A Good Checklist is a Key to a Great Hunting Trip

Written by: George Wakeman

Making sure you bring the right gear can be vital to the success of a hunting trip.
Photo by George Wakeman

Note from Reid Bryant: The following submission to the Orvis Hunting Blog comes from friend and customer George Wakeman, who is an avid upland and big-game hunter. Though each hunter has a unique perspective on necessary or must-pack items, a good checklist catered to individual needs and destination requirements is a comfort. See the checklist George uses below, copy, paste, and modify. You may find that the resulting checklist will save you the headaches of overlooked or forgotten gear.

If you’re anything like me, you hate being on a hunting trip and discovering that you have forgotten to pack some necessary item. At best, you may have to spend money to buy a duplicate of something you already own, while at worst, the absence of that item may ruin, or significantly impair, your hunting trip. An overlooked or forgotten item may lead to a hunter being too cold, too hot, having blistered or wet feet, , getting soaked by rain, or even finding him/herself unable to hunt.

After several decades (more than I care to admit) of having suffered those types of experiences, I have developed (and continuously refined) a checklist that I use during the packing and preparation process before leaving for a trip. As some of my trips involve bird hunting with my dog(s), and some involve big game hunting, the list is more of a comprehensive “universal” checklist. I cross items out as I assemble and pack my gear, and some items may get crossed out before even beginning (for example, game bags are crossed out before beginning to pack for a bird hunting trip). With the full knowledge and admission that my list may undoubtedly be added to and improved on, or at least “customized” to meet individual needs, I share it here for your consideration and use. Happy hunting!

I. Clothing

▢ Boots (rubber, Muck, leather)
▢ Hats (visor, stocking)
▢ Jacket
▢ Rain gear
▢ Hunting pants
▢ Hunting shirt
▢ Chaps
▢ Gloves
▢ Mittens
▢ Socks
▢ Underwear
▢ Polypropylene/silk/wool underwear/t-shirts
▢ Undershirts (silk, polypro, wool)
▢ Orange vest
▢ Neck gaiter
▢ HOT Hands/foot warmers

II. General Equipment

▢ Hunting license
▢ Hunter Ed Certificate (copy)
▢ Shooting glasses
▢ Microfiber glass cleaning cloth
▢ Ear protection
▢ Bird vest
▢ Ammo
▢ Gun(s)
▢ Gun case (hard)
▢ Gun case (soft) or sleeve
▢ Leatherman and sheath
▢ Knife
▢ Whetstone
▢ Gun-cleaning kit
▢ Silicone gun cloths
▢ Binoculars
▢ Rangefinder
▢ SPOT 3
▢ Extra batteries
▢ Spotting scope
▢ Shooting sticks/bipod
▢ Cooler (including soft)
▢ Compass
▢ Backpack
▢ Thermos
▢ Headlamp/Flashlight
▢ Game bags
▢ Bone saw
▢ Heavy rubber gloves
▢ Black pepper
▢ Citric acid
▢ Bug repellant
▢ High-back chair

III. Dog Equipment

▢ Leash
▢ Dog food
▢ High quality food
▢ Dog meds (Nexgard, Heartgard, Cosequin)
▢ Glycocharge
▢ Funnel
▢ Dog bowl
▢ Dog snacks
▢ Dog whistle
▢ Collars (bell, electric)
▢ Electric collar charger
▢ Chest protector
▢ Booties
▢ Water bottle
▢ Mist bottle

IV. Medical Equipment

▢ First Aid (pain relief, eye ointment, EMT Gel)
▢ Hemostat
▢ Saline solution
▢ Fork
▢ Athletic gauze
▢ Duct tape
▢ Leatherman pliers
▢ Dawn dishwashing liquid
▢ Hydrogen peroxide
▢ Baking soda
▢ Rubbing alcohol
▢ Benadryl
▢ Rope
▢ HUMAN First aid kit
▢ Athletic flex tape
▢ Large plastic garbage bag
▢ Soft muzzle


▢ iPhone w/charger
▢ Shaving kit
▢ Advil/Aleve
▢ Ankle brace
▢ Eyeglasses
▢ Extra contact lenses
▢ Money
▢ Airline tickets
▢ Passport
▢ Hunting license
▢ Headphones
▢ Energy food (e.g., power bars, Lara bars, honey wafers)
▢ Biodegradable toilet paper
▢ Hand cleaner
▢ Electrolyte drink packets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *