Great hunting backpack fit for a champ? Check. Rifle and ammo? Rations and sleeping gear? Check. Most deer hunters probably know by now the essential things to bring to a deer hunt. Pack light and bring only the basic stuff, right? But what if I tell you that there are some items missing from your hunting backpack that might increase the success of your hunt?
In this article, I’ll give you 10 things that you probably didn’t know you had or would want to bring to a deer hunt. Some of these stuff are quite modern, so you won’t hear the seasoned deer hunters talking about it. But what’s the harm in a little innovation?
1. Tree Stand Buddy
Making and sitting in tree stand can literally be a pain in the behind. In these modern times, manufacturers have come up with a super handy tool for hunters—the tree stand buddy: essentially a mountable and quick-attach tree stand system that can easily be installed and removed.
These stands can allow you to jump from one location to another with less hassle, plus these are known to hang on to a tree better than a regular stand.
2. Scent control jacket
Sure, sprays that cancel human-scent can be effective to mask your scent when hunting deer. But today, there’s a better option for that: a scent control jacket that has special technology to block odor and scent effortlessly. With this nifty little piece of clothing, you can save the trouble of spraying every now and then—plus cease to carry those spray bottles in your hunting backpack!
3. Pee container
Yes, it may sound gross, but if you’re sitting in a tree-stand all day, you’re bound to have to pee sooner or later. And let me tell you now that human urine can steer away deer from your location effectively.
So, if you prefer (and are a male), you can bring along a container (with cover) to urinate in when the need arises. Remember: you don’t want any human scent to linger at your spot at all. Deer noses are very sensitive.
4. A pair of branch clippers
Most hunters only bring knives to the hunt. However, when a branch is in the way of your perfect tree stand view, cutting away a branch with a hunting knife can be tedious. For this job, make sure to bring a pair of sharpened branch clippers.
Yes, yes, most hunters—not all—bring a standard first aid kit with the basic medications. However, being prepared to the teeth with all the necessary meds to fend off basic illnesses can save your life. Here’s a list of all the essentials you may want to pack on your next hunting trip:
- Pain reliever
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Calamine lotion
- Cough and cold meds
- Personal medications
- Anti-anaphylaxis shots if you’re allergic to bees
6. A whistle
Say, you fall down the tree stand, make a wrong jump, or trip on the forest floor. If you break something, worst case scenario is that you won’t be able to get up to call for help. In cases like this, blowing a whistle to catch attention of other hunters or the forest ranger can be your lifesaver. So, make sure to pack up a whistle and attach it close to your body. Better safe than sorry!
7. Water purification tablets
There may be some instances (although we don’t want them to happen) that your water supply runs out. In cases like these, finding a stream with clean-looking water isn’t good enough when you totally want to avoid an upset stomach, or worse, a bacterial invasion.
In your hunting backpack, you can also carry a few water purification tablets to increase the purity of your water.
8. Rain gear
When it looks like it won’t rain, pack a rain gear still. There’s no worse feeling than standing in an unexpected rain shower with nothing but a hunting jacket and thinking that you could’ve packed that rain coat with you. To avoid getting wet and getting too cold on your hunt, pack a rain gear that’s waterproof enough.
Tip: rubberized or PVC rain gear will work best and keep you dry more than other types of material
9. A book or something to entertain you
Sitting in a tree stand will definitely get boring after some time. To prevent burning out, falling asleep, or simply losing your mind from boredom—pack something to keep you company during the hunting trip, be it a book, a crochet set, an iPad, etc. Just make sure it won’t interfere with your hunting!
10. Trekking poles
For hunters that will undertake rough or uphill terrain, I recommend taking a pair of trekking poles with you. These tools will assist you in your balance and stability, reduce fatigue, and support your rhythm and posture while walking. A pair of these taken on a hunting trip can surely increase fun and reduce tiredness!
THE ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS
For all the beginners out there, here’s a list of the utmost essentials to bring with you on your hunting trip. Use this guide as a checklist on your next hunt in order to increase chances of success and reduce discomfort!
- Enough rations and clean water
Needless to say, packing enough rations is essential if you want to be on your top energy all throughout the hunt. Pack enough rations according to the number of days you’ll be hunting (including extras) as well as energy-dense snacks that can keep you going in between.
The same goes with enough clean water to last you the whole hunting trip.
- Warm and comfortable clothing
Before going out to hunt, select your clothing carefully. Pack those that are light, warm, and enough to keep you clean and comfortable throughout the trip. This includes shirt, pants, underwear, socks, jackets, and bonnets.
- Matches, lighters, and flashlight
The most important thing to a hunter during the night is light. Keep a book of matches, a lighter, and a flashlight close to you during camping. The essentials also include fuel to light the campfire and extra batteries for your flashlight or battery-operated lamp.
- First aid kit
Better safe than sorry. A fully-stocked first aid kit will come in handy when you get a few scratches or a serious injury while hunting.
- Tent and sleeping gear
Bring a tent and sleeping gear that will definitely keep you warm during the night.
- Hunting knife
A hunting knife comes in handy from making your tree stand to dressing your deer. Always make sure that you have one strapped to your waist at all times. Make sure you sharpen it before the hunting trip, as well.
Packing the essentials is easy to remember. But this list gave you the uncommon essentials or things that most people tend to forget to pack. With this guide, you can make your next hunting trip as successful and comfortable as possible. Just make sure not to pack too much, or pack to little. Enough and a few extra is always the best way to go.
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Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. We provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims.
Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.