Although most of us go hunting for thrill and fan that comes with it, it is advisable to go prepared for anything in the woods. You also need to be prepared for anything should the worst happen. Check out the best survival backpacks for everything you need to take. Hunters get lost in the woods all the time with many coming out chilled, hungry, and extremely tired. You, however, should never underestimate the woods while hunting, one of the reasons we have compiled a list of precautions to take should you be forced to stay in the woods longer than anticipated.
1. Have an idea of the hunting spot: As a rule of thumb, it is good to be aware of prominent points, creek drainages, and rivers in the surroundings even when hunting in a new area. The best way to know your surroundings is by turning back occasionally to see how it looks like, as well as leaving markers at intersections whenever necessary. The markers will help you find your way back later on (or in the dark).
2. Take a map and compass with you: Although cell phones, two-way radios, and GPS may come in handy in a hunting expedition, these devices are utterly useless when they run out of charge. That said, it wouldn’t be wise to rely on these for navigation. Bring a map and compass with you in case the worst happens.
3. Let someone know you are going hunting: Many are the times when a hunter will be out longer than expected. This mostly happens if you are pursuing big game animals, as well as when lost. Letting someone you can trust know that you are heading out (hunting), and giving them a deadline on when to be concerned if you aren’t back, is always recommended. Let him/her inform the authorities if you aren’t back or contacted them after the agreed time.
4. Watch out for your hunting partner: It’s easy to get separated with your partner in the woods. You, however, need to set up a place and time when you should meet. If you or him/her do not show up at the said time and place, either of you should seek help or have a third party do so.
5. Be mindful of the weather: Visibility can change from good to worse within a matter of minutes if there’s rain or snow. Watching out for rain, snow, or foggy weather will help you make the right decisions in the woods.
6. Avoid cotton clothing: Cotton is the worst fabric to be in in the woods, and especially if it gets wet. Expert hunters recommend wearing denim jeans, or even better, synthetic and breathable fabrics when going in the woods. This type of clothing is particularly comfortable in almost any weather. Woollen clothes would come in handy too.
7. Have a fire-starting kit on you: Always have a fire-starting equipment on you all the time. Bring two if possible; this can be a lighter, matches, or tinder. You also need to know how to start a fire with the kit available.
8. Bring extra batteries and a headlamp: You will need the lamp at night or when trying to navigate in the evening.
9. Shelter, warmth, and water always come first: While food may seem important, you will need some warmth, water, and shelter should you get lost. This, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry extra food for the trip.
10. Be prepared for bad weather: Temperatures in the woods, and especially in fall can be quite erratic. It could be warm and sunny one minute, only for heavy snow to fall the next. That said, you always have to be prepared for such when out hunting or camping. Bring heavy clothing with you, as well as a light insulated jacket and a waterproof shell for everything else. These will help keep you warm should it start snowing or raining.
11. Don’t focus on commercial survival kits, but instead what you need for the trip: Most of these kits are overkill and rarely needed out there. You, however, should have an idea of exactly what will be required when you are out in the woods alone, and make them a priority.
12. Bring a survival kit for your vehicle: You might encounter some difficulties with your car when in the woods as well. You will need some spare tires, and something to crack the engine, should the battery run dry. Most of these kits for the vehicle don’t take much space in the trunk.
13. Be ready to camp out if lost: As mentioned earlier, hunters get lost in the woods all the time. If you can seem to find your way back or out of the woods, set up camp and build a fire for warmth. Try to relax to recount your steps.
14. Pack any medication you might need: This is particularly crucial for those suffering from a chronic condition. Let your hunting partners know of your health as well, and where the medication is. They will be in a better position to help you when needed.
15. Have a set of dry clothes in the vehicle: There are times when you’ll come back soggy and all wet. Having a fresh set of clothes in the car can save you a big deal on your way back.