Essential Hunting Gear: 5 Items You Need

Man with Hunting Gear And Dog

An experienced hunter has a kit or a group of gear that is made up of a host of reliable gear items. What exactly that kit contains can vary widely from person to person, but there are definitely certain items that can be considered nearly universal when it comes to essential hunting hear.

In this article, we’re going to detail the five essential hunting items that you need in your kit!


Maine Hunting Shoe
PC CBDroneography via Pixabay

Not to get too metaphorical, but there are so many things in life that require a solid foundation if you want to be successful. Hunting is no different.

Taking care of your feet when you head out is something that certainly can’t be overlooked. A quality pair of boots will keep your feet comfortable, warm, and dry so that you can put your attention on tracking and taking down the game you’re hunting.

There are many brands of boots out there to choose from, including Irish Setter, Lacrosse, Georgia, and Muck. When choosing boots for hunting, make sure you consider the time of year you’ll mostly be hunting in (early season, midseason, or late season), the type of hunting you prefer (active versus sedentary), and the typical weather patterns in the places you like to hunt most. These three factors will help you determine the right type of hunting boots for you.

Scent Killer

Deer Sniffing Air
PC John via Flickr

One of the easiest ways to become an unsuccessful hunter is for game to smell you coming from a long way off.

Different types of game have different olfactory capabilities, but masking your scent is important regardless of what specific animal you’re after. Stealthily getting into position to take down a prized deer, elk, or bear, for example, requires scent killer.

If you’re just starting out, the Dead Down Wind Trophy Hunter 10-piece Scent Elimination Kit is a great combination of scent killers. It includes laundry detergent, field spray, a refill bottle, bar soap, a soap travel case, a five-color camp wheel, three field spray refills, and an SPF 30 lip balm.

First Aid Kit

Old First Aid Kit
PC Milan Degraeve via Unsplash

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” A first aid kit is one of those items that you hope you never have to use, but you sure as heck better have with you when the need does arise.

Over time, you may find yourself customizing your first aid kit to fit your specific needs, but when you’re just getting started, a generic kit will do the trick.

It’s important to have the supplies on you to disinfect and bandage cuts, scrapes, and wounds in the wilderness. These are the most common types of injuries when hunting or otherwise traveling outdoors.

As your hunting experience grows and you start to think about trips that place you in more remote areas, a certification like the Wilderness First Responder course offered by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is something you might consider.


Knife Stuck in Tree
PC Yaroslav Кorshikov via Unsplash

So, you just took down your first deer, huh? Well, now it’s time to learn how to clean and prep your kill in the field.

You definitely will have a much harder time doing that without a quality hunting knife. This is an item that can also come in handy if you ever get into a survival situation.

When looking into hunting knives, one of the major choices is whether to go with a folding knife or a fixed blade knife. Fixed blade knives are generally very strong and reliable. They have no moving parts and typically have to be carried in a sheath and worn on your belt for easy access. The downside to fixed blade knives is that they tend to be larger and, therefore, bulkier to carry.

Folding knives contain a blade that folds back into the knife’s handle. They include a locking feature that keeping the blade from accidentally closing while you’re using it (and also opening when you don’t need it open).

These knives are more company and easier to carry. However, they tend to have more weak points (i.e. hollow handle and the point where the blade folds into the handle), so they aren’t as strong as a similarly sized fixed blade knife.


Petzl Headlamp
PC Tomek Walecki via Pixabay

The reality of hunting is that unexpected things can (and will) happen. What you thought would be an easy, two-hour hike out can somehow turn into an arduous, four-hour trek.

Just when you least expect it, a thunderstorm might roll in and force you to take cover. These are just two examples of potential scenarios in which you might find yourself needing a little extra light to navigate and, ultimately, survive.

A headlamp is a great item to include in your hunting kit because it will provide illumination without requiring the use of your hands.

When you’re hunting, you’ll need your hands for a number of other items (like your rifle, of course), so a traditional flashlight might not be the easiest or most efficient way to go. Some examples of great headlamps to add to your hunting kit include the Black Diamond Cosmo LED Headlamp and the Remix 300 Lumen Headlamp.

More Essential Hunting Gear?

This is by no means a complete list of all the gear that you should have. The reality is that you will need to include a lot more than five items. Things like water purification tablets, rope, a compass, binoculars, and maps provide just a few examples of other items to include in your hunting kit.

I hope this article gets you started building your hunting kit and I’d love to hear from you if you have any other items that you feel like you can’t live without when you go hunting. In the meantime, happy hunting!

Have any questions or thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Essential hunting gear - 5 items you need


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