After doing inventory on the contents of my hunting pack, I am again reminded why hunters generate billions of dollars for the economy.  I have more stuff than I need and not as much stuff as I want, but it can all come in handy one day so I have it. This is what I carry just to bowhunt whitetails out of a tree stand.

For starters, I like to have a backpack hanging in my tree with me. Much like a purse for the ladies, I keep everything in or on my pack. I especially like outside pockets that can hold my quiver of arrows so I can keep them out of my way. I also enjoy easy-to-get-to pockets so I don’t have to dig in my pack when I am supposed to be quietly hunting.

When I begin hunting in the morning, I grab my gloves, facemask, release and scent spray out of some outside pockets.  After I settle in, I like to make sure my deer calls, water bottle and snacks are available and easy to reach. I usually hang my binoculars on my screw-in bow holder. I also like to have Chapstick, wind direction powder and a camera handy via an outside pocket.

During the day, I may or may not need hand warmers, extra water and snacks, rangefinder, rain jacket, a book, my phone (on silent mode), a few different knives, surgical gloves, tag and licenses, GPS, Leatherman tool, matches, extra rope and 550 cord, Band-Aids, flashlights, headlamp, Ziplock baggies, an  extra arrow release, limb saw, lens cleaner for my glasses and optics, a pee bottle, compass, and a small tarp to drag or skin my deer in.

I am sure that nobody needs that much stuff, but I like to be comfortable in case I feel the need to sit in my stand all day long, which is rare.

On a whim, I decided to add up the replacement value of everything in my pack and it came out to a staggering $2800.00.  I am pretty sure that nobody needs almost 3000 dollars’ worth of stuff just to go sit in a tree stand, so I plead guilty to being seduced by endless outdoor product catalogs and TV shows.

If you hunt out of a tree stand, I hope you don’t carry as much junk as I do.