Make a List. Check it Twice.
It never fails. You settle into your stand and suddenly realize you’ve forgotten something important. We hunters use so much gear, it's easy to accidentally leave items at home.
I've learned over the years it's always helpful to make a list and review it the night before your hunting trip. Before I leave to go to the woods the next morning, I check my list again to make sure nothing vital has been left out.
Double-checking your list can mean the difference between a happy trip to the woods or a frustrating trip back home.
– Editor's Note by Tim H. Martin
I recall one instance in the 1980s when I got up at 3 a.m., drove 90 minutes to my hunting property, geared up excitedly, sprayed down and grabbed my rifle to start hiking to my treestand.
I opened the bolt and suddenly realized I’d left my ammunition in the gun cabinet!
The bucks were chasing does like crazy that morning (of course) and my rifle was useless. While my buddies were experiencing the action, I was snoozing in the truck, waiting for the sporting goods store to open.
After that aggravating day, I began to keep a running checklist on my refrigerator door.
Here’s my essentials list, much of which goes in my backpack and pre-loaded truck the night before. Use this to start your own list.
Hunting Gear Checklist Starter
• Weapon (yes, I’ve seen hunters actually forget their gun)
• Ammo, or arrow-loaded quiver
• Archery release
• Safety harness/belt
• Scents and cover sprays
• Two fully charged flashlights
• Binoculars & rangefinder
• Boots and slip-off camp footwear
• Neck Gaiter, hand muff and heat packs
• Safety orange
• Camera and smartphone
• License (kept in a plastic bag)
• Toilet paper (handy for blood trailing, too)
• Folding limb saw
• ThermaCELL (in warm weather)
• Pee bottle
• Water bottle (don’t confuse with above in the dark)
• Screw-in hanger
• Disposable latex gloves
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