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Depending on where I go, and what I plan on taking with me, on the hunt or camp out, I will be the one that has to live with what I did or did not bring along. I have always figured that I would rather have too much, than to not have something when I needed it.
Also remember, that it all weighs you down too. So if you are not in good shape, it is going to get heavy really fast. Some people prefer to have a full pack frame, some prefer soft packs, and others still, a small fanny pack. Most importantly, make sure that your pack fits well and is made for all climatic conditions. Also, the type of pack you need depends on whether you are on a day trip, overnight, a week, or more. Obviously, it all depends on your personal tastes too, and what it can or cannot be used for, as well as what you need to carry, that makes it as important as the overall weight too. Plus, If you can’t wear your pack for any period of time, it can be harder on you than anything else. Make sure that your packs straps and frames are strong and well placed for carrying loads. A badly made load bearing pack can cause extreme pain, and even cause blisters too. Besides that, if it is not positioned correctly on your body, it can cause sever back pain too. It also helps to have a pack that the material helps to wick away moisture from any parts of your body that it contacts. With all this in mind, you can add or subtract items from your list, but that is your decision. Choosing what you have in your pack obviously depends on what your intentions are. You will have to use your best judgment regarding what you put in your pack. I have a list of items that I keep in my standard pack that I have noted.
1. Headlight, or (2) small flashlights & extra batteries. I like headlights because they give me hands free operation.
2. Lots of trail mix, jerky, small individually wrapped hard candy such as jolly ranchers. Also Datrex survival packages are a good source of survival food.
3. 100’ of 550 cord. This is one of the most important items you will want to have just in case. It has so may different uses and it is incredibly light weight.
4. Bright red or orange surveyors marking tape for marking your trail.
5. Good compass and maps of the area on waterproof paper.
6. GPS (Don’t just rely on GPS) It could fail you! Extra batteries!
7. Folding 3 blade pocket knife, caping knife optional. A Gerber or Leatherman multi-tool is also a great option too. I personally don't recommend a Swiss army knife.
8. Small sharpening stone.
9. 8-10 inch fixed blade knife in locking sheath or has lanyard hole in hilt for securing it- Make sure that this is a quality knife- I use a Gerber patriot in matt black so it doesn’t reflect light. It also has a synthetic handle.
10. Extra ammo clips (2) you shouldn’t ever even have to use them. But if you got lost, the universal signal for being lost is three shots in a row. The sound carries a lot farther from a bullet than from yelling or a whistle.
11. Plastic canteen(s) with metal food holder built-in to the bottom of the holder- army surplus has these. You can cook in it.
12. Waterproof matches and container.
13. Fire starter- Magnesium and flint works really well in all weather conditions.
14. Folding saw.
15. Metal Reflector mirror.
16. Emergency whistle.
17. Army surplus rain pauncho can also be used as a pup tent or windbreaker in an emergency if you were to get hurt or lost.
18. Aspirin or Tylenol. Needed medications! Bring twice as much as you think you will need!
19. Mini first aid kit.
20. Emergency folding fire starter kit.
21. Toilet paper, (optional)
22. Water purification tablets.
24. Fishing line, snare trap lines, or both. along with hooks.
25. Sleeping pad
26. Sleeping bag
27. Gortex Bivvy bag- you can tuck your sleeping bag into it and you can sleep right out in the snow completely dry and warm! Remember Gortex breathes by using heat. It can get wet on the inside if there is no heat pushing the cold wet moisture out. I have also used it as additional insulation for keeping in warmth in cold conditions. It works great.
28. Army Field Manual of Common Tasks
29. Extra socks, underwear, t-shirts
30. Toothbrush, personal hygiene items such as wash cloth, soap, etc.
31. Steel wool, cotton balls, wax , these items have multiple uses besides what most people think they can be used for. Steel wool will catch fire if you place a nine volt battery on it and short the battery. Cotton can also be used to help start a fire. It works even better when you melt wax on it before lighting it.
32. 2 Plastic trash can liners- these can be used to keep things dry or you can improvise a rain pauncho out of one if you don’t have a rain pauncho
33. Survival blanket- They are better than nothing and they are light weight.
Please feel free to print out a copy of this list to help you put your personal list together.
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