If you work with tools, a daypack should be like your workbench.  If you work with computers, as I do, it’s more like a desktop.  A daypack should have the gear that you need and stored in such a way that you can find it easily and quickly.

Insurance Policy

Quality daypacks like this Horn Hunter have dedicated pockets to keep gear organized.

A daypack is mandatory for adventure hunts, yet can come in very handy on hunts around your home.  I’m an avid crossbow hunter and always worry about forgetting my cocking rope.  In my younger days I can remember hunting elk in distant mountains only to discover that I’d left my release in camp.  What could have been a successful elk hunt instantly became a hiking trip.  Carry extra ammo, release, or cocking rope in a dedicated pocket for peace of mind.

Organization is Key

I just returned from an elk hunt in Western Colorado between 8500 and 9000 feet elevation.  In such country, the weather can change in minutes and navigation is a challenge in dense forests and steep terrain.  In such places, your daypack is your lifeline and should carry the gear necessary for effective hunting and critical gear in case of emergency.

A guided hunt is an awesome experience. It often means seeing a new area for the first time, and sometimes hunting a new species for the first time. One of the most common questions we receive from our guided hunters is what they are responsible to bring.

We send a checklist to each of our hunters before their trip. The needs of a hunter on an antelope hunt from town are of course much different than hunting elk or mule deer from a remote mountain camp.

While packing lists can vary considerably, there are some general things to think about on any guided hunting trip in the west. Here are a few tips to consider:

The Guided Hunter’s Daypack: What (and What Not) to Bring