It is exceptionally important for a hunter to select the right clothing. Naturally, the attire should be comfortable, not restrict movement, have durable and wear-resistant materials, produce minimal noise, and effectively repel water. Additionally, it is crucial to consider the variations in activity levels during different types of hunting to prevent overheating or hypothermia. To achieve this, hunters are advised to dress in layers and adjust the number of layers according to temperature changes or activity types.
How many layers should you use? How to choose suitable hunting clothing for each layer?
The first layer of clothing, directly against the skin, is the base, or thermal underwear. Its main purpose is to quickly and effectively wick away moisture, allowing the body to “breathe.” Cotton is not suitable for this purpose as it absorbs sweat quickly and dries slowly. The best options are synthetic materials or merino wool. Pay attention to the intended level of activity specified in the product description. Pure wool is suitable for low levels of activity, while a wool blend is better for moderate activity with less intense movements. For high levels of activity, choose synthetic fabrics like polypropylene or polyester. The first layer can be a T-shirt and boxers or hunting pants, along with a long-sleeve shirt. The choice of form depends on tasks, activity levels, and preferences.
The second layer is the insulating layer. Clothing in this layer should provide warmth and create thermal insulation. Suitable materials for the second layer include fleece, down, or wool. You may have several such layers, and depending on the temperature and activity, the number of layers can be adjusted. For instance, fleece thermal underwear, followed by a fleece jacket and an insulated vest, can all be worn together or in various combinations.
The third layer is designed to protect against precipitation, wind, thorny branches, and sparks. The third layer should consist of highly durable, wear-resistant materials that are windproof and water-resistant. Ready-made solutions include suits consisting of a jacket and pants. Pay attention to the material from which the suit is made.
Rip-stop and tent fabric are characterized by high strength, can withstand heavy loads, are spark-resistant, block wind, and remain water-resistant for extended periods while still allowing airflow. Membrane fabrics provide excellent protection against wind and precipitation. With proper seam treatment, the suit can be completely waterproof. Membrane fabrics are often used in making mid-season and winter suits, which feature an insulating fleece lining. Such sets are great for moderate activity in wet conditions, like hunting waterfowl or waiting in a hide.
The Importance of Layering
Layering is the cornerstone of effective hunting clothing. It provides versatility and adaptability, allowing you to regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable in varying conditions. By combining the right layers, you can ensure that you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you. Here’s a breakdown of the essential layers and their roles:
The base layer, often referred to as the moisture-wicking layer, is your first line of defense against perspiration. This layer sits directly against your skin and is designed to wick moisture away, keeping you dry. Opt for base layers made from high-quality, moisture-wicking materials, such as merino wool or synthetic blends.
The insulation layer is responsible for retaining your body heat. Depending on the weather and your personal preferences, you can choose from a range of insulating garments, including fleece jackets, down vests, or synthetic puffer jackets. The key is to trap warm air close to your body.
It’s also worth mentioning Softshell – a strong material that combines the properties of a membrane and fleece. It stretches well, breathes, and offers good protection against light precipitation. Disadvantages of Softshell and membrane fabrics include vulnerability to sparks and open flames.
How to layer? The first layer, thermal underwear, is always worn. The other two layers are combined based on weather conditions and activity levels. By following these recommendations, a hunter can ensure comfort in various weather conditions, regardless of the chosen type of hunting.