How to Start Backpack Hunting

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If you are just getting into hunting and have never done it before, you need to know the ins and outs of getting started. Yes, backpack hunting is great because you get to be out in the woods, you have all of your gear on you, and all you have to focus on is finding and eliminating your prey.

However, this is all a bit easier said than done, because you have to know what you are doing. There is more to backpack hunting than just throwing gear in a backpack and loading up your rifle. This is why we are here right now, to give you some pointers in terms of how to start backpack hunting.

Related Article: How to Pack a Hunting Backpack

Choosing the Right Hunting Backpack

One of the first and most important things to keep in mind when you are starting your first backpacking hunting trip is to have the right hunting backpack. Trust us when we say that this is going to make all of the difference.

When you are choosing a hunting backpack, first off, you want to consider the size. If you are going on a single-day hunting trip, a backpack around 1,200 to 1,400 cubic inches will do just fine, but if you are going on an overnight hunting trip, you might want to look into a backpack that is as large as 2,500 cubic inches.

Remember that you need to have enough room to pack everything you need for the duration of the trip. Not only that, but be sure to organize your backpack the right way so you have easy access to all of your hunting gear.

Besides the size of the hunting backpack, you also need to consider how many pockets and dividers it has, how tough and durable it is, if it is rainproof and weather-resistant, if it is comfortable to carry, and maybe even look into getting a backpack with a metal frame for added support. This is called backpack hunting for a reason, and it is because the backpack is an essential piece of gear.

Taking the Right Hunting Gear

The next thing to keep in mind is that you will need to bring all of the essential gear with you. Here we are going to look at all of the hunting gear you will need to fit into or onto your hunting backpack for a multi-day trip. We will start out by listing things you will need for a single day of hunting, then get into the multi-day stuff, such as sleeping and cooking gear.

  • Rifle or crossbow
  • Ammunition
  • Hunting knife
  • Game calls
  • Hunting binoculars
  • Hunting rangefinder
  • Camouflage hat and gloves
  • Camouflage boots
  • Camouflage jacket and pants
  • Rain gear
  • Facemask
  • Orange safety hunting vest
  • Cellphone
  • Emergency radio
  • Wallet
  • First aid kit
  • Field dressing kit
  • Rubber gloves
  • Game bag
  • Hatchet
  • Bone saw
  • Extra socks
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • Firestarter
  • Cooking gear
  • Toiletries
  • Small shovel

If you take all of the gear that we have just listed here, you should be more than adequately prepared for any hunting trip, whether it is a single day trip or an overnight weekend trip. Remember that you get what you pay for, so you may want to invest a few extra bucks in high-quality gear that is going to last you for quite some time.

Taking the Right Safety Precautions Before Hunting

how to start backpack hunting

Too many newbie hunters go out into the woods without keeping safety in mind, and it is a big mistake. Let’s go over some of the most important safety tips you need to know to go backpack hunting with minimal danger and risk. It’s really just common sense for the most part.

Never go backpack hunting alone

A rule of thumb is to always partner up. If something happens to you out in the woods, and you are alone, there will be nobody there to call for aid or assist you in any way.

Never go backpack hunting without telling people where and when you are going

Be sure to inform friends and family when you plan on leaving, where you will be going, and when you plan on getting back. This way, someone will know if something happened to you when you do not return at the scheduled time, and they will be able to inform the authorities of where to start looking for you first.

Know how to use your weapon

If you have never held a gun or crossbow before, and have never used one, you want to take some lessons from a professional. These are weapons, not toys, and they need to be treated with respect.

Before you go backpack hunting, be sure that you know how to use the weapon in question; you need to know the safety precautions and aspects associated with those weapons, and you need to know about general weapon practice too. People get hurt all the time because they are inexperienced and don’t know how to properly handle a hunting rifle, gun, or crossbow.

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Always be sure to bring emergency gear with you

In terms of injuries, this more or less means having a good first aid kit, something to dress wounds and injuries while you bring someone to the hospital or call for help. Dressings, splints, emergency radios, and other signaling tools are all things you should have.
Furthermore, if you are going hunting during a cold time of year, be sure to bring warm clothes — the right clothes for the weather. You might not think it, but hypothermia is a real threat when hunting in cool conditions.


At the end of the day, if you follow all of the tips we have gone over, you should have no problems on your first backpack hunting trip.