Bush Kit Gear List

December 15, 2015 |  6 min read

This bag was made by my late grandmother, Julie Mackenzie. I actually don't use this bag much because I want to save it. Canvas bags are great in cold weather.

The Always Ready To Go Bush Kit

 My buddy Nina here at Dene Nahjo has been asking me for list of gear to put together for her very own bush kit. So I thought, ‘Hey let’s make it a blog post.’
So first what is a bush kit? Well for me, I have a set of items that always come into the bush with me and when in the bush, the items almost always come with me in even the short excursions from camp. The reason is you never know what can happen in the bush and there are a couple of things that will always been useful. It might even save your life.

The number #1 most important item to me is a good knife. Everything after a knife is a bonus. Here's the list:

Knife: A hunting appropriate knife, can be a folding blade or not, but it is important to have a knife that can take abuse. 

Matches: In a waterproof container or ziplock baggy.

Backpack: One designated daypack sized bag. It will hold all the other items on the list. (And over the years, I have found it best to have one backpack specifically as your bush kit, because everything is always ready to go and easily stored when you are at home.) 

Water bottle or thermos: Water intake is super important in the bush. A well-hydrated body helps you make the best decisions in the bush and dehydration can cause you all kinds of problems. Hot tea is the best alternative to plain water.

Tea bags and sugar


A small pot: To make tea or other things 

Snare wire

A multi-tool

A hatchet (small axe) or a machete, (the machete type of blade has become my preference over an axe.)

Axe file or a good knife sharpener. (I usually have both.)

A small first-aid kit


About 20 ft of rope

That for the most part are the essentials but in my backpack I also have these optional items:

One pair of spare socks

A dry wool t-shirt

Protein bar

Trail mix

Additional knives

GPS (I carry it but actually never use it, I found it better to just pay attention to the land and landmarks.)


Lip Balm

Sun screen

Fish line and fish hook

Sat phone, Spot Messenger or InReach Device

Map of area
Camera (the land is beautiful and it is fun to take photos)

So I think that about does it. I almost always have my bullets for my rifle or shotgun in the backpack but that should only be in your bag if you have the proper gun/safety knowledge.

I also have found that there are a lot of items on list. It can be maybe too much stuff for your comfort level but to narrow the list, get out on the land more. Experience is the best teacher and being out on the land more will help you decide what you need or don’t need in your bush kit.

Enjoy the bush ; )