What’s in my hunting kit bag? It’s a question hunters are often asked as we try to whittle down our accessories to just the essentials. ELEY UK’s outdoors expert, Mick Garvey, gives his insight into the kit he carries when out in the field and why.
“Following a recent break in the Lake District … well a shooting break with a few days doing the touristy thing thrown in … I took a serious look at what I carry with me … what’s necessary and what can be left out.
I generally have two methods of shooting; an ambush style and stalking. The ambush method can see me with a rucksack full to the brim with everything including the kitchen sink. This is easily accommodated as I will be stationary in the hide and there is no call to carry the kit far. My favoured stalking kit is a different story altogether. I use a small stuff sack, the sort that can be bought at any sports shop, and carry only what I consider to be the essentials.
- The thermal spotter is a must for both day and night shooting as it can identify the quarry from way out beyond the capability of your eyesight. I also pack a spare battery.
- A range finder in case of re-zero due to a knock or to check the distance of a shot.
- Targets and sticky tape for zero checking. This is as well as silver reflective tape for thermal and digital night vision zero checking.
- My favourite Ganzo prepping knife goes with me everywhere as does the leatherman multi-tool.
- A headlamp for night time searching and to assist with photos from my mobile phone. Of course, this is something no-one should go shooting without … think emergencies! A good friend of mine fell and broke his leg while out foxing, he’d forgotten his phone and had to crawl back to his Land Rover … avoid this scenario at all costs.
6. Loose leaf headset for that ultimate concealment teamed up with gloves. Flashes of white flesh alerts your quarry to your presence so cover up … subterfuge is key!
7. Latex gloves not only for skinning and prepping but for carrying varmint. The scent is another thing to avoid coming into contact with… it will stay with you for days.
8. A basic first aid kit. I have personally torn my calf muscle on a barbed wire fence which eventually required several stitches but the doctor complimented me on a fine field dressing job on the wound … so be careful out there.
10. My hunting notes are another item I take everywhere, including to work. Just in case an idea comes to mind while on the day job.
Everything stashes away nicely in the stuff sack and is easy to transport through the fields of woods. The shoulder straps have a thicker diameter so it doesn’t feel as though you’re being cut in two. Once on your back, it leaves both hands free to shoulder the gun and scan the area with the spotter.
The only thing I’ve not included here is food and a drink but that depends on how long you are going for. In the summer months always take plenty of fluids. For instance, at least two bottles of water, a sandwich or similar and some fruit.
I’ve been out for anything up to 16 hours, and carrying the stuff sack isn’t an issue at all.”