Jim Shockey's Essential Gear

Every once in a long while, a product comes along that revolutionizes the process of hunting – the compound bow, in-line muzzleloader, trail cameras and now the Havalon family of knives. I can vividly remember the first time I handled each of these revolutionary hunting products (each was more of an epiphany than a product), but especially the first time I held a Havalon.
It was on a moose hunt in the Yukon. I was guiding and my client handed me a Havalon to use on the moose he’d just taken. I skinned and cut up that entire moose with one disposable, razor-sharp blade, no physical effort, no sharpening, easy as cutting butter with a hot blade. When we loaded the moose, I excused myself to make a satellite telephone call to my office. Back in civilization at that time, we were in negotiations for an endorsement deal with a major traditional knife maker. I told my office that I would be unable to continue the negotiations because it would be disingenuous of me – I was holding in my hands the future of hunting knives. I told them over the satellite phone that I believed in 10 years, every hunter would carry a Havalon knife as part of their essential gear for hunting.

"Havalon knives are revolutionary, ground-breaking, and as I said and believe, they are the future of hunting."

Since then, I’ve carried a Havalon knife on every single hunting trip. The Havalon Titan and Evolve, both of which I was closely involved with on the design end, have become essentials, hunting gear that I cannot travel without. My Leupold binoculars are also part of that
gear - can’t imagine hunting without them. I’d feel blinded without them. The same goes for my satellite telephone and Primos Trigger Sticks and Garmin inReach, these are always with me around the world and I wouldn’t consider taking a trip into the hinterlands without them. All these products make me a better hunter or better able to focus on the task at hand, the hunt.
When I think about it, my essentials list is actually pretty short. Most items that hunters carry with them are unnecessary, extra weight and frankly, of dubious worth in real hunting conditions. Over the years, I’ve tried to pare down the stuff I lug out into the wild lands to only those items that are absolute necessities. Much as I, like most hunters, love gadgets and widgets, I leave those at home where they belong and take with me only the items that have withstood the test of time and necessity.