Do you know the secret to hunting success? Exploring. If you’re willing to venture into an entirely new habitat and hunker down in the dark for a night or two, you’ll soon come across an area that’s bristling with animal activity and plentiful rewards.
Of course, it can feel a little unsettling when you leave the more familiar hunting zones and head into unchartered territory – which is why top-quality camping gear is a must. If you have the right kit for your journey into the unknown, you’ll be prepared for any eventuality. To get you started, we’ve mapped out all the essentials right here for you.
Carrying in comfort
We’re about to reel off a pretty comprehensive checklist of must-have items for a walk into the wilderness, but before we press on, let’s make sure you have a way to store and carry these things.
First thing’s first: a backpack. You probably already have one of these somewhere in your house, but for an intense hunting expedition, it’s worth hitting the stores for something fresh and new. A great backpack will not only offer plenty of storage for all the essentials; it will also rest easy on your shoulders, be comfortable to carry, and remain durable in testing conditions. A good bag will help you transport any catches back home – with lash points and game bags allowing you to easily carry the body.
One good design option is a frame pack style backpack. These bags sport a design that accommodates carrying large animals back to camp, and also come with a healthy amount of room inside for storing everything you need for your trip. Consider also how many days you plan to camp for when choosing your bag – do you like overnight stays or long weekends away?
Putting safety first
An overconfident hunter is a hunter in danger. It’s fine to feel good about your ability to land a great shot from hundreds of metres away, but believing you can conquer the woodlands without the necessary gear can put you in jeopardy from the moment your trip begins.
A GPS device and a compass are two of the first things you ought to stuff into your trouser pockets when you pack for a hunting trip, as these items will help steer you back home when you’re unsure of your whereabouts.
As the most experienced hunters will testify – a great gun only gets you so far. You also need equipment to fall back on whenever you get lost, as well as a reserve weapon in case your gun jams or is out of reach when activity strikes. A Swiss Army Knife is extremely handy as a substitute armament, and is treasured in the wilderness for its versatility – letting you cut, trim, and slice your way through tricky terrain.
Consider a variety of camping lights too – it gets very, very dark in the woodlands at night-time and you can get yourself into difficulty without a lamp. Binoculars and rangefinders are equally important.
Pitching up in style
It’s good for hunters to have spacious tents that offer enough room for accessories, equipment and sleeping bags without it feeling like a tight squeeze. Hunting is a challenging sport that requires a crazy amount of physical and mental work, and you’re going to need every second of your beauty sleep.
Picking a tent may require some research. You’ll need to balance size with weight and determine if the tent is simple enough to cart around and pitch up. As pop up tents become more robust in design, they are growing in popularity as a quick and convenient option for hunters returning from a long day on the go.
A high-quality sleeping bag is worth similar scrutiny, along with mats and pillows that will take the edge off potentially bumpy ground beneath. If you’re camping during winter, you’ll need to invest in thicker bedding to stave off the cold. And remember to pack some sensible snacks and a camping stove to keep you fuelled up.
You can’t really put a price on quality clothing. If you want to be on top of your game during your hunting trip, you’ll need to clothe yourself correctly from top to bottom. Some say hunterwear is a matter of preference, but not if you’re planning on taking home a trophy.
Don’t let stylistic tastes influence your choice of hunting attire; dress to be the best, not look the best. Camouflage clothing can help you to blur into your background, whilst a pair of top-rate walking boots are required for plodding through tricky terrain. Meanwhile, a sensible coat should have an array of deep pockets for storing food/water/ammo/accessories.
If you’re planning a hunting trip, it’s well worth assembling all of the above before you embark. You’ll be much safer and have a stronger chance of succeeding if you turn up with the right type of camping gear, putting you in the best possible position to bring back a prize. Be smart, buy right, and you can have a hunting trip to remember for all the right reasons.