If you are interested in taking or currently planning, a long-distance hunting trip, then you may be creating a list of essentials that you will need during your trip. While there may be specific items that you may need, whether you are hunting for deer, elk, or even bears, there are many basic hunting trip essentials for you to include in your list.
In this article, I will answer one of the most important questions you may ask yourself during the planning of your trip, “What are the basic hunting trip essentials that I will need during the trip?”
While some items that you require may vary depending on the game you are hunting for, the basic hunting trip essentials can be categorized into 5 main groups:
- Transportation Essentials
- Transportation Maintenance Essentials
- Firearm and Equipment Essentials
- Insurance Essentials
- Food and Beverage Essentials
Knowing the different categories of the essentials you will need during your hunting trip is only one half of creating your list; the other half is understanding what is essential to each specific category, and why they are essential for your trip.
1. Transportation Essentials
When preparing for your hunting trip, regardless of how far away the destination, the first thing to consider is the transportation you will be using throughout your travels. Whether you travel alone, or in a group, it is important to choose a vehicle with enough space for all the equipment you will be bringing, as well as a space to sleep.
For individuals traveling alone, a truck and a camper may be all the transportation you need, however, for group hunting trips, both an RV and a trailer may be required to ensure there is enough room for everyone attending. Other factors to consider when choosing your method of transportation are the amount of space available at your campsite as well as the amount of room available to relax at the end of the day.
While considering the transportation you may require, it is important to keep the area where you will be hunting in mind, and whether you may need an ATV to traverse rough terrain with your equipment while traveling to and from your campsite and hunting blind or tree stand. If you decide that you need an ATV during your trip, you may need to include looking at trailers for sale in your area to accommodate the extra equipment.
Deciding on a mode of transportation early in the planning of your trip will not only allow you to have an understanding of how much storage space you have available, but it will also allow you to plan for any gas expenditures during your travels, as well as determine the route that you will take to get to your campsite if there are any weight restrictions along the way.
2. Transportation Maintenance Essentials
Regardless if you have decided to travel by truck, RV, or if you require an ATV, one of the most essential items on your list is to have maintenance performed before your trip to ensure that your transportation is reliable and safe enough to withstand the journey. Some examples of maintenance include, but are not limited to, checking your tire pressure, having fuel injector testing performed on your vehicle or ATV, getting an oil change, or simply having a general inspection performed.
When traveling with a camper or in an RV, some maintenance essentials may include heating and air conditioning installations on your camper, testing the batteries and generator, checking appliances, drain cleaning on your RV, or ensuring that all the lights are functioning properly. By completing this maintenance, you will ensure that you will have a safe and reliable form of transportation for your journey.
If you determine you will need to use a trailer during your hunting trip, it is essential to have a trailer service and repair shop perform any maintenance to make sure that it is safe for use. Common forms of trailer service may include checking the brakes and suspension for any wear, having a technical inspection completed, as well as having any repairs done to bumpers or fenders.
Depending on the frequency of use, some trailers will only require professional servicing performed annually, however, it is essential to service your trailer before your trip to avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Other essential maintenance items to include on your list, regardless of your method of transportation, is to carry plenty of reserve fuel for your vehicles, as well as items such as antifreeze or coolant, extra oil, and a battery charger. By packing these basic, yet essential, maintenance items, you will ensure that you are prepared for any unexpected mishaps that may happen during your trip.
3. Firearm and Equipment Essentials
Now that you have your transportation and maintenance essentials covered, you can start to focus on your firearms and the equipment you will use while hunting, however, the specific firearm and equipment you will need may vary depending on the type of game you are hunting.
With that in mind, basic firearm essentials can include a lockable gun or bow case for traveling purposes, a lightweight carrying case for travel to and from your hunting blind or tree stand, plenty of ammunition for your firearm, and a cleaning kit in case you happen to get any debris in the barrel of your gun.
If you do not own the specific firearm or equipment you need for your hunting trip, you may consider using a reputable gun rental company to be able to rent or purchase used firearms and gear that you require.
While the firearm essentials you will need are important, an equally important factor to consider is the equipment that will be essential to a safe and enjoyable hunting trip, such as a first aid kit, proper clothing, a knife or multitool, as well as bags for field dressings.
First aid kits should include plenty of bandages, antibacterial ointment and sanitizing wipes for any scrapes or cuts, anti-itch cream in case of poison ivy, a fire starter, bandage wrap for any potential sprains, as well as a flashlight and a survival blanket in case of an emergency.
The clothing you pack for your trip should include a base layer and socks that wick away moisture and keep your body dry, rain gear in case of storms, as well as good hunting boots that are both comfortable and in good condition to ensure your feet stay dry. By adding these clothing items to your list of essentials, not only will you be comfortable, but you may also prevent yourself from getting sick or injured during your hunting trip.
When determining the various equipment that will be essential to you during your trip, it is also extremely important to consider the area in which you are hunting, and if you may need a water rental, such as kayaks or canoes, in case there are any deep streams or rivers you may need to cross while tracking your game. This will potentially eliminate the risk of you losing your game due to a body of water that is impassable by either you or an ATV.
An additional piece of essential equipment may even include a battery-operated radio for communication purposes, in case of any cell service outages in the areas you will be hunting in. By adding these basic firearm and equipment essentials to your checklist, you will ensure that each aspect of your hunting trip is as comfortable and as safe as possible.
4. Insurance Essentials
When you consider the risks associated with hunting, or even traveling in general, it is important to include insurance in your list of essential items. If you decide to rent a vehicle, firearm, or equipment, you will most likely need to purchase insurance to do so.
However, even if you are not renting, you should make sure that the insurance policy on the vehicle you are using during your hunting trip is valid, as well as insure the equipment or trailer you will be used to cover any potential damages that may happen during your trip.
Accidents are very common during hunting trips, whether on the road or during the hunt itself. Knowing this, to alleviate the cost of potential medical expenses, it is essential to speak with a personal injury lawyer and discuss the different insurance options available to you for your hunting trip.
By finding a reputable personal injury law firm, you will ensure you are receiving an adequate amount of coverage for your trip, as well as ensure you are paying a fair price for a policy that will include all the basic insurance essentials you may want or need.
Other types of insurance that could be essential to your hunting trip include pet insurance if you are taking an animal with you during your trip, hunting liability insurance to protect you from any damages caused to the campsite or any rented equipment, as well as hunting trip insurance that may cover any expenses associated with a cancellation or delay of your trip and even refund licensing fees if you do cancel your trip.
5. Food and Beverages Essentials
When creating your list of essential items for your hunting trip, you should also include an adequate supply of food and beverages you will need during your travels to ensure you are staying well-fed and properly hydrated.
Including basic food items on your list is essential to your hunting trip, even if you plan on butchering and cooking the game you hunted immediately because you never know how long you may be waiting for a clean shot.
Basic essential food items that you could include on your list are high protein foods, such as jerky, trail mix or various nuts, or even plain peanut butter, as well as energy bars and fresh fruits that can be eaten comfortably inside your hunting blind or tree stand.
Water is a necessary item for everyone, but ensuring that you will have enough water to last throughout your entire trip is an essential part of planning. Keeping enough bottled water on hand during a hunting trip will eliminate the need for a water purification system as well as reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated during your hunt.
Besides having a large supply of water, other essential beverages you should consider putting on your list include coffee and tea for both morning and evening energy boost, various sodas or juices to add some flavor as well, giving you a quick energy boost, and even a mini whiskey barrel of your favorite bourbon to help warm and relax your body during a chilly night after a long day of hunting.
While it may be true that you will need a list of specific items related to the game you are hunting, by creating a list of these basic hunting trip essentials, you will ensure that you have planned and prepared for any situation you may find yourself in along the way, as well as ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout your entire hunting trip.
1. What is the most common caliber of the gun used to hunt bears?
At a minimum, you should use a 30-06 caliber rifle when hunting for brown bears, or a .338 caliber magnum rifle when hunting for grizzly bears.
2. What are the best campers or RV’s to use on a hunting trip?
While the size of your camper or RV will vary on your needs, the best manufacturers for hunting purposes are Northwood RV’s, Lance Truck Campers, and Forest River folding campers.
3. What rifle accessories are essential for a hunting trip?
The most common rifle accessories for hunting include a harness or sling, a scope or rangefinder, a Bipod, as well as any tools or batteries that will be required for maintenance.