Hunting Clothes: the Importance of Layering and How to Do It Right
If you’re a hunter who’s looking to properly outfit himself for their first hunt, the most important thing to consider when shopping for hunting clothes is layering. Layering is essential to the comfort and thus, the success of your hunt. However, layering doesn’t mean just putting multiple layers of clothing on top of you and hoping for the best. Instead, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it, so you want each and every layer to work together to defend against the elements, trap heat and keep moisture at bay.
The first layer of hunting clothes is your base layer. The purpose of this layer is to keep you warm, dry and wick the moisture away. Depending on the conditions you hunt in, you might want a lightweight base layer that provides little insulation, is breathable and wicks sweat off the skin. For colder conditions, you’ll want a mid-weight base layer that has moisture-wicking properties but doesn’t overheat your body. And for hunting in cold weather conditions, you’ll want a heavyweight base layer that provides a lot of insulation, is well ventilated and breathable.
There are a couple of different popular fabric options for base layers, such as synthetic like polyester, which are quick-drying and lightweight, or merino wool, which are extremely comfortable, odour-resistant and have moisture-wicking properties. Silk and polypropylene are also commonly used, but not as polyester and merino wool.
The mid layer works together with the base layer in the quest of removing moisture while trapping heat. This layer should be flexible, and you should be able to remove it or double up on it on demand. Merino wool, polyester and nylon made mid layer clothing are all ideal. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you can also use your mid-layer as an outer layer in milder weather, and if that’s the case, you should make sure it’s waterproof.
And lastly, the outer layer. The outer layer acts as your protective shell and it’s the first line of defense between you, the environment and the elements. Outer layer clothing is designed to repel rain, snow, wind and anything else nature throws at you. Additionally, they’re designed to withstand the rigors of rough, skin-unfriendly terrain like thorny bushes, tree branches, etc. When choosing your outer layer, the most important factor to consider is it’s packability and weight so that you can easily bag it up in case it’s too warm.