Some say the clothing we wear is our second skin. The similarities between the two are indeed apparent, if not in looks, then in functions. Clothing is, however, way more varied and modifiable than our natural skin. We’ve managed to come up with many ways to utilize clothes to solve our issues, be it protection, warmth, comfort, or willingness to look gorgeous. Hunting clothing is no exception, as it was designed with several purposes in mind.
Unfortunately for some of us, wearing a regular T-shirt for a hunt won’t make it a hunting T-shirt, just as wearing a tracksuit to a dinner party won’t turn your jacket and pants into formal attire. Hunting clothes are made to meet certain needs a hunter has when out in the field. If you’re still in two minds about whether you need hunting apparel or a pair of green joggers and a brown zip jacket will suffice, here are several reasons not to skimp on your hunting outfit from a seasoned outdoor equipment store.
It Keeps You Hidden
For better or worse, the path evolution chose for humans is different from the one that animals followed. Animal senses are very sharp, and there is always at least one superior to ours. Depending on what you are hunting, your prey might hear, smell or see you even before you realize that someone was there in the first place. In addition to being less perceptive, we have close to no abilities for mimicry. Have you seen those squids that can change their color in a blink of an eye? That’s some impressive camouflage, and the only thing we can change about ourselves is the complexion. Our ancestors used to cover themselves in dirt and use branches and other elements of foliage to conceal their presence and block the smell. How successful is this strategy? Well, it worked, it seems, but our situation is a bit different. Our survival doesn’t depend on the results of our hunt, so we don’t need to go that far. Why bother gluing leaves to your outfit when you can simply acquire hunting camo? Camouflage patterns, used for hunting clothes, are designed specifically to deceive a particular type of animal. Even if you happen to have a military camo outfit, it will prove less useful simply because it takes advantage of the way human perception works. Take our word for it, no other clothes will have the appropriate camo patterns except for hunting apparel.
It Keeps You Comfortable
Comfortable is a very flexible word that we used to cover all benefits hunting apparel provides. The forest environment is different from that of a city, both in terms of passability and temperature. Hunting is about long walks across hard-to-pass terrain and not about bursts of intense physical activity. However, stamina is not the only thing you need to walk for hours. Your clothing shouldn’t make you feel like you are in a sweltering room dripping wet with sweat. At the same time, should the weather be chilly and frosty, you shouldn’t feel like you need to make a fire every 30 minutes to warm yourself up. The balance of insulation and breathability is a distinctive feature of hunting clothes. You could say the same about clothing designed for active winter sports, but forest dwellers will instantly notice the color since winter clothing is hardly ever made in camo patterns. Hunting apparel also protects you from annoying insects’ bites or at least increases your chances of not being bitten all over.
It Keeps You Safe
Some elements of hunting apparel might work just as bright colors work for poisonous animals. Except for nobody’s trying to eat you, and it is not other animals you are trying to warn. Unfortunately, cases of hunters shooting each other are not unheard of. That’s why the majority of states oblige hunters to wear blaze orange elements. Again, a blaze orange vest is hardly a regular element of your wardrobe, but you need one if you want to go hunting. Better safe than sorry, as they say, and no game is worth you being shot while pursuing it.
We hope now you are convinced if you weren’t already because we want to make sure you know what you need hunting apparel for before giving you tips on how to choose it. And it will be easier to explain them with some points already mentioned. There are two factors you should consider when choosing hunting apparel: your comfort and chosen game.
We’ll spare you the lectures on how important it is to pay attention to sizing charts since this is the part you can figure out on your own. The comfort we are talking about stems from the environment you will find yourself in. It might be reasonable to acquire at least two hunting outfits, one for warmer days and the other for colder ones. The temperature in forests is usually lower than the one shown in forecasts, but summer-lower and late-fall-lower are two very different situations. That’s why it is vital to dress for the weather. Another crucial thing to consider is the terrain. Is it going to be dry or wet? Some water resistance is always welcome to confront rain, but it won’t suffice if you have to walk with water up to your knees in flooded timber. If you get too wet too early, your hunting trip will very likely lose all its colors. To prevent this from happening, choose appropriate clothing. Listings usually have item descriptions that can inform you if the jacket or pants are fit for waterfowl hunting.
Game of Choice
That is an equally important factor since mismatched camouflage not only doesn’t improve your performance but hinders it significantly. Camouflage patterns for hunting whitetail and waterfowl are very different because those two species see the world differently. Deer, for example, lack vivid color vision and can only discern shades of blue and green but don’t have receptors responsible for perceiving red color. This is exactly the reason why all whitetail hunters are required to wear blaze orange. It would have been very strange of the officials to prescribe hunters to do something that completely nullifies their chances of coming home with prey. The main purpose of camo for deer hunting is to break your outline so that the deer has fewer chances of spotting you.
Birds, both waterfowl and turkey, have a very acute color vision (superior to ours), so it is particularly important to have camo that would mimic your surroundings. You might scout the place you plan on hunting in beforehand to see which elements of nature are present in the area. A properly chosen camo won’t make you invisible, but it will increase your chances of staying unnoticed for as long as possible. Many states don’t require hunters to wear blaze orange when hunting waterfowl, but safety should always come first. Be sure to check your local requirements before setting off for your hunting trip.