For many hunters preparing for a trip, especially a long-awaited one, is a stand-alone ritual. Restocking on ammo, polishing your rifle, choosing what to wear. Almost like a prom prep, only less stressful and defining. Some hunting enthusiasts pay their undivided attention to and spend money only on firearms, neglecting apparel and thinking it doesn’t matter that much. There is some reasoning behind it since hunting clothes don’t lure more animals or help your hand remain steady. We need to set priorities, and for the most part, apparel will always be beaten by firearms and ammunition. However, every seasoned hunter will tell you that there is much more to apparel than meets the eye. Clothing is the closest thing to your body, and it actually fulfills more functions than your firearm. No firearm will keep you warm, dry, and well-hidden from your prey unless you shoot a cannon with a bore wide enough to house a human. But, for the sake of fairness, no outfit will help you shoot your prey either. We at GritrOutddors.com believe that there is no competition for your money between apparel and firearms. Those are two important aspects of hunting that deserve to be considered. And in this article, we will help you choose the best men’s hunting clothing to get the full worth of your money. And look good.
Hunting clothing is all about function above looks: its value is determined by performance in the field rather than visual appeal. Hunting apparel manufacturers have more aspects to work on than other outdoor clothing producers. Your outfit should keep you warm, but not cause excessive sweating. It should keep your movements unrestricted, but not be too loose or tight. It should keep you dry and protect you from the wind, and, finally, conceal you from animals’ eyes. Quite a list of responsibilities, right? You will hardly find something in your closet that could handle all these tasks. But are those features really that important when hunting? If you have ever returned from the forest soaking and freezing, you won’t discard the comfort that hunting clothing can provide.
Now that we’ve hopefully proved the worth of hunting apparel (at least we tried), let’s get down to choosing clothes. We must first decide on the brand. The hunting apparel market, just as any other in the US, is very competitive. Many brands specialize solely in hunting apparel, and there are those for whom it is one of the product ranges. We could say that you should not listen to anyone and check all things first-hand, but this is exactly why you are here, aren’t you? Looking for advice. We could enumerate more than a dozen of hunting camo brands worthy of your attention and recommend trying each of them, but you hardly need that many camouflaged jackets and pants. And it would cost you a pretty penny. To save your money and time, which are both precious resources, we will stop at one brand and give you a few examples of its products. Today’s brand: King’s Camo.
King’s Camo is known for developing its own camo patterns, inspired by brush, coloration, depth, and details of various terrains. But this brand is not only about coming up with fancy pictures to put on clothing – product quality matches the ingenuity of their patterns. King’s Camo belongs to the clique of leading hunting apparel manufacturers, so five-star performance is guaranteed.
What pieces of clothing you might want to incorporate into your hunting outfit? The options are numerous, depending on the climate you live in, the type of game you plan to hunt and its natural habitat, clothes you feel comfortable wearing, that sort of thing. The safe choice would be to have a pair of pants or bibs, one or two jackets for different seasons, gloves, a neck gaiter, and a hat. Boots are technically not apparel, so we are not going to elaborate on them, but a sturdy pair of boots is another mainstay for a fruitful hunt.
What sets hunting jackets for men and women apart from, say, jackets for active outdoor sports? Both provide insulation and ventilation, allow you to move freely, and most of them protect you from precipitations and wind equally well. Why pay more? The thing is, regular sports jackets tend to be made in a black-blue-white-red color palette. As you can imagine, none of these colors blend well with hunting environments. The distinctive feature of hunting apparel is its bi-focus nature: it protects the wearer while concealing them from the game they pursue. This is what camo patterns do, and they are kind of exclusive to hunting apparel. You might think of military camouflage, and while it is better than nothing, it is not the best-performing option you have. Military camo is designed based on human perception of colors and patterns while hunting camo accounts for peculiarities of animal vision.
Apart from visual concealment, hunting jackets should provide the same benefits active sports clothing does. It is important to choose a jacket with an insulation level sufficient for your temperature level: too low will leave you shivering with your teeth chattering; too high will make you feel like you’re moving in a portable sauna.
If you are choosing apparel for waterfowl hunting, you would want it to be water-proof and not water-resistant. Water resistance is great for deer, big game, or upland hunting, protecting you from occasional rain. However, if you plan to hunt ducks or geese, you’d need more than that.
Hunting Pants & Bibs
Hunting pants usually moonlight as small storage facilities thanks to the number of pockets. A little extra space to carry your trinkets is always welcome, but there is much more to pants than pockets. Pants and bibs are more likely to be in contact with various natural obstacles like briars, thickets, twigs, and branches. Therefore, they need to be durable enough to withstand such confrontations. Extra-robust pants, neither too heavy nor too light, are your best option. However, if you plan to hunt waterfowl and walk in flooded timber rather than shooting from a boat or a blind, no pants will save you from getting super wet. For such occasions, you need waders which are one-piece waterproof garments for legs and body. They are sealed and won’t let any water invade your personal space.
Getting hunting accessories might seem excessive, but we are not talking about brooches in the form of a deer head. A hat is a mandatory element for all those who care about their key body part: it warmly embraces your head when it’s cold and keeps it protected from malevolent sun rays’ attacks when it’s sunny. Whether it’s a cap or a boonie hat for summer days or a beanie for colder periods, a hat should always be a part of your hunting outfit.
Hunting gloves will not only keep your hands from freezing but also conceal that part of your body that remains exposed most of the time. Some prey, like birds, is very perceptive to out-of-place colors and may spot your shining skin before you manage to spot it. Gloves eliminate this possibility, complementing your hunting costume. For the same purposes, you might want to wear a neck gaiter or maybe even a mask to hide your face since it will be perceived in the same manner.
We hope we’ve managed to prove the necessity of specialized hunting apparel. Now you know how one chooses the best hunting clothing for men. Or women, the principles are all the same. Hunting apparel, if well-chosen, will be a very helpful companion. We wish you found that companion and spent all hunting trips in comfort.