Australian Outback: Essential Hunting Accessories
Timing is pivotal in hunting. To be successful one needs to be at the right spot in the right time, and to have what one needs when one needs it. Newcomers to Australian outback hunting might be overwhelmed by how hard it can be to bring a game animal home. However the overall experience can be made easier and more comfortable with the right kind of gear.
Everyone that has spent hours wearing binoculars on a neck strap will tell you that the experience is not pleasant. Thin and narrow neck straps cause unnecessary strain to your neck. And if you need to cover long distance with a tethered binocular, the bouncing becomes a nuisance as you traverse some rough terrain. Putting your optics away in the backpack causes no pain, but if you do it, it means that your binoculars are away when you need them on short notice.
Because of this, experienced hunters developed the binocular harness system which keeps your optics comfortably accessible at any time. The binocular harness is a good way to keep your binoculars on your chest, be it strapped to a backpack or secured to your back and not to your neck. The system features some significant design innovations. For one, it ha a magnetized main flap in the front which can be operated with one hand. And second, it has an almost silent closure that opens forward. This makes investing in a binocular harness system a really smart decision once you’re out on the hunting ground.
Since you already have the pouch resting on your chest, it would be a shame not to use it for storing other small sized accessories. We are talking about items like game callers, range finders, wind puffers, a multi-tool you can trust like Leatherman, car keys, wallet and even your mobile phone. The harness has ample amount of pockets and hidden micro compartments. The inside is made with soft cover to protect your optics, and at the same time it houses ten sewn in ammo loops. The outer shell is waterproof and it consists of high standard and durable water repellent layers. Seamlessly integrated pouches allow easy and accessible storage of other hunting gear essentials like flashlights, radio units, action camera or GPS (PLB).
Speaking of which, handheld GPS navigation devices have become very important for outback hunting. These days one can find units that are the size of your mobile phone, but offer great coverage past your mobile network. This way, you can make use of low orbit satellite network to send messages to and fro without using your phone. If you are out hunting though, you are probably not looking forward to keeping in touch with the civilized world. Your mind is focused on utilizing detailed topographical maps and latest weather forecast reports to facilitate better decision making.
Some hunters and outback hikers take an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) or PLB (personal locator beacon) device. In case things turn ugly quickly, one is able to send distress signals and receive emergency relief. Having a small GPS device has become the standard, and is up there with other traditional hunting gear like a sharp hunting knives.
Long stalk outs require ample hydration. Having a clean filtered water secure in a water bladder on your back is very important. Every stop along the way, every smell your body and gear might give you off, and every unnecessary noise is a potential hunting deterrent you need to get rid of.
The hunting binocular harness can be conveniently complemented with a hydro pack. The usual configuration is: bino pack in the front and water pouch in the back. They are similar in size and are your ultimate lightweight stalking package. Both the binocular chest strap harness and the water pouch can be further integrated with a full-sized backpack. Just keep in mind that these items need to be accessible to you with little to no effort. Getting a drinking straw connected directly to your water source is a great perk to have proper hydration without unpacking.
One of the most ubiquitous hunting pieces of clothing – the vest – is designed to maintain your core temperature while allowing you storage in as many pockets as possible. It has a long history and it will probably stay one of the most versatile clothing pieces for hunting. Other pieces are simply there to provide protection, like snake gaiters which keep your feet inaccessible to snake bites.
When hunting, every piece serves to meet a certain need. If you approach your gear acquisition with this in mind, you can’t go wrong. And with time and experience, you will become well versed in choosing what to pack before every hunting trip. These are strategical decisions you and your hunting team might want to take in a coordinated fashion. Eliminate every distraction and create a packing system that will allow you to make use of great functionality from as few items as possible.