Minnesota Hunter Safety Course


Preventive Survival

Don't wait until you get lost to start thinking about what you should have done to be prepared. A good hunter prepares for every scenario; and is ready for an emergency before it happens. Here are a few points to think about before you even head out on a hunt.

1. Build a Pack

Putting together a pack with items is an excellent way to prepare for a hunting trip, especially longer trips in unfamiliar territory. It should include all of the following items:

  • A small first aid kit
  • One or two knives
  • A plastic whistle
  • A flashlight with spare batteries
  • Three small packs of tissues
  • High-energy foods
  • Bottled water
  • Fire-starting equipment
  • Parachute cord
  • Jute string
  • Blaze orange flagging tape
  • A map of the area and a compass
  • Rain gear and warm clothing
  • Prescription medicine
  • Spare glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Large garbage bags
  • A large sheet of plastic
  • Soap or sanitizing lotion
  • A backpack to carry all of the items

Basic Survival Kit

At the very least, all hunters should carry the following items, every time they head into the field - even if it's just for a few hours. All these items can be carried in a one-quart resealable plastic bag.

  • Two large garbage bags and at least 30 feet of string to build a shelter
  • Fire Starting Equipment:
  • Waterproof matches, a magnesium fire starter or strike-anywhere matches sealed in a plastic bag.
  • Petroleum Jelly inside cotton balls will catch fire very effectively and are very useful for starting a fire if there is little dry wood to be found. Keep cotton balls in a 35mm film canister.
  • Signaling devices such as a plastic whistle or signaling mirror
  • Spare compass and map of the area
  • A small quantity of high-energy food (i.e. granola bar, trail mix, nuts, etc.)

IMPORTANT! Most hunters who get lost in Minnesota and are found alive, are found within 24 hours. Be prepared to possibly spend a night in the woods.