My good friend at SD outdoors recently did a post about how he now carries more gear in the field with him( I take only partial responsibility). His post also covers how surviorman went into the field unprepared and has tarnished the reputation of hunters everywhere.
I think this is a slight exaggeration, however I do know hunters that are not prepared when they head to the hills.
I firmly believe that if you are going more than 23 1/2 feet from your truck, you need to be ready to spend the night out under the stars. No, you do not need a 50 pound backpack with a sleeping bag and a tent.
This is a glimpse of what I carry in my day pack when I elk hunt in the Rocky mountains. This is not my hunting gear, this is my 'just in case' gear. It includes:
Poncho-used to repel the elements or to make a shelter.
5/16 Heavy duty rope(25 ft)
50 ft of 550 parachute cord
Charmin To Go-for when you gotta go.
Small easily packable pistol-why carry one rifle when you can carry a rifle and a pistol.
Hunting mini kit-did I just link to myself? That's cheesy.
Canteen, Canteen cup and Cookstove-isn't it obvious?
Packable bone/wood saw-No, it's not to amputate your leg.
Tent stakes-used for tie downs or shelter.
Multitool-doesn't matter what kind, mine is a Gerber.
First aid kit-So you don't have to amputate your leg.
Snacks-VERY important, figure foods that give you 100 calories per ounce or more
Main meal-This is for when you get stuck on top of the mountain, a hot meal can do wonders for morale.
Fuel Tablets-So that you can have that hot meal.
This is only a glimpse of my pack. Do not forget the fire making equipment, at least two different ways to make fire! Well thought out gear does not make you a mall ninja, yes your buddies may make fun of you, but be strong, you can take it. Having all this gear doesn't do you a bit of good if you don't know how to us it. Practice with it, use it in and out of the field.
Don't forget a knife, I consider mine, and I carry two sturdy fixed blade knives to be part of my hunting gear. Remember, they are as important as your rifle.
Finally, don't forget your brain. This is the most important tool of all.