Hunting close to home is great, but nothing compares to those long hunting trips far from your backyard. You know the ones - ten days in the remote wilderness, tracking herds of elk with your best buds.
Of course, these kinds of hunting trips require a lot of preparation. You have to know the perfect place to make a basecamp. You want to be centrally located, but not so close to wildlife that your camp disturbs them. You also need to have a handful of supplies to make hunting in an RV more enjoyable (and viable). These are the top nine supplies that we recommend you bring on your next long hunting trip.
1. Satellite phone
Whether you are hunting with friends or by yourself, it’s important to be prepared for the unpredictable. When you are hunting in the backcountry, it’s unlikely that you will have cell service, which is why it’s so important to arm yourself with more than just a bow or rifle. We’re not talking about additional weapons, Rambo; we mean that you should arm yourself with a communication device that works even in remote locations, like a satellite phone.
It’s possible that you get lost - or worse, hurt - or maybe you just need help hauling your kill back to camp. Whatever the case, if you have a satellite phone, your friends and family can rest easy knowing that you are safe, and you’ll have a safety net in case of an emergency.
We recommend Iridium, SPOT, or Globalstar satellite phones for hunting trips. If owning one is out of budget, you can also rent satellite phones from Pivotel.
2. Large cooler
Next, you will need a large cooler to store your meat. Not just any cooler will do. You need a quality ice chest that will keep your meat frozen for long periods of time. The Cabela’s Polar Cap keeps ice longer than almost any other ice chest on the market (longer than a week!) and at 38 quarts, it is large enough to hold a sizable amount of meat. Testers of multiple similar ice chests noted how much they love its molded-in handles and nearly indestructible single-pin hinge.
This cooler (and other coolers on par with the Polar Cap) will run you about $250. This is a steep ask for just about any camper, but when you go on long hunting trips, you can’t really afford not to have one. You invest a lot in your hunting trips - it’s better to just come prepared so your meat doesn’t go bad.
3. Portable meat freezer
If you are going to be camping for longer than a week, you’ll need something more dependable than a cooler. For these longer trips, you should consider putting a portable meat freezer inside your RV. Using your RV’s electricity, it will maintain a steady, cold temperature for the entire duration of your trip.
An efficient, low power option that is highly rated is the Engel AC/DC Portable Freezer, found here on Amazon.com. It has the same capacity as the Cabela Polar Cap (40 quarts), but as previously stated, it will keep your meat frozen for as long as you are able to power it. It is AC/DC compatible, operational at even 30 degrees off level, and vibration-resistant for extreme conditions. The only downside is that it is quite expensive compared to a regular cooler.
4. Gun safe
If you are traveling with your family, and kids will be present, it might be wise to keep your guns stored in a safe when you are not using them. It’s also a great option for someone that wants to protect their valuables from theft.
Some RVs come with safes preinstalled, but most will require an aftermarket one in whatever size you need for your particular configuration. Because the dimensions of RV safes vary so much, we cannot recommend a specific one. However, these Amazon Basic safes come in various sizes and have very high ratings.
5. Space heater
If your hunting trip is going to be in cold weather, it’s crucial that you prep your RV by insulating hoses and adding antifreeze to your gray and black water tanks. Another step you can take to make sure your RV stays warm enough to function is setting up a space heater. While an RVs furnace is perfectly well-equipped to do the job, relying solely on the furnace will make you use up more propane more quickly.
We recommend purchasing an electric space heater to keep things comfortable, such as infrared heaters, ceramic heaters, oil-filled heaters, or mica thermic heaters. Each type functions differently, so you should learn about all of them to know which one suits your RV best.
6. Extra blankets
Even if you have a space heater in your RV, you might still find yourself a little chilly if you’re hunting in a cold environment. Even in the comfort of an RV, the best camping blankets will be weather-resistant, insulated, and machine washable. RVers and tent campers alike seem to really like this puffy blanket from REI. It’s the kind of blanket you can use in extreme weather or simply next to the campfire on a cold night.
If you only need a blanket for inside your RV, any blanket will do. But keep in mind that RVs have weight limits and it may be wasteful to use up all of that space with a billion blankets. It’s best to pack light and bring one blanket that will offer sufficient warmth.
7. Plenty of water
This goes without saying, but it becomes even more important to have enough water when you are hunting. There are several reasons for this: you are exerting yourself by hunting all day, so you need lots of drinking water and if you are planning a prolonged trip, you’ll not only need additional drinking water, but you’ll need water for other things like showering or doing the dishes.
We recommend bringing at least 2.5 extra gallons with you solely for drinking water, though bringing even more would be better, especially if there are others traveling with you. These 7-gallon Reliance Aqua-tainers are great to fill up with water and pack for your trip.
8. Healthy hearty food
While it is absolutely possible to sustain yourself on freeze-dried meals and Ruffles for a week, it won’t add any enjoyment to your trip. And if you are going to be hiking all day, it’s wise to fill up on healthy, hearty food. Beyond that, you’ll be using your RV as a home base – so you’ll have the means to treat yourself to something nicer than freeze-dried fettuccini chicken alfredo.
Before embarking on your journey, try prepping some meals that you can easily store in your RV’s fridge and heat up later. For breakfast, overnight oats prepared in mason jars are a great grab-and-go option and take up very little space. Sheet pan meal prep recipes stored in Tupperware are also great for lunches and dinner. For something more hearty, casseroles and soups are also fantastic choices.
9. A shower
Last but not least, perhaps the most critical thing you must have for hunting in an RV is a shower. It’s nice to have on any camping trip, but it becomes indispensable when you are hunting. It provides an efficient way to rinse the dirt and blood off of your body and it keeps your odor to a minimum (which is important when you are hunting big-game).
This should be nonnegotiable for any RVer, which is why it typically comes standard in every RV model. But if it doesn’t, you can always pick up a portable shower to pack with you.
A hunting basecamp should be simple but functional. These must-haves only take up a little bit of space and are easy to set up, which is ideal for a hunting trip. Your hunting trip should be spent hunting, not worrying about how to survive in the wilderness, and a quality RV is a great way to ensure you enjoy your time out there.