Archive for September, 2013

The Blind Bag

This is my blind bag. There are many like it, but this one is mine.  My blind bag is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.  (Apologies to the Marine Corps).

Well, maybe you shouldn’t take your blind bag this seriously but, in my opinion, it is an important piece of equipment.  Once you get into duck hunting you find that there are numerous small items that range anywhere from handy to have to downright essential and a blind bag brings all these items together in one handy place making them easy to find and easy to carry out to the blind.

BB1

Most blind bags are to one degree or another somewhat waterproof, at least on the bottom.  Many are designed around a rubber or plastic bottom piece where camo fabric is attached to build the blind bag.  This allows you to set the bag down in the bottom of a wet blind (wet, not flooded) and not get the contents of the bag wet.  Most blind bags have a carrying handle and a shoulder handle, which give you a couple of options of how to carry the bag out to the blind.

As I implied in the first sentence of this article, no two blind bags are alike.  We each have our own ideas of what we need out in the marsh and pack our blind bags according to our choices.  I’ve included a few photographs along with this article showing what I have in my blind bag.  I’ll go over each and share my choices of what I have put in my blind bag.  You may or may not agree with these choices but hopefully you will find this a handy “starting point” for stocking your blind bag.

My blind bag has three external pockets, a main internal area and a couple of mesh pockets in the lid.

BB2

Let’s start with the larger outside pocket, or rear pocket as you look at the front of the blind bag.  For me, this one is easy.  This is where I put my 25 shotgun shells.  Remember, when hunting a State or Federal refuge or wildlife area in California you are restricted to 25 rounds of non-toxic shot while in the field.  For me the easy way to do this, so that I don’t miscount, is a 25-shell belt.  It fits nicely in the larger rear pocket on my blind bag and by a quick glance I can see how many rounds I have.

BB6

 

Next we move around to the right side pocket.  In this pocket I keep all the calls I’ve accumulated through the years (although if you’ve read my articles before you know I don’t use calls all that much).  I also have a pair of reading glasses, in case I have to do something that requires me to see something close (since a lot of us older hunters can’t see nothin’ up close) and, inside a zip-lock bag in case it leaks, a cloth and some break-free to wipe down and lube the shotgun if necessary.

BB4

Moving over to the left side we find a roll of camo duct-tape, my wonderful (when its cold) Jon-e hand warmer, a bottle of aspirin, a slip-on shotgun sling, a couple of LED headlamps, a brush (to brush mud or dirt off the shotgun) and a battery back-up for my cell phone.

BB5

Moving to the main compartment of the blind bag we find the following.  Avon Skin So Soft (don’t laugh, it’s a great mosquito repellant), a can of Deet based mosquito repellant and a thermacell mosquito repellant devise.  Can you tell mosquitos are a problem in the marsh some times?  Also you’ll find the small fuel bottles and repellant pads for the Thermacell, a couple of bottles of lighter fluid to run the hand warmer (only reason there’s two is one is almost empty), some cord, a small bungee-strap, an extra decoy weight, a duck ID book and a waterproof cell phone case.  Also, kept in this area are my binoculars, which I missed getting in the picture (They’re in the picture of the right pocket but they go into the main compartment).  Also, in this particular bag there are a couple of small plastic pockets inside the main compartment that I didn’t pull out for the picture that have some extra batteries (for the head lamps and the cell phone back-up), some matches, a few band-aids and a couple of chap-sticks (which really come in handy when its windy).  Also, on the back of the lid for this compartment, which is not shown on the picture (but is shown in the picture of the rear pocket), is a couple of mesh pockets with a couple of camo head covers, a couple of pair of camo gloves and a spool of braid fishing line (which is what I use for decoy cord).

BB3

So there you have it.  As you can see there’s a lot of stuff inside a typical blind bag.  And, as I always say, I’d rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

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