Hunting season is upon us, and that means you need to gather your things and get ready for your trip into the field! Many people like to camp where they hunt (or rather, nearby), so you might be putting together a list of things you’ll need to have on hand. Some of these items are a necessity, while some will just add to your comfort. So, let’s look at a list of things to help you organize yourself this year!
If you plan on camping while hunting, you’ll want to have a tent. The size of tent you purchase will depend on your needs. Are you sleeping alone? Will you have a partner or spouse? Are you bringing dogs? The answers to these questions will help you decide how big of a tent you’ll need. You can also check out TentsAndCampGear.com to look at several styles of tents. Some tents are standard, some come with additional rooms, and some are even ‘extreme’ for the roughest terrain.
A high-quality sleeping bag will ensure your overnight comfort. Some sleeping bags come with the addition of a hood, so you can snug your head in while you sleep. This helps your body retain precious heat during the night, as most body heat escapes from the head. Some extreme sleeping bags are even rated for dangerously low ambient temperatures.
You’ll be bringing food along, of course, so you’ll need a secure place to store it. To keep food cold, you’ll want to have a cooler and ice. Since you are going to be in the woods, a locking container is ideal to keep wildlife away from your food. You might also want a locking box to secure non-perishable food products. If you have dogs with you, you’ll want to secure their food as well; wild critters will love to raid your dog food cache.
There are also tripods available so that you can hang your food above ground, keeping it away from animals when you’re not at camp.
While camping, you’ll probably need a campfire. So, bringing along an ax and/or wood saw is always an excellent idea. You’ll be able to hack away at small, dead branches and undergrowth, or saw larger pieces of wood into usable sections. You might also consider a metal grate, like what you find on an outdoor grill, to place over your fire so you can cook. A couple cast iron pots and skillets will allow you to prepare your food.
You’ll also want, at minimum, a sturdy hunting knife. If you plan to field dress or process anything before taking it home, you might decide to bring along a special kit for that. This kit might include a filet knife, a bone saw, rib spreader, and gut hook. For processing, you’ll also need containers like zipper bags to put your meat in to store it.
A shovel is also a useful tool when camping. They are available in small, folding varieties that don’t take up much space, and can be used for a variety of tasks.
Hunting season, in most locations, begins when it’s colder outside, so you’ll want to make sure you bring appropriate clothing. This might include a heavy winter coat, a medium weight jacket (you can always double them up if it gets too cold), and a pair of winter overalls to cover your pants or jeans. Thick gloves and hats are also appropriate, and you might want to add a scarf or a full-face mask and hat combo, especially if you’re going to a location prone to high winds.
Heavy socks and water-resistant boots are a must. You should plan to take double the pairs of socks you think you’ll need. In other words, if you’re going camping for three days, you should have at least six pairs of socks. That way, you’ll have dry socks to put on if you step through the ground or ice and get wet. Two pairs of boots would also be prudent.
In many locations, especially during firearms season, bright orange clothing is required when you’re in the field. This can be a coat, a vest with reflective tape, or an orange hat. Consult the regulations for the area you’ll be visiting to make sure you know what’s required.
Since you’re out hunting, you’ll want to bring along your preferred weapon. If you’re bow hunting, you’ll have to add your arrows and a spare string (if using a recurve bow). When hunting with a firearm, remember to bring your ammunition. And most importantly, bring your hunting license and make sure you always have your state-issued I.D. or driver’s license with you.
If you’re using a firearm, you might want to bring along a small cleaning kit. This way, if you’re outside in rain or you shoot your weapon, you can clean it in camp before going out again.
Getting ready for camping while hunting doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Using this handy guide, you’ll remember to bring along all the basics that will ensure you have a safe, enjoyable time in the outdoors.