The leaves are turning color and you know deer season is nearly here. Just like anybody else, deer hunters, even those with lots of experience, can benefit from a checklist! You sure don’t want to get caught in the woods without that flashlight, fresh batteries, or your favorite field dressing knife. Worse still would be sitting in a tree stand cold, hungry, thirsty, or wet because you didn’t double check your backpack supplies.

We can’t overstate the importance of preparation and organization to the success of your hunt. After you’ve gotten your hunting license, scouted your area, and set up your tree stand or blind, turn to this suggested list of essentials to help keep your hunting trip smooth, comfortable, and successful.

Load your backpack with these necessities—of course, some depend on the weather at your location or whether you’re talking early or late hunting season:

For Success

  • Field wipes to eliminate human scent Mini saw
  • Batteries for game camera
  • Deer call
  • Scent attractant
  • Rattle bag
  • Binoculars
  • Rangefinder
  • Folding knife
  • Ammo
  • Field dressing kit and gloves
  • Field dressing knife
  • Deer tags with tie
  • Deer drag rope

For Safety

  • Tick spray
  • Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone/GPS/walkie talkie

For Comfort

  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Knit cap
  • Two pairs of gloves (always two!)
  • Facemask
  • Packable rain gear

For Sustenance

  • Thermos of hot beverage
  • Large bottle of water
  • Snacks

There’s no question that your hunt has a greater chance of success if you’re comfortable and prepared. There’s nothing worse than having to cut your outing short because of one crucial, forgotten item. Go ahead and tweak the list we’ve compiled to make it your own! Then save a copy for next year knowing that no matter what happens you’ll be prepared.