After hanging out in duck blinds, duck camps, and around other duck hunters for many seasons, I cannot begin to count the endless amount of gadgets that hunters deem “essential” to their load out. Among the items I’ve witnessed are batteries, chargers, remotes, and even an old goose flute that doubles as a lucky charm. Don’t get me wrong, I love my share of gadgets and even prefer to add a few to my spread each season. But for me, some items weigh me down and create much more work than they should.
The items in this list are not only practical and useful, but they will get me through just about any circumstance I find myself in while hunting. By packing only what is on this list, with the exception of calls and shotgun shells, you can be sure you are covered in a pinch all while keeping your blind bag less bulky.
A reliable and high powered headlamp is essential when it comes to waterfowl hunting. If you can get your hands on one that fits your head, holds its charge, and is high powered, it will pay dividends. For years I packed around an old heavy mag light. It did its job, but being able to set a decoy spread or brush a blind is much easier without a flash light in your hand.
We love this headlamp because it is durable, rechargeable, and shines very bright. Click the image to check current pricing on Amazon.
A light weight multi-tool is also a handy piece of equipment to have in your blind bag. Be sure that the tool includes a sharp knife, a small saw, and a bottle opener for celebratory cocktails after a good mallard shoot. This tool will be helpful when cutting small branches to add to the blind or even cutting up your morning breakfast. Whatever its use, keep the tool’s size to a minimum so it doesn’t take up to much space in your blind bag.
A waterproof box just might save you the cost of a new phone or other gadget that shouldn’t get wet. The waterproof container doesn’t have to be large, just big enough to fit your phone, some spare batteries, and maybe a GPS that isn’t 100% waterproof. This item is typically a little more bulky, but it will certainly save your equipment from getting damaged. It will also provide you with peace of mind when you trip over a log and fill your waders and drop your blind bag in the water. We’ve all been there whether we want to admit it or not.
We think this is the perfect sized waterproof box for a blind bag. It has saved us countless times in the marsh. Click the image to check current pricing on Amazon.
Zipties are one of the cheapest but yet most useful items you can have in your blind bag. Need to brush a blind? Zipties. Need to temporarily fix a boat motor? Zipties. Need to string a decoy rig? Zipties. They come in handy in many situations, so don’t leave the house without a dozen or two of them. They are lightweight and will certainly be useful throughout the season.
A gun malfunction during a hunt can be frustrating and even cause you to miss shooting into the best group of the day. Rem oil is an easy fix to many shotgun problems and is lightweight and easy to use. It comes in small spray bottles or wipes, which are both easy to apply to your gun. Your buddies, including your retriever, will thank you for carrying rem oil along in your blind bag.
A charging block comes in useful when you are using your phone for navigation, filming your hunts, or have a shock collar on your retriever. If one of these items starts to die, which happens often in the cold weather, you can rely on this power source to help get you through the rest of your hunt. They make relatively small and high powered charging blocks that fit perfectly in a blind bag. Adding one of these to your load out will be helpful, just don’t forget to charge it before heading out!
This charging block rocks! It is small, durable, and fits perfectly in my blind bag. Click the image to check pricing on Amazon.
First aid kit
Whether you hunt solo, with a group, or with a dog, a first aid kit just may save the day. Up until recently, I did not carry any first aid supplies with me. You do not have to carry enough equipment for open heart surgery, but a few items like tweezers, gauze, and a small tourniquet can be extremely helpful. Also, stuffing some extra toilet paper in your first aid kit can help you out when the morning coffee hits you.
Don’t get me wrong, I love filling my blind bag full of things. They can be fun to mess around with when the hunting is slow and they strike conversation among your blind partners. But for someone who hunts public ground from time to time, only taking the necessities is crucial. Next time you think about putting something in your blind bag ask yourself, “Am I really going to use this?”. If the answer is “no chance” or “maybe”, then leave it behind so you don’t weigh you and your hunting buddies down.
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