People tend to have different ideas and philosophies about what they take along in their hunting pack. For example, I carry a standard “day” pack with me that contains everything that I consider to be essential to my day afield. Some people go with less and some people pack in a lot more.
“What’s in your pack, Rick” you may ask?
Well my most prized possession is a roll of toilet tissue (I remove the cardboard and fold it down flat). It is much easier to be prepared, than it is prospecting for the perfect leaf, when nature calls and then hoping that perfect leaf isn’t near any poison ivy. One thing to keep in mind during a firearm season is that a piece of white TP floating around your posterior may not be in your best interest.
The last thing that you want to be doing in the field is fumbling around in the dark, making so much noise that you’ll guarantee scaring everything in ear shot away. That said I have a very precise order to my pack and everything that I carry has a home.
Some of the essentials in my pack are my field spray, my range finder and my grunt call. When it’s hot my camo face paint is also at arm’s reach. I always carry spare batteries for my electronics, a flash light and a headlamp in the exterior compartments of my pack.
I always have plenty of knives in my pack. You do not need to buy the most expensive knives, but you should always have at least one spare. It is inevitable that you will lay one down, while field dressing an animal, and lose it somewhere. I strongly recommend having a spare or three.
I always pack a spare bow hanger with a cork attached to the screw. The cork will not only save your pack but your fingertips when you’re rooting around for the gummy bears you knew you had in there somewhere. I also keep a few of the cheap tree screws taped up with some camo cloth tape…Oh that reminds me there’s a roll of camo tape in the pack as well.
During the course of a season I may also have rattling antlers, scent control, wind checker and lure or cover scents packed. Field gloves and field wipes take up very little space and can literally be a lifesaver. There are thousands of uses for these and you are only limited by your imagination.
Speaking of your imagination you wouldn’t think in your wildest imagination that an archery hunter would forget their release, but it happens more than you’d imagine. When we get to rushing around the old saying “haste makes waste” will hold true. I always stow a spare release in my pack.
Safety is paramount to me and should be to you as well. So you probably guessed that in my pack is a spare tree strap for my safety harness. I also carry a pull up rope made of paracord with loop knots tied every 6 feet or so for grip. If you ever tried to pull paracord with gloves on this simple tip will make your life easier.
Remember that water is essential to life. We often become complacent about our projected time afield and forget that we are packing for unforeseen events not just to be sure that our morning hunt is comfortable. Something out of our control is always a possibility so be prepared when going afield.
Lastly, secure a place in your pack for your waste whether it be water bottles, bags or snack containers. Always pack out what you pack in. Remember to leave the area cleaner than you found it for somebody else to enjoy.
The contents of my pack vary slightly from season to season, but the constants are always there. I hope that you found this tour of my day pack interesting? Hopefully it will help you to prepare for your next day in the outdoors.