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What To Carry In Hunting Backpack (Essential Items For Hunters)

When hunting, you want to make sure that you have everything you need with you in one backpack. It's best to invest in a quality hunters bag that can hold all of your stuff 

If you’re wondering what to carry in a hunting backpack, make sure to continue reading! Everything’s here for you! 

What To Carry In Hunting Backpack (15 Essential Items For Hunters) 

You’ll need a different variety of items, depending on if you're on a multi-day hunt or a single-day hunt.  

With multi-day hunts, you need to make sure you pack for survival. You bring more water and plenty of food. That way, you won’t need to leave because you’ve run out of supplies. You’ll need to make sure that you have a bag that can hold all of your belongings.  


  • Skinning Knife  
    A skinning knife is essential too. You need one for the hunt, when you've caught your game. You need it to be sharp and one that dulls very quickly. That way, you can deal with your game right when you've got it. 
  • Utility Knife
    A utility knife will help you in any situation that you find yourself in. You may need to cut brush, clothing, and more. You never want to be without a reliable utility knife while you’re in the wilderness. .

You can read our guide to the best knives for backpacking in this article.  

Basic First Aid  

A good, basic first aid kit is essential. You want to be able to deal with small injuries when they happen, so you don’t get an infection. This should include plenty of bandages, hand sanitizers, peroxide, itch cream, and more.  


A flashlight is always a good item to have with you. Even if you plan on being back before dark, you still need one. They're good to have in emergencies or other situations. You can even find special hunting flashlights that come with blood lights, making the blood stand out better. That way, you can more easily track your game. 

Range Finder

A range finder makes it easy to figure out where you are. If you’ve wandered off, they’re always great to have so that you can make it back to your stand easier. They’re compact and light, so you should take one. These tools help with telling how far the game is. 


These tools help give you an advantage- you can see a lot further than the animals you want to hunt. It’s sometimes challenging to see animals when they’re far away, making binoculars essential. You should make sure they work great for the time you plan on hunting. 



Water is the most essential item when it comes to your survival. You want to make sure that you always pack a lot of water. Many hunters bring a bladder water bottle or backpack, since it takes up a lot less space. You’ll always want to bring filters for multi-day trips. You never want to run out of water outdoors! 

You can read our guide on how to carry water while backpacking here.

Tree Hanger

Tree hangers make it easier to hold your gear with you while you're up in the tree. It's essential, since you can easily drop your bag otherwise- scaring away all of the game!  


These are especially useful if you want to stay out for multiple days. Although, you can still use them for emergencies on a single day trip. They also are a good way to help someone find you, if you happen to be hurt. In short, always have a fire starter with you. 

Shooting Sticks  

These tools make it easier to properly take your gun off and quickly shoot. They make it easier for you to hold your gun steady, making them a necessity for many people. You can also increase your hunting effectiveness when you use them correctly. There are plenty of options on the market today. 

Rubber Gloves  

When handling games, always make sure to wear a set of rubber gloves. You don’t want to interact with their blood barehanded- they can have various parasites and diseases. You might become really sick if you don’t wear these protective items. You should always make sure to take a few additional pairs with you. 

Haul Rope  

Haul rope is also a useful item for your backpack. Rope is an essential item to take with you into the wilderness, as it can serve a wide variety of purposes. First, it’s a great survival tool. Second, it makes it easier to bring your bag into the tree with you.  

Rain Gear  

Having an umbrella, poncho, or other rain gear is essential. You never really know when it’s going to rain during hunting season- you’d be very uncomfortable without the proper equipment. You’ll want to stay dry, so you can stay out for that much longer. You can also waterproof your backpack to avoid soaking the items you brought.


These lights are really light, so you have no reason not to bring one with you. You may need one to see in the dark or send out emergency signals. You want to make sure the lamp you get is powerful enough for others to see very far away. 

Trash Bags/Game Bags  

Additionally, you want to make sure you have a large bag on hand. These bags hold your game and are perfect for holding tons of meat. Game bags are better since they're much less likely to tear, but trash bags work in a pinch.  

Hand Warmers  

It gets pretty cold during hunting season. You want to make sure to stay warm! The best option is a pack of hand warmers. Bring more when you plan on staying out longer or overnight- they’re the best way to keep your fingers and toes warm. 

hunter in the forest wearing a backpack and hat

How To Pack Hunting Gear In Your Backpack  

Light & Cumbersome Items at The Bottom  

Any awkward items you don’t need to use as often should go at the bottom of your bag. You want these to be the things you don’t want to have to move out of the way to reach the rest of your stuff. These might be things like game bags or your shooting sticks. 

Heavy Items Close to The Frame  

Anything heavy you have needs to sit close to your back. If it’s too far away from you, it can cause a lot of unnecessary strain or even cause you to feel off balance. You don’t want to lose your footing while walking in an unfamiliar, wooded area. 

Learn more about internal and external frame backpacks here.

Frequently Used Items on Top  

The things you want to have the easiest access to include your flashlight and water. From there, you can choose what you use the most, then put it towards the top of your bag. You can also make use of the side pockets for your frequently used supplies and snacks.  

backpack next to hat and hiking boots

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are hunting backpacks made of?  

Most hunting backpacks are made from polyester. This material is light, durable, and can hold a ton of weight. It also is rain-proof and very long lasting. You can check out the different types of backpack materials on this page.

How much should my hunting pack weigh? 

You don't want your bag to exceed more than 20% of your total weight. So, that means a 150 pound person should have a bag weighing 30 pounds or under. A 250 person should have a bag weighing 50 pounds or under.  

What does a beginner hunter need?

You’ll want to bring everything that we mentioned on the list above. You can also choose to bring some additional supplies. At a minimum, make sure to take binoculars, water, snacks, and the proper clothing. 

What colors should you not wear when hunting?  

Always wear orange or another bright color. This is so other hunters can see you. You don’t want to wear earth tones, such as green. You also should never wear black or dark browns. Of course, most serious hunters will wear these earthy colors but for less experienced people, be safe and stick to bright clothing. 


Overall, knowing how to pack your hunting bag is essential. You’ll want to bring all of the proper equipment and plenty of supplies. That way, you can hunt comfortably without any risks. 

  • Updated November 8, 2021