For many of hunters, a tree stand is home for the fall and winter. While sitting in the still of the woods waiting for the right opportunity, make sure you’ve got a pack to keep you safe and provide a little comfort.
You can buy a heavy and expensive pack to take into your stand, but this isn’t an overnight or big overland trek. A smaller light hunting pack should suffice to get you to your stand and carry the gear you need in the stand. Look for a pack with multiple pockets for your different supplies and one that can carry any extra layers you add or subtract during your sit.
Depending on the weather, you’ll want to carry or wear extra layers into the stand. Most fall mornings will be cold and the evenings will begin to cool as well. Sitting in a stand lends to getting cold and cold will make you miserable. The first hour of sitting may feel fine as your blood and body temp are still warm due to walking to the stand. After that first hour, everything begins to chill. An extra jacket to put on or even an extra jacket to lay across your legs could provide the comfort you want.
Be sure you’ve got a good pair of gloves and a knit hat to cover your ears. A hooded jacket can also provide extra warmth for your neck on a cold and breezy morning. There’s no reason to be uncomfortable when trying to enjoy your hunt.
A good pack and stand kit will include essentials like a flash light, hat light, rope/cord, knife, multi-tool and first aid kit. You’ll need good light for walking in or out in the dark and a good hat light can help tracking blood after you take a shot. Keep an extra set of batteries in your pack as well. Bright marking tape is a plus when you’re tracking into the woods and need to know your way out.
While in the stand, have a pair of binoculars handy. You can get a good view of your field of fire and when a deer presents itself, you can easily identify the quality and gender. From a distance, it’s easy to be fooled by size.
Make sure you’ve got a good knife to field dress your kill. Rope or cord can be used to help remove your kill or to raise/lower equipment when needed. Having a multi-tool handy never hurts. It always seems like you need one whenever you don’t have one.
A simple first aid kit is a must. Be safe. You may have done this a thousand times, but always put safety first when hunting.
A small side arm can also be carried in your pack. You’re not the only predator in the woods. Having something that is at a quick reach and makes a big noise can scare off unwanted friends.
A couple bottles of water and some packaged snacks can keep you hydrated and ward off hunger. Anything that’s packaged can stay in your pack for the season. Beef jerky, packaged links and some Toast-Chee crackers make for a pretty solid meal.
Once you get a good pack ready, you can just grab it and go whenever you’re ready for a stand hunt. After each hunt, check your supplies, make sure you’ve got good batteries, hang up your pack and relax until your next hunt.