By Jessica Manuell
We have all read them and probably more than once googled them, a list of what to keep in your hunting pack. Tips and tricks abound and sometimes debates erupt on which items are the most important to have with you.
If you take a safety and survival class, your list will be different than one from someone who teaches hunter education as a whole, or backpacking as a sole form of recreation.
While lists of items you need to have in your pack include all the necessary items, it is true that the list will vary from person to person and from hunt to hunt.
Sure, the basics include food, water, something to start a fire with, a knife and a map or GPS. Other items may include means to build a shelter and the most important, toilet paper. But what should you carry as a woman into the field?
This list you make pre-season is highly dependent on whether or not you are bringing children out to hunt with you or not, whether you’re spike camping, hunting completely out of a backpack, camping in an RV, tent, lodge, hotel, etc.
Humans are creatures of comfort, especially women, though we will all endure mild inconveniences in effort to be successful hunters. Regardless of the situation, here are 5 items I believe that every woman should consider for their pack.
Let’s be honest. We never know when a headache is going to strike: Us, or our significant other. Or, let’s say you’re on day four of a strenuous hunt that keeps you on your feet for miles every day. Having some relief on hand can be the difference between an enjoyable or painful hunt. Why be in pain when you can focus on your target animal without worrying about wincing?
Toilet paper is a necessity in any pack, but I know many of us like to feel clean and wet wipes can be the simplest, lightest weight way to keep us that way. Individually wrapped wipes are a favorite in our camp. They pack lighter and the wrapper doubles as a sanitary way to dispose of them especially if you need to pack them out with you.
Water is heavy and sometimes you can’t always carry as much as you need. Make the water you do have count and add some electrolytes to at least one of your servings throughout the day. This is important if you’re one who doesn’t remember to drink a lot. And, this is especially important even in cold weather as we tend to not feel thirsty and can still get dehydrated.
Blisters on the feet are one thing. But, our thighs also rub together. Hot spots on other parts of the body from strenuous hiking during spot and stalks make a person miserable. A simple diaper rash ointment or cream such as body glide can make multiple day hunts in warm weather or cool weather in multiple layers much more bearable.
These items have multiple uses from the obvious to first aid alternatives in a pinch. Never be ashamed to carry them or hunt during that time. It does not affect your hunt or the ability to get close to animals and you’re not going to be stalked by some blood thirsty predator. And, sometimes the stresses on your body at the time of hunting since it is not your daily activity will increase the chances of an untimely accident in the field.
So, if you’ve ever been in the field and wished you had something you didn’t, hopefully this list will help remind you to take what you need, or think you might need. It is much better to be comfortable and enjoy the hunt if you have the means to do so.