Essential Gear

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Your outfitter will provide you with a detailed list of clothing and equipment you’ll need for your chosen trip. However, on any hunting expedition, there are certain items you’ll always want to pack. Having the right gear can make a huge difference in both the success and enjoyment of your hunt.

  1. Luggage: Pack your clothing and gear in large, soft-sided, waterproof duffels, which can be more easily loaded and stored during travel. Bring a daypack or frame pack, depending on your specific trip, to easily tote and access your stuff during the course of the hunt.
  2. Footwear: You’ll need well-fitting, waterproof, BROKEN-IN boots for your hunt. This is absolutely critical—otherwise, your hunting experience is virtually guaranteed to be painful and uncomfortable! Easy-on, easy-off camp shoes such as sneakers are also a must. You’ll be itching to shuck your boots at the end of the day, no matter how comfortable they are. Plus, you don’t want to have to lace up your boots every time you need to don a pair of shoes. Bring along plenty of wool socks as well.
  3. Weapon: Bring a gun in the appropriate caliber (check out our suggestions on individual species pages, or ask us for guidance) that you can consistently hit your target with. It should be a gun that you know well and can use with ease. It shouldn’t cause such a severe kick-back that you’ll be hesitant to shoot it! You’ll want to ensure you have the right ammunition for your target animal(s), and plenty of it. If you’re a bow hunter, bring a bow in the outfitter-recommended draw weight (usually a minimum of 55 lbs), along with an extra bowstring as well as plenty of broadheads and practice points.
  4. Glass: Optics are arguably the most important component of any successful hunt. Spend as much as you can on the best glass you can afford. You’ll want high-performance lenses that will allow you to see in both the morning and the evening. For the best experience, make sure your binoculars have a range finder. Here you’ll find an excellent article on choosing the best lenses for your hunt: http://www.biggamehunt.net/articles/choosing-using-binoculars.
  5. Knife: Even if your outfitter will be field-dressing your trophy, a quality hunting knife is always recommended for its multitude of everyday uses on any expedition.
  6. Layers: No matter where you’re traveling to, you’ll can probably count on being cold at least once, so bring your cold-weather clothing and be prepared to dress in moisture-wicking layers. Depending on your destination, the nights and early mornings may be cool, cold, or downright frigid. As daytime temps rise, you’ll benefit from layers that whisk away perspiration and are easy to remove and stash. Wool or Polypropylene long johns work well as a base layer.
  7. Hats and sunglasses: Quality eyewear, a baseball or other cap with brim, and a cold-weather hat (for cooler destinations) will protect your eyes, face, and head and help you see better.
  8. Skin protection: Be sure to bring along sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, and insect repellent. Don’t skimp on these items; they make a s significant different in your comfort and safety.
  9. Prescription medications: Finding yourself in an unfamiliar country without your meds is not a good way to start your trip. At best, you’ll spend time tracking down a pharmacy and trying to figure out how transfer, fill, and pay for your prescription(s). At worst, you’ll have to delay or even cancel your hunt. If you take prescription medications, be sure to fill them several days before you leave and bring more than you’ll need, just in case.
  10. Rain gear: You’ll want to bring a high-quality, waterproof, and a windproof rain suit, along with waterproof gloves for colder weather conditions.
  11. Camera and waterproof case: You’ve made a significant investment of time, energy, and money to go on the trip of a lifetime! Be prepared to capture all the memories you’ll be making with a high-quality digital camera, and be sure to protect any sensitive electronic equipment with a waterproof case.