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Must-Have Hunting Gear for Beginners

You just can’t help but get thrilled about an upcoming hunting trip. No matter how old you are, spending time in nature is one of the best ways to recharge. You get to see the world awaken before you -- the sun rising; birds chirping; deer moving in search of food. Add the palpable excitement of hunting for a game animal into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a great adventure.

Whether you’re going hunting for the first time or have done it dozens of times before, nothing’s for certain when you venture into the great outdoors. Every hunting experience is unique, you’ll learn new lessons and encounter different sets of challenges every time you’re on the field. If you want to increase your chances of success, you better come prepared.

5 Essential Pieces of Hunting Gear

Hunting gear can vary depending on the game, but there are critical pieces that you need to have with you at all times – aside from your hunting weapon, of course.

1. The Right Hunting Clothes

Weather is a common yet major threat to hunters. When your body loses more heat than it produces, you’re at high risk of Hypothermia.

That being said, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and location of your hunt. Avoid wearing cotton and bring rain gear with you. It’s also recommended for beginners to wear a bright orange hunting vest so that other hunters can easily spot or find you when you’re out in the woods.

2. A Reliable Hunting Backpack

Your backpack is your most important hunting buddy, so make sure to get one that can keep up with the needs and demands of your trip.

High quality hunting backpacks can cost you several hundred dollars, but they make up for their price in terms of performance and durability. They’re lightweight and comfortable to wear, allowing you to walk longer periods of time with minimal strain.

If you’re not sure how to pick the right backpack, consult with a professional to get the right fit for your body type.

3. Quality Hunting Boots and Socks

Another hunting accessory you should invest in is a good pair of hunting boots. There will be plenty of muddy bogs and briars during your hunting trip, especially when going elk hunting in the western mountains. You’ll need boots that can survive the rough terrain while also providing you adequate ankle support.

Of course, you’ll also need to pack several pairs of socks to keep your feet warm and dry for the duration of your trip. Much like cotton clothes, avoid wearing cotton socks, too, as they easily get soaked and take a long time to dry.

4. Basic First Aid Kit

Even when you exercise extreme caution, accidents can still happen during your hunt. Rugged terrains, slippery slopes, hidden cliff edges, and fallen branches – these are just some of the safety hazards that you can encounter while out in the woods.

No matter where you’re hunting or how experienced you are, always bring a basic first aid kit with you so you can immediately address minor injuries like bruises, blisters, and bee stings.

5. Navigation Tools

Thousands of people get lost in the woods every year. To avoid this from happening to you, you need to have a clear sense of where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what terrain you’re likely to encounter up ahead.

Maps and compasses have been standard navigation equipment for hunters, but only if you know how to use them. If you don’t, there’s no need to worry. GPS equipment and GPS apps exist for this very reason.

6. Other Hunting Trip Must-Haves

Scent Killer – One of the most overlooked items on a rookie hunter’s gear list is a scent killer. This will help you mask scent on your clothes and other hunting gear.

Hunting Knife – Every hunter should always carry a knife. You’ll need this handy tool for almost everything, whether it’s cutting ropes, notching hunting tags, or dressing your game.

Flashlight – Game animals are most active before sunrise and sunset. You’ll need a flashlight or a headlamp to see well and get around the woods in the early and late hours of the day.

Preparation is Key

Don’t want until the last minute to organize your hunting gear and supplies. Create a checklist of everything you need and get everything ready ahead of time to make sure you don’t forget anything come D-day.

Even experienced hunters take weeks preparing for an upcoming trip. The more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll have a successful hunt.

Maren McReynolds

Maren McReynolds is the Content Marketing Director of Black Mountain Outfitters, a company that offers world-class guided hunts in New Mexico, Arizona, and South Dakota. When not working, she spends time swimming with her two kids and giving back to the community.