hunt determines the items you should bring on your hunt. You want to bring all the essentials with you, however, at the same time, you don’t want your pack to be too heavy because you may have to hike or trek long distances over uneven terrain when you are carrying it.
Choosing a backpack
Before you start making a list of what you should pack in your backpack for hunting, it is important to pick an ideal backpack. It will hold everything you need and you will want it to be a good fit for your trip. It is a given that a backpack for hunting should be a sturdy, all-weather backpack. When you travel to wilderness areas, it is likely to get scratched numerous times in the course of thorny plants and trees. In addition, it must be able to withstand rain and other natural elements.
The second important aspect of a good backpack for hunting is the ease of use. Its shoulder and hip belts need to be well cushioned and comfortable during extended use. Your hip belt must take as much pressure off of your shoulders as possible. It is recommended that you test several backpacks before choosing one.
In any case, you will need to modify the fit on your back by changing the shoulder straps to find the ideal backpack for you. Keep in mind that everyone has a different body and everyone’s stress points will be different. Therefore, even if you consider the advice of experienced hunters on the best hunting backpack, you must check the backpack for yourself and decide which one is best for you.
Usually, hunting lasts for about a day or two. Therefore, you don’t need an 80-liter backpack intended for backpacking trips, which can last for months. The ideal backpack for hunting overnight is 30 to 45 liters. This is enough space to carry a lot of gear, yet not so large that it is difficult to walk over rough terrain. A 30-liter backpack with plenty of pouches and pockets is usually better than a backpack with only one compartment. When it comes to backpacks for outings, 10-15 one-liter backpacks are sufficient.
Hunting Backpack Checklist
This is a comprehensive list of what you should pack in your backpack while hunting. Items that are specifically for overnight trips are clearly marked to indicate the same. Other items are for day trips and overnight hunts. Basic items like rifles and camouflage gear are not included in this list. This is due to the fact that you will be wearing camouflage and your rifle will not be stored in your backpack.
Nothing is more important than water on a hunting adventure, no matter how long or short. Even if you have been in the same part of the forest several times and know of a river or spring with clean drinking water, it is recommended that you carry the maximum amount of water before you set out. Hunting packs with water bladders will allow you to keep your water supply to a minimum.
The importance of a compass cannot be overstated. It is one of those little things that can easily be overlooked when packing. It could be the difference between you getting out of the woods, or finding your way through the woods. Many hunters now use GPS devices and you should do the same, but you should keep a compass.
Compared to GPS devices, compasses do not require batteries and are not easily damaged. They can be kept in some pocket of your pack until you need it and then forget about it. Be sure to add it to your list to ensure you don’t forget to bring it with you.
First Aid Kit
Don’t just count on luck and chance to keep your hunting trip injury-free. Injuries and accidents are likely to happen in the woods. Keep a basic first aid kit handy in your backpack. Is there a chance you won’t need it on your trip? Yes. Would you rather be without a first aid kit in the event you suffer a serious injury or scrape? No. Does it put a lot of weight on your backpack or take up a lot of space?
The first aid kit must contain antiseptic solution, plasters bandages, painkillers digestive tablets, water purifier hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer and adhesive tape. This can be expanded to suit your needs. An emergency parachute cord kit can also be purchased.
You will need a sharp, sturdy knife for field dressing. This is an essential tool in hunting. Many hunters also carry an extra pocket knife. Be sure the knife you carry is sharpened before you leave and has a sturdy handle that is comfortable to hold. An uncomfortable grip can increase the likelihood of an accident. It could slip out of your hand and cut you, especially if it has been recently sharpened. Knives also have interchangeable handles. This can be a great option for hunters traveling.
Flashlight or headlamp
The flashlight you use at home is not suitable for hunting. Having a waterproof tactical flashlight is essential. You will need it to find items in your pack in the dark. It’s useful when you need to find your way back to camp or leave camp to answer the call of nature. It is also useful on a day trip when the weather suddenly turns bad and you have to find your way back to your vehicle.
The main benefit of having a headlamp is that your hands are completely free. It can be carried as an alternative to a flashlight or both. They are especially useful for long hunting trips at night.
You may not need it on the trail, but it’s a good idea to have rain gear on hand. The difference between rain gear and a raincoat is that the former is just a piece of clothing, while the latter is made up of waterproof clothing and pants. A raincoat is useful, but limits movement to a certain extent.
A rain gear is a better option because it allows one to move easily. It is recommended that rain gear be made of fabric that can absorb water. This is crucial because you don’t want the rain to get in and soak through your clothes. Rain gear is especially important when you are hunting overnight.
Without rain gear, you run the risk of hypothermia once it starts to rain. Lightweight rain gear is readily available and can be folded up and placed in a corner of your backpack.
Bring protein bars, and a Ziploc bag full of dried fruit and nuts to carry on day trips. This is enough to last the day. It is also possible to carry sandwiches, however, this will require more space. For hunting trips that last longer, it is necessary to carry extra food. Beef jerky is a great food for camping trips as are high calorie protein bars.
Cooking equipment (for overnight trips)
If you plan on hunting overnight, it makes sense to bring a cooking device with you.
Gloves are essential for several reasons, such as protecting your hands from cold temperatures, protecting your hands from scratches, cuts and other injuries, hiding your hands and the process of wearing your hands while using them in the field. Hands move a lot more than we think.
Sudden movements of uncovered hands can leave a trail in the forest and can alert you to the game you are watching. Using gloves can help the hands blend in with their surroundings. If you’re out hunting in warmer conditions, a pair of lightweight, mesh gloves will suffice. If you’re out in cooler temperatures, you’ll need an excellent pair of leather gloves. Bring an extra pair of gloves in case the one you are wearing is damaged, especially when dressing in the field.
Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
If you plan to stay overnight and hunt until the early hours of the next morning, you will need an overnight bag and an inflatable sleeping pad. Ultralight versions of both sleeping bags and sleeping pads are available at reasonable prices.
The sleeping pad may seem a bit large for a hunter’s trip, however, you’ll be thankful you brought it. Because it doesn’t add any extra weight, there’s no reason not to bring it along. You’ll enjoy a relaxing and restful night’s sleep and feel refreshed and ready to go at the crack of dawn.
How to Pack a Hunting Backpack
With an exhaustive list of things you should pack into your hunting backpack, let’s get into the best way to pack everything into your backpack. Even for short trips, you will have a lot of stuff in your backpack and you have to organize your backpack systematically.
The reason why you have to arrange your pack in a neat way is because you want to find the items you need quickly without having to rummage around in your backpack.
Everything directly related to hunting should be on the top of your pack. This includes your binoculars, compass, GPS unit, rangefinder, extra shells, game calls, etc. You need to have quick and easy access to these items. Because most of them are tiny, they can slip between the cracks and fall to the bottom of your pack, leaving the target untouched. In this case, you need to keep them in your outside pockets and pouches.
Food should be stored in a Ziploc bag and then placed on top as well. Foods that have been frozen can be placed in the lower part of the backpack as they are not needed until the night comes. If they are collapsible containers, put them on the sides of the backpack. If you have enough pockets outside, then you can stuff them in your pockets as well.
Aside from the few major items you add for an overnight hunt, you’ll likely be carrying the same items. Make a list when packing so you don’t miss anything.