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Gear Up: 5 Essential Items Every Beginner Hunter Needs

man holding shotgun in the sunsetsource: cnr.ncsu.edu

If you’ve never tried hunting before, figuring out what gear you need can feel like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces. It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by the options out there. From firearms to camouflage attire, the array of equipment can be dizzying, leaving you unsure where to begin.

However, there are a few key items that are essential for every beginner hunter. These basics not only keep you safe but also make your time in the wilderness more enjoyable. So, if you’re gearing up for your first hunting trip, here are 5 must-have items for a memorable and successful outing:


a man on the tree prepared to hunt
source: moultriemobile.com

When you’re new to hunting, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll face is choosing the right firearm. The firearm serves as the primary tool in your arsenal, dictating your success and safety in the field. With such significance placed on this equipment, you need to think twice before you decide which one to select.

For beginners, a user-friendly and reliable shotgun is the most suitable option. Shotguns offer a wide range of ammunition choices, making them suitable for various hunting scenarios, from bird hunting to deer hunting. Their versatility allows novice hunters to gain experience across different hunting pursuits without needing multiple firearms.

When shopping for a firearm, prioritize models built with performance and durability in mind. Look for reputable brands known for their quality craftsmanship and reliability. Additionally, consider factors such as gauge size, barrel length, and action type to ensure your chosen firearm aligns with your hunting preferences and intended game species.

Among shotgun options, the 12-gauge and 20-gauge are two popular contenders, each with its own strengths and considerations. The 12-gauge is bigger and more powerful than the 20-gauge. It’s great for hunting larger animals like deer or ducks. Additionally, its availability and diverse ammo options make it a practical choice for beginners looking to explore different hunting experiences without needing multiple firearms.

On the other hand, the 20-gauge offers a lighter recoil and slightly smaller size compared to the 12-gauge. This makes it more manageable and forgiving for novice hunters, especially those with smaller frames or less experience handling firearms. While the 20-gauge may have slightly less power than the 12-gauge, it is still effective for hunting a variety of game, including upland birds and smaller mammals.

So, which one should you choose? It depends on what you’re hunting and how comfortable you are with handling a gun. If you plan to hunt big game, the 12-gauge might be better. But if you’re worried about the kickback or want something lighter, go for the 20-gauge.

No matter which one you pick, make sure it feels right in your hands. Visit a store, try different shotguns, and ask for advice from experienced hunters. With the right firearm, you’ll be ready for a successful hunting trip!

Hunting Clothes

Hunters wearing hunting clothes
source: badlandsgear.com

In hunting, choosing the right clothing is crucial for success. Begin with a sturdy pair of boots offering ankle support and waterproofing for varied terrain. Layering is key: moisture-wicking base layers regulate temperature, insulating mid-layers provide warmth, and windproof, waterproof outer layers shield from the elements.

Opt for camouflage patterns that match your environment, blending seamlessly with your surroundings. Avoid brightly coloured or noisy fabrics that may startle game. Invest in quality materials designed for durability and stealth, as well-fitting, comfortable clothing enhances mobility and endurance, optimizing your hunting experience. Remember, the right gear can make or break your game in the wilderness.

Reliable Backpack

man with two of hunting backpacks
source: onxmaps.com

A reliable backpack is essential for hunting, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the challenges of the wilderness. That being said, it’s important to prioritize performance and durability when selecting one. Look for features like reinforced stitching, water-resistant materials, and ample storage space for gear and supplies.

Go for a lightweight design that won’t weigh you down, ensuring comfort during long treks. Adjustable straps and ergonomic padding reduce strain, enabling extended periods of wear without discomfort. Make sure to choose a backpack that can withstand rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions, offering reliability and functionality throughout your hunting journey.

Navigation Tools

It’s common for people to get lost in the woods, especially beginners. To steer clear of this, you need to know where you’ve been, where you’re headed, and what’s ahead. Maps and compasses are great tools for hunters, but only if you know how to use them. If you’re not sure, don’t worry—there’s an easier way.

GPS gadgets and apps act like magic pointers, showing you exactly where you are and where to go next. With these handy helpers, even if you’re not an expert, you can explore the wilderness confidently, making your hunting adventures safer and more enjoyable.

First Aid Kit

When you’re out hunting, accidents can happen, even if you’re careful. The wilderness has all sorts of dangers like rough terrain, slippery spots, and hidden cliffs. That’s why it’s crucial to bring a first aid kit with you. No matter how experienced you are or where you’re hunting, injuries like bruises, blisters, or bee stings are always a possibility. With a basic first aid kit, you can promptly address these minor injuries and make sure you can get back home safely after your adventure in the woods.

In your first aid kit consider packing bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers (for removing splinters or ticks), adhesive tape, pain relievers like ibuprofen, and any personal medications you may need. It’s also smart to include items like insect repellent and a small pair of scissors. These basics can help you treat minor injuries and discomforts while you’re out hunting.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.