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Before you step out in the woods, you need to be well-equipped from a clothing perspective. And to choose the best gear out there, it's important to know how to shop for hunting clothes.
This blog is going to cover everything you need to know before you swipe that card or before you click that "Purchase" button online. And in addition to that, I'm going to share my personal recommendations on what I look out for before buying any sort of hunting clothing.
The topics below will help you compare your style of hunting to the gear required to produce a successful hunt. It will also outline the different levels of hunting clothing and what makes the most sense for you. Finally, I'm going to highlight a few of the top retailers to purchase hunting gear from.
We all know temperatures impact deer movement, and when those temperatures change you need to have the right clothing gear available to remain present.
I've personally heard stories of hunters starting the day at 70 degree temperatures to only wrap things up with snow approaching and temperatures hovering around the low 30s. Now, expecting a standard, single piece of gear to keep you out in the woods is just silly and something that needs to be avoided.
Before you go out, make sure to review current weather fluctuations and bring the necessary gear to combat such changes. Having a good brand and a few other additions will not only keep you comfortable and safe, but will help you focus on the real prize - that big buck!
When it comes to staying warm for hunting, the most important thing to remember is layers. So many hunters get lost in the idea of finding the perfect jacket or the best pair of hunting pants, and it's just not that simple.
To optimize your hunting clothing, you're going to have to have multiple options available to balance changing temperatures while preserving body heat and battling excessive moisture. By having additional layers available, and gear that's engineered for each layer, you put yourself in the best possible situation for a successful hunt.
Hunters that walk a few miles out to their tree stand or elevated hunting blind, and those that spot-and-stalk while crawling for their final shot require different types of gear - it's just that simple.
Many other questions need to be asked as well:
1. Is your hunting location exposed to wind? If so, you might need a tough outer layer to protect you.
2. Do you have to trek through briars? If so, be careful wearing soft shell insulation as it might tear.
3. Are you expecting rain? If so, it might be handy to bring a rain shell with you.
4. Are you going to be kneeling a lot? If so, you might want to purchase pants with kneepads?
These are just a few of the questions that quickly come to mind, and something to consider before your next purchase.
When it comes to material, a lot of lower-level hunting clothes are going to use a simple cotton material for both shirts and pants. While this might save you some money, it's going do little to protect you from rain and cold. Furthermore, these might contain spandex or elastic fibers that wear down over time.
Here's a great blog from Modern Ratio talking more about cotton and cold weather conditions.
Outside of this, the more tactical-style brands offer materials such as polyester, merino, and other propriety fabrics that are specifically engineered to protect you from heat, cold, rain, etc. These materials are also going to have a much longer shelf life, and stand up to much tougher conditions when the time comes.
When it comes to hunting gear, you can't forget about concealment - no matter if that's by smell or by sight.
Of course, when we talk about sight it's going to come down to your choice of camouflage and how well this matches up to your style of hunting, as well as your surrounding terrain. Companies like Sitka and KUIU are now challenging the old-style "mimicry" camo with new large / abstract patterns that take a more technical approach to concealment.
In case this information is just not enough, we have a more in-depth blog summarizing the best camo for hunting that will help you navigate this issue more easily.
When choosing to purchase any piece of hunting clothing, you're going to find that there are different levels. If you're wanting today's new "technical" gear that combines the best quality with unique features, you're going to pay a solid price. However, it's important to note that this gear's durability is nearly unmatched and will stand up to any type of terrain and/or weather.
On the other side of things, there are still quite a few mid-level options out there that are extremely durable. Of course, you're going to give up a few features and that athletic fit, but they're still going to last for years to come.
Lastly, for those that want to focus their purchasing power on other things, many affordable clothing brands remain very popular within the hunting community. These brands offers unbeatable prices thathelp you get out in the field with minimal impact to your wallet. Keep in mind, the features are going to be very minimal and you might run into durability issues if you hunting in tough conditions.
Top Level Hunting Clothing Brands
4. First Lite
Mid-Level Hunting Clothing Brands
4. Cabela's Outfitters
5. Under Armour
Low Level Hunting Brands
2. King's Camo
3. Mossy Oak
Once you've taken the time to review the steps above, and you've figured out the most important item of hunting clothing for your next purchase, it's time to pick a spot to pull the trigger.
Of course, you can always go down to your local sporting goods store to support a local business, but they're not always going to have the best hunting clothing brands available.
To shed some more light on this, we've listed out the top 5 outdoor retailers to purchase hunting clothing from:
2. Bass Pro
To learn more about How Many People A Deer Will Feed we have a blog on that too!