10 Pieces of Hunting Gear You Can’t Afford to Skimp On


Every hunt has a story. The successful ones are packed with tales of impeccable planning and faultless execution… and maybe a bit of exaggeration. The unsuccessful ones detail unfathomable bad luck combined with a poor implementation of skills, usually in a laughable or lighthearted way. But the bad hunts deliver the worst stories.

They are accounts that often detail a miserable episode of failure fueled by a lack of planning and inability to improvise. Neither comic relief nor excitement is rendered to the hunter or the audience in such circumstances. There is an easy way to avoid returning with a bad story, though, and that’s by being prepared. Most bad adventures are the result of not having the correct gear. Perhaps it’s poor weather that dampened the trip, or a subpar piece of tactical equipment that failed at the wrong time.

Either way, a solution is as easy as replacing the culprit with a quality substitute; you need to ensure everything you buy will survive a little rough treatment when out in the wilderness. To ensure the best experience possible, there are areas that should not be overlooked. Finding the hunting gear that is most crucial to delivering a successful — or unsuccessful, but still fun — outing is as easy as following this simple checklist.


The best way to keep your temperature up is to keep your head covered. Of course, you’ll want to blend in, so search for a camouflaged beanie, knit hat or balaclava. Performance gear deflects chilling gusts, while fleece interiors deliver a comfortable and cozy lining.

Hunting Jacket or Coat

As you’ve surely learned by now, you need to be prepared in order to come home with a nice rack this year. Freezing your arms off in frigid backwoods temperatures isn’t a great way to keep your accuracy in check. Cover up with an athletic and flexible jacket. Keep in mind that you’ll want to have some ventilation to avoid getting overheated, though. Maintaining a steady temperature is important while dialing in on your next big catch.

Performance Top

Layers are key, specifically your base coverage. Find what works for you and stay comfortable from morning until night. If you’re an active hunter, select a breathable top that allows for a wide range of motion. For you tree stand hunters, pick a long-sleeve shirt that features a scent control option.

Hunting Utilities

You’ll need a knife, a flashlight, possibly a pruner, and maybe even rope. It’s best to be ready for anything when you’re facing the forest for a lengthy period of time. Scent killer can be the difference between a successful outing and a frustrating one. You should also consider bringing along grunt and bleat calls. Calling deer can make your experience more enjoyable all the way around.


Nobody wants to be tramping around the woods with soggy feet. Invest in a sturdy pair of boots, preferably ones with Gore-Tex waterproofing. Wearing a cushioned or structured boot will also help you avoid sore feet and blistered toes after your trek through the woodlands. Ante up where it counts.

Hunting Pack

Bringing a lunch and hunting utilities is far easier when you have a pack to carry them in. As with the other wearable items on this list, you’ll want to search for something comfortable.


If you haven’t heard, you’re going to need a weapon to bring down that buck or boar. Keep an open mind, though. If you’re partial to firearms, try a bow this season. Or, if you prefer to trap, switch to a rifle for a change of pace.


This one pretty much goes without saying. Make sure you’re stocking your gun with the correct ammunition for the type of hunt you’re on.

Safety Equipment

There’s no such thing as being too safe. Take a GPS, an external phone charger and a first aid kit for when you run into hairy situations. You’ll be glad you thought ahead.

Clothing Accessories

Make a checklist of every item you could need this year. Early season temperatures are far different than the late-season weather you’ll face. Whether it’s also packing gloves, vests or belts, plan for every type of forecast. Keep in mind any out-of-state trips you might make or journeys to different elevations. To achieve a maximum amount of fun, you’ll want to thoroughly vet each area of your wardrobe.