7 Essential Pieces of Hunting Gear for Beginners in 2024

7 Essential Pieces of Hunting Gear for Beginners in 2024 - SilverAnt Outdoors

 Back in early November 2023, I visited my friend Ru in the UK. Time really flies! It's been seven years since we first met in Yangshuo while rock climbing and said goodbye when he returned to his homeland.

He has invited me to visit him many times, and finally, I had the chance to meet up with him.

Knowing my interest in British history, he took me to the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, and Hadrian's Wall.

During the last three days of my visit, we went hunting with his hunter friends.

Actually, this was the main reason for our get-together. In Hong Kong, you never get the chance to experience real hunting.

Even though everything was new to me, their guidance made my first hunting experience fascinating.

Because different game in various areas display different behaviors, this blog piece will focus on a common theme: essential gear you need to carry.

Here are the 7 key points:

  • Your Weapon

  • Tactical Backpack

  • Camouflage Clothing

  • Quality Boots and Socks

  • Pocket Knife

  • Emergency First Aid Kit

  • Hunting Accessories

If you're planning your first hunting trip in 2024, reading this blog piece will give you a good starting point.

Your Weapon

The first essential piece of gear is, of course, your weapon.

As a big fan of the British Long Bow, I had hoped to hunt a roe deer with it. However, mastering the bow requires skill and understanding of deer behavior.

Ru warned me that I might come back empty-handed, so I opted for a gun instead.

Since I don't have a firearms license, I chose an FX 12ft/lb air rifle. This gun suits me well because I remember playing balloon shooting games with less powerful air rifles when I was younger.

Others don't face this restriction. Most hunters carry the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon in 12 gauge.

I've tried it at a shooting club in Abu Dhabi during an exhibition; it's excellent, but the recoil of the 12 gauge is too strong for me. If given the choice, I'd prefer a 20 gauge.

I also noticed someone with a .270 Winchester rifle. They mentioned it's more accurate than a shotgun and strikes a good balance between a flat trajectory and manageable recoil.

Looking at my air rifle, I'm really curious to try a true rifle, but unfortunately, not this time.

Regardless of the firearm you choose, remember to get a case to transport and protect it, along with a cleaning kit specific to its caliber or gauge.

Regular cleaning after each day or weekend of use will help keep your hunting weapon in good condition for years to come.

Your Weapon - SilverAnt Outdoors

Tactical Backpack

Secondly, you'll need a backpack to carry all your hunting gear.

When choosing a backpack for hunting, the color is crucial for blending into nature. Black, brown, gray, or green are top choices to help you stay hidden.

Apart from color, selecting a tactical backpack is similar to choosing one for backpacking.

Firstly, it must be made from tough materials like heavy-duty nylon or Cordura, designed to endure rugged outdoor conditions and demanding hunting expeditions.

Next, it should feature multiple compartments, pockets, and MOLLE webbing (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) for attaching extra pouches or accessories, ensuring your gear stays organized and easily accessible.

Given the varied weather conditions encountered while hunting, a bag with water-resistant or waterproof materials and zippers is essential to keep your equipment dry and protected.

Comfort is crucial too. Look for a bag with padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a waist belt to evenly distribute weight and enhance comfort during extended treks in the field.

Additionally, consider features such as compatibility with hydration bladders, options for carrying a shotgun or rifle, and quick-access pockets for items you may need at a moment's notice.

Lastly, when it comes to size, unlike backpacking where you need to carry more gear, a smaller bag that still offers ample storage space is ideal for hunting adventures.

I personally use the 5.11 Tactical RUSH 24 Backpack, which combines all these features and fits my body size perfectly.

However, for hydration, instead of a bladder, I prefer using our military canteen set.

During the cold British winter, I like to have hot drinks. I use the canteen bottle to boil water, keeping me hydrated. And the cup comes in handy for making quick coffee or cooking food during breaks.

Moreover, the curved shape fits my waist comfortably without hindering my movement.

The military case also provides camouflage and keeps everything tightly secured, minimizing noise and preventing unwanted exposure.

Tactical Backpack - SilverAnt Outdoors

Camouflage Apparel

Next, let's talk about your hunting clothing.

From a seasoned hunter: Seriously, good hunting clothing can make or break your trip.

It doesn’t matter if you hunt in hot or cold conditions; having the right hunting clothing is crucial for staying comfortable and spending more time in the woods.

Cheap hunting clothes often mean poor quality, so you will need to invest more in this category than any other.

The clothing strategy for hunting is similar to backpacking with three layers: the Base Layer, the Insulating Layer, and the Outer Shell Layer.

The difference lies in the outer shell layer due to the need for camouflage and less noise.

Starting with the base layer, remember the golden rule of outdoor clothing: avoid cotton.

Cotton doesn't wick sweat away, so it keeps you hotter in hot conditions and colder in cold conditions.

So, aim to buy a good base layer made of merino wool, including underwear, a tight-fitting bottom, and a top.

The insulating layer is more flexible. While long-term goals should include wool, for now, sweatshirts and fleece jackets will work.

And when you start to sweat, strip down to your base layer. Add layers back on as you cool down.

For your outer layer, choose camouflage clothing that matches the natural surroundings.

Wear Woodland Patterns in wooded areas where trees and bushes still have foliage or have shed their leaves. Opt for Field Patterns in open fields where grass and low vegetation dominate.

Material is crucial too. Look for something water- and wind-resistant to trap body heat held by your insulation layers.

When it comes to fit, slightly larger sizes are better than too small. Air space helps retain heat better than tightly fitting clothes.

Additionally, avoid clothing that makes a lot of noise when you move. Noisy clothing is a big no-no in the woods.

Try on your gear in the store and move around to check for noise. What seems quiet indoors can be louder in the cold, quiet woods, so aim for the quietest option available.

And steer clear of anything with Velcro pockets—they can make unwanted noise and catch on vegetation.

However, proper camouflage clothing isn't enough. You also need good concealment skills to achieve a successful hunt.

Camouflage Apparel - SilverAnt Outdoors

High-Quality Boots and Socks

Furthermore, your boots and socks are just as important as your hunting clothing, so it's crucial not to cut corners on either.

During your hunting trip, you'll encounter plenty of muddy bogs and briars, so your boots must handle rough terrain and provide good ankle support.

Since most hunting occurs in colder weather, insulation is crucial. If you're hunting in early November like me, go for boots with at least 600 grams of insulation.

When choosing the size, like with hunting clothes, opt for a size larger than your normal street shoe size.

This allows room for multiple socks and keeps your toes comfortable. Tight boots can restrict circulation and make your feet colder faster, which can shorten your hunt.

For example, my friend Ru swears by his Rocky hunting boots for their durability and performance over many years.

Lastly, pack several pairs of socks to keep your feet warm and dry throughout your trip.

Like your base layer, avoid cotton socks and choose Merino wool ones instead.

High-Quality Boots and Socks - SilverAnt Outdoors

Hunting Knife

After getting your hunting clothes ready, the next essential is your hunting knife. It is crucial for cleaning the game, cutting rope, or notching hunting tags.

Some hunters prefer fixed blades for their larger blades, durability, and easy maintenance.

Others opt for folding knives because they are lightweight, easy to pack, and often come with multiple blade types.

However, there's no standard rule; just choose the type that works best for you.

Whether you choose a fixed or folding blade, a knife with a short blade (about 4 inches/10.16 cm) works great.

If your budget allows, a Damascus steel blade knife is a top choice. If not, consider knives with replaceable blades—they are ultralight, very sharp, don't need sharpening, and are affordable.

Hunting Knife - SilverAnt Outdoors

Emergency First Aid Kit

Next, there's your first aid kit. Whether you're hiking, backpacking, or bikepacking, a first aid kit is always essential.

Hunting has even more risks. Rugged terrains, slippery slopes, and fallen branches are just some of the hazards you might encounter in the woods.

Just like in the first hunt of mine, when I saw a deer approaching, I got cold feet, slipped, and hurt my wrist.

So, no matter where you're hunting or how experienced you are, always bring a basic first aid kit to address injuries like bruises, blisters, and minor cuts right away.

Especially remember to include gloves in your kit in case you need to field dress an animal. This helps prevent infections from diseases or parasites and keeps you clean.

If you're new to making your own first aid kit, check out the blog piece: "How to Make Your Own Backpacking First Aid Kit" for a better understanding.

Emergency First Aid Kit - SilverAnt Outdoors

Hunting Accessories

Finally, it’s your miscellaneous hunting gear. While they may not seem as crucial as your weapon, don't overlook any of them.

The first one is your navigation tool. Every year, thousands of people get lost in the woods.

To prevent this from happening to you, it's crucial to know where you've been, where you're heading, and what terrain lies ahead.

Traditionally, hunters have used maps and compasses for navigation. If you're unfamiliar with them, don't worry. GPS equipment and apps are available to help you navigate effectively.

Also, remember to bring a headlamp for early morning or late evening use. It's essential to avoid being caught in the dark, and a hands-free headlamp is far more convenient than a flashlight, as I've mentioned before.

Then, it's handy to carry a short length of rope or paracord in your backpack. You can use it to drag a deer out of the woods or safely haul your unloaded firearm up into your tree stand.

And one of the most underrated items for beginners is Scent Killer.

No matter how well you conceal yourself, your scent can still give you away. But scent killer will help mask odors on your clothes and other hunting gear.

Next, you'll want a reliable pair of binoculars to assess your target and the surrounding area before taking a shot.

When selecting hunting binoculars, consider the magnification power you need balanced with the weight you're comfortable carrying.

Options range from compact 8x32 to larger 15x56 binoculars, depending on your preferences. Accessories like a binocular harness are also worth considering for convenience.

Lastly, trail cameras are essential. They allow you to gather information about your prey without constantly disturbing their habitat, which is especially beneficial for beginners.

Additionally, they save you from having to approach the game and possibly panicking when you realize they're bigger and sturdier than expected or seen in videos.

Using trail cameras, you can set them up along paths to observe your prey's activity patterns and monitor their movements. Place them near food sources to determine if the animal visits those areas regularly.

With this information, you can plan and execute a more effective ambush when the time comes to harvest your target animal.

Now, you're equipped with all the essentials for a successful hunt.

Hunting Accessories - SilverAnt Outdoors


In conclusion, hunting adventures bring more challenges compared to hiking or backpacking trips, but they also connect you deeply with the harmony of nature.

If you're a beginner like me, starting with the right gear can make your trip much smoother: a reliable and suitable weapon for safe shooting, a durable and versatile backpack to hold all your hunting gear, camouflage clothing to blend into nature, and quality boots and socks for safe and comfortable walking.

A pocket knife for various tasks and a first aid kit to handle emergencies are essential. Additionally, hunting accessories like GPS, scent killer, or trail cameras complement your gear.

These hunting essentials aren’t just items—they're tools that enhance your experience. As you gain more hunting experience, customize your gear to suit your needs.

Remember, hunting isn't just about the catch—it's about the memories you create, the challenges you overcome, and the connection you forge with nature.

Lastly, to enhance your overall hunting adventure, don’t forget to check our durable titanium stoves, hip flasks, cutlery, and more.

Have you ever been hunting? What's on your hunting gear list? Feel free to share in the comments below.

To your next adventure


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