A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Couch to Deer Camp: Hunter survival must-haves

Being prepared can help ensure your hunting season is memorable – in a good way.

Pack for survival

Hunters get lost. Health issues or emergencies happen. Weather changes.

These situations require you to think about what’s in your pack and on your back.

“You’ll be better prepared to handle unplanned or emergency situations if you think ahead and pack accordingly,” said Dr. Laurel Rudolph, a Marshfield Clinic sports medicine physician and avid hunter. “Consider how far away you’ll be from your vehicle and always tell your spouse or family members your hunting location. Be as specific as you can.”

Hunting survival necessities

Must-have survival items for your day in the woods include:

  • Full water bottle
  • Nutritious snacks
  • Gutting knife with a gut hook for safety
  • Gutting gloves to help prevent hand and finger cuts
  • Hearing plugs or muffs to minimize firing noise

10 items for a hunting survival kit

Here are 10 other handy-to-have items should your deer hunting time in the woods turn into an unplanned adventure:

  • Small first aid kit – for cuts, scrapes and minor mishaps
  • Compass, map or GPS
  • Flashlight or hands-free light – because it’s dark in early morning and by late afternoon
  • Whistle – for keeping connected with your hunting party
  • Hand sanitizer – for handling hunting snacks
  • Small mirror – for signaling location
  • Blaze orange flagging tape – to mark your path when tracking
  • Space blanket
  • Strike-anywhere or waterproof matches
  • Fire starter materials, like dry cotton balls with petroleum jelly

Layer up

By wearing a combination of clothes you can regulate your body temperature to help yourself stay warm and dry.

Protect fingers and toes from frost nip. Take advantage of hand and foot warmer technology and layer up with mittens and socks.

Careful planning and packing can help ensure your hunt is the best it can be.

What must-haves do you include in your deer hunting survival kit?

You can do this.

Couch to deer camp provides health information and is not intended to be medical advice. Talk with your doctor prior to beginning a program of regular physical activity.

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