Backpack hunting is a very self-endearing activity. One learns the importance of being completely self-sufficient. And contrary to popular belief, backpack hunters don’t hike out of a truck or even a wall tent in the day and this is made possible only due to the fact that they have a free, movable camp. This gives them the wonderful opportunity to traverse more ground and pass through inaccessible regions.
As a hunting enthusiast, when you’re bound to a camp, you don’t get the freedom to discover new territories and hike in remote areas. But as a backpack hunter, the entire hunting experience and the joy that you gain from it are limitlessly captivating.
But you should also know that backpack hunting is not a piece of cake. Traveling solo for days on end, let alone hunting is easier said than done. There are many challenges that one faces. And I, as an avid backpack hunter myself, realized this a little too late. But better late than never, right? So my only advice to you is to be well prepared for anything that might come your way. And it usually does.
The only way to be prepared well in advance is to make sure that your backpack hunting gear list is unfailingly stacked with essential. And the most important hunting gear as well as safety equipment that you will inevitably need for your wild adventures.
Now let’s discuss that at length so I know that I’m doing my part by sharing with you what I wish someone had shared with me back then.
Backpack hunting gear list – what you need to carry
There’s no backpack hunting without a tough and reliable pack, isn’t that right? Your entire backpack hunting gear list depends on how much you can fit into your pack. So you need to make sure that you buy a pack that can accommodate at least 2 weeks’ worth of supplies. You can also determine the size of your pack once you know exactly what you’ll be using it for.
Apart from size, there are other elements as well to keep in mind, such as comfort, durability, and frame of the pack. These characteristics matter if you’re a backpack hunter that carries a pretty heavy hunting gear along with other food and safety equipment.
What I mean to say is that I load the inside of my pack with all the hunting gear and food, while the outside of the pack is reserved for my hunts, such as the meat, horns, cape, or antlers.
So you should be buying a pack that not only provides maximum stability and comfort but also the strength and sturdiness to carry heavy-duty supplies. Keeping this mind, I would recommend you to go for frame packs.
They have proven to supply backpack hunters with a wealth of support along with resistance, despite being overloaded with some pretty heavy-duty hunting gear. Frame packs have a phenomenal harness system, which is what contributes in providing that rigidity and support.
You will find many packs on the market that may claim to be comfortable so look out for the genuine ones. The best ones are light in weight and strong as hell, so you get access to two additional benefits along with comfort.
To be more specific, a size of 4500-6000 cubic inches is perfect for a backpack hunter who’s packing for a 5-day journey. It offers just the right kind of space to load it with everything that you might need.
The pack that you choose should be able to carry a weight of at least 50 pounds. Based on how long you’ll be traveling, that number can be higher as well. So buy a pack that will not collapse in the middle of your adventure by giving more importance to the pack’s size, weight, and strength above anything else.
#2 Sleeping System
Just like a sound system is equipped with at least 3 to 4 different kinds of gears, a sleeping system also consists of useful sleeping equipment that is absolutely necessary to have on your backpack hunting gear list.
Ideally, your sleeping setup should have 3 members; shelter, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. You need to carefully pick all the 3 elements as these will help keep you safe and warm in unfavorable weather conditions, especially when the temperature drops significantly.
A bivy sack is considered to be the most accessible and efficient sleeping equipment. And I stand by that claim. As a passionate backpack hunter, I have used all kinds of bivy sacks and I’ve had a wonderful experience with each one of them.
They weigh not more than just 2 pounds and are constructed using GoreTex, which by far is the highest quality material in this particular arena.
Bivy sacks with a single pole are great for those who, in favorable weather conditions, like to sleep with their head out and the lid entirely open.
The thing about bivy sacks is that in order to use them you don’t have to go through the trouble of finding a large spot, as is the case with regular tents. Just find an adequately sized, flat spot for your bivy sack and you’ll be asleep in no time. Night hikers will truly love this!
30 Second Survival Shelter
In our modern and advanced world today, when it comes to backpack hunting gear, sleeping pads have become not only more comfortable but also considerably more delicate over the last decade.
And this phenomenal change has given rise to inflatable sleeping pads. Even though they take a while and some effort on your part to get inflated, the amount of convenience they have to offer in terms of comfort, weight, and portability makes the whole setting up process significantly easier.
Normally, a sleeping pad should not weigh more than 1-2 pounds and should have a thickness of around 3 inches when fully inflated. As you already know, sleeping pads are built with horizontal baffles, which provide great cushioning in order to make you feel comfortable and keep you off the ground.
Let me tell you that a sleeping bag is going to be the costliest item on your backpack hunting gear list. And why shouldn’t it be when it performs two very important tasks; the first being to create a space where you can sleep comfortably and the second when you might need it to save your life. So ensure that you take all the essential factors into consideration before buying your sleeping bag.
In my experience, a down sleeping bag is a great choice, but only when paired with the best waterproof bivy sack. In order to ensure that you get a warm feel while using a sleeping bag, buy one that is supplied with at least an 850 or 900 range fill and a temperature of not more than 20 degrees. Remember that the higher the fill, the warmer your body will be in unfavorable conditions.
#3 Food and Water
As far as food is concerned, I think I should be sharing my own personal experience with you so you know what works and what doesn’t. I normally begin my day with some energy bars in order to get that fresh morning boost.
For lunch, I stick to some pre-made food like bagels with peanut butter and even bacon sandwiches. These meals are high in proteins and calories, which is extremely important to assist you with your hunting expedition.
And at the end of the day, a small portion of a freeze-dried meal does the job of filling the stomach and supplying the body with some additional energy and nutrients.
The addition of water in my backpack hunting gear list is done in two ways and both have turned out to be successful. The first method that I adopted to carry water was hydration bladder.
Now this feature is part of some of the best hunting backpacks and is built in the spot that touches the back of the person. So when the temperature drops, the hydration bladder keeps the water warm by drawing the required warmth from the person’s body.
When using a hydration bladder, many hikers complain about the constant sloshing noise that, after a while, tends to get a tad annoying and distracting too.
Here’s How to Deal with It?
Another method to carry water is to use iodine tablets. This proved to work better than the hydration bladder. The reason being that hydration bladder is susceptible to leakage, so there might be a slight possibility of it breaking down and all the water leaking down your back.
Carrying water bottles is also another great option but that will cost you some weight. So if your pack is not as heavy as heavy should be, then carrying water bottles and filling them up as you go is a tad less troublesome than any other method.
This part of your backpack hunting gear list gives you the opportunity to increase or shed some of that weight. So think about each and every item thoroughly before you decide to carry it along with you. Every little thing counts, so choose wisely.
Backpack hunters who have a knack for spying on their hunt in order to spot certain movement patterns or traits make use of hunting cameras. They are popularly known as trail cameras and along with recording short videos; they do the job of capturing images as well.
Every smart backpack hunter knows better than to not carry hunting binoculars. It goes without saying that binoculars assist you with achieving better and more accurate shots. And when was it not better to aim more accurately at your target?
One of the most effective ways to obtain exceptional protection against poor and sloppy shots is to make use of a hunting rangefinder. This valuable hunting gear can help locate a target that is well over a few hundred yards away.
If you want to carry something even lighter than a pair of binoculars, then I would highly recommend you to carry a spotting scope. It does the job of binoculars pretty efficiently but the only difference is that spotting scopes are entirely dependent on hunters’ choice.
If you’re a backpack hunter that regularly or occasionally traverses over regions that are not “glassing friendly”, such as densely vegetated or flat terrain, then you’d be better off without a spotting scope.
What would you do without a hunting knife! Every hunting trip requires a hunting knife, whether you’re a backpack hunter or not. And not just any hunting knife; make sure the hunting knife that you carry with you is razor sharp and is equipped with easily replaceable blades. And of course, it should be light in weight so you’re not foolishly lugging around a heavy knife unnecessarily.
For a hunting knife, choose a color that is easy to spot in all that brown and green of wildlife. In my experience, orange color was the easiest to work with.
How to Pick a Knife for Hunters?
We all tend to give clothing in our backpack hunting gear list a lot of importance, which is definitely not a bad thing. It is extremely beneficial to pack clothing layers that have the ability to cover all the bases.
And you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money in order to buy suitable clothing for backpack hunting. In fact, expensive camouflage clothing can also be quite easily ditched as wildlife animals are more attracted towards bodily movements than colors. So just concentrate on the types of fabrics so you can make the most of what you already have.
For example, synthetics that dry comparatively quicker are really helpful in chilly climatic conditions. I, personally, pack pullovers that have wonderful wool and synthetic blend, which does wonders for me when the mercury level drops. PVC or polypropylene fabrics are also great in providing the required amount of warmth and comfort in unfavorable weather.
Whatever clothing you decide to pack, make sure that it is warm enough and is worn in layers. This enables your outfit to be waterproof and helps in controlling the body temperature more efficiently. And lastly, don’t forget those socks, gloves, and hunting boots.
Your list is complete
Backpack hunting is very special to me, which is why I’ve compiled this backpack hunting gear list. It is very important to carry the best and most suitable equipment on wildlife expeditions so that you can enjoy each and every little part of your journey to the fullest.
You should know that every backpack hunters’ list varies depending on their individual situations and requirements, such as weather, type of wildlife, personal requirements, different bodily functions, and temperatures, etc.
So what you might not have on your list must be one of the topmost priorities on mine. And that’s okay. If you feel like you require that particular hunting gear equipment, then feel free to add it to your list. The choice is all yours.
I hope you found this article informative and useful. And I also hope that you get the opportunity to enjoy your hunting quests as much as I do every single time.
Does your list have all the items that I’ve discussed in this article? Is there anything else that backpack hunters should know about?
Please let me know in the comments section.
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