Your hunting backpack, in itself, is an essential item, and finding the perfect one might be like trying on a variety of boots in order to find the perfect fit for you.
Towards the end of a hunting the day, one’s body becomes exhausted and fatigued, so you might want to choose the right backpack. Your best option will be one that is lightweight and comfortable and will hold all your gear.
So what goes into your backpack? Experienced hunters know that it takes trial and error to determine what you really need for hunting. However, there are a few most-needed items that every hunter should have in his backpack.
Staying hydrated on a hunting trip is extremely important since you will be quite active. Be sure to pack enough water for the whole day or for the entire duration of your hunting trip. Keep in mind that, depending on where you hunt and the duration of your hunt, adequate resources for refilling your water might not always be readily available.
2. Food or Snacks
Packing food is always a must to keep up your energy. Healthy food or snacks will be beneficial to your wellbeing throughout the trip. You should try to pack lightweight food and something that will be ready to eat or easy to prepare. If you have to cook food during your trip you will need to pack cooking equipment that will add extra weight.
Favorite choices are jerky, mixed nuts, high-calorie protein bars and pre-packaged freeze-dried food. But keep in mind though that you will then have to pack a jetboil too to heat this up.
3. First Aid Kit
You should always be prepared for any situation. Having the basics will ensure you are not left stuck in the wilderness.
Favorite items should include a bright, hunter orange colored tourniquet, pressure bandage, gauze, chest seal, small ziplock bag with antibiotic ointment, bandaids, aspirin, bite/sting pads, Tylenol, and burn cream.
Additionally you may include fine tweezers with an attached magnifying glass.
4. Flash Light
Flashlight or Headlamp – Whether you prefer a standard flashlight or a headlamp does not matter but be sure to pack something that will ensure you are not left in the dark. I prefer to pack both but it’s up to your personal preference and depends if you have enough space.
All-rounder – Having an all-rounder knife will come in handy for various situations.
Skinning Knife – When it comes to field dressing and skinning after the hunt, you will need your trusty old knife or two to skin and field dress your well-deserved harvest.
6. Field Dressing Gear
Gloves – Using gloves for field dressing deer is simply safer and more hygienic. You don’t need to carry around those long elbow high gloves for field dressing as latex gloves will do a perfect job. Using gloves will protect your meat from any bacteria when handling the meat.
Game Bag – It is customary for hunters to use non-breathable bags for meat, usually because this is the cheaper option. Game bags are made from mesh material and these bags allow meat to breathe and protect the meat from insects.
7. Survival Gear
Fire Starter – It’s always beneficial to carry some sort of fire starter whenever you are in the wilderness. It does not matter what type of fire starter you prefer to carry, just bear in mind that there is always a chance that your fire starter might get wet. So if you choose to carry a lighter, make sure that you keep it in a container to protect it from getting wet. I prefer to carry a survival fire starter, simply because it is lightweight and it will still function if gets wet.
Survival Blanket – You never know what the weather will be like on your hunting trip and you might get stuck in the wilderness for longer than anticipated. For this reason, I always carry a survival blanket just in case the need for extra warmth presents itself.
Parachute Cord – These days the paracord bracelets are quite popular, and for a good reason too. Having rope with you when going outdoors is never a bad idea. The paracord bracelets are compact and can be carried on your wrist, although it might not always be enough. Make sure you carry extra paracord or any other rope you prefer in your backpack.
8. Game Calls
We all know how useful it is to make use of deer calls, especially during the rut. (Check out our article about hunting during the rut). Make sure to pack all your favorite deer calls.
9. Hunting License
You should carry your hunting license with you at all times when hunting. This is an extremely important item to include in your hunting backpack.
10. Personal Items
Toilet Paper – One of our bare necessities and sometimes one of the most forgotten items. This is one item that you do not want to forget. However, if you use toilet paper on a hunting trip please remember to dispose of it in a proper way.
Medication – If you do take any medication that you might need during your hunting trip, be sure to include them in your backpack.
11. Scent Control
If you like using scent control products when hunting, be sure to include them in your backpack. Keep in mind that there are ways to control scent before and during hunting. There are also ways to control the scent on your backpack itself.
If you want more information about scent control, have a look at this article about deer hunting scent control.
If you are in the market for a new hunting backpack, check out the Eberlestock Transformer Pack on Amazon. This is rated as one of the best hunting backpacks.
Feel free to leave a comment below should you have any other essential items that you pack for your hunting trips.