Whether you've been hunting all of your life or just starting out, there are several essentials that can make your hunting experience more enjoyable. Safety, of course is the most important concern of all and you should be prepared for whatever comes up when you are in the wild.
Check out our 15 must-have hunting gear every hunter should own and a reminder of one necessary item to never forget: Water. Most of these items are probably in your hunting gear supplies right now, but you might want to stock up on a few or upgrade items that are worth the investment.
1. Water Bladder
You have to stay hydrated on a hunting trip (And not just with beer). Water should be at the top of your list in terms of importance. This will keep you hydrated in case of an emergency if things go south.
You need water while you wait for prey, but what if something goes wrong? Invest in a good water bladder that holds a lot of water and fill it before you set it up in your station. Keep extra water close by and iodine tablets for purifying water if needed as well.
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2. Good boots
Boots get better and more comfortable every season. You might have that old pair of lucky boots and good for you if you do, but there is no substitute for waterproof and quality boots.
If you are in the cold and wet for very long and do not have a decent pair of boots, the last thing you want is blisters. It doesn’t matter what you are hunting for, a good pair of boots will make or break your hunting trip.
A rangefinder is a device used when hunting to measure the distance to the target. As measuring the distance accurately is imperative, the range allowed by the device should be one of the most important factors to consider in choosing one. The range needed by the shooter will vary depending on the type of hunting in which she or he is doing.
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A headlamp and not a flashlight is something a hunter must have. This leaves both hands free to carry your gun and to deal with wildlife if you make a kill.
You must do the dressing into the night if you shoot an elk or large deer before sundown and you will need to use your headlamp and have both hands free.
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Every hunter should always have binoculars. You want to be able to see miles away to scope out your prey from a long distance. And if you are up high, you want to be able to see the whole area below.
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6. Trail Camera
The trail camera is a great way to keep track of the game over long periods of time if this is a regular hunting area. This camera will pick up animals wandering through the space over time and will track the traffic.
The photos are stamped with a date and time so the hunter gains information as to when the game is in the local and how often.
This will tell the hunter if this is still a good place to set up a hunting blind or not. At the very least, you might get some great photos of nature up close and personal.
7. Night Owl Nex Gen Night Scope
The Night Own Nex Gen Night Scope is a great deal that has an ambient light magnification of 500x, and it has a strong infrared illumination that grants you the capability to view objects that are normally undetected by the human eye during early morning hours and late evening hours. This is also a very easy-to-use device.
- 5x magnification, 700 field of view, 575 range of view
- Built-in infared illuminators for viewing in complete darkness
- Steel stringer system for additional precision and control
8. A Pocket Knife
A pocket knife probably goes without mentioning, but if you are going to hunt, you should have a good pocket knife.
From slicing food, and cutting ropes, to also skinning prey once it is killed, pocket knifes are multipurpose tools that can never be forgotten.
9. Dependable Bag/backpack
Whether you have a backpack or a durable duffle bag, this is an important tool for any hunting trip. Any bag should be waterproof and able to be carried for several miles with your essentials for your adventure.
This bag should be lightweight and easy to load. It is preferable to be able to carry this bag on your back or at least over a shoulder, so your hands are free for the most part to carry your weapon.
The clothing needed for hunting, other than your weapon of choice, are the most important accessories for your trip. You should have a camouflage or camo/orange hat, rain gear that should be camo or orange as well.
Gloves are a must as well as multiple pair in case the weather is rainy. Heavy-duty socks are much needed and pack lots of them! Keep in water-safe sealed bags. Wet feet equal a ruined trip and also my endanger your health.
11. Basic First Aid Kit
Your survival kit should have the basic last-resort tools. Matches, bandages, a blister kit, disinfectant, Tylenol, or ibuprofen, a compass, and other first aid materials needed in case of injury or prolonged exposure.
12. Hunting License
Make sure you have your documentation with you at all times that shows you have the legal right to hunt in the state you are in. You never want to be caught without your hunting license and identification.
13. Hunting Blinds
Depending on what you are hunting for, there are different blinds for different games. A deer blind, for example, can also double as shelter if need be if you get caught out in the elements and cannot make it back to where your base camp is set up.
A good camo blind is the perfect setup for a day out of the rain and wind, but still able to hunt while hiding right in plain sight.
14. Wire cutters
There is always a reason to use wire cutters when you are hiking toward where you plan to set up your stake out. Old abandoned wire fences have to be negotiated and with wire cutters, these are easily cut away and your adventure will not be compromised.
You may also come across some thorny bushes that if they were just out of the way, you could set up the perfect natural blind.
With good wire cutters and your gloves, you can take care of those thorn bushes and have your blind in nothing flat.
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15. Bone Saw
The bone saw can come in handy for two reasons. A bone saw can be needed to cut through the rib cage of an animal or to cut through thick joints to quarter an animal out.
The other handy thing about having a bone saw is to use it to cut fresh wood if needed to build a fire for heat.
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This list could go on and on. Insect repellant, rope, hand warmers, maps, and more could also be on this list. One person can amass more hunting gear, clothes, and boots than non-hunters could possibly believe!
Just remember, one of the main items is to have that durable bag to carry all of the things you need to have with you on your hunting adventure.
Some items can always remain in the vehicle or at base camp, but the main supplies for your hunt have to be with you. All of the gear listed above if you have most of those, are going to be in your bag.
Comfort is the name of the game. Remember to dress in layers and have more socks than you need. Carry extra water and if you think your pack is too heavy, pump it up a little before the next hunting season.
Then next year it will get easier when you buy more neat gear! Remember, less is not more when it comes to great hunting gear.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 17, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.