Todd’s Note – Hunting trips should be a great time to unwind, spend some time with friends and hopefully come home with some meat to stock the freezer. However, just like in so many different scenarios in life, hunting trips can take a turn for the worse. You need to consider a hunting trip survival checklist!
Recently, I read an article about an experienced hunter getting turned around and separated from his group in the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. He spent three days and three nights in freezing temperatures where at some point he fell in a stream. Luckily for him, he had some supplies and some skills at building a fire that helped to keep him alive. To read the news article – CLICK HERE.
Embarking on a hunting trip with the right mindset and supplies is important and can save your life. This is the topic of the article below!
Stay Safe and Prepared: The Absolute
Must-Haves For Hunting Expeditions
Have you ever wondered: “What are the absolute essentials you need when heading out to an intense hunting expedition?”
Think about it: You’re out in the open fields, silently catching some meat to bring home, all the while trying to stay as silent as possible to avoid getting injured. And while having the best weaponry and accessories will help capture your game, it won’t help you stay alive for long if you ever get caught in dangerous situations where you fight for survival.
If you feel like nothing will ever go wrong while you’re hunting outdoors, then you’re living in a fantasy! Your survival in the field is a priority because anything can happen. So to ensure your safety, you must have the right tools. This includes a survival kit and other various items you may have overlooked while packing.
Instead of packing and prioritizing only your weapons, we’ll be addressing a serious topic: The items to pack for survival while out hunting.
Sure, GPS systems have come a long way in letting us know where we are, but you can never be too prepared for what’s to come. Not only is there a chance of location inaccuracy from signal issues, but you can also lose battery from your device while trying to find a way out, wherever you may be.
It’s smart to carry the “old-school” tools, like a compass and a waterproof map. Of course, you should also bring a GPS (I recommend something to wear on your wrist and is fully-charged).
Are you planning to hunt and camp out for a few days? You can’t always depend on the sun and moon for your light, especially during inclement weather. Pack heavy-duty waterproof headlamps and flashlights to navigate your way through the darkest of nights. After all, you can’t move around as freely when you can’t see as much. Do NOT scrimp on flashlights, because you would want something durable and long-lasting. Pack extra batteries and bulbs for just-in-case!
First Aid Kit
The first aid kit of a hunter isn’t the ordinary types you might expect it to be. Sure, the basic bandaid and Ibuprofen is optimal for minor injuries, but what about the bigger ones (that hopefully will never happen)? You must have a complete first aid kit, which includes all the medicine and bandages one needs for any unfortunate injury or illness.
Start packing your first aid kit with medicine, especially if you have any special needs like for diabetes, blood pressure, or other illnesses. Then move on and pack items built for severe injuries, such as heavy-duty bandages, gauze, splints, and others. You shouldn’t only pack these items, but learn how to use them just in case anything does happen in the field.
Food and Water
This is the number one thing to add to your survival kit because no one can live without food and water for an extended period. It doesn’t matter how long you are out hunting for; you must have easy-to-consume food, such as energy bars, nuts, and freeze-dried food, which can help keep you going without the chances of it getting spoiled.
You should also invest in a portable water filtration system, which will help you in times you have run out of water and turn to any body of water you chance upon. That way, you are ensured that the water you drink for survival is cleaner.
Pack utensils as well, made out of stainless steel to use for heating and cooking purposes, as well as when drinking and eating. Do NOT bother packing disposable items, opt for something functional and reusable. Limit the trash you throw!
You never know how long you’ll be stuck in the wilderness, primarily during times you are lost or happen to be stranded from inclement weather. So with that in mind, you should also be prepared to stay warm. Space or emergency blankets are a must-have survival tool for hunters and campers alike.
Emergency blankets aren’t only windproof and waterproof, but they are also compact and can fit in your backpack. They are also functional in many ways, with you being able to use it as a sleeping bag, makeshift shelter, a heat conductor, ground cloth, or even a signaling device. It can also be used as a poncho for protection during the rain. This will keep you warm during the cold, which is recommended for those hunting deer in the winter.
You should never enter the fields without a knife. Think of it as a writer and his pen- that is the closest analogy I can think of with a hunter and a knife. A multitool that carries a knife isn’t only meant for self-defense, but it can save you during hard times in so many ways. It can be used for opening cans of food, chopping small pieces of wood to burn, to cut and skin game, or to even treat emergency injuries, such as removing splinters.
Pack the top-grade multitool with a quality knife that can cut through various textures and thicknesses.
Another critical tool for hunters would be disposable matches or lighters. They aren’t only helpful regarding bringing light to the area, but can also have you build fires for cooking, melting ice or snow, or even for warmth and comfort during the cold days.
You can opt to have disposable lighters, though it’s best also to have a small pack of matches in waterproof containers or even a flint that can spark a fire with friction, just in case the lighters do not work.
Tools for Signaling
You can opt to bring flares during your hunt to signal for help, but other signaling tools such as a whistle or signal glass mirror will come in handy for emergencies. A whistle is a valuable tool to signal other hunters or to even ward off animals that you do not plan on capturing. You can use the mirror and light for signaling, or to check any part of your body for injuries.
Having durable rope or a parachute cord (at least 50 feet) is a helpful tool to bring, as it can help build shelter, secure your backpack load, tie splints or slings for injuries, or even to rappel down inclines and steep paths!
And of course, you will need to make sure that you have a device used for communication purposes, whether you are hunting alone or in a group. Have a fully-charged phone or a two-way radio to update people on your whereabouts or to call for help if needed. I suggest that you also pack a small power bank to charge your phone as well if you expect to be in the area for a few days.
In A Nutshell
Just like targeting and shooting for the kill, your survival will depend on the tools and weapons you bring with you. It isn’t just about keeping yourself concealed with a hunting blind or the “strongest” gun. So make certain of it that you secure these items to stay prepared for anything while on a hunt.
Stay safe and pack wisely.
Mitchell Wood is an outdoor, ranch and hunting guru. He is the lead guide and liaison at the Musket Hunting. He is an expert in both native and exotic hunting species as well as conservation.
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