There were times when everything a hunter needed was a single spear. And those hunts were successful. Maybe not as often as ancient people wanted, but the fact remains.
Today, even though hunting has long ceased to be one of the primary sources of getting sustenance, the abundance of various hunting supplies defies the imagination. By looking at the list of accessories and gadgets, a novice hunter might feel like a child who enters a candy store for the first time: all shelves are sparkling with something eye-catching while you have no idea what half of those things are. Many of you probably have or had other hunters in your family - elder relatives who were the first guides in the world of game shooting. But what about those with no hunting traditions in their family? They have to discover everything on their own. But, with the era of the internet, this task has become far less challenging than before. If you are a passionate newbie looking forward to learning more about hunting equipment, this guide on must-have hunting equipment is for you. Should you be an accomplished hunter, you are welcome to assess this humble attempt to introduce rookies to the sacrament of hunting preparations.
The question of weapon choosing deserves a guide of its own, and since we are an outdoor equipment store, we’ll cover the rest of the gear you’ll need. Hunting apparel is indispensable for those who want to excel in their hunting endeavors. It has several functions that contribute to the common cause.
The first thing that catches your eye when looking at specified jackets and pants is their pattern. Hunting camo is one of the ways to make you less conspicuous to animals. As you know, their senses are incomparably sharper than ours, and they can hear, see, or smell (depending on the species of animal) you long before you notice them. You are on their territory, after all, so they have an undeniable advantage. Not to say you are left without any tricks up your sleeve, it is you carrying a rifle after all, but it isn’t worth much if all animals scatter before you have time to aim. Wearing hunting camouflage is one way to deceive animals who rely on sight. One and primary, to be honest. Unless you want to get creative and make one of those shrub costumes. Hunting camo is different from military one, mainly because they were designed with different purposes in mind. Many animals perceive the world differently, and some are not perceptive of certain colors. Some of them rely on the sharpness of their sight, while others are better at discerning movement and silhouettes. Camo pattern designers consider all peculiarities when creating patterns for specific species. So before you get yourself a hunting suit, be sure to choose your game. Whitetail, waterfowl, upland, big game - all these suits look differently. There is no universal “invisibility cloak” that will conceal you from everyone - you will need different hunting outfits for different prey.
In addition to that, hunting apparel is still apparel, which means it should be comfortable to wear. Hunting doesn’t usually involve many periods of intense physical activity, yet you will move a lot and thus should do so comfortably. A perfect hunting outfit balances ventilation and insulation, keeping you warm but not allowing your under-apparel space to turn into a steam bath. It also needs to be water-resistant in case the weather forecast betrays you yet another time. As you can see, hunting apparel is a multi-purpose tool that should be carefully chosen.
If you can bear with pants that sit too loosely, nothing can spoil a hunting trip like a pair of uncomfortable boots. Your feet are in constant contact with the surface, so your boots should be more robust than any other part of your hunting suit. We don’t need to remind you that forest trails look nothing like paved roads. And animals don’t even use those, so you will probably have to chase them in a dense thicket. Don’t sacrifice your sneakers on a hunting altar, just be sure to acquire footwear appropriate for the occasion.
Hunting Rain Gear
The idea to go hunting when it is drizzling might not sound too appealing to some people, but rainy weather may actually turn out more favorable for game hunting than you imagined. Water washes off all the smells so nosy animals won’t catch your scent. Rain dampens all sounds, so eary animals won’t hear you coming closer. Milder rain doesn’t obscure the vision, so that sense remains mainly unhindered, but that’s quite enough already, don’t you think? Of course, you might not be able to discern tracks on the soggy muddy ground, and walking wet is an experience far from pleasant. As you can see, rain doesn’t play favorites, it’s very unbiased. But if you are not willing to allow some sky water to postpone your long-awaited hunt, rain gear can come in very handy.
A backpack is your perfect container for carrying things while hunting. It doesn’t impede your movement by bouncing and is spacious enough to store hunting gear. You can get one of those tactical backpacks that will serve you well in any situation due to its durability and optimized sectioning. Spare your duffle bag the forest adventures and keep your hand free by getting a backpack.
Now, the list of things you can store in your backpack. Not all the things, just those that might prove useful while hunting.
With optical devices on your side, the saying “as far as the eye can see” gets a different touch. Binoculars and spotting scopes allow you to take a look at something without getting too close, which gives you an advantage against all animal senses. Binoculars have lower magnification ranges but are more compact than spotting scopes. If you need compactness, go for the two-eyed one. If you want magnification, the descendant of pirate spyglasses would be a better choice.
Instead of chasing your prey, you can simply ask it to come to you. Game calls are not magic flutes, of course, and won’t conjure you an animal out of thin air. But if you know there is an animal in the vicinity, and you have a corresponding game call, why not give it a try? There are hundreds of guides on game calls and how to use them, so might be another art for you to master.
There must be a handbook with the title “100+ applications of a multi-tool in the field”, but even a regular pocket knife might impress you with its versatility. They occupy close to no space in your backpack and can be handy in almost every situation.
Food and Water
You will get hungry sooner or later, often while your prey is still bouncing around a field several miles from you. You don’t have to bear it and return home hungry as our ancestors did. Hunting is a leisure activity, so take everything you need to spend this time accordingly.
By this moment, you probably understand that the list of things that might be useful during the hunt is longer than the queues on Black Friday. You can take first-aid kits, bug repellents, bear sprays, wet wipes, books you can’t finish - anything that comes to mind. You can’t prepare for everything, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do that at all. The best thing to see what you need is to go and try. You will quickly notice if something useful is missing and make a note to take it another time. There are also more detailed guides for advanced hunting, but this one is just a brief introduction.