Zippers, Silence & Deer Hunting – Can You Have it All?

Hunting wins fans every year, so it’s understandable why the hunting gear industry has evolved so much over the last decades. Faster bows, wireless trail cameras are some of the many new devices that help hunters get the whitetail from the first shot. The more gear hunters they have, the more ready they feel to step up their game. Backpack hunting has slowly developed as the most fantastic hunting experience that only the fearless and experienced hunters who camp dare to take.

No matter how great the new equipment is or how various and challenging hunting has become, the man still has the lower chance when out there; it’s still the deer running the game.

Camouflage products help the hunter stay unseen, and scent concealment helps him not be smelled, so one can only wonder- what can I do not to scare aware that buck?

After decades of scientific testing, research, and tons of field observation, hunters and professionals in the hunting industry have created materials that are less likely to be noisy when you have the game in your crosshairs. For the experienced hunter who likes to put on a backpack and hunt for days, winning over the deer’s hearing is a great challenge. Wearing  camo clothes isn’t enough, especially when you’re also carrying a backpack with zippers and straps. Being quiet will give him a better chance – but is it doable when you’re backpacking?

No zipper hunting backpack – is it a real thing?

Reputed manufactures understood early on that backpack hunting is the next best thing for hunters, and it’s only a matter of time until hunters will embrace it on a larger scale. They have tried over the years to use durable yet quiet materials for hunting backpacks and create backpacks that wouldn’t scare off your game- within limits.

Selecting a hunting backpack is a challenge within itself, and one needs to go over comprehensive buying guides about choosing the proper size, fit, materials, and features for the hunting. It’s a long and tricky process, especially when you know nothing about hiking/camping/spending time outdoors; the options are numerous, though, and you will succeed, eventually.

When you think of a backpack, pockets and zippers are probably the first things coming to mind. And they all mean noise and a fat chance for getting that deer. But what if manufacturers were so determined and smart to create a hunting backpack with no zippers? You would at least have one less source of noise to deal with, so a better chance to be as quiet as a mouse out there. You can also have a hydration system on your backpack and you’ll eliminate yet another chance for creating noise.

A no-zipper backpack for your hunting

If you don’t want to go through the long process of selecting a hunting backpack from the myriads of options, you can look for the pack with no zippers. A famous manufacturer (Badlands) conceived a series of hunting backpacks with just one purpose to mind: complete discretion.

You won’t have to deal with clinking buckles and zipper noises when you have this series of backpacks with no zippers. There are two daypack-size hunting packs to choose from, but both are made to provide absolute silence.

Apart from the built for complete silence, the backpacks come with other excellent features for hunting:

  • They have no zippers, no hook, and loops and no buckles to click. You need to go once buck hunting and lose your shot because of clicking to regret getting a backpack with buckles.
  • Proprietary fabric that remains soft and quiet in all conditions
  • Pockets with effortless access for both backcountry and tree stand hunting
  • Sound absorbing foam liner to contain the sounds inside the pack

As you can see, these backpacks will make a great choice when you want to be completely silent on a deer hunt. But what do you do if you’ve already bought a hunting backpack? Can you still use it and not scare off your buck with all the zippers and the buckles?

What are the most effective methods for silencing the zippers on your hunting backpack?

When you like hunting and camping, backpack hunting will almost come naturally to you. Sure, you will still have to do your bits and bobs about it,  but you will at least have the fundamentals of both hunting and backpacking.

You will need to learn what to pack, how to pack, how to wear your hunting backpack. You never want to take a stab in the dark when backpack hunting, so you will need a complete arsenal of tips and tricks. Staying quiet as a mouse and silencing your zippers is just one of the myriads of things you will need to master for successful deer hunting.

silencing the zippers on your hunting backpack

Use wax for lubricating the zippers.

Ideally, you want a hunting backpack with silent zippers, but when you’re shopping on a budget or value comfort more than quiet build, something’s got to give.

If you feel that your zippers are loud, you can lubricate them with some wax to reduce the noisy operation. Some candle wax will do the trick, and surf wax is ideal.

Begin with opening the zipper and carefully rub the wax along the zipper parts, from top to bottom and the other way around. Try to change the angle while waxing so that you cover both sides of the zipper.

The wax is supposed to work like padding that will dampen the zipper parts’ impact, decreasing the level of sound zippers produce. You can use the method for your tent zipper, too; after all, you will also pack a tent or a sleeping bag with zippers when you go on a multi-day hunt.

Don’t think that waxing the zippers once will keep the zippers silent forever; you will need to do it regularly because the wax will wear off eventually.

Use paracord instead of zipper pulls

When you’re determined to eliminate a loud metal zipper pull problem, you can try replacing it with paracord pulls. A good hunting backpack will come with paracord pulls to keep the level noise down to a minimum, but you can run into a perfect pack for your hunting with metal zipper pulls. It’s not worth skipping a perfectly sized and fitting backpack only because of the pulls when you have such an effortless solution for it.

You begin by getting some paracord and metal snips; you need the snips for cutting the bottom loop of the zipper pull, removing it entirely. Cut the length you need for the paracord (a couple of inches will do) and tie the ends together, creating a loop. It would help if you straightened the loop so that the knot is at one end and the loop turns into two lines with a point on one end and a knot on the other. Continue with threading the end opposite of the knot through the zipper, feeding the knotted end through the loop on the other side of the hole; make sure to pull the knot tight. The paracord zipper you create won’t clank or jangle, reducing some of the noise you make.

Use a zipper pull kit.

The zipper pull kit will work as a shock absorber, dampening the zipper pull sound that rattles around. You get to use a plastic tab to pull for clamping the end closed and have a nice look too.

This sort of zipper pull kit should be enough for ten or more zippers; they’re already cut to size and come with a snap-together tab, providing effortless installation. Plus, they look better than some knots.

You need to remove the current metal zipper pulls with snips; thread one side of the zipper pull through the zipper hole. Make sure to have an even length and snap the tab shut on end.

Tie a string around your zippers

When you want to have silent zippers but don’t want to get rid of the metal zipper pull, you may tie a string through and around your zipper’s metal elements. It will work as a barrier that doesn’t allow your zipper’s metal elements to touch each other. The method will dampen the sound and make the zippers quiet, increasing your chance of staying unnoticed by your buck.

You can try various tying styles off the zipper pull, with the hitch and figure 8 knot as the most common methods.

The hitch

It would help if you tied the string/paracord into a loop, straightening the loop with the knot on end. Continue threading the other end through the bottom hole of the pull and back through the top hole. Pick the knot, threading it through the loop you’ve put through the top pull hole. You should tighten the knot too.

Figure eight

Pick a piece of string/paracord, threading it through one side of the pull-top hole; bring it back through the bottom hole. You should rewind it through the hole on top, going in the opposite direction. Finish with tying the two ends together.

Both methods are cheap and efficient for eliminating the risk of zippers clanking.


Plasti-dipping the zipper pulls is another method to try. You will need some time and patience because you have to apply several coatings for silencing the zippers.

The plasti-dip is a sound-dampener because it will absorb the impact of the zippers slapping around. It won’t make the zippers completely silent, but it will still dull the impact and block the resonance, which decreases the level of noise for the zipper.

As we’ve mentioned, it will be tricky and time-consuming to plasti-dip the zippers, especially if they’re not small. When you’re done with dipping, you also need to hang it for drying it without making a mess. Keep in mind that the effect won’t last for a long time, which is why you should probably try another method.

Look for plastic zippers.

Nobody wants to buy a hunting backpack and replace the zippers with plastic ones; it’s both a skill-intensive and challenging job. If your pack has everything you wanted in a backpack for hunting, you can compromise and replace the zippers with plastic ones except for the zippers because they’re metal. Metal zippers are durable, but they will become quite loud when they touch each other.

If you have never replaced a zipper in your life, we strongly recommend you to go to the professionals. Not only that, you won’t do a good job, but you will lose the durable stitching that only professionals can make; after all, a long-lasting build is one of the reasons you bought the backpack to begin with.

Think of it: you will have to remove the stitches along with the tape of the zippers; the zipper should come off quickly after removing all stitches. Afterward, you will have to sew the new zipper into place; use a sewing machine for the best and most durable results. The new zipper will be much quieter, but will it be as durable as the first zipper?

One last piece of advice

You will need to do many things to keep yourself quiet as a mouse when you go after your deer; silencing the zippers on your hunting backpack, hunting jacket, or sleeping bags gets you one step closer to not being noticed by your buck.

Don’t just take any noise, and keep in mind that every sound counts when you hunt deer. Some things you’ll learn the hard way, but it’s always better to do due diligence about silencing your gear and yourself at home.

Problem solved with zippers. Can you have a silent deer hunting, though?

Zippers are just one of the many problems causing noise when deer hunting. There are a lot of buckles, hunting equipment, and even your walking that can startle a deer. As a hunter, you need to learn many things and how to be dead silent in the woods. Should you be in your early days, the following recommendations will come in handy to be as quiet as a mouse when deer hunting.

Heel to toe

It would help if you always walked heel to toe when deer hunting. Should you misstep or put your foot on some leaves and sticks, this type of walking gives you the chance to pull back up. It’s also helpful to muffle the sound of your footsteps.

Don’t rush

You shouldn’t walk fast in the woods, but take your time and go as slow as possible. It’s better to arrive late than to arrive where no game expects you anymore. Don’t hurry up into getting to your tree stand or ground blind.

Watch out where you’re walking

Many hunters will scan the landscape and forget about where they’re walking. You should always take a look down to see where you put your feet. Pay attention to what you feel with your feet—it will come in time. Use your glass and stop from time to time to scan the landscape. You should do it every 30 to 40 yards or so.

Look for the soft spots

As you’re checking out where to walk, make sure you avoid sticks, leaves, and any loud forest-floor debris. It doesn’t mean that you should walk on the muddy spots, though, as they can get noisy when you’re pulling your boots out of them. Look for the quietest and softest areas to place your feet.

Choose quiet clothing

You should make sure you pick silent clothing when buying and not struggle to make it quiet when in the woods. Some materials get really loud cloth on cloth and will give you away when nearby animals. Check out your hunting clothing when buying. Rub the dress together and pay attention to the sound.

Buy quiet boots

Hunting boots should also be quiet, but that’s not easy since most of them are pretty squeaky. Take your time when buying hunting boots. Make sure that they’re comfortable, the right fit and as quiet as possible.

Keep your gear silent

Backpacks can get loud when walking, so you need to pack everything so that nothing can jiggle around and make a noise. Keep the buckles and straps tight and secure to decrease the noise. Should you hear any noise, stop and find the cause. Make sure you solve the situation.

Pad metals and contact points

You can be extra-cautious and pad everything that can be loud when hunting. Make sure that you cover all metal surfaces and place adhesive felt strips on metals and contact points.

Extra tip

Sometimes, you lose your pace and forget about taking it slow when walking. Place your keys in a loose pocket. If you go too fast, they will let you know that it’s time to slow down again.

Blinds and tree stands can get really noisy—here are three ways to silence them!

If you’re going to use a tree stand, we begin by reminding you that you need to check it out thoroughly to see if there are any missing, damaged, or loose parts. Replace anything that is noisy and needs to be replaced. Here are three effective methods to silence your tree stand:

Blinds and tree stands can get really noisy silence

Buckle Strap Covers

Tree stands come with straps to attach the stand and climbing sticks to the tree. Some models have straps that you can tighten by rachet, whereas others are drawn by friction pull. Regardless of the method, they all come with metal buckles that can get loud. Using dampening materials to cover the exposed metal—cloth tape or a neoprene cover will do the trick.

The neoprene cover is excellent because:

  • It can cover the whole buckle
  • It’s easy to use
  • It insulates the buckle from cold weather

Get kayak paddle grips and cut them to the length of the buckle. Make sure that the stitching doesn’t come to unravel and stitch the steam with superglue. You can slide the grips over the buckles once the glue dries.

Paracord Wrap

You can use paracord wrap for any outdoor activity, not only when deer hunting. You can use it to cover the stand platform front edge and inside framework until you feel an edge to the platform through your boot. Cut the paracord into 10-ft sections and begin wrapping. Make a knot at the beginning and end—you can apply super glue on the knot to ensure it stays tight. Cut off excess paracord and wrap every part you want. Even if efficient, paracord may alter the thickness of the covered components and the ability for a snug fit layout when packing.

Silencing Cloth Tape

You can use the silencing cloth tape (some refer to it as the stealth strip) the same way you use any tape. The only difference is that the cloth is somewhat thicker than regular tapes and has a top layer similar to felt. This layer is effective at silencing your hunting gear. You can find the strip cloths in the rill or a kit specially made for mobile tree stand or similar. It’s straightforward to use and you only need to cut the tape to the required length of metal you have to cover, peel back the backing, and apply the cloth tape. Don’t miss any metal parts that require coating.

All of these methods are effective in silencing your mobile tree stand and, on top of everything else, are affordable to buy.


Is it possible to be quiet when deer hunting?

It depends a lot on the conditions in the deer woods, and it’s not always possible to be quiet when deer hunting. It’s not possible to move through the woods without walking, and it’s impossible not to make any sounds when walking on dry leaves and twigs. If you’re an experienced hunter, you will use the way deer hear to your advantage.

How far can deer hear hunters?

Deer can hear a lot better than humans. Let’s take the scrape of an arrow on a bow’s rest. A hunter will hear it up close and possibly 10 feet away. On the other hand, a deer will be able to hear from 10 yards away.

What’s the best way to quiet a zipper on a ground blind?

You can use bar soap on both sides of the zipper to silence the zippers on the blinds. You will decrease the noise level by 90%. It’s just one of the many things you need to do when hunting deer.

Buckles jiggle a lot. Can you stop them in any way?

If you look at the buckles, you will see a little metal bar inside the metal buckles that bounces around, jingling and clanging. You can solve the noise with a rubber band. You need to pin the metal bar down under the rubber band—it will only work this way.

How far can deer hear rattling?

It seems that deer can hear ratting devices from 512 yards downwind and 223 yards upwind. As you can see, sounds travel farther downwind than upwind.

Robert Dwayne

Robert Dwayne

To say that I am an outdoors enthusiast is probably an understatement. I am hyper passionate about everything outdoors: hiking, survival, hunting. On this website I am sharing my stories and experiences, and I hope you'll find inspiration to take up your own adventures!