What To Pack In A Hunting Backpack

A successful hunting trip mainly depends on the gear you choose to bring along. So, What to pack in a hunting backpack is a common question that every hunter has in their mind before the trip.

Let’s say you have done research regarding the best game place and brought along your rifle, shells, and permits. But you did not bring along the right gear at this time; spending a comfortable night will be a challenge.

Proper research and planning help you know what to pack in a hunting backpack. It ensures you bring the right hunting gear along on the trip. You should do your research on equipment before buying them.

If you have subsequent hunting trips, then you do not need to run to the store at the last minute. But after every trip, you should check your gear for any damages and ensure its condition.

By chance, if the gears are in bad condition, you should change them sooner to save time before your next hunting trip.

Backpack Selection

How to select a backpack

Before creating a checklist for what to pack in a hunting backpack, you need to choose the right bag. It is necessary because you will be carrying all your gears and goods in it.

You want to select the backpack that fits right for the trip and can store all your necessary equipment. A hunting backpack should be a rugged and all-weather one as it gets scratched many times in the wilderness by thorn bushes and shrubs.

The backpack should also be able to withstand rain and other natural elements. Another critical aspect while selecting a pack is comfort. The shoulder and hip straps should be comfortable and padded.

The hip belt should be able to relieve as much stress from your shoulder. So, try out a few backpacks before selecting one. It is better to buy packs from the store than online as you can check the comfort level.

Every person has a different physique and stress points. So, to get the perfect fit, you need to adjust the strap position of the bag. However, you should check the packs yourself and determine the comfort.

Usually, the hunting trip lasts for about a day or two, so you should ignore the 80-liter backpacks. Those bags are suitable for long trips. A pack between 30 to 45 liter will be ideal for an overnight trip.

These bags are big enough to fit your gear but not as huge to maneuver through rocky grounds. So, it is better to select a backpack having several pockets and pouches than one big compartment. But if you are looking for day trips, then 15 to 20-liter packs are sufficient.

What to Pack in a Hunting Backpack

What to Pack in a Hunting Backpack

This checklist is a sample of what to pack in a hunting backpack. If you need, you can add other items as well. Written in this list are gears explicitly required for overnight trips. However, these things are necessary for both day and overnight hunts.


Water is the essential item for a hunting trip; nothing is more important than it. Even though you have already visited the hunting area and know about the nearby streams, it is still necessary to pack lots of water.

Most of the hunting backpacks have a water bladder to store water without occupying much space. If your bag doesn’t have one, you can carry a collapsible water bottle for the water supply.


One can not stress enough how vital a compass is while going on a hunt. A compass helps to trace your way successfully when lost in the woods. But this small piece of equipment is easily overlooked by hunters while packing.

However, in this modern time, most hunters use the GPS unit. But you should carry a compass as well because they don’t break down easily and require batteries.

You can tuck it anywhere in your pack without it taking much space. So, keep it top on your checklist to ensure you don’t forget to bring it.

First Aid Kit

It will be pure luck to finish the hunting trip unharmed because injuries and accidents are typical when traveling to the woods. So, always carry a handy basic first aid kit in your pack.

You should include antiseptic cream or lotion, painkillers, bandages, water purification tablets, hand sanitizer, duct tape, and digestion medication in this kit. The kit can expand depending on your requirement as well. However, you might not need to use it throughout the entire trip as well.


When going on a hunt, you need to carry a strong, sharp, and durable dressing knife for the field. It is a crucial gear on a hunting trip. Some hunters even have extra pocket knives.

While packing the knife, make sure it is sharp, comfortable, and has a strong handle. The chances of accidents increase with doggy grip, as it might slip and cut you.

The knife is available with replaceable handles too, which is a better option during the hunting trip.


A headlamp is a good resource when you need a free hand to dress the animal in the dark. You need to select the ones with extended runtime and alert mode settings such as SOS and strobe. Nowadays, the headlamp is light in weight that you won’t even notice wearing it.


By flashlight light, we don’t mean the standard ones lying in your home. They don’t work while going on a hunting trip. But you need the waterproof tactical flashlight to search things in your backpack during the night. It also comes in help when finding your way back or away from the campsite at night.

Rain Gear

There are low chances of using rain gear on your trip, but it’s best to carry one. A raincoat and rain gear are two different things. A gear has pants and jackets, while the coat is a single-piece garment.

The raincoat is also helpful, but it restricts particular movement. So, rain gear is a better choice as it allows agile movements. The rain gear should be able to repel the water keeping your clothes dry.

If you fail to carry rain gear, you might expose yourself to hypothermia in case of rainfall.


Always carry a protein bar and dried nuts or fruits in Ziploc bags for a day trip. You can also bring sandwiches as per your preference. And for overnight trips, carry more food such as beef jerky, high-calorie protein bars, etc.

Cooking equipment for an overnight trip

As you will be staying overnight, you might need to carry a portable cooking system. They are easy to use and make hot meals for yourself. It doesn’t add much weight, so it is suitable for solo hunters too.

Sleeping bag and pads for an overnight trip

The sleeping bag and roll-up pad are a must if you are staying overnight. The sleeping pad might seem extra, but you will need it for a comfortable night. They are light in weight and don’t take much space.

Trash Bag

Do not forget to pack a set of trash bags as you need to clear the leftover food, plastic wrappers, etc. You can store the trash in one pocket and dispose of them later after returning.

Game bag

Game bags are designed to carry back the game that you hunt. Find a good game bag that can carry heavy meat pieces as trash bags are thinner and tear easily.

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Final Say

We hope our article What to pack in a hunting backpack gave you some insight into your checklist. You can add other items, too, as these are just a few of the things.

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