It’s hard to overestimate the importance of choosing the right apparel for your hunting trips. Just as regular clothes carry you through the day, hunting apparel is your reliable companion on every trip. If carefully chosen, that is.
Not everything you put on when preparing for a hunt automatically becomes hunting apparel. It bears this name for all those benefits it provides to a hunter. Inappropriate clothing only creates additional inconveniences, whereas the right equipment makes things much more comfortable.
What items constitute an exemplary hunter outfit? Some of the obvious answers are jackets, pants, sturdy boots, shooting gloves, hats, and sometimes camouflage face masks. However, it’s not only about what can be seen, the inner layers matter as much as the outer ones. Long sleeve shirts, thermal underwear, and socks are the foundation of your suit that, if chosen poorly, will be the first thing to hinder your performance.
It’s not easy to distinguish among thousands of similar-looking items, all of which claim to be everything you need. There are, however, hunting apparel brands that proved themselves reliable in every way. All of them have many things in common, yet their products are all different and somewhat unique in their own way. What features characterize the best hunting clothing?
Best hunting clothes are those that perform their functions well. And they have several.
Hunting can take place in various biomes, all different from one another. More often than not, retaining temperature becomes relevant right from the beginning. You don’t need to hunt in an arctic tundra to feel cold. Even a summer forest can be pretty chilly in the early morning or at dusk. Keeping warm is one of the basic clothes’ functions, and hunting apparel is no different. However, it is crucial not to overdo it, as hunting usually involves a lot of moving around, and additional bulk will only restrain your movements. Warm hunting clothes allow a hunter to travel comfortably without being over-encumbered.
Not sweating is not an option unless you lack sweat glands like pigs and hippos. Intense physical activity inevitably leads to perspiration. Walking wet and sweaty is hardly comfortable, that’s why it is vital to stay dry. You cannot regulate your perspiration, but your clothes can absorb and wick it away. Moreover, if you plan on pursuing waterfowl in marshes and flooded timber, waterproof hunting clothes become a necessity. You don’t want any water to disturb your hunting, and clothing is supposed to take care of that issue.
Usually, these two functions are performed by different pieces of clothing. Base layer clothes absorb moisture, while mid- and outer layers are worn to retain warmth.
Hunting apparel is by no means protective armor, and it will not save you from another hunter’s stray bullet and predator’s claws and teeth. It can, however, protect you against occasional branches and annoying insects if that is something you consider a threat. Generally speaking, hunting clothes should be durable so that you won’t have to buy new items every season.
When entering a forest, hunters also enter an unequal battle with its dwellers. Unequal for animals because they don’t have guns, unequal for hunters because animal senses are dramatically sharper. That doesn’t even the odds, only makes it differently unequal. Animals can either see, hear, or smell you even before you’ll become aware of their presence. That is if you are not cautious enough. The best hunting gear can make you almost undetectable, or at least much less so, especially if you put some effort into it. Depending on the type of game you hunt, your hunting clothes’ camouflage can either help you blend in with the surroundings or break up your outline. It is also essential to choose a material that would produce as little noize as possible. That’s how you negate your prey’s advantage. This and a rifle.
Now that we’ve listed qualities that quality hunting apparel possesses, it’s time to give some tangible examples. We’ll cover clothes for big game and waterfowl hunting, as these two types require different apparel, which by no means is interchangeable.
Big Game Hunting
SITKA Blizzard AeroLite Parka and SITKA Blizzard AeroLite Bib Pant are a perfect pair for your late-season hunting sessions. As the name suggests, this pair is designed specifically to keep you warm in harsh frost conditions. To reduce the impact the snow might have on your gear, the Blizzard series features waterproof and breathable fabric. As to retaining the warmth, both items utilize the PrimaLoft Gold Insulation technology, which provides the warmth of the down insulation while performing well even when wet. The fabric is covered with a waterproof finish that keeps it from wetting out. Pockets feature a fleece lining to keep your hand from freezing. This set is one of the vivid examples of the best cold weather hunting gear.
When it comes to waterfowl, it’s hard to find hunting brands more experienced than Drake. They produce apparel fit for flooded timber and layout blind hunting and know their trade well. DRAKE LST Guardian Flex Double Down Eqwader Full Zip Jacket’s upper body and sleeves are made from 100% water- and windproof material, whereas the lower torso features moisture-wicking polyester that averts the build-up of perspiration and moisture vapor. This jacket comes in different camouflage patterns to help you mingle with the environment and conceal you from birds’ keen eyes. DRAKE LST Insulated 2.0 Bib is made from the same waterproof fabric as the jacket but can boast a higher number of pockets both for storing and hand warming.
This is hardly a tribute that these brands deserve, and there are several other brands that are worth your time. We’ve only taken a peek. Besides, apart from the mentioned items, there are many more that deserve your attention.