What's in your vest?


Active member
I forgot, I do, also carry a bell on a snap-swivel and, and extra pair of gloves and a head-cover. I seldom wear my vest, only in 40+ degree temps. I wear a LL Bean waxed cavas coat, tough as nails, seems like Filson quaility. Big cargo packets for shells, a one-way-in game pouch (nothing is coming out without you knowing it), and plenty of other pockets inside and out. Very warm, 2 shirts and the coat for temps down to single digits, below that, a heavier pull-over and a long sleeve or 2 shirt. I button or unbutton it to control the warmth, would buy again in a heart-beat.


Besides the usual water, shells & transmitter. I carry a Leatherman, nice folding knife, large zip ties & rope/lead for traps, emt gel, toilet paper in a ziploc bag, baby wipes and usually a extra pair of gloves.

Skeet Mc

I have two strap vests and a upland coat w/bird bag on the back and shell pockets. All three have leashes, emergency triage kits for the dogs, T-post steppers, Gerber multi tools and since I run wirehairs, a steel bristled comb.


While I’m usually within a mile or two and often less, I carry more stuff than most of you. Here is the list,
Garmin InReach Explorer (for when my cell phone doesn’t work)
Cable cutter
Tool to release Connibears
Paracord slip leash
TP in ziplock
Vacuum sealed pack with CAT tourniquet and hemostatic agent
First aid kit with 4x4’s, Kerlix, space blanket, triangular bandage, matches, hemostats, tweezers and a disposable scalpel stored in a small zippered pouch.
I carry a SOG multi tool on my belt and a pocket knife and wallet in a front pocket.


Active member
A boy scout for sure...ever used any of that? Guessing by your handle, your experiences at work make you a heavy traveler. The only thing I can remember ever using in my actual vest, while away from the truck, is shells, the bell and a different hat or gloves. Seldom over a mile from my truck....only hunt in Iowa.


Well-known member
ecollar transmitter, TP, choke wrench, and chokes.


I started carrying the PLB after I stepped in a badger hole up to my knee when I was a couple miles from my truck with no cellphone service. I wasn’t hurt bad, but I could have been.
I had a dog caught in a snare once and I had nothing with me to cut the cable. Fortunately it was around her flank and not her neck and I was able to get it lose.
I used a triangular bandage once when my buddy sprained his ankle 3/4 mile from the truck, I’m sure he could have got out without it but he thought it helped and that’s important.
I pulled cactus and porcupine quills with the multi tool, mended fences and opened a can of sardines I carried for lunch when the ring popped off
The rest of the stuff I haven’t needed and I hope I never do but I’d rather carry it for the rest of my life and not need it rather than need it and not have it. (That’s not quite right, I have needed the TP and was glad I had it)😁


Active member
PLB? is that the Garmin deal? So how did you get out of the badger hole? I stepped into one once , heel first, it was bitter cold, not sure I could have got my foot out without help, glad I had my buddy with me that day. Maybe if I had a multitool, I could have chipped out the dirt...or if I had carried a length of cord, could have laced it through the boot laces toward my toes or looped around the toe and pulled to get the boot released...it can be a multi-purpose tool for sure. I have put a length of cord in my bird pouch for the conibears (and possibly other opportunities) now after this thread.


The Garmin InReach is a personal locator beacon that uses the Iridium satellite network. I can trigger a 🆘 or send preset text message for free or regular text message with it for a small fee. One of my preset messages says “I’m alright, just checking in” and shows her a map and provides a lat-long. The other messages say, “I’m okay but going to be late” and “I need help but not serious”. I use the first two once in awhile, when I don’t have cell phone service. It costs me about $12.50 a month, about $150 a year for mine and my wife’s piece of mind.
I was able to pull my leg out of the hole but tweaked my knee. It was a long, painful walk out and I got to thinking had I fractured my leg, I might not have survived. It was about 20* but dropped into the single digits at night but regardless, it would have been difficult to get out. When I look at what I spend money on, it’s really not that much and it makes my wife feel better.


Slip lead and a pair of snap on high leverage pliers. They can cut a quarter inch bolt easily so good for cable removal and fence repair.


Well-known member
I dont have an e collar. That's uppity. My licences, Copenhagen, needle nosed pliers, a multi tool, rope, extra full choke tube, and wrench, 1 7/8 oz. Lead copper plated abs, 4 shells, 1 cigarette, matches, first aid kit, binoculars, gloves, mask.
One more thing: bailing wire.In case I cant get a gate closed.
Airmedic...you probably know this, but I will share for everyone else..
Yes, the garmin inreach, like the spot device is a plb of sorts...Just not my first choice. Here's why.
1) the distress call is handled by a private company...my research on the spot device some years back revealed some very incompentant responses to a "spot" activation. I havn't researched the inreach enough to know it's history, other than noticing it is handled privately.
2) broadcast wattage is typically under 1 watt.
3) there is often a for profit built in monthly charge that I would prefer not to pay.

The option I use is a registered PLB made by ACR. It broadcasts at over 4 watts directly to the response center run by noaa, a branch of the u.s. government. Same outfit that receives the beacon alert from airplanes, etc.
My ACR also broadcasts the aviation distress frequency when activated.
No cost to use it, but you do have to keep your registration current with noaa. (Every 2 years)
My ACR unit is small....smaller than one of the old cell flip phones. ACR does have a text option for fee if desired. I don't use it.
Cost was under 300 quite a few years ago, and I recently sent it in to an authorized dealer for new battery ...around $100.

Interesting history on the PLB.( personal locater beacon)... roughly a decade( maybe more) back, noaa approved the use of them on a test basis in alaska only....I think for 2 years.. in my opinion, I think they were afraid of getting swamped with loads of nuisance callouts and unnecessary activations.
Didn't happen, and they approved the plb for nationwide use.

The inreach and spot work just fine and most people are happy with them it seems. I wanted something with a lot more grunt on broadcast wattage, in addition to knowing my alert was going to noaa. Some of my trips in ak, the west and overseas are pretty remote..

I second carrying GOOD cable cutters....almost lost a pup to a neck snare...had been schooled previously by a trapper on how to release, but it was NOT easy to do because it had tightened down so much by the time I got to her. Just a couple months earlier, the guy I got her from had told me about having his pointer die in his arms because he could not get a neck snare released......scary shit
Grab every cable cutter the store has and go find the spools of cable that they should have and start testing. Some won't be up to the task, I guarantee it....
Also...for those interested, I found a pretty good review on the ACR versus inreach at hikingguy.com.
Google it if you want.....covers the details pretty well

Swamp Collie

New member
A couple of the large size Zip Ties are great to have for releasing a dog from a 220 or larger 330 conibear type traps. Much faster than a piece of rope in the heat of the moment when time is of the essence. They can also serve for multiple other repairs while in the field. Just make sure that you have a knife or pliers to cut them off if necessary.
I tried the zip ties on a 330 and it was no bueno...braided nylon rope seemed to work better for me..
It's been several years since I practiced.....but would it make sense to use zip ties as well as rope to secure the trap once you have it open ?


Active member
When I was trapping, the conibears had the "hooks" to hold the springs open. Not sure how/why guys use the zip ties for....maybe they will chime-in. Maybe I will google it. Not sure I would trust a zip tie to hold a 330 spring, better be a BIG one!

Googled it. Better be a big zip tie and it better not be a 330 to make that work. Looks like a length of rope is a better option.

PLB, fencing pliers, TP, wire, first aid kits, choke tubes/wrench -In your vests?.....you fellas carry everything but lunch...I guess I travel light!
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I started with a SPOT but felt they were unreliable, that’s why I went with Garmin. It uses the GEOS and communicates with the NRCC. We use the NRCC with our USAR team so I’m pretty comfortable with them and their reliability.
As for Garmin making a profit, every company has to make money to stay in existence and the Garmin products I have used have been reliable.