Experienced shooters and stalkers know that keeping warm is all about layers. Layers trap the heat so you stay warmer (and if you're too warm you simply take a layer off). So we asked some keen fieldsports fans what they wear and their recommendations - some of which will surprise you.

On the moors in tweeds

John Sugden runs tweed outfitters Campbells of Beauly, is a keen stalker and goes out in all weathers.

“I wear Musto thermal trousers as a base layer when it’s really cold in January and I’m stalking hinds and at the ducks. If it’s really wet I wear my John Field “thunder” rain overtrousers. They’re absolutely superb. A lesser known brand, but the quality is excellent.”

 

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Ed Wills, deputy editor of Shooting Times

“I don’t wear any thermals and I wear my tweed plus-fours for stalking and driven shooting as for me it keeps out the wet and wind and I believe old-fashioned which has been tried and tested is the only way forward. If, however, it is bashing down with rain then I would whack on a pair of waterproof trousers which I believe are from Berghaus and haven’t let me down yet.”

Liam Bell keeper

Liam Bell, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation chairman

Liam Bell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers Organisation

 “I am a fan of merino wool underwear for wildfowling, cold wet mornings out feeding, and evenings and nights on a high seat. Deerhunter UK sell both a long sleeved top and long johns in merino wool. Passion killers maybe, but nothing to beat them for warmth and comfort. On shoot days, I am a traditionalist and stick with the tweed. Albeit, with the merino wool underlayer if it is particularly cold.”
Matt Cross swears by a classic British Army Norgie

Matt Cross swears by a classic British Army Norgie

Matt Cross, Shooting Times contributor, stalker and shooter based in Scotland

“My normal thermal is a German army surplus thermal top under a wool jumper. It makes a really good thermal and dirt cheap. I also have a classic British Army Norgie thermal top which I wear under the jumper for really cold weather. They are as good as high tech base layers and they don’t stink like the fancy wicking ones do.”

Clare Baker

Clare Baker is an award-winning gundog trainer who runs Arcklebear Gundogs

“I have a couple of base layers – my favourite is my North Face base layer –
I also have the top too. I have had them for about four years. I instantly feel warmth when I put them on.”
Seeland base layer

Seeland base layer

Martin Puddifer, Editor of Shooting Gazette

“I’ve got base layers (tops and bottoms) from Seeland which are absolutely brilliant.”

Richard Scott – keen stalker and shooter based in Scotland

“I’ll focus on the worst possible weather conditions you could face in the UK, which are probably deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands in winter. Anyone who regularly works in cold climates will tell you that moving moisture away from the skin is an absolute must, otherwise as soon as you stop moving you will start to cool down and become chilled. The two main choices are synthetic or merino, which you use is personal preference. My wife prefers natural fabrics and buys merino but I find it itchy when I get hot so use synthetic, namely Patagonia’s capilene.  I tend to use thin, lightweight base layers I can wear under layers of insulation in the winter and just a shirt and tie when walking up grouse in the summer. In the winter I go the whole hog, don’t stop at just a wicking top, go for wicking underwear and leggings or tights as well.
“I still believe there’s a lot to be said for, ‘dressing like the locals.’ A highland deer-stalker is out in the weather all day, every day, year round, so unless they enjoy suffering, the chances are they’ll be well dressed for the local conditions. Have a close look at what they wear.”
Claire Zambuni

Claire Zambuni (listed as one of The Field’s top Shots)

“I always wear merino wool, silk undergloves, tights and thermal long johns and a thick silk neck scarf. I always think that keeping feet warm is essential so layer up on socks.”

 

John Macpherson

John Macpherson, Scottish wildlife photographer

“I’m a fan of any fleece trouser/tights (like fleece winter running tights) worn under something water/windproof. Fleece of any kind with a windproof/waterproof outer layer is a magical combination – you can whip the outer layer off and be cooler if you need to. I have thin Goretex overtrousers with full side zips I can use to vent heat – and when I walk uphill it allows the hot air to be ‘pumped’ out, or I can zip up and get the full insulation with them left on. If the outer layer has a slippy interior face it greatly improves the wearability as the layers don’t ‘bind’ as you walk.
Bottom line for me is by thinking carefully about what I need to keep warm when I’m out working before I go, I’m free to concentrate on actually doing the job when I’m in the field.”

Ed Solomons

Ed Solomons, world champion clayshooter

“I find the key to keeping warm without restricting movement is layers. Depending on how cold it is I will usually have a close fitting cotton base layer (or when really cold a thin thermal) followed by a shirt and a thin merino wool jumper. Depending on conditions I will then have either my tweed shooting gilet and/or my Farlows Litchfield tweed shooting jacket which not only keeps me incredibly warm but is also totally waterproof, which I can definitely attest to after being up in the Scottish Borders for three days! I find this combination keeps me plenty warm enough whilst still allowing ample movement for shooting.”

thermals for shooting

Swazi Micro Top

Selena Barr

“As a hunter who has travelled the world hunting in every environment and terrain, my go-to base layers are always from Swazi Apparel. As a lady hunter, I do feel the cold more so but Swazi’s base layers keep me warm, without being bulky, but most importantly they’re breathable.”

Mistamina clothing

Lady Melissa Percy

“If it’s cold, layers are key. I always wear a vest, followed by a long sleeved t-shirt, a shirt and then a jumper and jacket. If it is a dry day then I find that a warm jumper does the trick over the top of the layers, without the need for a coat. I do tend to prefer to shoot in a jumper than a jacket, as I find these can sometimes be restrictive. So if it’s not wet, and the day allows for it I like to wear a windproof, warm jumper.”
best shooting kit

The best shooting kit

Lucy King picks the best shooting kit to suit all budgets including shooting coats, shooting breeks, shooting shirts and fleece…

 

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Sue Longmore of Maude & Fox

“My instinct for shooting in the cold is that you can always take a layer or two off if you’re too warm, but once you are cold then you generally remain so for the rest of the day. ..I turn to my trusty Under Armour leggings under my thick tweed breeks. I would then wear a base layer that I have used for skiing, then a checked shirt, zip up jumper, cashmere gilet…