By Zach Lazzari
On our guided big game hunts here in Wyoming, there’s no need to lug around a hefty pack. You only need the essentials when we set out each day of the hunt. The advantage of private access and road and trail systems means the vehicles do the heavy lifting while we focus on the hunt. Here’s how to build a bare bones hunting kit to have everything you need when we make the stalk.
Choosing a Pack
Plenty of different pack styles will get the job done. Focus on comfort and select a pack made with soft, non-abrasive materials. There’s nothing worse than a pack that alerts game to your presence so feel and rub against the materials when shopping in the store.
Daypacks with shoulder and hip straps work very well. Look for models that will fit comfortably with your bino harness, or whichever optics system you use on your chest. Also look quick-access pockets for things like gloves and extra ammo that you need to keep on hand.
Large hip style packs also work well. Some models are marketed towards turkey hunters but they offer roomy storage pockets, shoulder straps, lashing points, gear division pockets and everything you need for jumping in and out of the truck. They also work well with a chest harness for binoculars.
Loading the Essentials
Now that you have a pack ready, it’s time to load the essentials and cut the bulky, unnecessary items from your gear list. You can always keep a second bag in the vehicle with dry socks, bulky layers and anything else that might come into play throughout the day.
Here’s what you need in a bare bones hunting kit on a guided, Wyoming hunt:
Keep in mind that your guide will carry a full field dressing kit. So there’s really no need to duplicate all these items. If you’d like to be prepared to help with the field dressing, keep it simple with just a couple of essentials:
- Lightweight knife with replaceable blade (and spare blades). We highly recommend the Havalon Talon system.
- Heavy-duty latex gloves (optional)
Immediate Need Clothing
Remember that you can always leave extra layers in the truck. Only pack in the daypack those essentials that you need to keep on your person:
- Jacket for variable weather environments
- Ultralight rain gear or poncho
- Warm hat
Keep in mind that your guide is carrying most of the essentials. If you’re not sure what to bring in your own pack, ask your guide. Avoid carrying duplicate items when possible to keep your pack light. Here are a few essentials you’ll want to bring:
- Extra ammunition
- Optics – Binoculars and range finder
- Water bottle
- Snacks like trail mix
- Small first aid kit (ibuprofin, blister pads, bandaids, etc.)
And that’s really all you need for a simple hunting kit in the field. You might add a few essentials or even subtract. The idea here is to keep things light while having everything you need to be away from the truck for a few hours at a time. Again, if you’re unsure, ask your guide and follow their advice. If they say you can leave it in the truck or back at camp, trust them.
Have questions about our guided Wyoming hunts for elk, deer and antelope? Be sure to explore the rest of our website. If you’d like more information on availability or other details, please feel free to contact us.