You Need These Basics for Your Blind Bag

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If you have hunted waterfowl for any length of time, you have a trusty blind bag or pack of some sort to carry your gear in.  The older I get the more things I think I need and my blind bag begins to slowly weigh as much as my 80 lb Yellow Lab, Chief.

I will list items that I carry every time I go hunting and other items that I carry sometimes.


  • Shotgun Shells- Yes, you need extra. They are not eggs and won’t go bad.  Bring plenty!!
  • Duck/Goose Calls. Now this being said, If I am hunting the timber, I will leave my Speck and Canada calls in the bag.  However if I am hunting a field or lake, I will have all of my calls ready.
  • Multi Tool. If you have a leatherman type tool, you absolutely have to have it in your bag.  It can get you out of many a jam and may save your life.
  • Flashlight- I like headlights so that my hands are free. But you will always need a flashlight of some sort in your bag.
  • Duck Strap- Every day we hunt, we go out anticipating filling our strap with dead birds. So make sure you have a strap/tote in your bag at all times.
  • Facemask- This is something I can’t do without. I love watching the birds and can look up at them without flaring them with a facemask on.
  • Gloves- Even if it is hot outside, bring a small pair of gloves. The ride in maybe a bit cool or the temperature may drop.  Gloves are always a good idea.
  • Zip Ties- Yup, small zip ties very well may save your hunt one day. These cheap ties can be used for a bazillion things and you need to keep some in your bag without question.
  • Choke Tubes/Wrench- It is always a good idea to keep extra choke tubes and a wrench in your bag in case birds are much closer or further than you originally planned for.
  • Water/Snacks- Ok, we all need to stay hydrated and we will all get hungry. Don’t let your hunger or thirst force you to quit early.  Grab a bottle of water and your favorite snack and chunk in your bag for when the hunting is slow.
  • Matches/First Aid/Toilet Paper- Ok, these should be in a small blowout style kit that you have in a waterproof bag. These small items may save your life and are critical items in your blind bag.


  • Bug Spray- If it is early season, I will certainly keep some bug spray handy. But if it is 30 degrees outside, I certainly won’t be needing any bug spray.
  • Sunglasses- If it is raining or extremely foggy, sunglasses will just take up space in your bag. However, if it calls for sunshine, sunglasses can make it much easier to look into the sky for that next bunch of birds to come in.
  • Limb saw- If I am hunting the woods, I will certainly have a limb saw with me. If I am headed for a flooded field, I will opt to leave it at the house.  Again, it will just be taking up space at that point.
  • Hand Warmers- If I am headed out in below freezing conditions, small hand warmers will be a nice addition to the blind bag. But if I am still in the early season, they will be dead weight.

Over the years us waterfowlers turn into low grade hoarders and accrue more and more gear.  Your blind bag is no different.  Your bag may have a few different items and that is cool.  These are the items that have found their way into my bag after 30 years of waterfowling.  See what you have in yours and it just might surprise you what you need and what you can do without.

Shane Smith


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