This is an interesting question that was presented to me recently. I had to think about it for a moment, because of the various types of hunting. For me this wasn’t a cut and dried answer and just for fun, I googled it to see what I could find. What is the hunter’s most important item of clothing?
There were several responses on google for this search. The majority of search results said that daylight fluorescent hats and vest/shirt were the most important. This is the easy answer, and I think it makes the most sense. Safety first when hunting, and a fluorescent hat and vest make you visible to other hunters. If you are hunting a rifle or muzzleloader season, this is the most important piece of hunter gear you can have. If your safety wasn’t enough of a reason, it is the law.
What about a season that doesn’t require daylight fluorescent clothing? Is that still the most important piece of hunting clothing? I don’t personally wear fluorescent clothing while archery hunting and it isn’t required where I hunt. With that being said, and you could argue that this is gear not clothing, but a tree stand harness is the most important piece of clothing you can have. This is again safety related, but if you are going to hunt out of a tree stand, you need to have a safety harness on. There are accidents and deaths every year due to people taking unnecessary risks. Your life is worth it, wear a harness and ensure your tree stands and climbing sticks are adequately maintained.
I archery hunt in the Rocky Mountains where weather conditions can rapidly change. Given the weather changes can and do happen quickly what is the hunters most important piece of clothing? For me personally, it is a high-quality base layer. If your base layer doesn’t wick moisture away from your body, it is time to find one that does. I am a fan of merino wool, but some of the tech fabrics out there are capable as well. A quality base layer has many benefits. In terms of merino wool, it wicks moisture, dries quickly and helps limit the smell that builds up over extended use.
Why is wicking moisture away from the skin important? Wet clothing will draw heat out of your body faster than cold weather. If your base layer is soaked, and the temperature is dropping you are in trouble. You can quickly end up with hypothermia. Where your body loses heat faster than it produces it. This can be a life-threatening issue. For this reason alone, a high-quality base layer is my choice in this situation. Are you starting to see a pattern?
So, what is the hunter’s most important item of clothing? Clearly from my point of view and the majority of google responses, safety is your number one priority. Take the time to do your research and understand the risks associated with your hunting adventure. The most important thing you can do while hunting is come home the same way you left. Be safe every time all the time. If you are interested in more whitetail deer educational content, check out our Whitetail 101 section. Where you will find everything, you need to successfully harvest deer.