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Hunting Day Pack List: The 6 Things You Need to Survive

Hunting Day Pack List

I know that preparing for a rifle hunting trip can be overwhelming with the JACK LOAD of things to consider.

As I was approaching my very first hunting day, I was both excited and confused as to where to start.

Whether you’re out to catch a deer, a dove, or an elk, BEING ORGANIZED about hunting gear helps!

That’s why I made this hunting pack list of stuff you should always consider when you’re out in the great outdoors!

Hunting Pack List Essentials Guide

What should be in the hunting pack?

Well, of course, this trip CAN’T be called a hunting trip without proper preparation and tools. 

Choosing the right ones is a tedious pre-meditation for hunters, with a load of stuff to consider like:

  • Weather conditions
  • The plot of a base camp
  • The intense hiking

Hunting is a lifestyle that rewards proper research, knowledge of the woods, and PREPAREDNESS in the hunting areas.

Out to claim that deer you’ve been itching to have? I suggest using peanut butter to attract the deer.

On the hunt for a duck? Use a competent choke for duck hunting.

But also, properly contemplating the stuff to have in your backpack can really help you achieve that!

1. Prepare Your Daypack


Think really well about the hunting gear you need before TAKING ON THE WILD! Ask yourself:

  • Is this a shooting trip?
  • Is this an archery hunt for deer?

I base all the equipment that I’ll be bringing to the things that I plan on doing throughout the trip.

It also helps to consider the kind of creatures you’d be hunting for in the field. For example, deer hunting needs different equipment compared to a buck or elk hunt.

Another thing you should always consider on your trip is to bring a quality knife you can RELY ON!

A good quality hunting knife is your bread and butter! It can be used to get you out of sticky situations and make a clean, ethical kill.

To expand your field of view better, bringing a pair of binoculars can really help you spot that prized deer!

And of course, you cannot forget about the essentials for nighttime treks, like a flashlight or a headlamp!

Having a flashlight on you at all times can definitely pull you out of UNEXPECTED situations.

Most importantly, bringing your hunting license is something you should never forget.

You should always have the hunting license inside your pack at all times, just in case!

Get on the Fast Track with a Daypack

Getting reliable backpacking gear is the first step to being an efficient deer or game hunter in the field.

Having a DAYPACK made for hunting is highly beneficial!

Its subtle camo pattern and quietness help you blend in and not disturb the ecosystem around you.

Plus, having a daypack light enough can be a HUGE HELP! You’ll be having this thing on your back the entire day on the field!


Bow or Rifle?

Bow or Rifle

This age-old hunting question is just really based on personal preference! There are certain characteristics for each, like:

For the bow:

  • Quiet shots
  • Higher skill ceiling
  • Requires practice with a bow and an arrow

For the rifle:

  • More welcoming for beginners
  • Missing shots on a rifle mean missing opportunities because of the noise
  • Relatively cheaper
  • Can feature attachments like flashlights for ease of use on the field.

Your Hunting Daypack Checklist

  • Tree Stand
  • Fixed-blade hunting knife
  • Hunting license
  • Standard flipper knife
  • Ammo (and extra ammo)
  • Scope for your rifle
  • Cell phone or GPS
  • Game Calls
  • Bow and Arrow
  • Shooting sticks
  • Gloves/Rubber gloves
  • Game Bags
  • Binoculars
  • Nylon cord
  • Long-lasting AA flashlight
  • Headlamp

2. Camping Gear


It’s not a hunt trip without the joy of camping!

Of course, the sight of a warm bonfire and cozy tents is a comforting way to end the day after a long day of tracking, hiking, and shooting.

Setting up camp in the woods is definitely one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had while hunting.

However, it also takes some logistics and planning, too.

REMEMBER: Prepping the right kind of camp gear is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE!

You’ll be building your place of rest, retreat, and share meals with your co-hunters in the woods!

Selecting the right kind of tent depending on the weather, making sure that the place is secure and cleaned up right after your stay are the stuff that you should always consider.

Your Camping Gear Checklist

  • Sleeping bag
  • Layering system
  • Sturdy & durable flashlight (like a police flashlight)
  • OTF Knife
  • Fire starter
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Plastic bag
  • Wet wipes
  • Duct tape or electrical tape
  • Toilet paper

3. Kitchen & Cooking Supplies

Outdoor Kitchen

But of course, I need to replenish and refresh myself as a hunter who has had a long and tiring day hunting for wildlife.

I mean, who wouldn’t want a nice and hot meal after a long day of lugging HEAVY GEAR or hunting for the perfect deer all day, right?

Setting up a field kitchen with buddies is the perfect way to bond and talk about the day!

I’ve had my share of meals with fellow hunters! It’s one of the things I look forward to apart from the actual hunting.

Just imagine the fun feeling of talking about the day over some freshly roasted game, some hot tea, and snacks?

Sounds like a dream right?

Setting up your supplies in the camp is a good way to get started right after pitching the tents.

It’s also best to make sure that you have a supply of clean water!

HUNT HACK: Using those LifeStraws definitely saves a lot of trouble, as it enables you to drink from any source in the wild!

Of course, for cooking, you’ll need a stove, too!

Stoves that have butane often burn out quickly, especially in windy environments. 

I usually keep a stove that burns white gas to keep it running, which works in ANY weather!

Consider titanium hardware over steel, as it is more durable.

Packing these kitchen gear will not only ensure your fresh meals but also some time to bond with your friends while you’re out and about!

Your Field Kitchen Checklist

  • Water Supply
  • Water Bottles
  • Cook Pot
  • Sandwich Bag
  • Fire starter
  • Camping Stove

4. Food and Snacks


I love gorging on my favorite meals as much as I love hunting. There’s nothing like eating your favorite food for comfort while out in the wild. 

Part of the joy of hunting is to celebrate the spoils and to have a fresh roast of the day’s catch.

Some may opt to roast a healthy slice of game, like deer or elk meat after a long day hunt in the true outdoorsman spirit!

Otherwise, bringing meal ready-to-eat (MRE) products is also an effective way to cut down all the weight in your equipment and supplies pack.

Check out this list of food that I recommend bringing for that OUTDOOR ALFRESCO experience:

  • Cereals, instant oatmeal, coffee, and tea for breakfast.
  • Dried beef jerky pack, canned meat, trail mix, and tortillas for lunch
  • Freeze-dried dinners, ramen noodle pack, instant pudding for that easy just-add-water dinner experience

5. Appropriate Clothes and Rain Gear

Number 5

Being in the great outdoors exposes you to various uncontrollable elements and the possibility of EXTREME weather conditions!

Trust me, getting rained on in the middle of a trip is the WORST feeling.

While setting up the tents in the camp can protect you well, it’s still best to bring the right kind of clothing for the weather, temperature, and environment.

The Right Clothes

In a hot and humid environment, the LAST thing you’d want to wear is a heavy cotton shirt and really thick denim jeans.

THAT’S GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT BUCKETS! That was a mistake I made; I came home absolutely drenched.

I wouldn’t want to go through that extremely uncomfortable experience while hunting, right?

Bringing the right kind of clothing during hunts makes the BIGGEST difference in your experience and focus while hunting for that coveted deer!

Instead of heavy stuff, you may prefer to wear something like a light polyester t-shirt and some light yet durable pants!

Even better, get a HECS Suit!

This will not only make the heavy temperatures more bearable but MORE COMFORTABLE!

Don’t forget your hat, too! It can definitely help out in keeping the sun away from your sights!

Considering these while packing clothes before your expedition will surely help you tons!

Bring the Rain Gear

Hunting in the rain can be a huge pain in the ass. I’ve been rained on while sitting in a tree stand and it sucked.

But getting the right kind of gear to protect you from the pouring water and the cold weather will surely protect you better!

It’s great to invest in heavy jackets and fleece to keep the warmth in and feel your best all throughout!

I talk more about this in my Guide on Keeping Your Feet Warm During Hunting Season.

Your Clothing Checklist

Hot and humid weather:

  • Hiking boots
  • Lightweight socks
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Longjohns
  • Lightweight shirt
  • Lightweight pants

Cold and rainy weather:

  • Fleece shirt and jacket
  • Fleece-lined pants
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Lightweight hat
  • Warm hat
  • Wool scarf
  • Raincoat
  • Sweatband

6. First Aid Kit/Survival Kit

First Aid!

NOTHING beats the security of having a first aid kit, especially in the wild! I gotta admit that I encountered a few slip-ups along the way while hunting.

I’ve gotten a few cuts on my hands, arms a little sore from tying up a cord, and even accidentally injured myself from my folding knife…

Having a first aid kit GUARANTEES instant treatment from emergency situations like these, no matter how small!

It’s best to keep a first aid kit tucked inside the backpack!

Keeping items like these ensures immediate treatment to certain scenarios, should something turn up out of the blue like saaayy, encountering a bear? 

These items will surely help:

  • Band-Aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Aspirin
  • Disinfectant
  • Cotton balls
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers

Keeping emergency items in your backpack at all times gives you the peace of mind that you need while you’re out and about!

Other Things to Consider When Going Hunting

Being out and about in the woods during hunting season truly does require time, preparation, and a few logistics to make sure everything runs well.

Making sure you have the right stuff in your pack, of course, is QUINTESSENTIAL for a successful trip!

But of course, it still all depends on your personal choice of how you’d want to have them.

A lot of enthusiasts identify their needs and preferences in their hunting packs list throughout the years of trial and error, and experience truly is king!

Cutting Weight

Hunting in itself is already physically taxing, but lugging all that stuff and going from place to place will just add to it.

It sounds a little overwhelming right? I tried it once and was sore all over.

That being said, MINIMIZE WHERE YOU CAN! Yes, I’m talking semi Marie Kondo-ing the stuff that you won’t really need!

Think of it this way:

You don’t need a 6-ounce tube of toothpaste for a few days, right? Only one small ounce would do.

Instead of bringing that huge gallon of mineral water, consider using a LifeStraw and get water from natural sources like rivers and lakes instead.

Instead of bringing your entire armory at home, just bring that trusty AR-15

Think of it this way.

You don’t need a 6-ounce tube of toothpaste for a few days, right? Only one small ounce would do.

Instead of bringing that huge gallon of mineral water, consider using a LifeStraw and get water from natural sources like rivers and lakes instead.

Instead of bringing your entire armory at home, just bring that trusty AR-15.

NOTE: Now these are just small considerations that you can do while packing your gear, but thinking about what to bring and being intentional with all of your equipment can save you and your back!

Ideally, it would be best to keep the entire load in the 50-60 pound range. Keeping everything light will make the climbs easier, trust me!

Get Fit

Since hunting may involve serious physical activity, getting in shape is REALLY ESSENTIAL.

You wouldn’t want to tap out in the middle of a boar hunt, getting exhausted when you’re so near the target, would you?

Being in your BEST possible physical self is key to being more efficient on the field!

Consider committing to a fitness routine to increase your stamina and inner strength.

Running is a good place to start! Keeping a routine of running and setting goals every week can drastically improve your overall endurance.

If you’d want to take your routine up a notch, try rucksacking or rucking!

It’s a known military exercise of running with a set amount of weight on your back to simulate going around combat in full gear!

Training yourself with running and rucksacking at ELEVATION will surely give amazing results in the long haul.

Rucking is one of my favorite exercises, as it prepares my body to handle all the weight I’ll be carrying without getting tired!

Not only will it make you last longer in the hunt but also feel more fulfilled daily!

Additionally, lifting weights with EMPHASIS on your legs can be of huge help!

Climbing mountains with a full pack of gear will be as natural as walking with nothing in no time!

Final Advice

Final Advice

The experience of hunting truly is fulfilling!

It takes a lot of skill, patience, and commitment to be successful in it, and starting with how you plan for your trip can really work wonders.

While the whole process can be nailed down through the personal experience of trial and error while on site, starting with a list of essential items is a great foundation for consistency.

REMEMBER: Having the right balance of fitness and sticking to the necessities takes you a long way!

Trust me, hunting for the prized deer or elk will be EASIER with coordination and premeditation!

I hope this article helped you out majorly for the next open season and happy hunting!

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