What you should put in your day pack

What to put in your day pack

Here is our basic gear list for a day hunt. You can click on any of the pictures in this post to go to the website for each product.

Our packs

What's inside

The essentials

Everyone has their own preferences for how they pack their bag. There are, however, a few essentials that you should always take with you on a day hunt.

  1. You always want a water bottle. Nothing will ruin a hunt faster than dehydration.
  2. A knife. If you manage to drop an animal, the last thing you want is to realise that you can’t do anything with it because you forgot your knife. I wouldn’t recommend going for some Rambo-style machete. Get something small, packable, and with a sturdy sheath.
  3. Take a headlamp. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘hope for the best but plan for the worst’? Even if you don’t plan on being in the field come dark, take a light source with you just in case. There are so many options on the market – look for one with good battery life and brightness.
  4. A well-stocked first aid kit. You don’t need to bring the whole hospital with you but you do want to make sure you’ve got a good supply of the basics. You can customise your own by buying all of the individual products but it’s much easier to buy one of the many pre-stocked kits on the market (this also takes away the worry of forgetting something important).
  5. Snacks. You might only plan to be out for a few hours, but let’s refer back to the quote above. Plan for the worst. We generally opt for a 50-50 mix between slow-release energy snacks (e.g. trail mix, muesli bars, and nuts) and high sugar, quick-release energy snacks (e.g. chocolate bars, lollies).

You can click on any of the images in this article to go to the eBay listing for that item.

Optional extras

So now that you’ve got the basic essentials, you can start to pick and choose what else you want to add. We do a lot of spot and stalk hunting in cool climates where wet weather is pretty common.

  1. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). No matter how well you know your hunting area, you should always have a PLB with you. Again plan for the worst. You could injure yourself, get disoriented or any number of things that can go wrong in the Great Outdoors. A PLB will ensure that you can still contact help.
  2. Binoculars. Although I will never admit any fault in this, we have on a few occasions forgotten the binoculars. There is nothing worse when you are spot and stalk hunting and you can see movement off in the distance but have no way of knowing what it is. Could be a kangaroo, or a bird, or the deer that you’re looking for. You’ll never know, unless you have a decent pair of binos with you.
  3. If you’ve got binos and you intend to use them, you should invest in a good bino pack (or a harness at the very least). This keeps your hands free but your binos within easy reach.
  4. While we’re on the subject, we always like to take a spotting scope with us. Especially if we’re hunting high, open or sparsely covered land. When paired with a digiscoping tool like the Phone Skope, this provides another opportunity to get some great footage of animals in their element.
  5. A packable, lightweight waterproof layer. If it does happen to rain while you’re out, you want something that you can grab quickly and chuck on so that you don’t end up soaked. This is particularly important if you’re hunting in colder weather. Being wet in cold temperatures is not nice. Trust me!
  6. Toilet paper. Just in case. Tip: pack it in a sealable bag (like a sandwich bag) to stop it getting wet.
  7. Baby wipes. Maybe it’s because I’m a mum, but these things are the best. In any situation. They are especially useful for giving your hands a quick clean after field dressing a deer.
  8. Camera gear. Whether you’re out hunting for meat, pest control, or a nice stag for the wall, it’s always good to capture the memories. We take both a video camera and a DSLR hunting with us.
  9. Tripod. This is great for the spotting scope and the camera equipment to give you a steady platform. It also makes things much easier if you are going to try self-filming. Just make sure you don’t forget the boot that attaches your camera/scope to the tripod.
  10. Range finder. This would be up near the top of the list if you were bow hunting. But, it’s a really useful piece of equipment for rifle hunting too. Distance can be deceiving and depending on how you’ve sighted in your rifle, it can change the point of impact considerably. Always better to be safe than sorry and check the distance with a good range finder before taking the shot.
  11. Handheld radios. We often hunt in groups of 2-3 people so we like to have a couple of good radios to keep in contact with each other if we decide to split up for part of the day.
  12. Bug repellant. If you’re in an area with a lot of mosquitos, midges or ticks, you definitely want to have some kind of repellant in your pack. This is just for your own sanity but also for your health. They can carry some pretty serious diseases like dengue fever and Lyme disease.

You can click on any of the images in this article to go to the eBay listing for that item.

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