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How To Prepare Your Hunting Pack Essentials For Any Hunt

Hunting can be a great way to explore nature, challenge yourself and enjoy a thrilling experience. But no matter the type of hunt, big or small, you need to know how to plan a hunting trip for the best outcome.

Knowing what items should be included in your hunting pack is essential for success on any hunt. From general items needed year-round to seasonal equipment, many different factors come into play when packing up for a successful hunt.

So let's look at the essential hunting gear for beginners so you can make sure you've got the right stuff in your pack for any hunt.

Your Hunting Gear Is Different Depending On What You’re Hunting

Generally, first packing the essentials is a proper way to prepare for a hunting trip as it will comprise all the standard items you should bring along.

However, if you’re taking on bigger or smaller games then it's time to start thinking about going beyond the basics. Different types of games require different types of gear, and depending on the season you may need to adjust for weather, terrain, and temperature.

So let’s break down some of the essentials you will need when you are planning a hunting trip.

General Essentials

Similar to our duck hunting gear checklist, when it comes to packing your hunting gear, make sure you have all the basics covered. These are the items that form the foundation of your hunting pack and you should never be without them. These may include:

  • A multi-compartment backpack

  • A packable rain suit

  • Binoculars

  • A range finder

  • A field book with pencils

  • A knife with a gut hook

  • Earplugs

  • Extra ammo

  • A large piece of webbing, maybe 25 feet

  • A pair of pruning shears and a folding saw

  • A flashlight with extra batteries

  • A map and your hunting license

  • Trail markers and flagging tape

  • Hand-held GPS or Cell phone with GPS

  • A portable charger

  • Compass

  • First-aid Kit

  • Waterproof matches

  • Emergency poncho

  • Space blanket

  • Packable sleeping bag

  • Water

  • Favorite snacks

Seasonal Equipment

Despite having the basics covered, you still have to factor in the season, the ambient temperature, and the weather conditions. Many novice hunters overlook this, but seasonal equipment is crucial for protecting you from the elements and keeping you comfortable while hunting.

To defend yourself against the colder climates, make sure to pick up these:

  • Hand warmers/body warmers

  • A balaclava face mask and gloves for warmth

  • Emergency blanket

Likewise, if you’re hunting in warmer climates, then don't forget to add these items when planning a hunting trip:

  • Sunscreen

  • Chapstick

  • Insect repellent

Big Game Hunting

Big game hunting typically involves hunting large animals—such as deer, elk, moose, and bear—in their natural habitats. Since you will be out in the wilderness for extended periods and snagging larger prey, you’ll need to how to the proper way to prepare for a hunting trip.

Overall, it requires a little more planning and equipment, so here are some additional items you’ll want to include in your hunting pack:

  • Wind direction powder

  • Odor Eliminator

  • A face camo stick or a face mask

  • A multi-day pack for hauling quartered big game

  • 2-3 extra days of meds

  • Angled spotting scope

  • Game Calls

  • Bear Spray

  • Harness

Small Game Hunting

Small game hunting typically involves hunting animals such as ducks, geese, rabbits, and grouse. Small game hunting often requires shorter hunts since you’ll be moving around a lot and can cover more ground. So you’ll want to pack light yet still be prepared for the environment. Here are a few items you should consider:

  • Shotgun sling

  • Blind bag

  • Game calls

  • Duck strap

  • Decoys

  • Choke tubes

  • Gun case

  • Hammer and stakes

  • Game shears

How You Should Choose Your Clothes For a Hunting Trip

Now that you know the essential hunting gear for beginners, it’s time to think about how should you choose your clothes for a hunting trip. Again, this depends on the season and terrain. You want to be comfortable but also hunt safely and responsibly in this environment.

Warm Weather Clothes

For warm-weather clothes, think lightweight yet durable items like camo shirts and pants, along with moisture-wicking and quick-dry layers. You should also consider wearing a hat to protect your head from the sun as well as breathable footwear like hiking boots or trail running shoes. The goal is to prevent sunburn while also avoiding moisture build-up and heat exhaustion.

Cold Weather Clothes

If you’re hunting in cold weather, the key is to layer up. Make sure to wear an insulated base layer and a waterproof and windproof shell with an insulating mid-layer on top. A good pair of pants that repel water and keep you warm without too much bulk is important, as well. Additionally, a warm hat and gloves are essential to keep the cold away.

Overall, your layers should include:

  • A vapor transmission layer: This is a lightweight material that helps keep sweat off your skin and transfers moisture away from your body.

  • An insulating layer: This will provide warmth, and can be anything from a synthetic material to down or wool.

  • A protective outer layer: This layer should be waterproof, windproof, and breathable.

Other Essential Clothing Items

Wearing brightly-colored fluorescent orange clothing when hunting is essential to spot and identify other hunters easily, as nothing in nature matches this shade. It should be visible from all angles for safety reasons - an important rule that many states enforce by law including Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Proper Way To Prepare For A Hunting Trip

When planning a hunting trip, make sure to do your research on the type of game you’ll be hunting and the terrain you’ll be in. This includes studying maps to familiarize yourself with the area, reviewing hunting regulations and laws in the state, understanding your prey's migratory behavior, knowing when and where to hunt for each species of game, and learning about local regulations.

You should also make sure you have a valid license as well as the right tags for your game if required by law. Additionally, if you are taking guests on your trip then be sure to check their licensing requirements too. It is better to be prepared than sorry!

Consider A Guided Hunt

If you’re new to hunting or don't feel comfortable going alone, then consider booking a guided hunt with an experienced guide. Experienced hunting guides offer a wealth of knowledge such as licensing requirements, travel recommendations, safety measures, and the best hunting strategies. Plus, with accommodations and snacks, they can help make your hunting trip stress-free and an enjoyable experience.

For example, at Thunderbird Outfitters, we offer all-inclusive guided duck and goose hunting packages experienced guides and the necessities for a successful hunting trip in Saskatchewan, Canada.


No matter your experience level, planning a hunting trip is no small feat. The right gear, clothes, and research are essential for success - but don't forget about safety! Consider booking a guided hunt to take away some of the stress and gain access to experienced guides who can provide the best tips on how to make the most of your adventure.

At Thunderbird Outfitters we offer all-inclusive duck and goose hunting packages with everything you need for an enjoyable and successful outing in Saskatchewan, Canada.

So why wait? Contact us today to book your next outdoor adventure!

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