Hunting Must-Haves for Beginners
There’s a lot to stock up on for your hunting journey, and the equipment you’ll need will differ slightly depending on what you plan to hunt and how. However, there are a few staples that you should remember to take along on your trip no matter what your plans are.
Your Hunting Gear
The most important part of the hunting trip is naturally the hunting itself, and that means you’re going to need the right equipment for the job. If you’re bow hunting, you’ll need a bow that’s fitted to you personally, along with any necessary accessories. You’ll also need arrows and broadheads, which you should find at a specialised archery store. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to speak to somebody who’s clued up and can help you select the best equipment. If you’re rifle hunting, you’ll of course need your rifle with a scope, rifle scope mounts, ammo and a good knife – either a fixed blade or a folding knife depending on your preference.
Hunting isn’t the type of sport that you want to be underdressed for. Outdoors, you’re exposed to all the elements and weather can pose a serious threat, especially in terms of hypothermia in certain regions. You’ll want to invest in good rain gear, sturdy, durable clothing, hunting socks (that will keep your feet dry) and hunting boots to protect your feet. Extra items that will be useful include gloves and a hat. Many recommend base layers for hunting too, to manage moisture and keep your skin dry at all times, and you’ll want to make sure that all these items keep you nicely camouflaged.
A hunting backpack is an essential piece of equipment that not many people talk about, and they’re especially important if you’re hunting big game. On top of the personal items and equipment they need to carry, they’ll also have to hold your meat after a kill, so it’s important that your backpack is sturdy and durable, and can handle a load. Check out this article to find the right hunting pack for you.
No matter where you’re travelling or what you’re doing, there’s no such thing as being over-prepared. Carrying a first aid kit on any hunting trip is a good idea since you never know what might happen. Band-Aids, disinfectants, ointments and gauze are staples as well as any personal medication you might need along the way (accounting for allergies). On top of this, it’s a good idea to bring along a fire starting kit and a flashlight too, just in case.
Food and Water
Depending on how long you’re planning to be out hunting you’ll likely need some sustenance. It’s a good idea to pack some high-protein, energy-boosting and easy to eat snacks to take along the way. Protein bars, granola bars, trail mix, nuts or fruit are all good ideas to pack into your backpack. Hydration is, of course, key as well. Bring along an insulated water bottle, a water pouch or better yet, a personal water purification system so that you can access clean water along your route.
Even though getting lost out in nature kind of sounds like a dream come true, we don’t really want to vanish off the grid, which is why navigation is going to be an important part of your hunting gear checklist. In modern times, we don’t need to rely on a fold-out map and compass anymore, thanks to GPS devices and the technology built into our smartphones. There are plenty of apps to help you navigate your way in and out of the area, to make sure you get to where you want to be and also get back safely. Be sure to pack a fully charged power bank to keep your phone charged, so that you don’t lose contact or find yourself lost with no way to navigate your way back home.
Some other pieces of equipment that you might want to bring along include things like a wire cutter, a trail camera to avoid disturbing prey, bug repellents, binoculars, scent killer and some heavy-duty trash bags. As a beginner hunter, it’s going to be important for you to talk to those more experienced than you to get advice about what equipment is best and necessary for you as you start out. It’s also important that your first few hunting trips are done with someone experienced who you trust so that you know you’re safe and can get assistance if and when you need it throughout the hunt.