Written by: Samantha Brakke
When it comes to women’s camouflage wear, layering is a girl’s best friend. It offers versatility for all seasons and changing weather conditions. Let’s be honest, women’s hunting clothing in sporting goods stores is generally a fraction of that available to men. Finding the right clothing can be tough, but it is extremely important for defying the elements. The proliferation of Under Armour helps to get and immediate fit instead of guessing on sizing based on online estimations.
For me, I never go into the field with out my base layers. A good base layer is crucial to keeping warm. If you break even the smallest sweat, you need to wear the right gear to wick away any moisture from your body. This is crucial for all hunting whether it is hiking into a stand in early fall for whitetails or heading for the mountaintops in search of elk. I typically wear black Under Armour tops and bottoms. Since they’re black they are versatile for more than just hunting. I can use them for hunting and running, a double win! If it is too warm to wear camo over the base layer, I normally just wear Under Armour’s lightweight camo long sleeve top or a similar product. I also like wearing long sleeves as much as possible to keep from getting scratched up by branches and brush, or to protect me from those northern winds and mountain breezes.
My next layer is my Under Armour ColdGear infrared EVO mock neck camo top and leggings. They’re lightweight, flexible, and comfortable. I love the leggings because I’m 5’2” on a good day and leggings don’t drag on the ground! I can tuck them right into my socks and never have to deal with them picking up stickers or getting wet. Also, when it gets even colder they layer under my heavy clothes nicely.
When it drops to 45 degrees I layer with a Camo hooded sweatshirt, a camo stocking hat, and light pair of gloves. The hood is the most important part of this layer, because if I start getting cold I can just pull the hood up and cinch it to keep cold air away from my ears and neck. Additionally, the pouch in the sweatshirt is key for keeping my hands warm without the heavy gloves.
When it is colder than 40 degrees I layer with my Cabela’s OutfitHer insultated Jacket and WindShear pants. The best part about this combo is the suede makes zero noise. A key part of this layer is making sure to size up to make room for all the layers that are under. This way your mobility is not restricted, which is especially important being an avid bow huntress. I also take a heavy pair of gloves for when my hands start getting cold, although I typically bring these as a last resort to keep me from getting too warm.
On those brisk, frozen mornings I also like to layer with a Nike thermal quarter zip top under my sweatshirt. This is bulk free and adds another necessary layer to keep warmth in. I really enjoy this option because I can choose to unzip the collar or if I get cold I can zip it up and it helps keep the cold air from going down my neck. Additionally, I use facemasks that keep my face warm from the biting winds and frigid temperatures. Coupled with a stocking cap, it is a great combo that will keep you warm. If your head is warm, the rest of your body will likely stay warm as well. Science shows almost half your body heat is lost from your head!
Wool or Bust
Now, let’s look at my favorite layer, socks! Socks are important regardless of the temperature. Remember to always follow the golden rule; wear wool! Just recently I found my new favorite pair; the Under Armour® Women’s Hitch Heavy II Crew Boot Socks. Warm socks that don’t slide down when I’m walking to my hunting spot are a must. I normally layer my socks with Cabela’s brand wool socks. Wool is necessary because if your feet sweat walking into your stand, or wherever your hunts take you, the moisture will not come back to haunt you like cotton based socks. And remember to always try on your hunting boots with hunting socks so you get the proper fit and your feet are not squished. Improper fit results in slowed blood flow, and consequently colder feet!
Success is being in the Field
I’m sure I sound like an Under Armour and Cabela’s advocate, but since both have extended their women’s clothing brand they work best for me. Many other brands work just as well, but are much harder to find in store to try on. It all comes down to finding what fits you best for your figure, and what will keep you in the field longer. Layering is a must for any style of hunting, as bulkiness can alter shots and restrict movement. Knowing which layers are needed for the weather, and always packing extra clothes for the unexpected, leads to staying in the field longer and increases your chances at success. Additionally, practicing for hunting situations in the gear you plan to use is priceless. Try on every woman’s camo clothing your store has to offer, and remember that fit and comfort shouldn’t have a price tag. Camo clothing can be worn for years, so you’ll get a great bang for your buck if you buy durable gear. If your goal this coming season is to seek your personal trophy, it pays to have the right gear and to know your ability and comfort level in that gear.