It’s no secret that hunting requires a ton of gear. There is a near endless stream of equipment you can purchase to make your hunting trips easier, more comfortable, and more successful. Not every item is a necessity and much of it depends on your individual needs.
When looking for new gear to add to your hunting arsenal, you may need some help. Here, we will discuss what types of hunting gear are most useful, how to choose your gear, etc, etc.
If you already know exactly what you’re looking for, use our table of contents to take you there.
Hunting Gear Basics
Hunting gear has many purposes. There is gear to protect you against the elements, make your hunting trip more successful, and also just make things easier or more comfortable.
So what hunting gear do you really need?
Essential Hunting Gear
Outside of your actual weapon and ammo, there are some things you simply can’t leave home without.These include:
You wouldn’t leave home without the clothes, but be sure to remember to bring a hunting jacket or maybe even two, depending on the weather conditions. This is vital to being safe in variable weather conditions.
Also consider hunting pants which tend to be more durable and useful than a pair of jeans or sweats. A good pair of coveralls is also a great option when hunting. Coveralls are more protective and good for wearing over other clothing to increase your insulation in cold weather. Waders and hunting bibs are also good options when water or cold temps are in play.
Of course, there are hunting gloves, hats, socks, and thermal underwear that are particularly suitable for hunting trips and are made to last. These become even more important when hunting in colder climates. When hunting in cold weather, the mantra is layer, layer, layer. Adding one or more base layers ensures you will stay warm and dry and allows you to remove warmer outer layers if you get overheated.
The value of a good pair of hunting boots cannot be overstated. You’ll never regret shelling out your money on some comfortable, durable, all-terrain boots when navigating hills, dirt, water, ice, and muddy conditions. These come in a variety of types from PAC boots to rubber boots. When your feet are uncomfortable, it makes everything more difficult.
Being able to carry everything in one bag will simplify your hunting and still keep what you need at your fingertips. Be sure the hunting backpack you choose has plenty of space, pockets, weather-proofing, and durability to withstand trip after trip.
Hunters know how important it is to be prepared. Even if there is no rain in the forecast, the sky can open up at any moment and drench you. So be prepared for anything with some great hunting rain gear like a poncho or jacket. Having one of these handy can help prevent hypothermia in cold, wet conditions.
No hunter should leave the house without a good hunting knife. This comes in handy when cutting branches, cutting rope, finishing off an incomplete kill, cleaning game, or any other purpose where a sharp tool is needed.
You should have a digital GPS of some sort to help you figure out where you are and where you are headed. It is easy to get turned around when tracking your prey. However, you should also carry a paper map and a compass in case you lose signal or your battery dies.
There’s no doubt that hunting can be dangerous. Animals, weather, and terrain are all unpredictable and an injury can occur at any time. Getting disoriented and becoming lost is also a danger. You should always carry some emergency supplies such as fire-making materials, backup food, water/purification methods, first aid kit, a space blanket or emergency bivvy, and a handheld light. This ensures you can survive and signal to others if you happen to become immobile or lost.
Additional Types of Hunting Gear
Besides the mandatory supplies above, here are some additional supplies that may come in handy on your hunting trip.
A good pair of long-range binoculars will help you detect prey, other hunters, and potential spots from a distance.
If you have the possibility of needing a saw to cut branches for a shelter or broken tent poles, it is best to have one with you. Bringing a bone saw is also helpful when processing your catch.
Having a call for your target species will help draw them to you and can be invaluable for your hunt.
Scent Cover Up
If the prey can smell you, you likely won’t see them. Be sure your scent is as undetectable as possible.
Whether you use a trail camera or a GoPro, you don’t want to miss the most amazing parts of your hunt. Be sure to keep a camera nearby for those trophy pics.
Like a call, a decoy can be the difference between going home empty-handed versus going home with some fresh meat.
A rangefinder will help you accurately gauge the distance to your shot and enable you to hit exactly where you intend.
Rope or Paracord
What is a rope or paracord not useful for? With one of these, you can build a tent, tie food up away from predators, pull your kill along with you, tie up your kill, and fix almost anything. Not packing such a light, useful piece of equipment would be a mistake.
Even if you don’t plan on staying out long enough for a shelter, you never know when you might need one for a sudden storm. A shelter can be pre-packed like a bivvy or you can bring along supplies such as a rope and a tarp that can be used to make a shelter if the need arises.
Pen and Paper
A pen and paper are excellent for making notes or filling out tags.
Trash bags have multiple uses. You can place wet clothes/supplies inside, use them to keep supplies from getting wet in the first place, for actual garbage, or as ground cover for you or your animal during processing. It also useful as an emergency shelter material or to carry your cooled meat home.
Sunscreen, Chapstick, Toilet Paper
Ok, these are self-explanatory. You don’t want to go home fried with a sunburn. Dry cracked lips are painful and distracting, and toilet paper? You don’t need a reminder of its importance.
Read Before Buying
Before you run out and purchase one of everything, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Type of Hunting
What are you hunting for? This will determine the type of weapon, ammo, and supporting equipment you need. It also helps you know what size game bags you’ll need to haul your kills. This is important so you know what colors to wear/not wear for the prey you will be hunting.
Where You Are Hunting?
What is the terrain like? How far out do you intend to go? Are there facilities nearby? Will you be camping, staying in a cabin, or returning home at the end of each day? Keeping these things in mind will help you prepare your supplies.
The weather can change on a dime so don’t depend on the forecast completely. But knowing what is expected will help you prepare with cold weather gear, rain gear, or easy to remove layers. Keep in mind that temps high in trees will be different than temps on the ground as well.
Where Are You Hunting From?
Although blinds were not discussed, you need to know if you will be running and gunning or setting up a treestand or ground blind to hunt from. This is an additional piece of equipment you may need to consider.
The terrain you are hunting in will decide the type of camouflage you need to stay hidden. It also gives you a good idea of the type of footwear you will need.
Your Activity Level
Again, if you are running and gunning, you will be warmer than if you sit in a ground blind intermittently shooting. Be sure to account for the type of activity to keep you comfortable.
Wearing blaze orange is mandatory in some locations. Be sure to adhere to this for your safety and the safety of others. Keeping your hands free is also a safety aspect so if you can put your gear in a backpack, hunting vest, or jacket, do it.
Popular Hunting Gear Brands
Some brands are obviously better than others. There are many places to get hunting gear but if you go through a reputable brand known for its hunting expertise, it will fit the needs of a hunter better, be more durable, will last longer, and are likely to have innovative qualities. Here are a few brands to consider.
● Drake Hunting Apparel
● Under Armour
● Big Game
● Wildgame Innovations
If you are looking to maximize your hunting gear without going broke, get the must-have supplies and gradually sprinkle in the optional ones. Once you have all the gear mentioned, you can add a blind, kayak, a hunting tent, and more. Another option is to get together with a friend and buy one piece of additional gear at a time until you have everything you need.
Hunting can be an expensive venture but is well worth the time, effort, and money. When you bag that trophy kill, you’ll be glad you had all the gear you needed. Happy hunting!
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