Modern clothing for the hunting field

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Hunting attire must be warm and comfortable and withstand hours of wear, sometimes in biblically bad conditions — while maintaining time-honoured standards of dress. But even in this most traditional world there is room for modern innovation.

Base layers

Northamptonshire-based Paula Gautrey swears by base layer tops. “I wear Airowear’s version. They are thinner than a summer shirt yet maintain body temperature brilliantly,” she says.

Dido Cotton, Pytchley regular and Pony Club district commissioner has invested in a heated gilet.

“My G6 heated gilet is thinner than a body protector and breathable, so it fits under my hunt coat no problem,” she says.

“It has four settings, which means that after a good run I can turn it down or off altogether.”

Gloves and socks

Cold, numb hands are not good news on the hunting field but the waterproof materials in the likes of Sealskinz and MacWet have many fans.

“MacWet Climatic gloves keep my hands warm and are excellent for holding strong-pulling horses when it is wet or the reins are sweaty,” says Charlotte Alexander.

Another black cloud on a good day’s sport is chilly feet.

David Bartlett, master of the Zetland, recommends Bridgedale walking socks to avoid chilly feet while Fernie follower Victoria Cowen votes for riding socks from Sock Solutions.

“They are padded and cosy in the right places and much more durable and economic than silk,” she says.

Breeches

When it comes to breeches Equetech and Tally-Ho make fleece-lined, waterproof styles while The Hunting Stock Market and Bestboots do made-to-measure.

Boots

Derry Connors of Bestboots says Le Chameau rubber hunting boots with leather tops are hugely popular. “This Le Chameau boot starts at £469 with leather tops, and comes in seven calf fittings.

“You can get as mucky as you like and then simply hose them down when you get back from hunting,” he says.

For ladies the Ariat Bromont Tall H20 boots are popular. These insulated, zip-up boots come in black, and a waxed chocolate ideal for autumn hunting.

Jack Wingfield Digby concludes: “Whatever you wear, it’s important to be neat and tidy as it shows respect to those who allow you to ride over their land. But above all hunting should be fun and nobody should be put off out of fear of wearing the wrong thing.”

To read the the full feature about hunting attire see the hunting special issue of H&H (25 October 2012), which includes our hunting directory for the 2012-2013 season

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Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk