Gamekeepers, the guardians of exceptional field sports, are responsible for many key aspects of the health of the British countryside. Their role is invaluable, rewarding and often very challenging…dealing with the extreme of our climate is just the beginning.
It is anything but straight forward when choosing gifts for gamekeepers but we have tried to suggest a number of tips covering shooting and stalking clothing – jackets, trousers, mid layers, wellington boots, hill boots and accessories, such as knives and torches. A gamekeeper simply needs the best equipment.
To help, we have listed some key product 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 by email email@example.com or phone on 01620 671480.
Picking the right jacket
Whatever jacket a gamekeeper decides to wear, it is vital that it keeps them warm and dry. That’s why gamekeepers often opt for a specialist Shooting Jacket. Given the very active nature of the profession, breathability of the material is key! 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 include Gore-Tex, Seetex, CTX and many more; all of which offer ideal protection and material breathability sought after by Gamekeepers.
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 for gamekeepers 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, when working the Gamekeeper should definitely 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 gamekeeping. However, always remember that conditions can change very rapidly so 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!
The cap or hat is multi-purpose for gamekeepers. Protection from the elements is 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 headwear! It’s worth noting however that the gamekeeper’s main senses – eyes and ears – should not be hindered at all.
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.
The Gamekeepers feet are vitally important
While this might not be something that immediately sprung to mind as a point to consider – gamekeepers should pick socks based on the occasion! For shoot days, wool stockings are perfect, while warm technical socks are ideal to ensure warmth in the extremes of a gamekeepers workload.
This feeds in nicely to what type of footwear the gamekeeper should wear. It can be said that a game keeper lives 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.
For times when the gamekeeper is not wearing wellingtons, hard wearing, breathable and waterproof hill boots are often the next 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. Ankle support is a key feature, and we recommend high boots for additional support and higher water resistance; these simply make it 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.