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There are a lot of variable that come into play when it comes to selecting hunting gear and what is necessary. The 3 main factors hunters must think about are the seasons they primarily hunt (months), the terrain they hunt in (where), and how they like to hunt (style). The advice you get from others may not always be correct for you or a friend and in addition, the advice you give when trolling the hunting pages on the internet may not be correct either.   

As avid backcountry hunters and working in the industry we are constantly asked questions for the best gear or best layering system, jackets, sleeping bag, stove system, and even hunting boots. By now I hope everyone knows not all feet are created the same and neither are we, so getting the correct gear for you is quite complicated and should be thought out like a research project. 

Don't worry, we created an outline to help those interested. This will help get you on the right track and filling in the rest will be easier then you thought. 

Lets start with the 3 Major Criteria from above and then we will work through the top 5 hunting gear essentials.

1. Season(s) You Primarily Hunt (Months)
2. The Terrain You Hunt In (Where)
3. How You Like To Hunt (Style)


1. Seasons you primarily hunt (months).
For this category you will have to think about the weather and temperature averages of the time frame you are hunting in. Think about elevation and and typical weather for that area. Multiple months may mean multiple garments and or variation / versatility of gear. Having different layering systems for different seasons is key in staying comfortable and regulated.

2. The terrain you hunt also plays a huge factor in your gear. Is the country tough, dry, rocky, open? Is the terrain, thick, damp, dark, with lots of moisture? Are you hunting high open country or thick low-land, or open dessert? All these factor will play a role in selecting the proper gear for your hunts. 

3. Your style of hunting will play the largest part in selecting the gear for your hunts. Are you a backcountry hunter that hikes most of the time in order to spot and stalk game or do you sit in a tree stand or hunt from your truck? Are you more of a "sit and glass" type of hunter, possibly someone who waits on migration trails for days on end or are you out chasing game from ridge to ridge? All these factors are key in deciding the gear and layering system for you. As a retailer, customer service provider, and retail salesman, we like to get to know the hunter / huntress first and find out his or her style of hunting before recommending gear they need. Another factor can be how your body regulates, do you sweat often, run hot or cold? Can you get away with synthetic base-layer or do you need a merino wool layering system if you perforate and smell often. 

 

 Now that we have the above narrowed down, lets talk about the 5 most important hunting gear essentials based on western hunting.

 

1. A good par of hunting shoes / boots. Again this is subjective according to the 3 main categories above but overall a solid quality pair of hunting boots / shoes will be most important. This piece of gear is not something you want to cheat, slack on, or discount when it come to hunting. As hunters we are "hunting" for our game thus constantly on our feet in search of notching our tag making this piece of gear our number one and most essential. 

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2. A hunting pack / backpack. This the second on our list simply because it helps carry all the rest of the gear we need for hunting. This includes our game bags, water, food, first aid kit, kill hit, and other gear for "in-case situations" occur. It also acts as the primary way to transport game back to a vehicle. Having a pack that has a meat load hauling capability enables most hunters to hunt the game they are after in a verity of terrain. This allows hunters to pack the animal out on their back against the pack frame in any terrain and wont limit the type of terrain to hunt or the gear inside it.

 

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3. First Aid Kit. Anything can happen when you spend enough time in the woods. Whether is rolling an ankle, getting sick, accidentally cutting yourself, or dislocating a arm if you fall.. accidents happen. Having a first-aid kit is important and is ranked 3rd on our list of important gear to have. 

 

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4. Headlamp / Survival kit. Having these two items can save your life as well. A survival kit that has lighter, matches, fire starter, fire blanket (to keep warm) will not only help you last a night in woods but can also provide you with a little more confidence going over the next ridge to chase critters and or search for them a bit longer. A headlamp is essential for hitting the trail early and getting into the wood before other hunters and will be your main element to help you get back to camp or the truck after a long day of hunting. If you cannot see, you might get lost navigating in the dark back to where you came from. 

 

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5. reliable, dependable, and effective weapon. Whether its a rifle, muzzle loader, or bow having a reliable weapon that you know the in's and out's and can properly use effectively will be the determining factor of notching a tag. A lot can go into the equipment needed for your weapon so make sure you know all components and shooting the weapon comes second nature to you. Sites, scope, tripper, release, ammunition, arrows, and your ability to accurately place the shot is crucial in harvesting your game. We owe it to the species and as sportsman to ethically place shots on our game for providing for our family and friends. This is why our weapon come into the top 5 gear essentials for hunters. 

 

 

 

Additional honorable mentions include;

1. Water filtration system - Incase you are in a situation where you are out of water, having a reliable source to help filter natural water that you come across can help prevent dehydration which can easily start with minor headache and lack of energy while out hunting. 

 

2. Rangefinder - To help accurately estimate distance to target for an ethical shot placement. 

 

3. Rain Jacket- Typically never leaves the pack for "incase of emergencies" and preventing the rest of your gear / optics from getting wet. 

 

4. GPS - Also a great tool for navigating and knowing your location. We recommend ONX or Garmin in-reach. 

 

5. Hunting pant - You spend all day in them, make sure they are comfortable and durable for the terrain your hunting. 

 

6. Shelter tarp- A tarp or tipi system can act as a barrier shielding the elements of mother nature off you and or hunting partner. Whether it's wind, hail, rain, snow, or even the sun... a tarp system can protect you and help aid you in staying in the wood and allow you to keep hunting. We most commonly use this system to stay over night in the backcountry.    

 

 

We hope this has helped you fine tune the gear you need or need to upgrade in terms of importance. If you have any questions on our exact recommendation or would like to share your top pics leave us a comment below! Happy hunting!

  

 

February 18, 2020 by Will Meyers

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