Kill-Kit Essentials

Jun 3, 2022 | Tips & Tricks | 3 comments

During the 18th and 19th centuries, you always found mountain men or frontiersmen with a bag slung across their shoulder. This bag was known as their “possibles bag” and had whatever was possibly needed for them to accomplish what they needed to do, hence the name “possibles” bag. One might find in Davy Crockett’s possibles bag a nipple wrench, tobacco, pipe, jerky, and other survival tools of the frontier. Everything they needed for whatever challenging task lay ahead was ready, in one place.

Now in the 21st century, hunters are mimicking people like Davy Crockett, Jim Bridger, Joseph Walker, and Kit Carson. Today’s kill kits are the modern analog of a possibles bag. In this kill kit, you have everything you could possibly need for the challenging task of breaking down an animal you harvested. As the cliche goes, once you have a buck or bull on the ground, is when the real work begins.

Having all your tools in one spot is one way to ensure you have what you need to get it done.
No fumbling through your pack hoping you have everything, your kill kit has everything ready, in one place.

Kit Essentials

Kill-Kit Bag

It all starts with storage, the bag you’re going to keep everything in. We like super light and super tough options to hold your kill-kit necessities. The options are many but one of the options we like is the Initial Ascent Pack Sack. They come in a variety of sizes, we prefer the Medium and Large for our kill kits.


A fairly new contender in the knife market who is making quite a splash is GOAT Knives Co out of Idaho. They pride themselves on being the most innovative ultralight knives manufacturer. Their Ibex Mini weighs just 18 grams and is a replaceable blade system. If you are a fixed blade kind of person they have some ultralight fixed blade options. It’s hard to beat Made in the USA.


A knife is useless when it goes dull, and rest assured, it will dull while breaking your animal down. Have a solid packable sharpener or if using a replaceable blade knife, have plenty of extra blades. The Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener is lightweight, compact, and has everything to put a real edge back on your blade.


Paracord is short for parachute cord and is the undisputed leader in survival cordage. Do NOT skip this, it is absolutely essential to your kill kit. Common uses are to hang quarters and gamebags. If you’re alone you can use it to tie the animal off in various ways making it easier to break your harvest down. Besides being a kill kit essential, it comes in handy in a million other ways including tying off tents, replacing broken boot laces, and tightening loads down on your pack. We suggest using the real deal guaranteed safe for parachute ultra-tough paracord rather than going with cheaper knock-offs.

Game Bags

We’ve probably all seen those cheap cheesecloth-type gamebags for sale and maybe even used them. Don’t get those. Game bags are to keep flies, bugs, dirt, and debris off your meat all while allowing your meat to breathe. The cheesecloth ones are very poor at everything but being breathable. Invest in some quality lightweight, breathable, and reusable meat bags. A bunch of companies make quality meat bags, Black Ovis are some of the best.


Some do without gloves but once you use them you won’t ever want to go back. Pick up a small package of 4 or 5 pairs at your local hardware store or even Walmart. No one really likes scraping blood, fat, meat, or guts from your hands and fingernails for a couple of days anyway. If you are keeping yourself clean it’ll motivate you to keep your meat clean too.

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Ground Cloth

An extra-large plastic contractor bag, or other ground-cloth products can go a long way to keeping your meat clean. You can use it to lay on the ground and set your meat on it as you cut. This becomes exponentially important in areas where few trees exist to hang meat on branches. It’ll also come in handy in many other ways such as emergency rain covers or use it to line your pack when you put your meat in to haul it out.


Being clean feels good. Once you’ve completed the arduous task of breaking down your harvest, it feels nice to clean up a little. We like Klean Freak wipes. They come in small lightweight single-use packages. Each wipe is enhanced with Aloe and Witch Hazel and will get the blood and grime cleaned off.


Lastly and definitely not least, is your tag. We keep tags in our kill kit. If it’s in your kill kit you won’t accidentally leave it at home or lose it.

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  1. Looking to Buy Kill Kit Bag plus items

  2. Another item I pack if solo hunting is a flexible leg tripod for my cellphone so I can take pictures of me and my trophy!

  3. Good list! Other items I consider essential when the potential for taxidermy of your kill exists:
    – scalpel (or use replaceable blade knife like an Outdoor Edge)
    – flexible tape measure
    – paper and pen for writing down measurements (or use cell phone)
    – citric acid, small spray bottle, and water (when conditions are warm)

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