Choosing your hunting clothes is one of the most important aspects for both your comfort and safety. But your apparel will depend on a lot more than just your personal preferences. For instance, the weather can be a decisive factor when it comes to the clothes you wear as a hunter.
The opinions are split when it comes to the most important clothing item for a hunter, but we will break them down into several ones that you will have to pay attention to when you prepare for your hunting experience.
The most important clothing item for safety during hunting
Your safety should always come first, especially during a hunting session, even before your comfort. You will want to wear a fluorescent vest, coat or hat. Ideally, you will have at least one fluorescent item in your apparel so other hunters will be able to spot you easily.
Wearing a fluorescent item that is easy to spot is crucial if you go hunting during a muzzleloader or rifle season. During these types of hunting seasons, most accidents happen and you don’t want to take any risk. However, besides the personal choice in this matter, there are also laws and regulations that will obligate you to wear at least one of these fluorescent items when hunting.
We recommend wearing a fluorescent vest or shirt rather than a fluorescent hat since they are easier to notice on the hunting field.
But such an apparel item is not always mandatory. During archery season, for instance, it is not required by the law to wear a fluorescent item that is easily visible for other hunters.
The most important clothing item for your comfort during hunting
If you don’t have to worry about safety, according to your hunting environment and the hunting season you want to perform in, comfort should be your next concern. You will not be able to hunt successfully if you are cold or if you get too hot as you move from one spot to another. Sweating can be a very uncomfortable nuisance as well and you want to stay on top of that as much as possible.
The importance of the base layer
Most hunters will assure you that the base layer of your apparel is one of the most important items when it comes to comfort. And they wouldn’t be wrong at all! We would even go as far as to say that all the layers of your hunting clothing are just as important and they need to complement each other perfectly for your comfort. Naturally, your clothing layers will matter more if you are hunting during the winter season or in the heart of the mountains where your temperatures are very low.
Your base layer is one of the most important layers because if that clothing is made of a poor material you will sweat and get even colder. Regardless of the hunting spot you choose, chances are that you will move a lot from one place to the next according to your target and you will be trying to get the best shooting position. This type of dynamic will get you hot and sweaty and if your base layer is not made of a breathing textile, you will stay sweaty.
A great base layer material will pull the sweat from your skin and send it to the other layers so you will not feel sweaty all the time. The outer layers should also be made of a breathing material so the moisture can keep circulating instead of being stuck on you. But this circulation starts with the base layer which makes this one an essential part of your hunting apparel.
In terms of material, you want a base layer that is made of merino wool or that is synthetic because cotton will take a longer time to dry once it gets wet. Between synthetic materials and merino wool, the synthetic ones are the fastest to dry. On the other hand, a wool material will offer you resistance to odor and smell which could be highly uncomfortable when you are sweating on the field.
The importance of windproof and waterproof outer layer
There are also hunters that consider the outer layer to be one of the main pieces of hunting apparel. This outer layer should be both windproof and waterproof to offer you the optimum comfort during your hunting session.
Basically, if the outer layer blocks the cold from the wind and it is water repellent, you are completely covered. However, this could be hard to achieve in the same product so, if you have to choose between windproof and waterproof outer layer, choose the windproof one.
The last thing you want when you are out in the field is to be colder than you can handle instead of being able to focus on your target. Depending on the weather, windproof gloves will also turn out very efficient as they will keep your fingers from freezing and you will have a better shooting accuracy.
The importance of a good layering system
Your hunting outfit is formed of more important pieces, rather than just one of them. You want to make sure you can layer and unlayer properly in order to accommodate the needs of your body. Combining the best layers is the key to successful hunting apparel, regardless of the weather.
The general rule says that, if you are going to hike to your hunting spot, you want to have an outer layer to add on top of your base layer once you get to your destination and you are ready to sit for a while. This is important because you will get hot during hiking and cold when you stay still which is why the outer layer will compensate for the temperature difference for your body.
Similarly, if you get too hot while you are hunting, you need to be able to remove one layer of clothing and wear your dry base layer. The arrangements you make will differ based on the weather conditions but also based on how much are you going to move on the hunting field.
The most important hunting clothing item will vary according to the factors above but ultimately, your safety is the most important. So, make sure you respect the clothing requirements for the hunting season you want to join and the environment you want to hunt in. Fluorescent clothing should definitely be on your list as the most important item according to the law but you will have to consider your comfort as well so the layers are just as important.