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Western Hunting Gear Prep

The last couple of months before leaving on a western hunt always seem to go by in both a blur and with agonizing slowness. How is this possible? How can something be both fast and slow at the same time? Well, it’s all about perception. When you think about all the things you have left to do to get ready it appears that you have no time left at all, but when you allow yourself to daydream about what it is you’ll be doing on your trip it seems as if time itself has stopped and the date will never get here. There you go, time can move both fast and slow. We can’t do anything about speeding up your departure date, but we can help with getting you ready to leave.

Of all the questions I get asked when talking western hunting the most frequent deals with gear. What gear do I take? Should I pack light or heavy? Am I allowed to take this on a plane? These are just a few of the more frequent questions I get asked. For this issue of our newsletter, instead of trying to answer every gear question I can think of, I’m simply going to list the basic necessities I keep in my western pack at all times. These are the items that, no matter where or what I’m hunting, they are with me. I may add some little things here or there, or adjust depending on whether I’m hunting DIY or with an outfitter. I have these items broken down into five basic groups: hunting equipment, optics, tools, clothing, and survival. Other western hunters may have a slightly different list, but I’d be willing to bet they’re all pretty similar.

Group One: Hunting Equipment

  • Rifle
  • Ammo
  • Bipod/tripod
  • Game bags
  • Hunting knife
  • Backpack

Group Two: Optics

  • Spotting scope
  • Binoculars
  • Rangefinder
  • Optics tripod

Group Three: Tools

  • Pistol (for self-defense)
  • Knife
  • Multi-tool
  • GPS (spend the money and get one with the inReach feature)
  • Batteries
  • Head lamp
  • Charger (solar or pre-charged)
  • Phone
  • Machete/axe
  • Trekking poles

Group Four: Clothing

  • Packable rain jacket and pants
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Extra pair of underwear
  • Layering jacket/vest
  • Layering pants
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Lightweight shoes

Group Five: Survival

  • Handwarmers
  • First aid kit
  • Paracord (100’ is a good amount)
  • Waterproof lighter/matches
  • Fire starter
  • Power bars
  • Water filtration
  • Water bottle
  • Gorilla tape
  • Toilet paper/wet wipes
  • Zip-loc baggies (at least 2 or 3)
  • Map
  • Emergency blanket
  • Hammock
  • Rain fly/canopy
  • If you don’t have an inReach I would suggest an emergency radio, flares, or signal mirror

I know this looks like a lot, but most of these items are small and take up little space and weight. With all of this in my pack it weighs out at just over 25 pounds. If you have any questions about what I’ve selected or want to discuss what you feel I missed or don’t need, hit me up with an email, . Until then, good luck and happy hunting.

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