So you’re a new hunter looking to conquer the great outdoors. That’s great but you can’t just tromp into the woods unprepared and uninformed and expect to be successful. You need knowledge, insight, and just a touch of luck.
With this series we’ll present you with the best information to get you started in the world of hunting. And for those of you with a few seasons already under your belt, maybe we can give you a refresher on The Basics.
You can accomplish a lot on a hunting trip without all the latest and greatest gear, but there are a few essentials that every outdoorsman needs in his bag. Here we’ll help you get outfitted with the tools that make your trip easier and may even save you life.
1) A Compass
A solid, dependable compass has helped many lost travelers find their way home. Any time you travel off the beaten path, you should have one of these with you. And with several size options, there is no reason to be without one. Even if you don’t have a map to go along with it, a compass can help you determine what course you need to take to get home when all the barren oaks start to look the same
2) A Knife
Fixed or folding, serrated or smooth, having a sharp knife with you will make your life in the woods much easier. Use it to clear away pesky twigs for a clear shooting lane. Use it to field dress your downed game. Use it to cut your drag rope. Use it, use it, use it.
3) A Fire Kit
Things can go wrong. You can get lost. You can get hurt. Be prepared to spend a night in the woods in the worst conditions. Lighters can fail in frigid temperatures or windy conditions. Fire flints work well and are easy to pack, though sometimes it’s difficult to find dry enough kindling to start your blaze. Sometimes, you gotta go old school. Water proof matches.
If you don’t feel like carrying a whole box of water proof matches, you can make your own water tight container out of old film roll tubes. Simply, take a few matches and place them head down in the tube, you may need to trim the stick to fit. Next, head to your drier and grab some lint. Yes, that fuzzy stuff you throw away has a use. It burns! Stuff your lint in the tube. Then grab your box of kitchen matches and cut off a piece of the striker large enough to fold around the head of a match. You can either tuck this into the roll, or size it down to fit on the inside of the cap and glue it in place. You now have a quick fire starter that is easy to pack and won’t let you down in rough conditions.
There are plenty of survial tools on the market, but with these few essentials you’ll be able to face almost anything the woods can throw at you. These few, light items could be the difference between life and death. Never leave camp without them.
Next time on The Basics, all the specialized toys and lures and gizmos you just can’t resist.