Going hunting? Don't forget to pack survival gear

Some of the items you should remember to take on your next hunting trip. (Courtesy: Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game)

Hunting is generally safe, but every year hunters find themselves deeper in the woods and stay out longer than planned.

What's more, hunting in the fall in Idaho means the temperatures can swing from the 70's to below freezing within hours. Add snow and rain to the mix in rugged, remote locations and you have the potential for a life-threatening situation.

That's why survival gear is just smart. Here's what Idaho Fish and Game suggests:

Lighters - They’re cheap, light and don’t take up much space, so get a bunch of them. Carry one in your pocket, another in your day pack, and have spares in your vehicle. Remember inexpensive lighters that get saturated won’t ignite, so stash them in a waterproof container.

Fire starter - Don’t expect to always find dry wood. Buy some fire starter or make your own. This is not just for emergencies.

Compass - Even if you carry a GPS, have a compass. A GPS is electronic and requires batteries, which means it can fail. A compass is more reliable. Use it at the start of each hunt to orient yourself to certain landmarks so you can reference them later.

Space blanket - These work for emergency shelter, but you can also use them to lay meat to keep it clean when you’re quartering or butchering in the field. A word of caution: don’t wrap meat in them for transport. Space blankets are designed to retain heat, and you’re trying to cool the meat.

Signal whistle - These are small, cheap and lightweight. A couple quick blasts will get someone’s attention, and the sound carries farther than shouting.

Wide-mouth, plastic water bottle - Even if you use a water bladder in your pack, have a plastic bottle to stash other items inside to keep them dry and protected.

Spare long-john shirt and socks - Changing into a dry shirt and/or socks makes a huge difference on a cold, wet day. Store them in a heavy duty, waterproof plastic bag.

Lightweight rain jacket - Wearing a fully waterproof jacket and get you sweaty during a hike, so many hunters opt for more breathable jackets. A lightweight raincoat will keep you dry in heavy rain. It might only get used once or twice a season, but it can save you from getting drenched.

Parachute cord/rope - Comes in handy for a variety of things, such as hanging quarters or dragging an animal. In an emergency you can use it to build a shelter.

Instant soup, hot beverages - Hot soup, hot chocolate, tea or instant coffee can warm you up on a cold day and provide an energy boost.

High-energy food - There are so many energy bars and similar calorie-dense foods on the market that you can carry a lot of calories without much weight or bulk. Carry some extras for those unexpected, prolonged outings. You might also try a military MRE.

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