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Thread: Clothing advice for a noob

  1. #1

    Clothing advice for a noob

    I do a fair bit of rabbit and pigeon shooting, etc and as yet have not been out stalking. It's early days as I have lots to learn but what sort of clothing is really essential with Deer stalking.

    I use army surplus stuff, British when around fields, hedgerows etc and flecktarn this time of year more around woods, etc, due to the browns and darker colours. Basically coz it is cheap and hard wearing and when layered up correctly I've never been cold or got really soaked.

    I watch fieldsports TV and see these guys in all the latest realtree deerstalking gear which I can no way afford so is it generally ok to stalk in my current gear (and other neutral colours) or do you experienced guys all go for the top gear?

    It may be a simplistic view and not right for stalking, but I figured if I can get within 30 yards of bunnies using the fieldcraft I've learnt this past couple of years wearing this stuff, would that not transfer to Deer stalking too?

    Your thoughts and guidance as always is appreciated,


  2. #2
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Herefordshire, Hampshire or Essex
    Don't get drawn in to spending money if what you have works for you. There's no 'etiquette' - some will where tweed, some realtree and there are plenty who wear good old DPM. Plain dark colours are also absolutely fine. As you say if you can get in close to ther vermin, your clothing (and your stalking technique) is clearly fine. My priorities are warm, silent and dry.
    Nooooooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! Our main weapon is.........

  3. #3
    If it helps I've got all the fancy Musto etc. stuff and have moved to the army surplus because it is, in my view, better for stalking in.

    I wear a windproof smock with nikwax waterproofing washed into it and find the pockets etc. are ideal plus the new MTP cammo pattern is great as well and much lighter than the DPM so I find it works well on the dead grass or on the hill with broken areas of rock and so on, it also appears to be made of a slightly softer material and so is quieter when pushing through undregrowth. The smocks are also tough as old boots and because you can pay as little as 7 on ebay for a new one I'm not too worried about barbed wire fences and the like. The smock is also very breathable, much more so than any goretex and so means you stay dry on the inside when climbing those hills.

    If it is really wet I wear a flecktarn goretex UNDER the smock so I keep all my pockets but am 100% waterproof. The windproof smocks, with the Nikwax, usually take quite a few hours before they leak and so are ideal for almost all conditions baring a full day of heavy rain.

    So, my humble opinion is that you're wearing the best clothing for the job and would be unwise to spend cash on somehting fancy that will not work as well as what you've got.

  4. #4
    Thanks mate was hoping there was no certain image, etiquete to adhere to like pheasant shooting, etc!! Although I like all the tweed too I'm a long way off donning it when I go out shooting!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by stratts View Post
    I figured if I can get within 30 yards of bunnies using the fieldcraft I've learnt this past couple of years wearing this stuff, would that not transfer to Deer stalking too?
    That's about right. Don't worry about buying the latest 'must have' kit - I used military surplus gear for a long time and only indulge myself with some of the commercial hunting/stalking clothing because; a) I can now afford it and; b) I feel the cold/wet a bit more nowadays. Still like the German Flecktarn stuff for summer and reasonable weather stalking though, and even their non-Goretex smocks and shirts will be showerproof if given a good wash in the relevant Nikwax product.

  6. #6
    I'll have to find some of this Nikwax stuff you guys speak about sounds good, thanks

  7. #7
    The key is don't wash your smocks (i.e. the cotton ripstop type ones) or goretex in normal washing powder/liquid as it is a wetting agent and so will "encourage" water to leak through the material. Also, because it contains a chemical to make "whites look whiter" it is said to be much more visible to deer as their eyes are sensitive to the UV end of the spectrum.

    Nikwax, and also Grangers I think but I've never used their stuff, do a product called "tech wash" which is designed for waterproof clothing and also works well on the cotton type smocks and combat jackets. It is a soap rather than a detergent and so does not encourage wetting of the fabric, it also does not contain any UV enhancing chemicals and so this might help give you a little advantage on the deer. Some people say they just use Fairy Liquid but I haven't tried this and would exercise extreme caution putting this into your washing machine lest you end up with a room full of foam. Either way it is best to wash the jacket first to get it clean and it is also said that dirt can reduce the effectiveness of Goretex jackets.

    Nikwax also do a range of wash in waterproofing products, as opposed to soap type products for getting the coat clean. One is aimed at goretex type material and I wash my flecktarn goretex jacket in it. There is another that is billed as wash in waterproofing for cotton and I wash my windproof smocks in this and find that it leaves them waterproof for up to about 5 - 6 hours. We had a really wet October this year and I was out some full days and I was amazed at just how long they keep the water off as I expected nothing more than showerproof.

    You wash the coat first in the tech wash soap and then put it through again to wash in the waterproofing. I usually put it through the "quick wash" cycle on the washing machine and I turn the spin off on the first pass through as no need to dry it out when I'm just going to wash it again. I keep the temperatures low, usually 30 or 40 degrees.

    The key then is that you TUMBLE DRY the jacket on a high heat as this activates the waterproofing and makes a big difference to effectiveness.

    Check Amazon and the like for the Nikwax products and try to buy them in the larger sized bottles as it is much, much less expensive than buying them in small bottles in the local outdoor sports shop.

  8. #8
    Still use my old cammo jacket that i had in the Army i sort of took it with me in 1982,still got my number in it,but as i'm hum hum, middle aged i need a bit more padding in the winter.
    The realtree stuff all the go but TBH i wear it because the guys i rough shoot with do.

  9. #9
    Cheers guys sounds like good stuff

  10. #10
    What you are wearing is almost irrelevant (except for the weather) its how you move that counts.

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