When going hunting, it’s important to be wear the right kind of clothing; this can range from essential protective gear and all-weather items through to traditional hunting fashions and other accessories.
There are some rules when it comes to dress etiquette on a hunt, although how strictly these are enforced can vary quite considerably. For example, riding hats with reflective stripes are mostly reserved for show jumping, while black hunting caps are often limited to master huntsmen and more senior figures.
Most hunts won’t allow any extra decoration, with the exception of poppies for Remembrance Day, and black arm bands for mourning. Children are expected to wear fitted versions of the same basic outfit of a tweed coat, jodhpurs or breeches, riding boots, and a riding helmet for safety.
In terms of protection, if you’re riding a horse you’ll need to get a reinforced hat that can stand up to impact – these riding helmetss should be up to SNELL E2001 and BSEN1384 standards, and designed to be comfortable to wear, while still highly durable. When on a horse, it’s also a good idea to wear a body or back protector under your clothes, which offers you shock resistance if you do fall off.
Depending on whether you’re going on a live hunt or not, shooting clothing can also be added to your outfit, and can include gun bags and further protection against injury. What, then, are some of the basic clothes that you need when you’re going hunting?
Some of the basic shooting clothes that you need to assemble include traditional tweed jackets, which can be invaluable for keeping out the cold; popular brands include Loddington. Gilets and heavier jackets can also be worn, as can specialist hunter jackets with insulating waistcoats. Waterproof trousers and jodhpurs are also important to wear to stay comfortable and dry, while you can also experiment with checked shirts, fleece jackets, and breeches.
Footwear choices for hunting can include riding boots, which should be polished and clean before you go out; for bad weather, thick, insulated boots can be worn, and can be combined with expedition socks. In terms of other accessories, you can opt for a tweed cap if you’re going for a more traditional style outfit; these hats can be combined with hard wearing riding caps to ensure safety.
When going shooting, you will need to bring along some accessories and special equipment – this includes ear defenders for shooting at close quarters, as well as a canvas or leather bag for carrying cartridges. Gunslips can also be important if you want to carry a gun in a comfortable way, while recoil pads can be fitted to prevent injury from firing guns. For hunts on horseback, hunting whips can be used as a practical aid.
Sarah James is an experienced horse rider who also takes part in the occasional hunt. She recommends investing time in finding the very best shooting clothing and equipment.