The fastest way to turn a hunting trip into a chore is to come unprepared. Whether you’re a hard-working bachelor or dad in serious need of some quiet time, you know how tough it is to get away, so make sure you get the most out of your time. Plan ahead and make sure you don’t leave out these essential, yet all too often overlooked, items:
1. First Aid
Blood clotting powder, emergency blanket, poncho, iodine tablets and bandages all make sure you are ready for the unthinkable. While it’s not likely that something will happen (not everything is like “Naked and Afraid” and “Dual Survival”), it’s better to be prepared. Bring extra first aid and survival gear to ensure you won’t end up having to come home early, injured and empty handed.
2. Sleeping Pad
You want to enjoy your trip just as much as you want to bring home a trophy. Just because you’re out in the great wide open all alone doesn’t mean you have to rough it. In fact, investing in a few luxuries can make all the difference. A supportive sleeping pad is the way to go if you’re staying overnight. The newest versions are lightweight, self-inflating and insulated. This way you’ll be warm and comfy after a long day in the wilderness.
3. Baby Wipes
Yes, baby wipes. These let you clean up and feel like a million bucks for the rest of the day. They are especially useful if there’s not a port-a-potty around for miles.
Make sure you bring sunglasses even if the weather calls for cloudy skies or storms. Even an overcast sky can deliver powerful rays and exhaust your eyes after a long day of tracking. This can greatly effect your accuracy. Invest in a good pair that are comfortable enough to wear all day, have UVA and UVB blocking, and are polarized.
5. Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps can increase your success rates no matter what you’re hunting, from white tail deer to largemouth bass. Some useful apps include weather prediction, location specific camo guides, knot tying tutorials and recommendations for choosing the right bait for the stream you’re fishing. But remember, you won’t be able to use map or location services unless you invest in a personal hotspot, which still may only give you spotty service. Download maps, videos and tutorials ahead of time or take screenshots of important info you may not be able to access in the bush.
Speaking of spotty Wi-Fi, you need to be able to communicate with your hunting buddies or call for help. Beartooth Radio, for example, is a smartphone case that turns your cellphone into a walkie-talkie, even if you don’t have service. It can call within a 5-mile radius and text within a 10-mile radius. So whether you want to check on others in your group or you need to call for help, this gadget is a good investment.