What headgear do you guys use on Safari?

NewForester

AH member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
32
This is triggered by a Pith Helmet thread I just read.

Old safari photos often show some sort of Pith Helmet headgear and having googled Pith, apparently it is light, keeps the head cool and provides shade. Is the Pith too Colonial now?

New safari photos often have some form of baseball cap. Even in England in the summer a baseball can be pretty hot. Plus, it only shades you in one direction, whereas in Africa I guess that you would want your headgear to give as much shade as possible.

I would have thought that a straw hat would have been best: light, cool and fit in with typical safari backgrounds.

What do you wear?
 

Aaron.F

AH member
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
70
Media
1
Great question, I am looking into outfitting for my first safari and am wondering the same thing.
 

K-man

AH elite
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
3,353
Media
71
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
Keep the Pith helmet in the truck for pictures. Don't use white or nearly white in the field. Depending on your personal tastes and the terrain/cover you will be in and the temperature, you can range from ball cap to boonie type to a warmer cap for cool mornings. The best type for sunshade is the boonie as it covers your ears but sometimes gets caught on thorns and branches. I usually keep a ball cap and a boonie as it rolls up in my day pack. Sometimes you may even need a mesh overlay for small Mopani bees and flies. Best is to ask your P.H. what to bring. Good luck packing!!
 

mdwest

AH legend
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
2,125
Reaction score
4,538
Location
DFW
Media
38
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
I’ve got an old BDU “boonie” cap I was issued in the army 25+ years ago.. it’s tattered.. but it’s still hanging in there and gets some regular use...

I’ve also got a Tilley that I wear fairly often both hunting and fishing...

And occasionally I’ll just grab one of my ball caps that are earth tone colors..

Just depends on the day..
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
3,173
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
All I used was a boonie hat. I took two of them, a woodland camo one and a plain green one.

They are light weight and keeps the sun off of your ears
 

TNDave

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
185
Reaction score
232
Location
Tennessee
Media
13
Either a boonie hat or an old trusted ball cap. When we got in camp the outfitter/PH gave us all one of his caps, which was really nice and it is my go to hunting cap at home too.
 

chashardy

AH enthusiast
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
397
Reaction score
742
Media
12
I have an old Fedora type safari hat I bought about 30 years ago for my first hunt in SWA/Namibia. Still wearing it in 2018 and 2019 hunts and will take it with me next year to Limpopo. If we are tracking through thick bush, I switch to a camo visor as the Fedora catches on thorn branches.
 

expresshunt

AH senior member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
83
Reaction score
151
Location
Australia
Media
14
Member of
IPHA, SCI, SSAA, DCS, ADA, SWH&C, MSL.
Hunted
Australia, RSA, Belgium, Hungary, NZ, Nam/Caprivi, Moz, Kyrgyzstan, France, USA, Spain.
I wear an Akubra Australian hat because I like em, but they need the holes in the top to breath a bit... Prabably best type on a hot safari is the cotton boonie hat in khaki or green or camo. Caps are nice and provide the shade on face, but not on the ears so sun lotion is needed. Ive seen people with roasted bleeding ear top chunks after a week. So a cap is ok for 1 safari per year... or 2 now to catch up.
One thing to concider when using a scope, just before the shot, to either tilt your cap or hat back a lot, or I have seen some people turn their cap around. Why.. many times we have seen the scope hit the peak, and either flip the cap off, or pushes it down.... (see pics) when dangerous game hunting its not good, and if off after game and additional urgent shots, you dont have time to pick it up, or run back.
So the boonie is probably the best choice.. cheers Graham

DSCN2434w.JPG
DSCN2435.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mark-hunter

AH elite
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
1,902
Reaction score
2,408
Media
23
Articles
2
Hunted
Namibia - Kalahari, Namibia - Khomas highland
In golden age, pith helmet was the norm.

in modern times, headgear most commonly used is either:
- safari hat (with zebra, leopard, or leather strap), or similar.
- Or baseball cap.

On safari, I use, baseball cap, because it is my daily gear, at home, local hunting, travel, fishing, hiking, driving, and for all my day activities. I am used to it. Without it I feel like naked.
1604651456262.png

Safari hat protects the neck and face from the sun, but for me - the flaw of that is it gets stack in the bush as it is to wide. When sititng in the back of safari 4wd, the wind stream is too strong, it blows it away (must have a neck strap), it is annoyance.
Also, for me it is not practical to carry it in the plane (too narrow seats) and to carry in luggage, it takes too much space.
1604651493040.png

Baseball cap for me is most practical, but does not protect the neck from the sun. (I can live with that). When wind is too strong, I just turn the front part backwards.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,869
Reaction score
8,231
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
My personal preference is a boonie. Reasoning is it covers my ears and neck from the sun which can be blistering. I don’t like wearing smelly sunscreen. It rolls up to take very little space in my carry-on pack. I also wear a shemagh around my neck to keep the sun off and across my face to keep the dust off while in a bakkie on the dusty roads.
Hats are a bit of a personal thing with practicality often lacking. I’m not a ball cap wearer. Just not enough sun protection In the sunny west, JMO.
At home i usually am wearing a straw fedora when in the sun.
 

Kevin Peacocke

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,417
Reaction score
3,321
Location
Harare Zimbabwe
Media
54
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Cleveland Gun Club
Hunted
Zimbabwe, SouthAfrica
Pith helmet, not for the statement but because it is an extremely comfortable and cool hat to wear. Very light. It comes in dark brown too, ideal for hunting. The stiff brim means you can wear a fly net over it too. The guys way back then knew what they were doing, and got it right. It is unfortunate that some here have poured scorn on the pithy and expressed an opinion, but have you even worn one?
 

WAB

AH legend
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
2,963
Reaction score
6,526
Location
Alabama
Media
94
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, England, Canada, Alaska, Ireland
I like the Tilley T3 Wanderer in olive. I also use a ball cap at times but the sun is brutal on your ears.
 

browningbbr

AH enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
498
Reaction score
224
Location
Southern Wisconsin, USA
Media
32
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
SCI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, NRA, Local Sportsmen's Club
Hunted
South Africa, Tanzania
I wear the same kind of hat that I wear when practicing with a rifle or shooting trap, skeet and sporting clays. A drab colored ball cap.
 

Justbryan

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
178
Reaction score
298
Location
Dallas Metro Area, Texas
Media
38
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Canada,
Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat in olive drab or brown/tan. There are light and have new cooling fabric.

71n-k3u5z8L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kevin Peacocke

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,417
Reaction score
3,321
Location
Harare Zimbabwe
Media
54
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Cleveland Gun Club
Hunted
Zimbabwe, SouthAfrica
Oh, and the pithy has a built in chin strap that then buckles over the top when not needed. Come on guys, even Melania likes pithys!
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,596
Reaction score
7,408
Media
171
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Have worn ball caps, boonies, and my dads old WWII vintage Aussie "digger" that was given to him in OZ when he was there during the war, as well as a fur felt wide brim safari hat (avatar). All have their place.
 

crs

AH elite
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
1,091
Reaction score
1,626
Location
Republic of Texas
Website
sheltontechnologies.com
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
CRS, NRA Patron Member, TSRA, DWWC, DRSS
Hunted
RSA
The leather hat seen at left. Purchased in Joberg on day before my first safari.
It features air vents in the crown, leather chin string that can be run around the crown, and a brim that can keep the sun off my face an neck. Helps keep head warm when riding in back of vehicle after dark. Also a great palette for "blood of game shot" ; no space left anymore. It is also good here in Texas for winter hunts.
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,938
Reaction score
3,407
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
Boonie cap, protects you from the sun and is comfortable. A chin strap prevents it being blown off from the bakkie.

I have never seen anybody wearing a pith helmet in SA, and believe everybody in camp would have a good laugh if I showed up in one.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,309
Messages
711,097
Members
66,441
Latest member
GabriellaT
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

KCharl wrote on MAdcox's profile.
Hi Madcox
I trust you are well?
Are you perhaps on instagram ?
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
 
Top