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Hunting Checklist

First Hunting Experience? Try our Checklist!

Recently, outdoor365.ca was contacted by a frequent visitor to our site informing us that they just went hunting for the first time. It got us thinking about our first hunts and how it can save a ton of time having a checklist to make sure you have all the hunting gear that you need before you head out. It is never a fun experience driving for hours to the middle of a field, only to discover that you forgot your safety harness for the tree stand, or another crucial piece of equipment.

So, in remembrance of our first hunts, and for assisting those who are about to go on their first, we compiled this list of hunting gear.

Hunting Equipment Checklist

  • Identification and Documentation
  • Passport (if hunting in another country)
  • Drivers License
  • Firearms Declaration (if hunting in another country) or Gun License
  • Hunting Licenses and Animal Tags (if required in your area)

Navigation

  • Compass or GPS device
  • Reflective Thumb Tacks or Trail Ribbon
  • Topo / Aerial Map

Scents / Calls

  • Calls for whatever game / season you are hunting
  • Scent free clothing and hunting equipment spray
  • Bug Spray (unscented or dirt scent)
  • Scent wicks or spray scents / attractants

Clothing

  • Boots (depending on the terrain and weather you are hunting in, you may need rubber / winter/ or leather)
  • Warm socks (good to double up with thin socks to avoid blisters)
  • Gloves: Pair of leather camp / work gloves; at least 2 pair of hunting camo gloves (they can get wet and take a while to dry out); and
  • Rain Gear
  • Camo Clothing (depending on your area, you may also need to wear blaze orange gear…check your local laws)
  • Day Pack or back pack
  • Hand and Toe warmers

Hunting Equipment

  • Gun / Bow
  • Ammo (It’s kind of hard to hunt without it!)
  • Gun Sling, bi-pods or shooting sticks (for stability)
  • Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Trail Camera

Stand / Blind

  • Tree Stand or Ground Blind
  • Tree pegs (if your tree isn’t already pegged)
  • Climbing sticks
  • Safety Straps and harness
  • Tow line (to get your equipment into the tree)

Harvesting

  • Skinning knife
  • Trail Mark Tape (in case you need to track your animal)
  • Drag strap  / winch
  • String / Zip Tie to tag carcass
  • Cheese cloth bags
  • garbage bags
  • Utility Saw for Bone
  • Back Pack with a frame to carry out the meat

Safety

  • Matches
  • Heat / emergency blanket
  • Whistle
  • Sun Screen
  • High Energy Bars (great for protein and easy to carry around)
  • First Aid Kit

This list is by no means exhaustive; your personal list will vary. But it will definitely give you a good handle on things to bring for your trip. If you have something that you would like to add to this list, feel free to contact us and we will add it to this page. It is a great idea to go with someone who has hunted previously as they will no doubt have insight to the area you are hunting, as well as the gear required for the region. Go out, enjoy your beautiful surroundings, and have fun!

How to Store Food

Long Term Food Storage: The Basics

Have you wondered how you can effectively store food, and what foods are the best to store? it is always a good idea to have an extra stash of food around, in case of any prolonged period of time when there is no power, or some type of natural disaster that limits your options as far as food supplies are concerned. Luckily, with the advent of mega-supermarkets, families across north America have take to buying in bulk and already have the resources available for long term food storage. Most foods can be stored effectively for months, even years, depending on the type of food, how it is stored and how it is preserved.

What types of food can I store?
Most foods can be kept for long periods of time as long as it is preserved properly. The usual foods that are kept in an “emergency supply” are: water; cereals or grains, cooking oil, dried milk, spices, chocolate (or other “non-perishable” comfort foods)dried beans (including lentils), canned fish, canned meats, canned and jarred fruits and vegetables (or frozen/freeze-dried/dehydrated fruits and vegetables.) As long as most foods are preserved properly, they can be kept for emergencies.

Where should I store it?
The general rule is to keep these foods stored somewhere that is cool and dark. Warm temperatures and sunlight will ruin your food supply. Some people choose to have an area in their basement where they keep stored foods; others simply keep their stored foods in their pantries.

Storage rooms in basements are typically cool and dark and work nicely for food storage. There are a couple of things to take not of if this is your preferred storage area. First, make sure that your food is properly sealed to prevent the dampness of your basement from seeping in – nothing ruins stored food quicker than moisture. Second, if your food is out of sight, it will be out of mind – stored food has to be rotated regularly so your family does not end up with spoiled supplies.

Pantries and deep freezes are present in most households and are also a great place to store extra food. Cereals, grains, canned and jarred goods, etc., can be kept in the pantry; meats can be kept for up to six months in a deepfreeze.

How should I store it?
There are several methods of preparing food for storage and different ways to preserve it.
Freezing: Fruits, vegetables, and meats can be stored with this method. Simply be sure to protect food in good quality freezer bags or containers to prevent freezer burn as this will ruin the quality and taste of the food. Frozen food can be kept for about 6 months. Warning: Just remember that frozen food will spoil in the case of a power outage and is not the most recommended method for emergency food supplies and cannot be used for canned, jarred or dry goods.
Dehydration: Dehydrating foods is relatively quick and simple. It is the oldest method of preserving food but is not the best method for preserving taste or quality. You can use your oven to dry foods out and store them moisture-proof containers.The easiest foods to dry at home are lean meat, and (blanched and cooled) fruits and vegetables.
Jarring / Canning: This method of preserving food is a very popular one due to its ability to keep the taste of foods intact. Water, meats, fish, oils, vegetables and fruit can all be jarred and canned. If you are a DIY kind of person, jarring and canning can be easily learned. If not, mega-supermarkets allow us to buy the majority of canned goods in bulk.
Other: Grains, cereals and beans can be bought and immediately stored in airtight, moisture-proof containers (1/2 Gallon minimum is a great size to use) as long as your food is vacuum-packed.

*After any of these processes are completed, make sure to label your items with the names of the items and the dates packaged.

How do I use my food supply?
Rotation
 of your emergency food supply is extremely important and practical. You do not want all of that food to go to waste, which is why it is important to buy and store in bulk and then rotate your stored food in with your weekly fresh assortment of meats, spices, fruits and veggies, dairy, etc. If the food is not used on a regular basis, it will spoil and be useless to your family, and a huge waste of time and money.

Rotation Schedule:
Grains, cereals, flour, sugar, spices, etc: 6-12 months
Dried beans: 2-4 years
Frozen foods: 6-12 months
Canned and jarred foods: These can last years but it is recommended to rotate them every 6-12 months if possible.
Dehydrated food: 2-3 years
Pasta: 1-2 years

It is recommended that you rotate everything on a constant schedule and keep bringing in new foods on a regular basis.

Water Storage

How to Store Water

When considering drinking-water storage, be sure to use the proper water storage techniques. Water is a the most important necessity to have stockpiled in your house in order to ensure health. Water can be stored in both portable and permanent containers, made from plastic, glass, fiber glass or even certain metals. Containers such as used milk cartons (the plastic kind), bleach jugs and even empty canning jars can be used; Just make sure you wash them thoroughly before use. Never use any container that has previously held fuel, poisons, or other toxic chemicals. As well, it is important that all stored water is clearly labeled and dated.

If you’re looking to store large amounts of water, you can use swimming pools, large underground tanks, or an extra cistern.

If possible, look for containers that can be stacked on top of one another (obviously a more efficient storage solution). Also, if you are using large containers, you will want to keep a hand pump handy for extracting the water from the container easily. A hand pump is a lot less work than trying to lift a 5 gallon pail to pour yourself a glass of water.

To store water safely for a significant amount of time (4-6 months or more), you will want to condition it to prevent organism growth in the water.

Bleach

Use 8 drops per gallon (4 litres) of clear water or ½ teaspoon for a 5 gallon container. Let the water stand for around 20-30 minutes, and if you can still smell chlorine it can be stored. If you don’t smell chlorine, then retreat the water.

Heat
Another method is heating the water, then jarring or canning it. Fill clean jars or cans until they are full within an inch of the top of the container. Then place them in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes, or boiling in a water bath (around 20 minutes for a quart, and 25-30 minutes for ½ gallon). When processed this way, the water will keep for years, providing the seal on your container doesn’t break down.

It is best to store the water in a cool place, but make sure it doesn’t freeze and break the container. You should also sample the water every 3-6 months. If the water happens to taste flat, it may be because the air normally in the water is gone. In order to infuse the water with the air, shake the container, or pour water from one container to another. This brings the taste back to as good a new!

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