While some hunters may overlook a base layer for hunting applications, the base layer can be considered an integral part of the hunter’s layering ensemble. This becomes more pronounced if your hunting style involves high exertion activities and consequently an increased sweating rate. Selecting the proper base layer for hunting can have a big impact on your thermal comfort level, so choosing one to suit your individual requirements can be an important consideration.
The main purpose of a base layer for hunting pursuits is not necessarily to create thermal insulation, as this can be achieved by the layers worn above it. Rather its main objective can be considered to be moisture management, that is, it is designed to manage the sweat on your skin’s surface. The moisture management capabilities of a well-performing base layer cannot be overstated. When our work rate is high we will have a propensity to heat up, our body will regularly deal with this condition by sweating to promote evaporative cooling. In this process, our clothing system may become wet with our own sweat.
Wet clothing directly against your skin can have a dramatic effect on your overall comfort levels. Hunting, by its very nature, requires high levels of attentiveness; whether you are stalking slowly through a thick bushed gully, or glassing from the vantage of an exposed ridge, your concentration levels need to remain high in order to improve your chances of success. In a cold environment, and depending on circumstances; wet clothing can rob you of body heat through a varied process of evaporation, conduction and convection. This can easily lead to lowered concentration levels when pursuing game…for it can be hard to remain attentive if you are shivering with cold. The opposite may, however, be true in a hot environment. We sweat to cool the body when overheated, if the cooling effect of evaporation can be promoted and prolonged, it may extend our relief when faced with hot temperatures hunting situations.
Adding the right base layer for hunting circumstances can be an important addition to assist with the regulation of your core body temperature.