Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Open letter to Camouflage Manufactures

Dear Sitka, Badlands, Predator, Ultimate, Redhead, Sent-loc, Under Armor, Natural, Russell and everyone else,

   I am writing this letter in an effort to try and talk some sense into you about how to manufacture hunting clothing for the hunter who does not sit in a tree stand, blind, or travel to the Arctic Tundra to harvest his monster.  I know that the majority of your target clients spent much of their hunting season in cool to snowy climates and require fleece line this and that to stay warm.  Base layers, mid-layers, side layers and wind stopping shell technology as well.  Here in the west at certain times of the year we need that too.  But not all the time, most of the time we don't require that level of warmth.  Frankly it is hot out here, from March through November and beyond. So, unless you get to higher elevations it is not necessary to look like the Michelin Man.

Here are the facts,

  1. I am a bow hunter.  
  2. I like to be quite when I hunt.
  3. I like to blend in.
  4. I like to be comfortable.
  5. I cover a lot of ground on foot.  
  6. It is hot in California most of the time.
  7. Wearing quiet, comfortable, camo'd clothes on long hikes for the most part is really uncomfortable in California and other warm climates.
  You make top notch gear if you are only walking from your truck to a tree or a blind where you can strip down to a black base layer. But if in August I am going to hike 8 to 10 miles in 80 degree weather in silent whatever technology with a 20lb pack and maybe dragging a 100lb field dressed animal, I'm gonna get a little warm.  I am pretty sure the thermal signature I am putting off can be seen from outer space.  As of right now my options are to hunt naked (but that might be little awkward explaining my birthday suit camo to the Department of Fish and Game), wear some kind of short sleeve shirt and hope my white/redness blinds the deer or pig into a stupor and allows me to shank them with the slim stick.    
  My suggestion to you is to try and make a small line of clothing that is geared to the hunter who hunts in the heat, aka the south, southwest, west.  It is a win/win you sell more cloths, and my body temperature is not 1000 degrees in March through October.  [Side note: Nylon is not an acceptable option, chaffing for big guys hurts and it is highly flammable in the sun (not really, it is just really uncomfortable when it sticks to you). A blend of poly might be approved in the proper configurations.]

Here are a few quick design tips,
  1. Venting- Look at some of the Fishing shirts and pants that the guys in the Florida Keys wear, mesh vents.  Airflow is always a plus.  Also UA you hit a home run with your mesh front Boxer Jock, take note others.
  2. Moisture Wicking- Lets face it, I sweat like a pig in a sauna even if I'm naked in the snow (sorry not a good image I know).  I have been used as a human salt lick in Colorado as a mineral supplement for Elk and Mule Deer.  The entire shirt does not need to wick, try the underarms and back for starters.  
  3. Small Pocket on the upper left arm. There is no real benefit in the heat, I just want that  to hold my calls and wind powder in.  No too big, just big enough to hold a small stack credit cards say.
  4. Collars- Though not mandatory, but they have a cool factor for sure ie Miami Vice.
  5. Sleeves- If you can get the lower arms to have a four way stretch I would be stoked, trying to manage your release and a cuff can be a nightmare when you are trying to adjust your strap.  Plus some straps are bulky or have big buckles.  With a buttoned sleeve you feel like you have a circus tent at the end of each arm.
That is it for now, lets just start with those five.  Once you work on those we will move on to the next requirements for the perfect warm weather bowhunting setup.  I have a plethora of ideas on how to perfect the Camo industry.  Remember trial and error, and I am willing to trial and tell you the error.  Just throwing the offer out there, take it or leave it.  

Thanks for all your time, 

The Bearded Boar

PS.  I have patent pending and marginal intellectual ability or I mean property to the above, so don't just steal the ideas without telling me you are.  I need something to brag about on this site.


  1. Tony, I have a pretty good combination that works very well out here. I use a base layer of merino wool (short sleeves and shorts) or the Redhead base layer to wick away moisture. Then I have the Cabela's bow hunter's six-pocket pants and then a long sleeve cotton shirt. Super quiet, light and comfortable. I think that no matter what your size in California, you will sweat in these months. I know I do. Heck, I've lost nearly 50 lbs and still sweat in 90 degrees. It's just how our bodies are designed. Shoot me an email and I'll give you the skinny on some of the gear that works well and it's not that expensive.

    I always pack an extra shirt in my pack, too. That way if I am too sweaty I can swap it out for a dry one. It sure helps! A small bottle of SEEMZ is a great addition, too.

  2. Great feedback, Tony. Thanks very much! We are based in Napa, CA. We hunt blacktails and tule throughout California, and it's HOT. We completely get what you're saying. We typically hunt in super-light Ascent Pants and a moisture-wicking, four-way-stretch Core Zip-T. If you're interested, you can see them here:

    and here:

    If you have any questions, give us a call anytime at 877-SITKAGR.

    All the best,
    Sitka Gear