Shooting and stalking is rewarding and often very challenging… dealing with the extremes of our climate is just the beginning.
It is anything but straight forward when choosing gifts for shooting but we have tried to suggest a number of tips covering shooting clothing and stalking clothing – jackets, trousers, mid layers, wellington boots, hill boots and accessories, such as knives and torches. The outdoor enthusiast simply needs the best equipment, so to help we have listed some key areas that you might want to consider. If you would like a more tailored service please do not hesitate to contact one of the ArdMoor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01620 671480.
Picking the right jacket
It is vital that your shooting jacket keeps you warm and dry. Gamekeepers and experienced shots often opt for specialist Shooting Jackets. Given the very active nature of the profession, breathability of the material is key a key feature of shooting clothing. Other aspects to consider are weight, toughness (to deter the toughest of thorns), pockets and where it fits in the overall shooting wardrobe – the working jacket may not always be worn on shoot days! Examples of waterproof and breathable materials are Gore-Tex, Seetex, CTX all of which offer ideal protection and material breathability.
In addition to the comments above on shooting jackets you will want to consider a number of additional clothing features available to stalkers on their jackets. Stalking jackets are another popular choice as often they boast features such as concealment (colour and camouflage), ease of washing (crawling through a peat bog has its consequences!); ease of movement, rifle bullet and radio pockets.
Picking the correct trousers
On a traditional shooting day breeks (plus twos and plus fours) are still the most commonly worn trousers. That said, gamekeepers, beaters and active shots could consider full length shooting trousers. These are generally more waterproof, thorn proof, breathable, flexible and hard wearing – all key points to consider when picking your trousers. Even if the weather is fair there is a good chance that in order to remain concealed there will be plenty of contact with wet ground!
Layer up with a micro-fleece!
The key to fleeces is a layered approach! It’s always better to have the ability to delayer as you heat up during work. A combination of a micro fleece and a warm outer layer for cold days offers maximum protection without compromising movement. While on the warmer milder days a fleece waistcoat lined with wind stopper material is definitely something to consider. You may prefer just to wear an outer fleece when shooting, however always remember that conditions can change very rapidly and that you should always carry a warm waterproof outer layer. During the colder months, fleeces give the flexibility to cope with any extreme.
Caps, hats and gloves – essentials not accessories!
Protection from the elements is up there at the top of the list, this includes the sun, wind and rain, while breaking up the silhouette of the face is another primary objective of shooting headwear – caps, hats.
Those experienced in handling a gun will let you know of the importance of warm hands! Whether it’s a rifle or shotgun that you’re handling a pair of specifically designed shooting gloves not only ensures comfort, good grip and positioning but also is vital for safety.
Warm and dry feet are vitally important
Even the right pair of shooting socks is important – for shoot days, woollen stockings are perfect, while warm technical socks are ideal to ensure warmth in the extremes of more general country activities.
Some people live in their wellington boots – this means no compromise on warmth, comfort and breathability. The support of the ankle and foot is paramount and the soles of the boots must offer maximum grip particularly in mud and ice.
Hard wearing, breathable and waterproof hill boots are a great alternative choice of footwear. The use of materials such as Armortex, Kevlar and Gore-tex ensure the boot is able to cope with the rough and extreme environment that they will be exposed to. Similar to wellingtons, ankle support is a key feature and we recommend high ankle boots for additional support and higher water resistance (less easy for water and snow to access the boot via the top). If you are going to be using the boot over prolonged periods without change, we also recommend memory-fit inners as this ensures that the boot can be worn in comfort for long periods.