Hunting Checklist: Essential Gear for a Successful Start


January 20, 2024


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Essential Gear for a Successful Start

Hunting offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air. Whether you’re after moose, bear, deer, grouse or other small game, you need to set out with the right equipment. But, as a beginner, it’s easy to forget an accessory or two when you’re not yet in the habit. That’s why our experts have compiled a list of essentials to have on you and in your backpack when you go hunting.

In this article, you will learn more about the hunting essentials you need to take with you :

  1. Clothing
  2. Hunting boots
  3. Spare socks
  4. Gloves and tuque
  5. Hunting vest
  6. Backpack
  7. First aid kit
  8. Odour eliminator
  9. Headlamp
  10. Paracord
  11. Knife and tools
  12. Binoculars

Clothing that can make a difference on your hunting trips

There are two main rules for dressing appropriately for a hunting day: adapt your clothing to the season, and to the type of hunt you’re doing (migratory birds hunting, moose hunting, wild turkey hunting, whitetail deer hunting, etc.).
In most cases, hunting takes place in relatively cool weather. This calls for wearing warm clothing in a multi-layer system (base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer), an effective way to manage moisture and stay dry during long hours of walking or being on the lookout.
Speaking of outer layers, it’s important to get a good, warm and durable hunting jacket. Depending on the type of hunting you’re doing, you may want to choose one with a camouflage colour that matches your pants, boots, and accessories (tuque, gloves, neck warmer).
You want to learn everything about the multi-layer system? Read our blog article on the subject.
You might also be interested in reading our tips for making the best choice of hunting clothing.

Hunting boots for every type of terrain

Hunting boots

Whether you’re moving through rough terrain, rain, dirt, or water, you need a pair of boots that are comfortable, breathable, quiet, and waterproof to make the most of your hunting outings. To achieve this, you could choose Gore-Tex boots or waders, which provide full insulation and waterproofing, or opt for rubber, neoprene, or leather boots if you prefer.
If you’re hunting game in freezing winter weather, make sure to wear insulated boots that can keep your feet warm in the snow.

Spare socks to keep your feet dry at all times

A hunter’s greatest discomfort is cold feet in the middle of a stalk. Socks can sometimes get wet due to sweat, snow creeping in through the top of a boot, or damp outdoor conditions. To prevent your feet from freezing, remember to take one or two extra pairs of socks with you. For optimal performance, opt for socks made of merino wool or a quick-drying synthetic material that prevents bacteria and odours. Whatever you choose, steer clear of cotton.

Gloves and a tuque to keep your extremities warm

Gloves and a tuque are essential accessories when the weather gets colder or when you’re hunting early in the morning. Consider opting for technical materials like neoprene for gloves that stay warm even when exposed to water, or merino wool for an insulated and breathable tuque. Most models come in camouflage patterns to match your hunting jacket and pants, helping you blend in with the surroundings in the woods or fields.

A hunting vest to stay visible

Essential Gear for a Successful Start

When stalking in the forest, visibility is an essential factor in safety. That’s why you should always wear an orange waterproof nylon hunting vest over your hunting jacket. Orange accessories such as a tuque, cap, and gloves can complement your high-visibility clothing.

A backpack to carry all your hunting accessories

Whether you’re heading to your hunting camp, blind, or the trails, pack all your gear in a sturdy and convenient backpack with plenty of pockets. Some models come with a built-in rain cover. If your chosen backpack doesn’t include one, you can buy it separately (camouflage or high-visibility).

A first aid kit to treat minor and major injuries

Blisters on the feet, cuts, or hypothermia – incidents can be quick to happen in the woods. To keep yourself and your hunting companions safe, it’s essential to have a first aid kit in your backpack.

An odour eliminator to hide your scent from game animals

There’s a wide range of odour-eliminating products available to help you stay undetected while hunting. Various types exist, including shampoos, laundry detergents, body washes, and more. They are generally made from natural ingredients and are concentrated to camouflage human odour.

A headlamp to see and be seen at night

Hunting headlamp

To make sure you can see and be seen in the dark, you should always carry a lamp with you. You can choose a headlamp, spotlight, lantern, or flashlight, depending on your needs. You may also want to consider getting a rechargeable one for added eco-friendliness.

Paracord to be ready for any situation

Perfect for securing a shelter, hanging a food bag, or repairing equipment, paracord is an essential part of any hunting trip. It is often made of nylon and is always extremely resistant.

A hunting knife and tools

A high-performance hunting knife or multi-tool will allow you to carve up your prey easily and quickly. You will find a wide variety of folding and fixed-blade models, as well as saws and hatchets.

Binoculars and rangefinder for greater precision when hunting

To perfect your shooting and satisfy your ambitions, equip yourself with a good pair of binoculars and a rangefinder. The former will give you excellent vision at dawn and dusk, while a rangefinder will provide accurate readings for efficient shooting. Rely on the best brands on the market: Bushnell, Burris, EDC, Simmons or Garmin.


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