While the shooting season starts in the height of summer, it ends in the depths of winter. As the days get shorter, the temperature cooler and the winds icier, it becomes ever more important to keep yourself warm and dry whilst you’re out on the moors or vale. Having the right clothes can be the difference between a good shoot and a miserable one. Read our guide to help you stay warm this season.
Keeping your feet warm and dry is one of the most important things when you are out on a shoot. Whether you wear boots or wellingtons, make sure you have on a pair of shooting socks rather than normal socks. Shooting socks normally come with padding, which will cushion your feet as well as keep them warm. Opt for merino wool or neoprene if you can. Merino wool is breathable and can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour, which then evaporates away easily. Neoprene socks have excellent thermal warming qualities, which makes them ideal for very cold wet days.
Coats and Jackets
When it comes to outerwear, you can choose between tweed, waxed and technical jackets. Tweed is, of course, more traditional. If you do opt to wear tweed, make sure it has a waterproof membrane and a padded inner layer. When it comes to technical jackets, they are usually green in colour with a waterproof outer layer, or a water-repellent outer skin and a water and windproof breathable membrane. Generally they are not padded, but they are light and warmth can be created through layering underneath. Another popular option for a shoot is a wax jacket; they are waterproof, but don’t tend to be particularly warm or breathable.
One of the secrets to keeping warm is layering. Start with a base layer, ideally merino wool, followed by a shooting shirt or vest and maybe a fleece. Some shooting coats come with detachable fleeces. Layering traps air near to your skin, keeping the heat that your body generates close to you.
Cold hands can make you slow and clumsy, so make sure you wear gloves on those cold and frosty mornings. When buying shooting gloves, you’ll want to have some with a split trigger finger that folds back and are fleece lined. Whichever hand you use to hold the barrel, make sure the glove on that hand is lined with heat resistant material.
According to the British Medical Journal, you don’t lose most of your body heat from your head as the old wives tale indicates, but that does not mean you shouldn’t wear a hat. Accessorising with a shooting cap will help to keep your head as well as your ears warm. Many shooting caps, such as flat caps or deer stalkers, are now are waterproof and breathable, meaning you can usually keep your hair dry as well as your head warm.
No matter what time of year you shoot, you will need specialist shooting insurance. Gunplan offers Personal Liability insurance, automatic cover if you take part in more than one kind of shooting, cover for theft and accidental damage, and much more from just £25 per year. Get a quote today!