The contents of your pack determine your survival, but it’s essential to bring only what is necessary. Remember, the extra weight will most likely end up weighing you down and messing up your chances at a successful hunt.
As important as knowing what to pack, you should also learn how to pack for a day trip. Backpack selection factors into this equation, too, as you might need hunting packs for hauling meat if you’re hunting big game.
Must-Pack Items for a Day Trip
So, what are some of the essential items to bring in your day pack? The list below should help you pack conveniently and efficiently for day-trip adventures in the future.
When talking about survival, nothing eclipses water in terms of importance. Unless you can access clean water in your hunting location, make sure to bring at least one liter of water with you. It will add to your load, but most of your pack’s weight should be allocated for water anyway.
Quench your thirst before setting off if this helps minimize the space that your water occupies in your bag. Collapsible water containers also help if you can secure them before your trip.
Even with a good pair of hunting boots, blisters, cuts, moleskin, and scrapes are all still highly possible during any hunting trip. A first-aid kit allows you to address these problems then and there instead of a couple of hours later at home when they would have become worse.
There’s no need to go overboard. Different-sized Band-Aids, a hand sanitizer, some antibacterial cream, and an anti-itch cream are usually enough to tackle most minor wounds and skin conditions. You’ll want to carry enough of these items to maintain comfort.
Hunts could very easily extend after dark, depending on the prey animal’s movements. In particular, deer hunters often find themselves dressing their kill in the dark. These situations call for the ideal light source, which could come in the form of a quality headlamp.
Pick one that can last for long hikes so that you don’t have to worry about losing light and messing up your kill. Some headlamps even come with alert mode settings and other features useful for your hunt.
Out there, you couldn’t be more at the mercy of Mother Nature. The weather doesn’t always cooperate, and you could easily find yourself in the middle of a downpour instead of the sunny experience you expected. However, that’s all run-of-the-mill in hunting territory.
The best thing you can do to prepare for these situations is to pack the necessary rain gear. Whether you’re dealing with rain or snow, quality rain gear ensures you don’t fall victim to the challenges of hunting in inclement weather. You no longer have to worry about hypothermia cutting your hunts short with easy access to these gears.
One day might not seem too long. However, when you think about all the things a hunt entails, it could mean forever. Many hunters will tell you how incredibly difficult and draining it can be to track prey.
Most of the time, breakfast won’t be enough to address the energy needs of a day hunt. After all, things don’t always go according to plan, and your prey could end up eluding you for longer than expected. For this reason, you’ll want to bring carb- and protein-rich snacks for your trip.
From prepackaged food and bags of mixed nuts to protein and energy bars, there are tons of snack options to bring on your hunt. One of the worst things that can happen is finding yourself hungry in the middle of a hunt with nothing to satisfy your hunger. You can stop the hunt right there, but you’re still going to have a long walk back. It won’t likely be a pleasant one, either.
Big-game hunters are expected to dress their kills on the field. For instance, when hunting deer, you’d need to be able to cut the hide and the rest of its parts and pull out its stomach. Nothing short of a razor-sharp blade can accomplish this task efficiently.
Pick a compact, lightweight, and heavy-duty hunting knife that is safe to carry in your day pack. You specifically want one with a drop-point blade for a quick and easy cleanup.
Don’t Forget Your Map and License
Among the two most important items to bring on a day-hunting trip are a map of the hunting location and your license to hunt on the property. A map helps ensure constant awareness of your positioning. On the other hand, a license keeps authorities from stopping or interfering with your hunts.
Forgetting these two documents is a common rookie mistake that often gets hunters into trouble. It’s not something you want to fall victim to, especially when you’ve put in a lot of work to get ready.