Packing your hunting backpack is a matter of trial and error. The more experience you gain, the more efficiently you’ll be able to gather the things you need. One of the first things to consider if you’re just starting out is that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the wild, all by yourself. Complete solitude has several advantages, as you’ll be able to sleep better, become more confident, and even develop an eye for the animals you intend to hunt.

If you are still having trouble figuring out just what you need to take on the road, we’re here to give you a helping hand. We have put together a short list of the things that a hunter is need of when backpack hunting. Just remember, nothing beats proper gear, so buy yourself some high-end equipment even if you feel like it’s totally ruining your budget. In the end, it might be worth it, as it’s considerably sturdier compared to cheap packs that break on your first outing.


Hunting backpack


The basics

The most important item to take along is your hunting license. You don’t want to get in trouble with the law just because you’ve forgotten it at home. Always double-check before going on the road, because licenses and tags just cannot be replaced. Next come a knife and a sharpener. It goes without saying that nothing is better than a good knife because you’ll be able to use it for a broad variety of activities in case you don’t have scissors or the likes.



Sleeping system

Any respectable sleeping system is composed of a sleeping bed, a sleeping pad, and a type of shelter. We’ve seen that bivouac sacks are amazing when it comes to keeping warm and dry. They’re extremely advantageous, as they are small and lightweight and can be carried around with little to no effort.

Tents are somewhat inconvenient, because they are far more difficult to set up. As long as we are addressing the subject of waterproofing, it might be a good idea for you to consider using a rain cover for the backpack. This item looks like a shower cap that you can use to protect the surface of the pack from rain and snow.

Whatever you do, just don’t take a pillow with you. If you have a comfortable enough jacket, you can use it as a pillow.

The sleeping bag is probably the most expensive thing you’ll have to invest in, but it definitely pays off, as you’ll be feeling refreshed in the morning and ready to hunt all over again.




The gear that you’ll need to pack can range from a good pair of binoculars to a digiscope camera. Most people prefer taking their spotting scopes and rangefinders with them. A GPS always comes in handy just in case you are beginning to feel unsure about the route you have to choose. A phone, an external charger, and even a very small-size emergency radio can do the trick when it comes to communicating with the rest of the world. Consider investing into a small waterproof sack for keeping your mobile devices safe.

Additional gear may include a saw, some rope, a marker and tape, a bear spray and some game bags.



Cooking and drinking

Since you are going to be spending some time in the wild, you already know better than to expect gourmet cuisine in the middle of the woods. If you like to cook, take a flash stove, the basic utensils you can find, and a small lighter. You’re probably going to run out of water at some point, so grab some water treatment iodine tablets so that you can drink from rivers and streams.

As for food, keep it simple. Some energy bars, bagels, jerky, trail mix, and pre-made bacon will do the trick.


Hunting backpack checklist



Survival and hygiene

Are you planning to go on a backpack hunting trip all alone? If so, you might want to take a first aid kit, as much Tylenol as you believe you require and a waterproof lighter. Provided you do not feel like taking a shower in a cold river, just pack some face wipes or regular baby wipes.




If there’s some room left and you don’t know what you can fill it up with, here’s some other items you might want to take into account: hand cleaner, latex gloves, high-quality paper towels, flagging tape and several ziplock bags. Trash bags come in handy for when your shelter breaks down and they can be used for storing meat.