It’s that time of the year again. The temperatures are a bit on the mild side (and a little cooler depending on where you live). That can only mean one thing: hunting season is in full swing.
Then again, there’s always a different kind of hunting season depending on which game you’re going after. Plus, it’s also the perfect time to do some camping as well. You might even have a camp of your own or a go-to campsite that you normally go to every year.
Whether you are hunting for deer or ruffed grouse in Maine, elk in the Rockies, or hogs in the South there is always a good time and place to camp and do some hunting at the same time. We’ll be taking a look at what you need to bring along with you in order to prepare for the appropriate environment.
We’ll also share with you some tips about hunting camp so you can make the most of it with your hunting buddies or even someone in your family who loves hunting as much as you do.
Memories last a lifetime with friends or family who share their love for the outdoors with you. Now, let’s get right to the meat of this write up and talk about what hunting camp is and why you should make it an annual thing.
What is hunting camp to you?
Hunting camp is different from one person to the next. You could have your own small cabin in the woods that you go to almost every weekend. Or you might have a large tent that can hold up to a few people at a time (especially those large military-style tents that can keep you warm even in subzero temperatures). Hunting camp can also be anything in between.
Roughing it in the outdoors is the closest thing you can get to a true outdoor experience (and yes, staying in your own cabin-style camp does count).
But we’re not judging if you have your own arrangements in terms of where you want to stay. Some stay in hotel rooms, a home that belongs to a friend or family member, and so on. What truly matters most is the experience you will get out of the whole thing.
Whether you’ve spent day after day outdoors and found nothing or managed to meet your bag limit for the year within the first two days of your weeklong excursion, hunting camp is worth it. You can spend time with yourself and nature.
Plus, if you have members of your family or friends who love hunting you can definitely write some unique hunting stories that can be told for a long time.
What should you bring with you?
This will depend on how long hunting camp will last. If it’s a week-long excursion, obviously you’ll need to pack supplies that will get you through the week. This includes some canned goods, snacks, non-perishable foods that you can cook over an open flame or a stove.
Obviously, you’ll also need to pack a survival kit that you’ll need to take with you just in case things go wrong.
We’ll discuss what you should pack in your hunting survival kit shortly (and why it’s important). Speaking of survival, the one thing you absolutely need to pack is climate-appropriate clothing.
If you are going in the end of September or early October in the northeast, obviously clothing that will keep you warm in cold temperatures are highly recommended.
And since you are going hunting, your favorite hunting rifle is a must. You should also bring plenty of ammo. Even if you won’t be using it all up, the more you have the better.
You should also bring a gun cleaning kit as well. A few bore brushes, gun oil or lubricant, cloths, and other appropriate accessories should last you the entire camping trip.
Also, depending on the game you’re hunting you should have it setup to where you can transport your kills from your hunting area to the tagging station.
For larger game, a trailer hitched to your truck might be all you need. For smaller game like ruffed grouse, duck, and other waterfowl, a large Igloo cooler might be good enough.
Where should you stay?
Of course, there’s also your accommodation for the duration of your trip. If you own a camp or have a camper that you can hitch to your truck, that part is all said and done.
If you don’t have anything set in stone, you can consider options like packing a tent or making arrangements on where you’ll be staying for the duration of camp.
There are plenty of options at your disposal depending on the location of where you’re hunting. Around hunting season, there are different camps where you can be able to rent a cabin. Plus, there are plenty of campsites that will be near some popular hunting spots.
Also, you’ll want to take into account how many people are going with you. While hunting camp might be enjoyable with yourself, you may want to take along some other people. Hunting alone might be something you prefer, but things can happen to you at any given time.
You may get lost in the woods or you may fall ill to the point where you need medical attention. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have someone know where you’re going to be and how long you’ll be in the area for a specific period of time.
Communication and knowing where members of your hunting party are is the smart thing to do (especially when people get lost in the woods almost all the time).
If you are going for the weekend, it’s OK to go alone. But if you are going for longer than that, plan on bringing a couple of friends or members of your family. The more people you bring along, the better.
Your Hunting Camp Survival Kit
While hunting camp can be an exciting time, things can go south fairly quick. That’s why it’s important to pack a survival kit that you should carry with you at all times while you are venturing into the woods. The good news is that you don’t have to carry a lot of stuff with you.
Below is a list of things that we highly recommend that you take with you other than your firearm and extra ammo. The difference between life and death is being prepared for just about any possible survival situation you’ll find yourself in. With that said, here are some things you should carry with you in this kit:
First Aid Kit
Injuries happen. And that’s where a reliable first aid kit like the Adventure Medical Sportsman Series Medical Kit comes into play. It should consist of staples like gauze, bandages, antiseptics, alcohol pads, and other items.
A basic first aid kit should get you through the first 72 hours of getting lost in the woods. Plus, you’ll have plenty of items that will be there just in case you need them.
In cold weather situations, this is your best friend. No matter how cold the air gets, this metal-like survival blanket can heat you up quickly so you prevent any instances of hypothermia. As long as you are safely close to a heat source, you should be warm for hours on end.
You can’t keep warm without a way to start a fire. Lighters are a good tool to carry, but there’s a chance that they may fail depending on the weather conditions. What better tool than a reliable firestarter to get the job done. Firestarters can produce sparks that can start fires.
Pro-tip: Can’t find kindling anywhere? Carry a bag of Frito chips. Why? Because you can use it as kindling instead of wood. Since they contain a good amount of oil, they can actually catch fire fairly quickly and can burn for quite a while.
You’ll want at least 72 hours worth of food in your survival kit. This can include small packages of freeze-dried foods (kind of like MREs), soft bars, instant coffee mix (or the like), and something that can give you plenty of energy throughout the day.
A bright flashlight should be included. If anything, an LED flashlight with a high number of lumens will do. Incandescent flashlights are not bright and therefore won’t be easy to spot from a far away distance.
A small tactical LED flashlight with 1000 lumens of light can be seen from quite a distance away (usually a half-mile or more). It is also invaluable when you have to navigate back to camp in the dark.
If your voice is weak to yell for help, a survival whistle will pick up the slack. It will be loud and can be heard from a distance. The Fox 40 whistle easily reaches over 120 decibels and can be heard from long distances.
If you are planning to do some hunting, you should make it an experience of a lifetime by mixing it in with camping. No matter how long it lasts or how many people you bring along, you’ll enjoy every second of it. Whether you have luck or not, you’ll enjoy every bit of it.
Just be sure to pack the right stuff and be ready for any change of plans (or even changes in the weather). Make your hunting camp experience a safe, healthy, and most importantly and enjoyable one.