Safari/Hunt Clothing Recommendations

fourfive8

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Drab color clothing, with some layering for cool to potentially COLD mornings. I prefer cotton khaki or cotton ripstop type clothes. Nothing expensive- regular Wally World or Cabelas on sale type stuff. Regular short sleeve and long sleeve shirts and 19.00 green ripstop cargo pants. Don't need to take very many clothes as most every lodge/camp provides daily laundry. Regular socks you'd ordinarily wear for outdoors work or hunting. Shorts of course if you're into the "Africa look" sort of thing :). Good boots with gaiters to keep junk, thorns and grass seeds out of boots/socks. Gloves. Hat. Sunscreen. There is nothing that is wait-a-bit proof but I would avoid knit or obviously "catchy' type material.

Courteney boot with gaiter pic by a sponsor here - African Sporting Creations. Exactly the footwear combination I use and like.

courteney-gaiters_2_540x481.jpg
 
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Fastrig

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Anyone using Propper tactical pants and/or shirts? Was just going to wear those in olive and coyote brown with my khaki tac vest and Red Head hunting boots, nothing fancy...going the end of February so it will be warmish and the Propper rip stops breath well so figured they would work fine. Oh, and my old Tilly hat is going, might even wash it before we leave ;)
 

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One colour I have not seen mentioned is Grey. Not the very light grey just a mid to dark, amazing how well that blends in. As said earlier it is the brighteners used in the washing that really makes you stand out.
 

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Mossy Oak brush camo shirts and pants (Wally World specials), 3 each. 1 long sleeve, 2 short sleeve. 1 camo fleece jacket. 3 pair wool boot socks. Well used combat boots. Complementary ball cap. I hunt in April so the weather is usually quite nice. Last year it was rainy and cold and the PH loaned me a heavy jacket which I wore about every day. I've found these outfits to be plenty of clothing. Laundry is done daily so theoretically 2 outfits would suffice. I wear regular civvies and an extra pair of boots when flying. I found out last year in the rain a second pair of boots is a lifesaver, or footsaver. Switch off and let one dry out.

Pack light. You won't need much unless you're planning some sightseeing trips. Usually, by the time you get in from hunting it's too late to change before dinner so you don't have to worry about "evening clothes". It's drop your gear in your room, go to dinner, and rack out.
 

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I see the OP said an RSA hunt, so will try to add some general (note general! There are of course exceptions in all of the regions) info that may be helpful in selecting hunting clothes...

Firstly, there are very few places in RSA that get truly cold. Sure up in the mountains if a cold front hits in winter then all bets are off...
As a general guide - June through August are the cold months. By cold I mean early mornings may be around the freezing mark and the midday peaks around 18-25 deg C. This does of course vary by province. October through March are hot. Winter is the dry season, so rain is highly unlikely (other than the Cape Town/Western Cape region - but not that much hunting happens there)

If you're hunting in the bushveld, which usually means the coastal belt, plus Zululand/Northern Natal and Limpopo, then it never gets cold really. You're more likely to have heat issues from over-dressing rather than being too cold.
Olive and camo patterns will be good and try to select fabric that is not synthetic. If you rub your nails over the fabric and it makes 'whistling' noise then it's going to be noisy going through thorns and branches. Not good. Tougher fabrics that do not collect burrs or hook on thorns are recommended. Unlined 'bush' jackets work well - you are dressing for protection from the flora, not so much for warmth.

Hunting in the mountains (Drakensberg in E Cape, Natal and Southern Free State) - you probably need to be on your toes with regards to colder weather. These areas can be exposed and if the wind blows it is chilly. Given that you will be clambering up steep terrain, you are likely to be exercising hard and sweating. So layers are good and light-weight clothes are a plus.
Colour-wise, these areas are generally bleached 'white' in winter so khaki colours can work.

The plains/savannah regions are generally the interior (N Cape,Kalahari, Natal Midlands, Free State, Mpumalanga, North West ) are probably the least demanding from a clothing perspective. Avoid overly pale/light-coloured clothing - anything from dark-khaki through to olive should be fine.

In general, my advice would be to try and wear layers. Conditions do tend to fluctuate quite a bit from pre-dawn when it's chilly and you are usually sedentary in a vehicle (i.e. not generating much body heat) to midday when it may be hot and you're racking up the miles. A warm jacket worn in the morning and evening can be left in the hunting vehicle once you're hunting. A light unlined bush jacket once you're hunting should be more than adequate for warmth other than in 'extreme' cold (by RSA standards). Camo is legal in RSA so if that's your preference, no issues using it - please note that camo is (technically) banned in Zim though.

My 2c on shorts - leave them to the PHs:) The places where it's hot enough to motivate shorts are generally thorny - having legs scratched to hell is not fun. And if it's that warm, chances are you will end up with sun-burned legs too. Torn-up, burned legs inside long trousers the next day is also not so comfortable but helps cement the lesson!

Gaiters and a buff are always a good idea. Gloves are not essential but may protect against thorns if you're in the thick stuff, or be needed if it is very cold. A broad-brimmed hat is important - just make sure that it doesn't have shiny metals studs or badges on. In thick bush, a hat may catch a lot of thorns and branches, in which case switch for a cap.

Try to ensure that your new hunting clothes have had a few washes before hunting - new clothes often have a bit of a sheen to them. And as has been mentioned, try to wash them in non-smelling detergent if possible.

The importance of well worn-in footwear has been raised many times. I would caution against light-weight trainer/running shoes unless you really know the areas you're going to. Medium weight leather ankle boots are a much safer bet - make sure yours are comfortable!
Your go-faster running shoes will be susceptible to thorns and grass seeds may also penetrate them.
I would advise comfortable footwear for the evenings after your long day of hunting, something to let your tired, sweat-softened feet dry out and recover - sheepskin slippers next to the fire are a real pleasure!

Hope that helps!
 

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Haven’t seen them mentioned and my two cents..but DULUTHEX FIREHOSE WORK CARGO PANTS. Yes they are a hair pricey at $75 regular price but they. are. awesome. Never binded while hiking in the mountains, deep pockets with velcro closure, very tough, and resistant to the thorn feld. They come in olive, brown, and khaki colors.
Best part is using them for actual work pants when you get home and thinking about your hunt for a moment when you pull em on!
 

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D-Zulu has it right.

Stated in Cliff's Notes...Keep it Simple. You don't need mega camo. In fact, I'd say if you've ever been deer hunting, you're MORE than ready.

Dull, earthy tones. Heavier cotton jacket that can take thorns. Boots that have a stiff enough sole to take standing on a nail (aka, Acacia thorn). Clothing that you really don't care about...because Acacia.

This is not an Alaskan Expedition Hunt for Sheep. If it's raining...well, you're stalking from the Bakkie...or staying at the Lodge with a Whisky Toddy. It's not like you are going to be hiking 20 miles in a sleet storm. You won't be walking up the side of a sheep mountain. On the weather, If you don't want to be out there, the animals don't either. It's funny how that works.

I like some pants I got from REI (Prana Zion)...a heavy cotton long sleeved hunting shirt (Boyt clearance)...lightweight boots (Merrell Moab's)...and then layer for warmth whatever that looks like (heavy cotton jacket like Boyt safari over a fleece layer). Cotton just about anywhere else is a sin...in Africa, heavy cotton shrugs off Acacia thorns. And if it rains on you?

Right, soooo, back at the Lodge you'll be enjoying a nice Toddy.

Africa has proven to be the most Genteel hunt. Accept it. It just isn't an expedition ala Teddy Roosevelt.

I'm good with that.
 

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Don’t drive your self crazy with this. You can and I have bought clothing for Tag Safari as mentioned. The Zambezi convertible pants work well in warm weather but aren’t going to handle the thorns well. But then again not many pants will. I prefer khaki colors and the green colors for top and bottom. If you’re hunting in the winter months definitely bring a warm jacket for the morning and evening drive. Anything you have here will be just fine over there. Tag safari also sells a safari jacket . Remember layers and a warm hat again if your hunting the winter months. As far as shoes go, a lot has been made of this subject, if you don’t mind spending the money than Courtney is the way to go. I personally have a pair of Merrill shoes that are just fine.
 

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IMG_0785.JPG

This worked well for me on my last safari. Nobody in camp would talk to me. I think it was because I was hunting the Big 5.
 

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One option for a layer in the cold is a goose down jacket topped by a cotton windbreaker style jacket. I vacuum pack every piece of clothing I need to hunt and put it in my carry-on bag.
Shoes, I wear Danners.
 

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This is Jim from African Sporting Creations and we offer clothing (Courteney and others), hats (Tilley) and footwear (Courteney) to cover you from top to bottom.

www.africansc.com
 

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Anyone using Propper tactical pants and/or shirts? Was just going to wear those in olive and coyote brown with my khaki tac vest and Red Head hunting boots, nothing fancy...going the end of February so it will be warmish and the Propper rip stops breath well so figured they would work fine. Oh, and my old Tilly hat is going, might even wash it before we leave ;)
Lots of guys here use and recommend the 5.11 brand tactical pants and shirts, but I've not heard of Propper.
As long as they are of good quality, you should be fine.
Protection from thorns and grass burrs is what you are looking for, along with comfort of course.
One option for a layer in the cold is a goose down jacket topped by a cotton windbreaker style jacket. I vacuum pack every piece of clothing I need to hunt and put it in my carry-on bag.
Shoes, I wear Danners.
Vacuum pack?
Cool.
Wife is gonna be pissed I found this out.
 

Fastrig

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Lots of guys here use and recommend the 5.11 brand tactical pants and shirts, but I've not heard of Propper.
As long as they are of good quality, you should be fine.
Protection from thorns and grass burrs is what you are looking for, along with comfort of course.

Vacuum pack?
Cool.
Wife is gonna be pissed I found this out.

Buddy of mine whose a cop turned me on to Propper. Recently picked up a pair of their Revtac pants and like them, though I may try their Kinetic pant next time as it's supposed to have more room in the thigh area. Going to give them a couple of months of wear before I order any more, but so far so good. Not overly expensive, especially when they go on sale and they have a lot of nice shirts in the line up as well.

https://thegearhunt.com/best-tactical-pants-reviewed/
 

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One day while hunting with my brother he wore a light khaki shirt. His ph remarked several times that since he decided to wear a white shirt
The eland would have a great advantage, LMAO. I really did like the long sleeve fishing shirts, light vented and 35 spf. Columbia I think.
Top it off with a pith helmet and you will be ready to go. Dark colors! sorry couldn't resist being a smart ass.
 

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How I showed up for my second safari in the Eastern Cape. A pith helmet is a musth!
 

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Rider717

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Seriously though: get gaitors! There are thorns and there are stickers. There is something called sticker grass in the Northern Cape that is like a burrowing tiny arrowhead and will get into yout pants and boots and socks and everything else. Olive drab and Khakis will conceal you quite well. Just scroll through trophy photos on the website and see what everyone is wearing. You'll probably need a couple of long sleeved and a couple of short sleeved shirts. Zip off pants are really nice in the hotter months. And take a waterproof jacket just in case of rain. I used Sawyer sparay on all my clothes before I went over on 3 trips and have never had a tick on me. Pith helmet is optional but really impresses the PH and other hunters! Tag Safari and Boyt harness make really great safari clothing. Lightweight and heavyweight and tough and durable. Have never had a problem with any of the clothes I have purchased from them. If you have favorite white-tail camo it will do perfectly in SA. Don't over-think it until your next hunt!
 

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A person doesn't need to spend Kuiu/Sitka money on clothing to hunt Africa. Animals have been shot in a $5 Wallmart t-shirt and $15 Wallmart cargo pants or cargo shorts.

Camo is probably overrated as well. There is a decent chance that more African animals have been shot by men in plaid than men in camo.

Darker greens are probably best, but white T-shirts have been successful as well.

Ask the outfitter what he recommends for the temperatures you will be facing, and the colors he prefers.

Wear what you want. Be comfortable. If that means wearing Holland&Holland clothing, then so be it. Just don't think you have to project a certain image. The money you save on clothing may pay for an additional trophy fee.

Happy hunting!
 

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Echoing most of what has already been stated above.

My safari clothing kit consists of:

4 Cabela’s Safari Shirts in grasslands. These have been discontinued(?), but are 100% cotton and tough.

I prefer heavy cotton shorts with 5” inseam. They are comfortable, cool and quiet. Yes, your legs will get scratched. I don’t recommend if you don’t like scratches. Living in the southern US I where shorts literally year round for casual, hunting fishing or whatever.

I do where pants sometimes while hunting in RSA. It had to be COLD. I recommend Carhartt lightweight 100% cotton, can’t remember the model number.

Both shorts and pants are either dark khaki, olive or brown.

Courteney boot w/Courteney gaiters. I think I am going to switch to a canvas gaiter, the leather Courteney’s are good, but I think I may like a heavy canvas type better.

Lightweight wool socks.

Lightweight weight fleece in olive green.

Carhartt canvas medium weight jacket to go over the fleece.

Leather belt and 54 pattern Case trapper knife in my pocket.

Ball cap.

Pair of jeans, couple of long sleeve t’s and pair of Sperry slip on shoes for around camp.

That about covers it.
 

YancyW

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Roland Tempo - the venerable big-game hunter in the movie, Jurassic Park, wore a khaki Willis & Geiger Hemingway jacket, tall brown leather boots, a white cotton dress shirt, khaki shorts, a gold watch, a dark leather band, a gold earing, teardrop sunglasses, and a fedora on his shaved head while lugging a double barreled antique rifle.

Cool but probably a little much for me.

If I wasn't so concerned with fitting in, that is exactly what I would wear, minus the earring.
 

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