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Clothing, wet and dry

Klädsel, i vått och torrt

Are you buying your first hunting clothes or perhaps supplementing your wardrobe for the next adventure? Do you perhaps have a good handle on your wardrobe, your needs, and preferences? With this text, I share how I think when choosing clothes based on function. I have no ambition to convince or change how you use your wardrobe or wallet, but I make an attempt to question and inspire.

 

Hunting, Outdoor

For me, hunting and outdoor activities are barely distinct, and it's rarely anything other than the choice of color that distinguishes between a hiking trip or a hunting day, if anything. So, with that said, I'll start by describing a basic wardrobe for hunting (which for me is exactly the same as for outdoor activities in general).

Cordura Bib Pants - hunting pants

Clothing for Functionality

First and foremost, I look at function - fit/mobility, breathability, weight, noise, pockets, and systems. Is it wet, hot, windy? Yes, you get it, the next variable is which protection or assistance from the clothes I think I will value most during use. So if it's raining like crazy, is it freezing, or what.

It's not exactly rocket science but a simple question of how you want it. Being dry tends to be a winner in the long run. Not freezing as well, and the same applies, of course, to being reasonably warm. Ultimately, it's the activity that dictates as much as the weather. If you sweat a lot, you lose valuable fluid balance, and if you don't dry off, you'll get cold sooner or later.

 

Layering

So, with dry and warm as a starting point, it's hard to argue against the layering principle. If it's cold, you can add layers; if it's warm, you can remove them.

Therefore, a membrane suit as the only choice isn't entirely complete. But sure, if I have to choose only one jacket, then it will have a membrane, because on the day it rains properly, I'm not going to fold because of the weather. But in most cases, such a jacket will come with me in the backpack as long as it's reasonably warm and I'm going to move around. Why? Well, becoming too hot and sweaty is much worse than being a little cold until your body heat kicks in. But according to the layering principle, can't you still have a waterproof membrane on the outside? Yes, absolutely, especially as long as you regulate how warm you are, because a membrane breathes, but only to a certain extent. So personally, I choose a membrane when I have to, but not otherwise. If the risk is that I sweat more than I get wet from the outside, it's a bad idea in terms of performance, dehydration, and the time it takes to dry from the inside with a membrane on the outside.

Moose Hunting In Norway. Hunting clothes from Bearskin with Swedish hunters.

So I advocate clothes that dry efficiently. Merino wool doesn't dry very fast, but it has a fantastic ability to insulate nonetheless, and if it's also thin, it dries well enough. Other materials like Cordura or tightly woven cotton blends keep the wind out, are durable, and above all - dry quickly and allow you to dry from the inside.

 

During the season, around Central Sweden in my case, for large parts, at least from August to November, I dress in pants, merino wool/wool, and an outer layer on the upper body. Later, when it's colder, I add a wool vest, a fleece, or a wool sweater as a middle layer. And long or mid-length wool underwear. To that, add something on the head and gloves.

Stand Hunter

For passivity, rest, ambush hunting, or stand hunting, I simply add another layer. The colder it is, the thicker, plain and simple. Because even still activity usually requires transport by your own power, the ability to vary clothing becomes important even then so that you don't have to sit down sweaty on watch.

In some cases, the membrane garment brought along is all you need as a reinforcement garment, and then you have rain protection as a bonus.

 

Hunting Wardrobe

If I were to create a hunting or outdoor wardrobe for someone starting from scratch, I would make sure there are base layers, middle layers, outer layers in the form of pants and jacket to protect against wind, mosquitoes, and scratches. To that, I would add a rain/membrane suit, which can then function both as rain protection and reinforcement.

With something extra warm like a padded jacket, a heat suit, or similar, you can go a long way in many conditions. Of course, you can experiment with different footwear, heated vests, etc., but my starting point in this text is primarily mobile hunting or other outdoor activities, rather than passivity.

 

All the Best, Lex

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