Monday, December 19, 2011

My Deer Hunting Pack

Every hunter prepares his pack differently. He adjusts his gear to match his hunting style and personal needs. I find that preparing and organizing my gear is one of the most enjoyable things about hunting. I love the challenge of be prepared, but not burdened down. Every time I go out a tweak me gear, finding that I don't need some things, but really need others.

I had the opportunity to spend and entire day in the field recently. When I say entire, I mean entire. I was in the stand from sun up to sun down. Obviously, this requires more gear that a quick couple of hours in the stand. I normally pack much less.

Here is the gear I packed:

Obviously, this does not include my clothing and weapon. This is just the gear I keep in my backpack and pockets.

Lets look closer.

Backpack - Just a cheap $20 backpack. It only has one large compartment. I have cut off all the extra straps and handles to reduce weight. Believe it or not, I removed over a pound of unnecessary stuff from this pack. All outdoorsmen know, every ounce counts.

Safety Harness - Don't climb a stand without it. Mine was inexpensive, and is quite heavy at over 5 pounds. It does have a deer drag built into it, which saves a couple ounces.

Pouch - I like to keep all of my smaller items in a pouch. This just helps me keep organized.

Apple Pies - Over 400 calories each. Yummy and quiet to eat. This is my favorite hunting food. Two will keep me satisfied all day.

Headlamp - I don't care for my current headlamp, but it is better than nothing. A headlamp is indispensable when you are gutting a deer at night or carrying 50 pounds of gear to and from your hunting area.
Water bottle - I prefer bota bags or these plastic water bags. They are less noisy and don't take up as much space.

Butt-out Tool - I used this on my last hunt. Now I will not go deer hunting without one.

Ziploc bags - Used to put dirty or bloody gear in and for the heart, if there is anything left of it.

Binoculars - I love these small Nikons. They are crystal clear and lightweight.

Rangefinder -  Next to my weapon and knife, this is my most important piece of gear.

Hand warmers - Two for my feet, two for my hands, and one for the small of my back.

5 rounds - Only 5? I've never needed more than three. I keep an entire box in the truck.

Camera - Don't go hunting without it.

Small camera tripod - Weighs almost nothing and makes your pictures much nicer. You can actually wrap this one around a branch or something.

Old Timer 69OT - The gut hook and saw make this knife a life saver. This is my main hunting knife.

Buck 110 - The best skinning knife I have ever used. I take this on every deer hunt.

Gutting gloves - I hate touching blood and raw meat. I know.... a big problem for a hunter. I always carry lots of latex gloves.

Paracord - About 1000 uses. I don't ever go outdoors without it.

IPhone - Communication, GPS, weather, topo maps, clock, sunrise/sunset times..... the list goes on forever. This is never more then 10 feet from me, 24/7/365.

Not shown:

Toilet Paper - Every had diarrhea in a swamp? I have.

Matches - In case I get stuck in the woods over night.

Often when I am just out for a few hours I will just take what will fit in my pockets. I hate using a backpack, but when I am out all day it is necessary.

What do you take to a long stand?

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