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The Only Five Things You Need in Your Deer Hunting Backpack [PICS]

All Images by Brad Smith

No matter what, make sure your deer hunting backpack has, at least, these five things. 

If you watch any hunting show or attend any outdoors show, you would be hard pressed to think it possible to harvest a deer without spending thousands of dollars on products to give you an edge.

If you are like me, I stuff my hunting backpack full of everything I can possibly need when I head out to the woods. Well, I used too.

As I have grown more secure in my hunting abilities, I have found the desire to rely on products to put a deer in my path has dropped significantly.

Now, there are only a handful of things I take with me every time I head out. Even at that, I might be taking more than I really need.

To start things off, you need to make sure you have a good hunting backpack. If you are going to fill it up with stuff, you want to make sure it’s going to hold it all.

For this, I pretty much only trust Badlands Packs. They offer plenty of pockets and space, not to mention a lifetime warranty, to handle just about anything.

So what are you going to put in it? Here’s all you need to know.


To start things off, the most important thing you can put in your hunting backpack is clothes and camo. Fill it to the top with your outer shell on your way to your hunting spot, then gradually add your layers as you get cold.

Keeping extra warm clothes in your pack is the number one benefit a pack can offer.


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How do you know how big a buck is if you can’t get a good look at him? Binoculars, like the Vortex binoculars in the picture above, are small and very packable.

Make sure you always have a pair in your pack. If not, you are pretty much walking into the woods blind every time you hunt.

Range Finder 

Just like with your optics, a range finder is a must. With no range finder, your shot can be the difference between a clean kill and an agonizing death.

In my pack, the range finder is kept in the easiest access pocket I have. Next to my binoculars, this is the most used item.



If you are deer hunting during pre-rut and rut, then you need some high quality game calls. Normally, one whole section of my pack is designated for deer calls.

I use a rattle bag and grunt calls. To be more specific, the only grunt calls I have used for the past several years are Beaver Creek Game Calls. These are on me every time I go to the woods.


You never know when you are going to need a rope. I keep a 20-foot rope with a carabiner on both ends. This acts as my hoist rope in a stand as well as a holder for gear in a tree. If you don’t carry a rope on you now, once you start, you will find uses for it all the time.

You may be wondering where all my other gear is. To be honest, I leave it at home or in the truck. My truck has a pack of knives and gloves for field dressing, extra socks, dry clothes, and rain gear, based on the weather forecast.

This setup can be very customized based on the amount of time I plan to stay in the stand. I rarely bring food with me other than granola bars or a bottle of water. I have also all but stopped wearing scent spray, instead opting to just hunt the wind.

These fives things works for me, perhaps you would choose others. In the end, we all don’t need all the gear we think we do. Find what works for you and just simplify.

You will be a lot happier for it. Trust me on that.

All Images by Brad Smith

NEXT: 25 Pieces of Deer Hunting Advice You Wish You Knew Years Ago [PICS]

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The Only Five Things You Need in Your Deer Hunting Backpack [PICS]