There are a lot of hunting products on the market. Many are extremely useful; others, not so much. These all fall into the second group, and they might already be somewhere in your house.
Let’s face it: most of us have made impulse hunting gear purchases that ended up being worthless. Hunting pack space is a valuable commodity. No one wants to carry a heavy pack full of useless gear.
Going beyond the typical must-haves (toilet paper, quality knife, GPS, water bladder, etc.), here’s our list of the top five unexpected but useful must-haves:
1. Zip Ties
Pound for pound, zip ties are one of the most useful items you can have in your hunting pack. Here are a few uses for zip ties:
- Attach your tag to the animal
- Fix a broken rifle or backpack strap
- Add more vegetation to your natural blind
- Strap a splint to a broken finger or wrist
- Secure a deer leg/quarter to the top of your back to stop it from bouncing as you walk
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Have you ever made the mistake of hiking, hunting, or scouting in brand-new boots? It’s not one you’ll make twice! In the event of blisters, moleskin is a lifesaver. Plus, in a pinch, it can serve as a substitute for medical tape to close an open cut.
Frequently, during the mid-day lull, a buddy and I go mushroom hunting. In the dense cover where chanterelles are found, it’s difficult to see each other, and a whistle is a great way to communicate. We use one tweet to ask where the other person is and three tweets to say, “Hey I found a ton of mushrooms, come help!”
Plus, if you’re ever lost, a whistle travels much further and saves a ton of energy. As long as you can stay hydrated, you could whistle nearly all day without expending a ton of energy. In contrast, think of how tired you’d get if you were shouting for help all day.
4. Pill Bottle or Ziplock Bag
No, not just an empty pill bottle or ziplock bag! Every one of my hunting packs includes a small pack of over-the-counter pills: Excedrin for a headache, Advil for sore muscles, Tums for heartburn, etc. Essentially, a pill for any annoying health issue that could make me want to head back to camp.
5. Compact Mirror
If you wear face paint, this is an item you’ll end up using frequently. If not, this is still a must-have item you’ll hope never to need. If you get lost, you can use this to signal a search-and-rescue helicopter or plane or start a fire.
These hunting gear must-haves can make your hunting adventures not only more comfortable but can help save your life.
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- 5 Pieces of Must-Have Camp Gear for Every Deer Camp
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