What clothing is best for stalking? What do I pay attention to? What do I find important or not for night hunting wild boar?
I've been stalking out of necessity for years. On the one hand, I didn't want to/couldn't leave it to chance whether (boar) game came past the hide, and on the other hand there were hardly any facilities for the hide in my area for various reasons. They only stalk on paths and aisles. This was already the case before thermal imaging technology, the use of thermal imaging technology has consistently promoted stalking.
Clothes make hunters
Deer stalking, whether for wild boar, roe deer or predatory game, brings its own challenges to me as a hunter and my stalking equipment.
Let's start with the clothing for stalking and first with the optics.
I have four sets for stalking:
- two cheap ones: one from 5.11 one from Decatlon/Solognac and
- two “premium” sets from XJagd and Swedteam
Each suit comes with its own proven camouflage pattern.
But: in my opinion, a large part of the camouflage effect on a stalking hunt is to (hardly) move at the right moment, taking into account the wind - camo or camo.
During a spontaneous late evening short stalk in my office clothes I stalked a pack of sows up to 20m away - in an open field.
(little) movement and wind remain the basis for hunting camouflage
In addition to the look, the clothing must be suitable for movement in the weather. Stalking is a driven hunt in which brisk walking and waiting standing alternate. The (overall) clothing must therefore be neither too warm nor too cold. Sports underwear is helpful for the first layer of clothing. It catches perspiration and directs it away from the body, keeps the skin dry and protects against cooling down. If necessary, I regulate the insulation in cool temperatures with a hat and scarf, which I can take off and put away if necessary.
Stalking = sporty on the go?
Outerwear for stalking should not restrict freedom of movement - stalking can sometimes go haywire - should not be too loose due to noise and should also be made of low-noise material. Velcro fasteners, simple zippers, but also snaps can make telltale, unnatural noises when walking or operating. The clicking snaps of my unlocked leg pocket on the Swedteam trousers are my personal classic.
The Swedteam-Ridge combination is ideal for wet, cold, autumnal or wintry stalking. It is weatherproof (breathable 2-layer membrane), has ventilation openings and follows all movements, but the seam from the inner mesh fabric has come undone in the crotch.
The other suits are used for mild autumnal and summery stalking.
The XJagd clothing is great to wear and looks great, but with pulled threads it is sensitive to thorns, which can often happen when stalking. Does not detract from the function and camouflage, gives fine pinstripes.
My current favorite is the Decathlon Solognac Furtiv suit. For currently €60, you can get camo-coloured, well thought-out (sports) pants, and the corresponding long-sleeved shirt for around €25 - the premium brands only have a zipper for that ;-). Leg pockets with noiseless pleat closure, robust stretch and real integrated knee pads(!) - I never knew what I was missing until I knelt down with the pants for the first time :-D
The comparatively cheap 5.11 Realtree combo is a simple, practical BW blended fabric. The Realtree pattern is now a bit washed out, but the mixed fabric offers a good climate in summer.
- Insulation adapted to the weather and movement - so rather light and sporty.
- muted colors or camo,
- low-noise with good freedom of movement
Hat, jacket and trousers - what about the feet?
Actually, I like heavy, robust hiking boots when I'm doing kilometers - but not when stalking. I find good rubber boots to be the quietest and most versatile. In my case, the course of Aigle, real hiking rubber boots made of (requiring care) natural rubber with which I make my quiet stalking kilometers with dry feet. My leather hiking boots always made some noise when walking. For a spontaneous summer evening stalk, however, it is also possible to go out with sneakers or Croqs.
So much for the clothes.
What do I have with me? More on that in the next part.