5 Range Day Essentials You Should Never Forget

range day essentials

Every shooting sports aficionado has “the nightmare” at some point.

You know, the one where you show up to the range without all your gear?

(Nothing hurts your pride like having to ask your neighbor if they have an extra set of earplugs.)

Whether you’re about to embark on your first trip to the range or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are certain range day essentials you need to make sure are in your range bag.

The next time you’re ready to do some shooting, here’s what to pack:

1. Guns, Ammo and Mags

guns, ammo and mags

Yes, we’re starting with the obvious.

You can’t really enjoy a fun day at the range without a firearm and ammunition, can you?

Sometimes, the most important gear is the easiest to forget.

Pack the guns you’ll be planning on shooting in their cases and get ready to rock.

Unless you want to pay the higher price for range ammo, bring plenty of ammunition along as well.

Throw in some spare mags while you’re at it.

2. Ear and Eye Protection

earmuffs - ear protection

Safety is important, especially when it comes to your hearing and vision.

Every range bag should include some form of ear and eye protection.

Invest in a pair of high-quality shooting glasses and earmuffs.

You might also want to have a backup pair of each, or at least some extra plugs.

(If your earmuffs are electronic, don’t forget batteries, either.)

3. Targets

targets range day

Just like ammo, you can find targets at the range. But who doesn’t want to save money?

Pack plenty of range-approved targets so you’ll have something to shoot at.

There are lots of customizable and fun options when it comes to targets (e.g. zombies, terrorists, etc.).

Stock up on your favorites and make sure they’re part of your range day essentials collection.

4. Cleaning Kits

gun cleaning kit

You might not be cleaning your piece after every shot, but what about jams?

Be ready for them and other defects, dirt or debris with a quality cleaning kit.

Make sure your cleaning kit includes rods, brushes and oil or another lubricant.

Don’t forget a multi-tool, either. You never know when you’ll need one.

5. First Aid Kit

first aid kit range day

Cleaning kits aren’t the only kind of kit you’ll need.

Be ready for an emergency with a good first aid kit.

It should have all the basics, from bandages and medical tape to gloves and meds.

(Brushing up on your CPR techniques wouldn’t hurt, either.)

There are, of course, other important things to bring to the range — like holsters, gloves, mag pouches, belts, sunscreen, etc.

But you really don’t want to forget any of these five essentials.

Do you have any other range day essentials? Let us know in the comments below!


Speaking of range day, did you know we have a monthly #RangeDayFriday gun giveaway? Head over to our contest page to see details about how you can enter. Here are some past entrants:

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Comments (26)

  1. I’ve tried to create a more comprehensive list including the previously mentioned items for my trip to the outdoor range at the state park: Guns, Magazines, Ammunition, Magazine Loader, Targets, Target Holders, Stapler Gun, Gun Cleaning Set, Screw Driver Set, Eye Protection, Ear Protection, First Aid Kit, Cell Phone, Camera, Tripod, Binoculars, Notebook. You may not need all of these, but it would be a pretty good list for checking your equipment and supplies before hitting the road to the shooting range.

  2. This may sound strange, but even after 25 years of shooting I consider my most important range essential to be a qualified instructor or coach!

  3. If I’m going to an outdoor range, or one without running water, I make sure to bring a few bottles of water. Some to drink and some for cleaning hands, or debris from my face. I also take along some wet wipes for a quick clean up of my hands before I leave the range.

  4. One thing that is absolutely needed down here in the deep South in the summer is plenty of water. You can become dehydrated very quickly in 95+ temperatures even if shooting from a shaded position.

  5. I mostly shoot and teach at a membership range, which has a locked gate. More formal ranges charge range fees or require ID badges.
    It’s a long, frustrating trip back to the house if you forget your gate key, or whatever else you need to get in the door at the range.

  6. TOOLS! Sight adjusting tools, screwdrivers, Allen and Torx wrenches, any special tools you may need to make field repairs on a specific gun. My permanent tool kit includes sight tools for AR, FAL,AK, and Galil rifles, as well as coins for adjusting scopes. Most people no longer carry a pocketful of change, so you need an assortment of coins for different size adjustment slots. And be sure to have whatever you need to tighten up scope mounts and rings. If a scope loosens up and you don’t have the right screwdriver, Allen or Torx wrench, and/or 1/2″ nutdriver to deal with the problem, you’re done for the day with that gun.

  7. 1 Ammunition
    2 Magazines
    3 Knife
    4 Range Finder
    5 Range Book & Pen
    6 Empty Chamber Flag
    7 Ear Protection
    8 Eye Protection
    9 Elbow Pads
    10 Knee Pads
    11 Shemagh
    12 Shooting Gloves
    13 Hat / Cap
    14 Holster
    15 Flashlight
    16 Shooting Mat
    17 Shooting Bags & Rests
    18 Spotting Scope
    19 Wind Gauge
    20 Shot Timer
    21 Chronograph (Doppler Radar)
    22 Binoculars
    23 Compass
    24 Map
    25 Tri-pod
    26 Targets
    27 Staple Gun & Staples
    28 Tape Measure
    29 Masking Tape
    30 Sharpie Marker
    31 Gun Mat
    32 Portable Toolkit
    33 Portable Cleaning Kit
    34 Gun Oil
    35 Lens Brush & Cloth
    36 Speed Loader
    37 Zip Ties
    38 Paracord
    39 Gun Locks & Keys
    40 Range Membership Card
    41 Batteries (9V, AA, AAA, CR123)
    42 Spent Case Bag
    43 First Aide Kit
    44 Matches
    45 Saline solution (Visine)
    46 Sun Tan Lotion
    47 Lip Balm
    48 Bug Spray
    49 Aspirin
    50 Hand Sanitizer
    51 Disposable Gloves
    52 Baby Wipes
    53 Cloth/Rag

  8. I always keep a quick clotting kit, especially at our range in the countryside. You don’t want to bleed out before you get to the hospital 45 min away. Visine or eyewash. Firing a suppressed shortbarrel can leave a lot unwanted debris in your eyes even with protection, the ability to refresh them is nice especially if like me burning through a case of ammo is the norm. Cigars or cigarettes because its what Clint Eastwood likely would do. Dr Pepper, mixes well with the scent of spent brass. Lol

  9. Two items. One a must, the other just a good option. First, your cell phone. Whether you’re going to a supervised range or not, that should be a must have. Accidents can happen, and especially at an unsupervised range, having the ability to call 911, may make the difference between life or death.
    Second would be either a gun log, or a simple notebook with a pen or pencil. This is optional, but since I reload for most of the calibers I shoot with, having the ability to take notes and compare different loadings and how they functioned overall is a good thing. Especially when you’re determining later which box of ammo did great, which did fair and which did poorly (for whatever reason).
    My range bag is set up to work with whichever gun I’m choosing to work with, whether it be rifle or pistol. I’ve got the cleaning gear and tools on hand to handle a malfunction, a squib or whatever may arise. It stays that way all of the time. I know folks that have two bags, one for pistol and one for rifle mainly because what they’re carrying in each, but I’ve found one set up and ready to go is a good way to make sure I’m not forgetting something.

  10. I also include screwdrivers of various sizes. a multi-tool and batteries for red dots. What I don’t have is a fak. I need to find an appropriate kit. A tourniquet would not be a bad idea either. Thanks.

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