The hunting and trapping industry in the US is still going strong, projected to grow to around $974 million in market size by 2027, according to IBISWorld. Despite the numerous economic issues plaguing the world today, it’s still a pretty decent time to go on a protracted hunting trip to get away from it all. Plus, hunting trips are also great opportunities to hit the road and see all the sights that come with such an activity. But whether you’re a seasoned camper who knows all the camping hacks or the outdoors is completely alien to you, there are some things you have to keep in mind if you’re planning on going on an extended hunting road trip.
Know What to Pack
As with any road trip, you have to pack smart to ensure a pleasant journey and to make it so that you actually get to do what you set out to in the first place, which is hunt. The first step to take is to figure out the essentials. This is the stuff without which you won’t be able to take down a single animal. So guns and ammo, mainly. Be sure to pack a backup primary in case something goes awry with your main one, and a secondary such as a handgun for safety. Extra ammo is also advisable, unless you’re that confident in your accuracy. While we’re on the topic of extras, you might want to bring extra car keys too, as well as any items you couldn’t afford to lose. Besides these, appropriate clothing, first aid, and food and water should be at the top of your considerations.
After your essentials have been accounted for, then you can start to think about items that are lower priority, but you would still rather have. Perhaps the highest among these are the tools you use to skin and dress a kill. These are followed by your gun cleaning kit, knives and other tools, and other useful pieces of clothing like gaiters, bright-colored clothing, and raincoats. Don’t forget flashlights, trash bags to collect your litter, balms and sunscreen, and pet gear if you’re bringing a furry friend along. Some veteran hunters even recommend you bring your own folding table and chair so you can set up a workstation or relax anywhere you choose.
Research Locations Based on Your Chosen Quarry
Researching locations to visit should be based on what animals you want to hunt, but it should also go both ways a little. Since it is a road trip, you may want to consider which places are worth visiting not just for what you can shoot there. Research is essential for planning your route, and you should definitely consider if you should drive a heavy duty or light duty truck or if you’ll need an off-roader to navigate rough roads. If your trip is going to take you across multiple states, it’s also necessary to look up the hunting laws for those states. And of course, you should also keep a close eye on the weather. A little drizzle shouldn’t dampen your spirits too much. It can even help you by shrouding you in lower visibility and masking your scent. But as the weather gets sour your experience might worsen too.
Establish Safety Rules
Any activity that involves going out into the wilderness is going to be at least somewhat dangerous, so you should discuss safety rules with your companions and enforce them. Make sure everybody is on the same page about gun safety, noise discipline, and buddy systems. You’ll also need to establish for when somebody is lost since it’s easy to lose sight of one another. Assign roles for each hunter to distribute the load in the best way possible. It’s less advisable to go on a solo trip if you’re going to be visiting a lot of unfamiliar locales, but if you really want to, consider hiring a guide. Make it a point to mark out landmarks for orienting yourself, stores where you can restock on supplies, and safe places to rest or go to the bathroom.
Hunting is one of the most fulfilling activities to do in the great outdoors. You can soak in so much nature, see spectacular sights, and taste the fruits of your labor that many of your ancestors lived on. As long as you observe these guidelines, you might find that this experience is one that you’d like to have regularly for the rest of your life.