7 Essentials for a Hunting Day Pack



Most hunters agree a backpack is an essential item for a majority of hunting styles, but they often have different views on what should be packed in them.

Now, allow me to preface this article by saying the items that go into your hunting day pack will largely depend on the nature of your pursuit. For example, an elk hunter who’s camping in the mountains overnight will have a vastly different pack than a whitetail hunter in the Midwest who’s sitting in a treestand for several hours. For this reason, the list of items I’ve compiled below reflect the very basic needs of a bowhunter who plans to sit on stand for a full day, and then enjoy a hot pasty back at deer camp at the end of it.

My gear list is constantly evolving. However, there are a handful of items I will always have on hand or in my truck while hunting. At the minimum; some paracord, fire starter tools, first aid items, an extra knife and a whistle will all get packed in with me whether I’m hunting deer, squirrels or grouse.

Again, you may need to make an assessment based on your own situation at hand, but these are just some of the staples you will find in my hunting day pack if we ever met in the woods:

I usually buy a large package at the beginning of the season and pack a handful in a plastic baggie to keep them dry. They’re great for overall cleanup if you spill coffee, (or deer urine) but could also be used as extra-fire starter. And if you’re planning on being in the woods for the entire day, these will really come in handy when nature calls. Plus they save some space compared to a roll of toilet paper.

Hunting Day Pack Essentials

Things go wrong all the time for almost no reason at all, so it’s best to be on the defensive side of things whenever possible. If you’re bowhunting and your release suddenly malfunctions, or you make the dreadful discovery that you left it on the kitchen table back at camp, you better either have an extra release on hand or have some experience shooting with just your fingers.

Hunting Day Pack Essentials

Unless you’re Superman and can see in the dark, you’re going to need a flashlight when hunting. This is another item I usually have two of whenever I’m in the woods. I like to wear a Biolite Headlamp for hands free use while getting in, or out of my stand, and then I’ll carry another to use in case I’m tracking game at night.

Hunting Day Pack

Let’s face it, you’re going to need a little pick me up at some point during the day, and MTN OPS Ignite is my go to when I need that extra boost. Ignite is long-lasting, sugar free and tastes great. The best part is MTN OPS offers Ignite in serving size trail packs that are perfect for tossing in your pack on the go. Just mix with water and keep on hunting while MTN OPS scientifically formulated blend of Amino Acids, and Nootropics improve your cognitive function and provide smooth, jitter-free energy to help you conquer the hunt.

Hunting Day Pack


I don’t know about you, but I’m deadly serious about the snacks I bring with me to the deerstand. I don’t go hog-wild, however, and pack a bunch of junk food that’s not going to do my body any good. I’m looking for snacks that are healthy, and packed with tons of energy to give my body – and mind – the right kind of fuel required for a hunt. When the moment comes, and there’s a deer standing right in front of me, I want all cylinders operating at 100%.

In other words, you wouldn’t put regular gas in a Ferrari, would you? Treat your body the same way, and you’ll see noticeable results.

A few of my favorite treestand snacks are usually some type of jerky or wild game stick, trail mix, MTN OPS Performance Bars, or these Protein Puffs from Bowmar Nutrition. I don’t know what kind of magic goes into those little puffs, but they are delicious and an excellent alternative compared to greasy potato chips.

Now that we’ve talked snacks, allow me to share a little hack I’ve picked up in recent years.

Have you noticed how noisy most snack packaging can be in the woods when you’re trying to be stealthy? Well, if you pickup a pack of reusable silicone food bags, you can snack in silence without worrying about the crunch of wrappers or bags.

Admittedly, I never used to carry one of these. My thought was always, ‘I’ll just feel which way the wind is blowing on my face, and make a plan from there.’ However, that simple concept failed me several times in the past, so I’m making an adjustment this year by bringing a wind indicator with me in my hunting day pack.

I’ll be taking a ‘hang and hunt’ approach for the first weekend of bow season once it opens up here in Michigan, so this little tool will be imperative when looking for the right tree to climb into.

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