Why I Invest in Quality Hunting Apparel

Let me tell you, picking the right hunting clothes is just as critical as choosing the perfect rifle or scope. Subpar gear can ruin your hunting trip and force you to cut it short. But quality hunting apparel can give you an edge and keep you happy in the wilderness until that trophy buck saunters into view. When the chips are down, good gear could be a lifesaver if something unexpected happens, so it’s nothing to sneeze at. You probably won’t encounter a life-or-death situation while hunting, but if you plan to hunt in remote areas or harsh conditions, temperature regulation, moisture control, and sweat management become super important.

Exposure to moisture can spell trouble for a hunter, whether it’s from rain or sweat. As the thermometer drops, high humidity can sap body heat and lead to hypothermia. You need to wear insulating layers yet let your skin breathe when you’re outdoors for a while. Hunting clothes can also enable stealthy movement. Gear made for hunting should have zippers and Velcro that close quietly and fabrics that don’t rustle when they rub against each other. This allows the hunter to move silently and avoid spooking game.

Layering hunting apparel is all the rage nowadays and helps you adjust your comfort level and protection based on conditions. Plus, you can stash extra pieces in your pack in case an unexpected cold front or rain shower blows through. We’ll use Sitka’s system as an example, but the logic applies to other brands too. There are four main layers: a base layer, an insulating layer, a shell layer, and a waterproof layer. Sometimes it’s simplified into a three-tier system: the base layer, an insulating mid layer, and a protective shell layer. Either way, you need the right gear for each layer before embarking on serious hunts. Let’s examine each more closely.

Must-Have Layers

Base Layer

The first layer that goes on closest to your skin is called the base layer or inner layer. It usually consists of a long-sleeved shirt and matching bottoms, kinda like long underwear. But don’t think of these as your grandpa’s long johns! Base layer clothing keeps you dry and comfy by wicking moisture away from your body, preventing you from getting cold where your clothes touch your skin. Wearing a base layer also reduces bacteria growth and funky body odors so you feel refreshed and energized on those long hunts.

Besides keeping the air smelling fresh, odor control is even more important for hunting. Veteran hunters know scent management can make or break whether they tag out or go home empty-handed. If their target gets one whiff of human scent before the hunter has a clear shot, that animal will likely bolt in a heartbeat. Now, scent control tech isn’t foolproof. It should be paired with understanding wind direction, washing clothes before going out, and using other scent-masking products.

Nowadays, scent control is achieved through one of two technologies:

  • Carbon – The OG scent-blocking ingredient. Hunting clothing is treated with carbon compounds which trap odor molecules as they pass through the fabric instead of releasing them into the air. This prevents your scent from giving away your location to nearby animals, in theory at least.
  • Zeolite – A mineral with a porous structure that traps odor molecules moving through clothing. It’s often combined with other scent-fighting chemicals like antimicrobials. The porous zeolite traps scents as alternatives to carbon.

Choose your base layer based on your usual hunting grounds and the weather. Opt for a short sleeve tee and leggings in warm weather. If you expect it to get nippy, go with long sleeves and full-length bottoms. When picking base layer material, it’s crucial to have a fabric that whisks moisture away from your skin. While scent control is nice bonus, there’s often a link between dryness and odor control anyways. Do you need camo-patterned base layers? It’s handy to be able to shed down to your skivvies while staying hidden, as weather can be unpredictable. A solid black or dark base layer allows this while avoiding clashing patterns.

Insulation Layer

The mid layer provides insulation. You’ll wear an insulating layer on top of your base layer to help retain warmth. It serves two purposes: one, it keeps you toasty, and two, it protects against the elements. On frigid days, you can add this extra insulation or stuff it in your pack when not needed. Make sure your insulating layer can fit in your bag and is designed to be packed away. The insulation layer can also double as your outer layer in warmer weather. Insulating gear should have the same moisture-wicking and scent masking tech as your base layer. If you plan to use it as an outer layer at times, investing in a special feature like Sitka’s WindStopper tech is recommended. WindStopper gear still wicks moisture like hunters want, but also acts as a barrier to retain warmth even in strong winds. You’ll want both a top and bottom insulation layer, just like your base setup.

Don’t neglect pants when building your insulation layer. These Sitka Kelvin Lite Pants can be thrown on quickly and provide warmth without removing boots.

Why I Splurge on Premium Hunting Attire

Nowadays, hunters are taking the sport to new levels with specialized clothing made just for them. This gear won’t automatically make someone a better hunter, but it can provide a slight edge. If you’ve done any serious backcountry trips, from forests to mountains to deserts, you know the natural environment is wildly unpredictable. So many aspects are beyond your control.

The Navy SEALs preach managing the “three-foot world” as an effective way to tackle obstacles. This is the area immediately around you, and the best policy is to acquire top-notch gear and supplies.

Concealment with Camo Patterns

The number one reason most hunters buy specialized clothing is for the camo patterns.

Camo gear alone won’t magically transform you into a hunting ninja. But it could make the difference in a challenging hunting scenario. That extra bit of camouflage gives you an edge, helping you stay hidden just enough for a wary animal to let you sneak into bow range. Or it could help break up your outline so that monster buck ambles into your firing lane. Heck, it might even spark curiosity in a nosy moose rather than triggering its flight response.

A good camo pattern’s main benefit is helping you blend into the natural backdrop of terrain and foliage.

I’m not a fan of dense, busy patterns or intricate designs. From a distance, complex dark patterns that blur together can make you look like a big blob. Not the effect you want! Incorporating some black is good, but avoid overly dark schemes.

Some designs still feature highly detailed, almost photorealistic depictions of leaves, branches, etc. To me, these patterns were created more to catch a hunter’s eye than using science and camouflaging principles. You need a mix of small and large patterns to blend in from afar and up close.

When trying to disappear, having the least impact on your surroundings is ideal. To go unseen, you should be practically invisible to your prey and any other critters you encounter while out.

Remaining hidden is only part of successful hunting. Capitalizing on opportune moments is equally important. How often have you spotted turkeys while deer hunting and thought that tom would make a tasty Thanksgiving meal? In Alaska, you could take a wolf with just a $60 permit and no drawing if you’re caribou hunting. Versatility rules when buying quality gear. It’s great when equipment can pull double duty if possible.

While I always wear camo when hunting for the advantages mentioned, if you don’t think it’s necessary for big game, there’s no point switching outfits to hunt birds or predators.

Layering

Layering is critical for an effective hunting clothing system, and the right pieces should be chosen.

Why is layering so vital? Two reasons: insulation and temperature regulation.

Remembering middle school science, air is the best insulator. You want an air buffer between you and the outside elements, and the best way to achieve that is with multiple layers of clothing.

Plus, we’ve all had those moments hiking into a treestand early, climbing up to a ridge, or sitting still while glassing when you get cold. Then suddenly, it’s a mad scramble to take a shot and you heat up quickly.

Layering lets you adapt to searching’s rhythm of long inactive periods mixed with bursts of energy. You don’t want to overheat and sweat during high activity, then get chilled when you stop moving, or vice versa. The ability to quickly add or remove layers is crucial.

SKRE’s full-zip Merino wool thermal bottoms are one of my go-to pieces for outdoor adventures. I like the coziness first thing in the morning, but also being able to shed layers quickly if I warm up without taking off my pants and boots.

Comfort

A week in the wilderness can be completely ruined by wet gear or not being able to stay warm due to poor-quality attire. You want clothes that enable peak performance physically and mentally, no matter the conditions. Whether you’re scaling cliffs, bushwacking through alders, or enduring a torrential downpour, gear should be crafted with your activities in mind.

Companies like SKRE are designing apparel to provide maximum performance. Wear the right stuff tailored for backcountry hunts or long sits to ensure comfort and warmth. It will maximize your time outdoors, allowing you to spot more game and increase your odds of a successful hunt.

Conclusion

You need to fully control your three-foot world when you’re out in the wilderness hunting. This concept is one the Navy SEALs really hammer home.

Gaining an edge over quarry whose senses and instincts have been honed for survival their entire life is an uphill battle. Few advantages can be won when pursuing an animal that’s spent its whole life evading danger from predators. So I’m willing to leverage any legal means I can to tilt the odds in my favor in the backcountry.

When taking on any task, choosing the right tool for the job is important. Use top-tier tools if cost isn’t an issue to produce optimal results.

My hunting buddy, a Navy SEAL Veteran, taught me something about gear: make the substantial investment and don’t look back with regret later. You can always opt for cheaper stuff that gets the job done for a bit, but investing in high-end equipment will serve its purpose for ages and make a big impact.

That’s why I choose to buy premium hunting clothing and gear. It gives me every edge I can get when matching wits with crafty prey on their home turf.

Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.

Scroll to Top