There are a few items I simply won’t go on a public-land whitetail sojourn without — items that often make the difference between success and failure.

Ameristep’s Hyde Cliff Hanger tips the scales at 13.5 pounds and is fitted with padded backpack carrying straps. In addition, the self-leveling platform and seat make it a breeze to hang. I also recommend a few dozen Step-Up tree steps to ensure a quiet hang and climb into your stand. If the state you’re hunting prohibits screw-in style steps, Ameristep’s Aluminum Rapid Rails are a great choice.

Wildlife Research Center’s Scent Killer Gold Spray utilizes Hunt Dry Technology to provide maximum odor-fighting protection. Designed to attack a wide range of game-spooking pongs, this item is an absolute must.

Stealth Cam’s G30 scouting camera is an economical, compact camera loaded with features. Each 8-megapixel image is stamped with time, date, moon phase and temperature information, and its 30 IR Emitters sport an 80-foot detection range.

Scent-Lok’s Hard Tote storage compartment (30 inches wide x 15.3 inches tall x 16 inches deep) keeps your gear safe and scent-free. The metal handles ensure a secure and airtight lid system, and the included carbon pad adsorbs odors. 

Badlands’ Tree Stand pack boasts a 2,500-cubic-inch rating and has a mass weight of just 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Designed to hang in a treestand, the pack was engineered to allow the whitetail hunter to achieve “perfect” gear organization. Its numerous pockets and built-like-a-rock nature meet the demands of a public-land hunt.

Hooyman’s Hooyman 10 folds down to just 28 inches and extends to a full 9.7 feet, meaning trimming those shooting lanes has never been easier. Lightweight, durable and designed to fit easily into a pack, the saw is constructed from MegaBite high carbon steel and features a four-edge tooth design.

Of course, these are just a few items. Take your time when planning out your public-land gear arsenal, and don’t leave behind anything that you might need. As Burt in Tremors 2 (played by actor Michael Gross) said, “When you need it and don’t have it, you sing a different tune.”