What headgear do you guys use on Safari?

NewForester

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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

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Great question, I am looking into outfitting for my first safari and am wondering the same thing.
 

K-man

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
 
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mark-hunter

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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.
 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat in olive drab or brown/tan. There are light and have new cooling fabric.

71n-k3u5z8L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 
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Kevin Peacocke

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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

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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