Hunting Equipment and Gear Checklist: From Thermal Scopes to Wind Direction Checker

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hunter, there is always the thrill of going on a hunt. With so many things to consider, making sure that you are prepared is the thing that will determine whether you have a successful hunt or not.

Before you go hunting, you will need to check whether you have everything you need. In this article, we look at the hunting equipment and gear you need to have in your checklist.

Hunting Equipment and Gear Checklist

Naturally, there are some things that you will not forget, such as the hunting license, and rifle. However, some things can go unnoticed until when you need to use them. Here are the hunting gear and equipment you need to check off on your hunting list:

Thermal Scopes

Using thermal scopes is one of the best ways that you can change how you hunt and stalk prey. A thermal scope is a sighting device that combines an aiming reticle, and a compact thermographic camera. They can be mounted on rifles and smaller firearms.

They detect thermal patterns and pick up heat signatures generated by animals and humans alike. If you somewhere night hunting is allowed, ensure to know which animals can be hunted. Before making a purchase, ensure that you go through this thermal night vision scope brand analysis.

Scent Reducing Products

You will need to practice how you will undertake odor control and scent masking to improve your hunting skills. There are many ways of masking scent, right from using eliminating sprays, scent blocking clothes, and more.

This will not only help you in stalking prey, but it will also keep you safe from predators that could be out hunting. Other than using scent blocking products, bathing is one of the ways to ensure that body odor does not overpower your hunting clothes. However, you should use scent-free shampoos and soaps.

In addition, ensure that you seal your hunting clothes and keep them away from the fragrance of detergent and fabric softeners.


Binoculars give the hunter the ability to scout the landscape for your prey. Even experienced hunters use binoculars to spot prey they could have otherwise missed. However, most hunters often decide to forego the binoculars since they have a scope on their rifles.

While the scopes will provide a decent level of magnification, binoculars often outperform them in terms of low-light visibility and clarity. This is because they are bigger and have a larger objective lens, which allows in more light. They will also come in handy when estimating the distance between you and the prey.

Head Lamp

Sometimes the hunting goes on for hours, and dusk comes before you take down the prey. However, we are emphasizing on headlamps and not flashlights. They are better because they leave your hands free to carry your gun, among other things.

However, not all headlamps are suitable for hunting. We recommend that you get a headlamp that has a green or red light since this type of light does not spook animals.

Range Finder

A range finder is a device used to measure the distance between you and the prey. When shopping for one, ensure that you take note of how far it can see clearly. However, the range depends on the hunting you practice.

You will also need to take note of the magnification. However, a high magnification makes the range finder more challenging to keep steady. When going hunting, ensure to carry a laser range finder, which makes stabilization easier.

Gutting or Skinning Knives

Before you leave for the hunt, ensure that you have excellent and sharp knives for skinning and gutting your kill. However, an ordinary knife will not do. You need a combo set that has a gut hook and a fillet knife. On top of this, you need to pack a wet stone or file to keep your knives sharp.

Wind Direction Checker

Staying downwind is one of the rules that hunters must follow. If your prey catches your scent, then they will run away, or they will charge at you. But how do you know if you are up or downwind? A wind direction checker will help you tell where the wind is blowing to even when the conditions seem calm.

A wind direction checker is a pocket-sized squeeze bottle filled with dust. You only need to apply a little pressure on the bottle, and the dust will indicate the direction in which the wind is blowing.

Ladder Stand Tools

Putting a ladder stand is one of the most annoying things in a hunting trip if you get it wrong. A ladder stand is a platform that has a contoured rear section that partially fits the tree.

The ladders are attached to the trees via ropes, ratchet straps, chains, or cam buckle straps. The tools act as the stakes for the ladder stand’s legs. In addition, the tools make the ladder stand safer.

Food and Water

Even if you are hunting for a day, you will need sustenance as you wait on your ladder or tree stand. For this reason, you will need clean drinking water and food or snacks. However, ensure to carry the water in re-useable bottles not in plastic bottles to avoid littering.

For food, carry light and snacks with the essential nutrients. We recommend that you stock up on trail mix or beef jerky. In addition, you cannot rely on eating the meat that you shoot, since open fires are discouraged to avoid starting forest fires.


Advancement in technology has made it easy to know where we are when hunting out in the wild. With tools such as Google Maps and GPS, you have the map of the world in your hands. However, it is always good to have a physical map in the case that you are in a place with poor mobile connectivity, or the smartphone loses power. Moreover, you could be caught in a storm, and the smartphone gets water damage.


Hunting is not an easy task, irrespective of the experience. With the above checklist, you are sure to carry all the necessary hunting equipment and gear. Good luck with your hunting adventure!

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.