Adjunct professor Allan Priddy has been teaching wilderness survival at Idaho State University for over 20 years, and he recommends a collection of essential hunting supplies, including general, first aid equipment and food and repair gear. Priddy states that people can gather gear and make their own kits, as long as they have a suitable container to carry it in. Survival gear doesn’t have to be bulky, but there are crucial pieces that hunters need to carry to be safe in the field.
Hunters must wear a bright orange poncho that will attract attention. A good knife, whistle, and toilet paper are essential. In addition, Priddy recommends a candle (wrapped in foil), 2 boxes of matches, and some fire starter, all of which can be carried in a coffee can along with some smaller supplies. Twenty-five feet of braided nylon rope and two large garbage bags are also necessary items for hunters. Don’t forget money, including dimes, nickels, quarters, and a $20 dollar bill. You’d be surprised how many hunters break down or run short on gas during the journey.
Priddy recommends carrying dental floss, because it’s strong and fills in nicely for repairing torn equipment or using as a fishing line in extreme emergencies. Needles, thread, and safety pins also come in handy in the field. Finally, don’t forget some bailing wire in case you need to construct a small shelter.
Moleskin is a backtracker’s best friend. It serves as a cushion for blisters or sore areas. Other components of first aid gear include sterile pads, gauze, Neosporin, and Band-Aids. Don’t forget aspirin and adhesive tape. Take along some small honey packets and some instant soups and tea for nutrition. Don’t forget to buy a compass, and learn how to use it. It may keep you from getting lost.
Repurpose a coffee container to hold much of the hunting gear, or find a suitable container at an outdoor store. Much of the gear on the survival list can also be found in outdoor stores. If you are carrying a backpack into the field, keep in mind that it should be light enough for you to be comfortable while carrying it along with your regular hunting gear, such as guns and bows.
Hunting larger game requires additional gear. A knife may not be enough to field-dress a large animal. Experienced big-game hunters carry a saw to help slice through cartilage and bone. Outdoor stores carry folding saws for easy stowaway. Recreation specialist Cameron Brown at the National Center on Accessibility recommends taking binoculars and extra ammunition. Safety-conscious hunters carry communication devices into the field, such as cell phones or walkie-talkies. Being able to communicate with one’s hunting party adds an extra measure of security.