According to education provider Hunter Ed, every “successful hunt begins with careful planning and preparation.” You can make some of that preparation easier for yourself by putting together an essential basic hunter’s kit that you can customize according to the season and your intended prey. Your basic kit should include a few essential items that you should have on every hunt. Find out what you need in your essential hunter’s kit below.
The right clothing is an important part of your essential kit for hunting. According to On X, one of the biggest concerns when you’re out in the woods or the hills is hypothermia, which happens when your body loses heat faster than it is able to generate it. When this happens, your core body temperature plummets, putting your life at risk.
Your kit should include base layer clothing that keeps your skin dry by wicking sweat away from your body. Choose base layer clothing made from fabrics such as merino wool, silk, nylon, or polyester. In addition to good quality base layer clothing, your kit should include quality rain gear that is waterproof and that uses proper ventilation to prevent your sweat from being trapped in the fabric. Good quality hunting socks that aren’t made from cotton are another essential clothing item for your essential kit. Your socks should wick moisture, prevent blisters, and offer warmth and protection.
Weapons And Tools
Your essential hunting kit should include your preferred weapon and ammunition. According to Peli, most hunters are likely to choose a rifle. Ultimately, the weapon you choose depends on your style of hunting as well as the animal or animals you intend to hunt on a particular trip. A good hunting knife is a must-have for your kit. Whether you prefer a folding knife, a multi-tool, or a fixed blade, your knife is a valuable asset in a variety of situations. You can use it for cutting rope, making notches on tags, and for cleaning (skinning and cutting) game.
The essential tools for your kit should also include navigation tools and visual aids. As far as navigation goes, pack in a GPS device. If you’re familiar with orienteering, you can include a good old-fashioned map and compass in case your device’s battery goes flat. When it comes to visual aids, choose a good pair of binoculars with a harness. A range finder can also come in handy.
Essential Hunting Supplies
Your hunting kit should include essential emergency supplies. In addition to first aid and sewing kits as recommended by LiveOutdoors, the emergency supplies you should never be without include water and a water purification system such as iodine tablets and a UV filter, high-calorie food, a space blanket for shelter, fire-making supplies such as waterproof matches, and a light source such as a headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries). Clean trash bags, a notebook/pad and a permanent marker, toilet paper, and between 30 and 50 feet of paracord are other essentials for your kit. Also make sure you pack in your license and any other necessary documents.
Customizing Your Kit
The essential hunter’s kit described above includes the basics, but, according to On X, you can improve it by customizing it for the different hunts you do at different times and in different places. For example, if you go deer hunting, make sure you have scent control, and a harness-style deer drag. If you go elk hunting, make sure you include game bags and, as Asher & Lyric recommend, an elk caller.
The items in your essential hunting kit are a starting point. Build on this foundation appropriately whenever you go on a trip.