When you're new to the hunting scene, the vast range of hunting clothing wear and accessories available can be a little daunting.
To begin with, just buy what you absolutely need - you may find you already own some of the basics. As you become a more experienced hunter you will discover which additional items would be useful to you for the type of hunting you do. Whilst you don't need an extensive wardrobe to begin with, it's important to make sure that the hunting clothes you invest in are good quality. They should incorporate the specialist outdoor clothing technology available today, which will keep you protected from the elements and terrain while allowing you to hunt effectively.
Key features to look for in a hunting jacket are protection from the elements, ability to pack down into a small space when not needed, and rustle-free, non-reflective fabric. Breatha-tex Stealth fabric is ideal, particularly for stalking. It is highly waterproof, breathable, silent and available in hunters green and a range of camo patterns. Camouflage technology is constantly evolving, with high specification materials developed using digital photography and printing. Designers are becoming more aware of local needs, so you can now source camo designs created specifically for the UK English hunting scene. A good gilet will be constructed with waterproof fabric. These are useful in mild weather when you might prefer not to wear a sleeved jacket, and can also be worn as a layer for warmth with a jacket in winter. A mesh vest should have plenty of storage pockets, and some are fitted with a drop-down game bag. Wet feet are to be avoided at all costs, so waterproof boots, preferably with a breathable membrane are essential. Likewise, cold feet are not something you'll want if you're to get the best from your hunting excursion. If you're going to be out during cold weather be sure to wear hunters boots with an insulated lining, often Thinsulate in a walking boot, or neoprene fabric in a wellington. The soles of your boot should be designed to offer protection, comfort and grip, with a tread developed to avoid clogging and build-up of mud. Vibram technology offers all of these qualities. Add good quality thick socks for extreme conditions.
High performance hunting wear should also incorporate intelligent design features. Select garments with pockets which are easy to access with minimal movement, thereby avoiding disturbance. For added comfort when kneeling, choose trousers with waterproof knee reinforcement. Look for jackets and gilets with a high collar to protect your neck from sun, rain or insects.
When you invest in high performance hunting clothing you need to maintain it. Use waterproof coating cream or spray when needed. Remember to avoid using detergents not designed for the job as they can strip waterproofing from garments, also the strong fragrance from your frsh laundry could inadvertently alert animals to your presence when you're next out hunting. General outdoor stores on the high street will not usually offer the high-specification items you need, so choose a specialist retailer to find the hunting clothing you need. Once you have clothing that works for you, you're free to concentrate on your own performance.