Waterfowl season is just getting into gear, which means you’re probably starting to pull equipment out of your attic, shed, garage or other storage area. If you haven’t started already, it’s a good idea to begin taking inventory of your gear so you have a good idea of what you’re missing, what needs repairing, and what is good-to-go.
Getting your blind bag ready to go shouldn’t make you break out into a cold sweat, nor should it turn you into a sudden hoarder. Here’s a checklist for packing your blind bag for success:
Shells – A necessity, of course. If you pack your shells in your shotgun case, consider throwing a backup box in your blind bag, just in case.
Calls – again, a no-brainer. But for this checklist, we’re recommending you back only the essential calls. It’ll save you some space and weight, and with less calls you’re less likely to fumble around and miss an opportunity.
Sunglasses – and not just for looking cool. Sitting out in the sun can tire out your eyes, and tired eyes means missed shots.
Multitool – Macgyver would be proud. You really never know what kind of issues you’ll run into, so it pays to be prepared. But keep the multitool on the smaller side.
Weather-specific items – Sunblock and bug spray if the weather is planning on being warm and sunny (those parts that aren’t covered can get toasted while waiting for birds), or a couple packets of hand warmers for those bitter cold days.
Extra snacks – a slow day in the blind can make you really hungry… or so we’ve heard.
An extra pair of light gloves – gloves get wet, and wet gloves mean cold hands. After a hunt in a brutal downpour years ago, I never head to the blind without an extra pair of gloves in tow.
Ziploc bag – for the precious things in life. If the clouds open up, or if you find yourself having to make a trek through some potentially-wet territory, having a ziploc bag can mean the difference between a soaked cell phone and wallet, and staying dry.
Giving yourself a few weeks of space between the heart of the season and your inventory check means you’ll have plenty of time to make repairs or purchase missing gear, and plenty of time means you won’t have to splurge on expensive overnight shipping at the last minute.