The internet is filled with “ultimate hunting gear checklists” but the correct gear list for you is dependent on what species you are hunting, how you will be hunting, the weather conditions, and the terrain in the area you will be hunting, just to name a few considerations. Regardless of the scenario, there are a few constants that should always be considered when planning for a hunt.
Boots, binoculars, flashlights, gloves, spotting scope, rifle, rifle scope, knife, mapping tools, toiletries, game bags, etc. are all important pieces of hunting gear to consider. These are all items that you will consistently find on most every hunting gear list the internet has to offer. They are important but the importance of each of those items can vary depending on the specific hunt. The question that this article will help to answer is “what is most important and should always be considered in a gear list”.
Staying Warm & Dry
The first consideration is making sure that I pack based on the weather conditions that I will be hunting in. Layering with the correct clothing is essential to maintaining an ideal core body temperature in inclement weather. This includes rain gear too. Hypothermia is no joke and can come on fast. Preventing hypothermia means packing the right clothing to prevent cold, wind, rain, and snow.
30% of heat loss is through the head, so a wearing a warm hat or beanie is important. Merino wool not only keeps your head warm but the fibers wick moisture vapor away from skin and towards the surface of the beanie, where it can evaporate. For the same reason that its ideal for a beanie, merino wool socks and underwear are also great for keeping you warm and dry while on the move.
Hydration & Food
Protein packed foods are great for hunting because they keep your energy up. Things like granola bars, fruit snacks, dried fruits, trail mix, and nuts are all great sources of energy, but they also are all easily stored in zip-lock bags and can be quickly and quietly removed to eat while on the go.
Stay hydrated by carrying a water bladder and/or a Nalgene bottle. I have also carried water purification systems such as Sawyer’s bladders and micro filters during hunts when I needed to draw water from streams.
Emergency & Medical Kit
Unexpected situations can occur during even the best planned hunts. Having the ability to make a fire, having backup batteries for headlamps, various medical supplies, and even Chapstick are kept in a day pack should they ever be needed. Additionally, I always keep a cellphone and Garmin in reach in my hunting gear to have a way to call for help, should that ever be needed.
Fire starting kits are easy to pack and lightweight. I have also made fires using Norma’s shell holders, which are eco-friendly and made from 50% of renewables. After only a few seconds of being directly held in a flame, Norma’s shell holders will catch fire and can be used as a basis to create a larger fire. These are handy in a pinch seemingly not a lot of Norma’s US customer base is aware of this added value feature.
Other Essentials, Not Normally Thought of as Essential
Being a responsible and ethical hunter is essential. As a hunter, it is your responsibility to “take” or kill the game animal in a manner that is both clean and efficient. In other words, you want the animal to expire quickly and with the least amount of suffering possible. Selecting the right ammunition is a more critical part of being an ethical hunter then some might think.
The “right” ammunition should be based on the intended application. Maybe I am a little biased, but Norma literally has an ammunition solution for most any intended center-fire rifle hunting application. Starting with premium powders, primers, cases, and projectiles that are intentionally designed for specific considerations has been Norma’s recipe of success for over 120 years. The “right” part means that the selected ammunition should be caliber appropriate for the game that is being hunted, accurate out of the rifle being used, and dependable to always work as intended to regardless of weather conditions. Regardless of the hunting line, Norma’s hunting lines of ammunition check all those boxes.
Answering a few basic hunting gear questions will easily allow a hunter to ensure they are setting themselves up for success by using the most ideal line of Norma hunting ammunition.
– Do the laws and regulations require alternatives to lead based ammunition? o Yes – Norma’s ECOSTRIKE Ammunition is an awesome lead-free bullet technology that utilizes a nickel-coated copper bullet that delivers deep penetration, almost 100% weight retention, and astonishing accuracy, even at long distances.
– Do you require instant stopping power?
o Yes – You should consider Norma’s TIPSTRIKE Ammunition. Designed for stopping power, TIPSTRIKE optimally combines deep penetration and rapid expansion that results in an instant stop. The TIPSTRIKE’s polymer tip, merged with the optimal construction of the bullet jacket, causes the projectile to expand while simultaneously creating an immediate, devasting shock effect. The results of a well-placed shot are zero wasted energy and immediate expiration of the animal.
– Do you require extreme accuracy and terminal performance on larger game regardless of distance?
o Yes – Stop looking anywhere else other than Norma’s BONDSTRIKE Ammunition. BONDSTRIKE achieves its legendary extreme accuracy and unfailing terminal performance through its state-of-the-art design and unique bonding technology. Its exact aerodynamic design, power bonding technology, and thinner front jacket combine to create a high BC, extreme precision at long range, and both quick and consistent expansion at all ranges. BONDSTIKE is truly the best in class among all bonded bullets designed for a hunting application.
– Do you need a versatile, all-around workhorse ammunition line that expands at low and high velocities?
o Yes – Well, you have found it in Norma’s WHITETAIL Ammunition line. The WHITETAIL line utilizes Norma’s legendary unbonded soft-point-bullet, Alaska. Now these proven bullets are offered in new calibers and multiple bullet weights to create the most versatile hunting ammunition line among Norma’s offerings. The WHITETAIL line offers calibers and bullet weights that are more common among American deer hunters. This series is effective, accurate, and a fast-expanding soft-point-bullet that expands at both low and high velocities.
Preparation is the key to a successful, enjoyable, and ethical hunting experience. As you assemble your hunting gear this season, remember that the specific items you need might vary based on the variables of your hunt. The essentials that should always be a part of your hunting gear list are items that prioritize your safety, comfort, and functionality, as well as those that enable you to be an ethical hunter.