Hunting clothes versus outdoor clothes
Hunting clothes aren’t just outdoor clothes. Admittedly, there’s a large overlap and while hunting clothes are usually perfect as outdoor clothes, not all outdoor clothes are suitable as hunting clothes. Bright colours, for example, are not done when hunting. And light, thin clothes that you’ll wear when going for a long walk on a warm day, often proof to be less ideal when you’re trying to get through bushes or laying on the ground. Having said that, not all outdoor clothes are unsuitable for hunting. In our assortment, especially regarding base and middle layers, we’ve got a lot of outdoor clothes for both men and women. It’s the top layer where hunting clothes really come to their own with purpose designed clothes for men and women. And, rest assured, we’ve got lots of high-quality hunting clothes for you to choose from, both in our Staphorst based store and online in our webshop.
Hunting clothes are worn in layers
All hunters know that comfort isn’t just a luxury. Every little bit of comfort that you’re able to give yourself, will attribute to a better hunting experience. If you’re sitting feeling comfortable and warm when out in the cold, you feel less urge to move (or to pee), you’ll be able to focus better on observation and your aim will be better too. Same goes when out in the blistering heat: the better you can dissipate the heat from your body, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the more focused you are. But whether it’s heat or cold, it’s always important that your hunting clothes are breathable, to make sure moisture can be led away from your body. A moist skin will feel sticky and uncomfortable, but when it’s cold, it will cool you down too.
Logically, there’s no need to wear thermal underwear on a hot summer day. And waterproof hunting clothes will probably be the last thing on your mind too. But when you’re laying in the grass at dawn, you’ll be glad your hunting clothes can keep the water out. And when the sun starts to rise and you feel the heat burning, you’ll be thankful for the breathability of your hunting clothes too. Comfortable hunting clothes do make a world of change. Yes, we’re all full of tales of hardship and perseverance, but let’s be honest: comfortable hunting clothes do much more for your hunting than you’d initially like to admit.
The key to comfort is wearing your hunting clothes in layers. It enables you to choose layers of clothes, depending on the circumstances and every hunter will know that you’ll get colder when sitting still than when you’re on the move. Wearing hunting clothes in multiple layers helps you build comfortable, insulating layers of thin air. When you start to move and begin feeling hot, the advantage of layered hunting clothes is that you’re not bound to one thick layer. You can just remove one of the layers to feel comfortable again.
The base layer
A base layer of hunting clothes, the so-called thermal underwear, consists of tight-fitting pants and/or shirt, made from thin and extremely breathable fabric. It’s of the utmost importance that this hunting clothes base layer can wick away moist fast and effectively. A wet skin will be getting cold very fast, as the evaporation process of the moisture will take away heat from your body. That’s just basic physics. So, with keeping your skin dry, you help retaining your body heat. With a wet and cold skin, none of the other layers will keep you warm, as there’s no heat to retain. In a way, they would only keep the cold in.
Synthetic materials and certain natural materials like bamboo are antibacterial. This means the fibres have a smooth surface to which mould and bacteria have a hard time getting hold. A good wash and the base layer of your hunting clothes will be clean as a whistle. Nice additional feature is that the material will usually dry fast too. Of course, we’ve got hunting clothes base layers for both men and women in our store, ensuring a perfect fit and thus maximum comfort.
The middle layer
It’s the middle layer of hunting clothes that’ll really keep you warm. By creating thin layers of air, you can retain the body heat. One thick layer of air won’t do, so don’t think you’ll be done with a jacket or coat that’s two sizes too big. The thicker the layer of air, the less it will insulate. But build up thin layers of air and the insulation will go up. Naturally, you don’t have to layer yourself up to look like Bibendum the Michelin man. Modern hunting clothes are made of relatively thin fabrics with good breathability. Moisture is wicked away, while the layers will maintain to keep the warmth inside.
The middle layer can consist of different types of hunting clothes. You can choose, for example, for a shirt or blouse, but also for a warm vest or a sweater. It’s called the three layer system, but don’t take that too literary. As we said: layers are key, so when it’s really cold, it’s no problem to wear a vest over your shirt to create an extra insulating layer. It will still be part of your middle layer if you catch the drift. Of course, when hunting, you won’t be changing layers every single moment, but it’s good to understand that by adding or removing layers, you can finetune the insulation properties of the middle layer of your hunting clothes.
The outer layer
Up until now, we’ve been going on and on about the breathability of hunting clothes, because it’s just thát important. As long as moisture can be wicked away from your body, you stay comfortable and won’t cool down. As the outer layer will be performing the most functions. It does not only need to be breathable, it also needs to be strong, windproof and waterproof. The outer layer also needs to have practical pockets and easy to operate closing systems. We’re now talking about jackets and coats, and pants too, but also vests and bodywarmers. The latter can also be used in a middle layer.
As for heat retention, the most important function of the outer layer is to be keep water out, as wet hunting clothes won’t insulate. For this reason, moisture still needs to be wicked away, that’s why the outer layer not only needs to be waterproof, but -like the rest of the layers- needs to be breathable too. This is done by using a membrane, a thin layer inside the fabric with lots of tiny holes that only let water through one way, from warm to cold. Rain doesn’t stand a chance, while sweat will be comfortably wicked away. And when an outer layer is used to keep you warm, it also needs to be windproof, as you don’t want cold air flowing in, ruining your warm and insulating little air layers with trapped body heat.
Durable hunting clothes
Any clothes you wear should be long lasting, but durability is especially important for hunting clothes. As hunting clothes are used in many types of weather and rough circumstances, they get to endure a lot. Way more than the clothes you’ll wear in everyday life. Hunting clothes have a lot more functions to fulfil, other than just looking nice. They need to offer you comfort, camouflage, keep you warm and dry, they shouldn’t limit your movements, need to offer storage space in pockets, et cetera. Simply put, hunting clothes should aid you in your hunting, offer you an advantage that normal clothes can’t give you.
Hunting clothes -especially the outer layer like jackets and pants- are made from strong material that will handle some abuse. They shouldn’t tear open on the first thorn or wear out as soon as your rear hits the sand a couple of times. Wear prone areas are often reinforced with extra strong fabric or double layers and seams at stress points are strengthened. In short: good hunting clothes won’t rip apart any time soon, nor will they wear out prematurely. For this reason, we only work with the best brands in the business, making sure the hunting clothes we sell are very reliable.
Practical hunting clothes
It’s important to take in consideration all of the above when buying hunting clothes. But the most important thing is that the hunting clothes you end up buying are practical for you. For instance, you can be quite comfy and dry in a waterproof thermo overall. But when you’ve got no pockets for your cartridges, know a sanitary stop will take ages and you can’t move as easy as you’d like, it will be as useful for hunting as a waterproof sleeping bag.
So, practically is key when hunting clothes are concerned. The first thing to think of is the fact you don’t want to be noticed, so the fabric needs to have a natural colour or a camouflage print. And don’t think that’s the end of it, as the fabric needs to be free of UV brighteners that most coloured fabrics nowadays have (and it’s found in common laundry detergents too). Animals see different colour spectrums than humans, and UV is one of those spectrums that some of them can partially see. It’s strange to imagine, but a green jacket can still stand out when it doesn’t feature a UV-absorbing coating as most hunting clothes do have (more about this under the header ‘Hunting clothes maintenance’). Sometimes, for example in a driven hunt, orange can be chosen to be seen by fellow hunters and beaters. Game like deer and boar don’t see the red colour spectrum, so for them, the orange is just another tint of green so to say.
Practicality also means hunting clothes need to have strategically placed and usable pockets that are easy to open and secure. It’s also a good thing if these pockets are waterproof and for some of them to have a zipper, while others benefit more from pushbuttons. Some pushbuttons are especially designed to be soundless by the way. Extremely quiet are magnet closures that can be found on more and more hunting clothes. And pockets with flaps can benefit from extra buttons that enable the flaps to stay open. These are very convenient for pockets where shot cartridges are kept for example.
Another thing to keep in mind, is if zippers can easily be operated with gloved hands. And if it’s the main zipper of a jacket or coat, a two-way one that also opens from the bottom will be very handy. This enables you to get some space around your hips, preventing the jacket or coat from riding up when crouching. There are many practicalities to consider when buying hunting clothes. Are the hunting clothes easy to put on and off, can adjustments be made for a tighter fit? How’s the basic fit? And -an interesting one- how quiet is the fabric? Some of our hunting clothes are made from fabric that is especially designed to be very quiet when rubbed together like the legs of pants will do. A quiet fabric really offers you an advantage.
Hunting clothes for men and women
We’ve been paying a lot of attention to the comfort hunting clothes should offer, so it’s only logical for us to sell hunting clothes for both men and women in our store. Women’s hunting clothes are usually a bit smaller in the shoulders and waist, making for a better fit to the body. A close fit doesn’t only feel more comfortable, it also prevents large pockets of air that’ll draw in cold air and reduce the warmth so carefully built up with layered clothes. Good comfort needs a good fit.
Hunting clothes accessories
So, you’re all dressed up and ready to go in your carefully thought out three-layer system. Ready to brave the elements on bare feet, with cold hands and a wet head… The range of hunting clothes in our store luckily covers it all, so that means we’ve got socks, warm scarfs and cols, gloves, hats and caps. And boots of course. Comfortable, waterproof and durable boots with a good grip.
While we also sell heating packs, hunting is -naturally- more than just trying not to get cold or wet. We further offer wading suits, ghillie suits and shooting vests. The latter is specifically designed to offer plenty of room for movement, have large ammunition pockets and even the possibility to insert recoil dampening shoulder pads.
Hunting clothes maintenance
The durability of hunting clothes greatly depends on the maintenance and care they receive. As hunting clothes tend to get dirty quick and often, the dirt inside the fibres will speed up wear. And on top of that, it can clot or damage the pores of waterproof membranes, causing leaks and affect breathability. Our advice is to wash the hunting clothes at sensible intervals with special detergents for waterproof membranes that also form a UV-absorbent layer. It speaks for itself that these carefully selected detergents are available in our store and online in our webshop.
Buying hunting clothes
With the knowledge of all said above, you should be able to take a well-considered pick from the hunting clothes we’ve got on offer in our store. We’ve got spacious fitting booths on our hunting department and if you need additional advice, please ask one of our shop employees for advice. Many of them are hunters too and can advise you from their own experience. Of course, our hunting clothes can be ordered online too. Any questions you have will be answered by our customer service team. Lots of hunters there too. Just give them a call or contact them trough e-mail or our online chat function.