Don't Let The Weather Keep You Indoors This Winter

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” It’s cold, it’s wet and it’s miserable, but you don’t have to be…! If you enjoy taking your dogs out for a walk or having a great day in the field, then don’t let the British weather dampen your spirits. Wearing appropriate clothing and using the correct equipment is key to ensuring the success of your day. At John Norris we have a great range of products to keep you warm and dry, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors no matter what the conditions. I have recommended some of my favourite items to suit a variety of conditions we encounter as we head into the winter months.

Walked Up Days

Walked up days can often take us into some of the harshest and most fierce conditions we come across in Britain (as after all that’s usually where the best of our quarry is found). Days like this often involve extremely changeable weather and a large quantity of miles to be covered. Therefore it is essential to travel light whilst also being prepared to combat any situation that arises throughout the day. In early winter, when temperatures have yet to go below zero, I favour a lighter weight shell-type coat which can be easily taken on and off as I wish. A jacket such as this can be folded into a pocket size bundle and easily stored and carried. This means when walking I don’t overheat, yet I can quickly pop the jacket on at the first sign of a rain. A great example of this is the Musto Fenland jacket which is 100% waterproof and also breathable. The Fenland BR2 Packaway jacket retails for £175.00.

Fishing packaway jacket

Below this I will usually wear a WindBeater style pull over to help keep me warm. This type of sweater contains a membrane which blocks gusts of wind passing through the garment, meaning less heat is lost and I can remain warm. Seeland produce a great example of this type of sweater, which is named the Odell Zip-Neck Sweater. The Odell Zip-Neck Sweater retails for £94.99.

Outdoor zip-neck sweater

When on a walked up day, it is common that you will be passing through harsh, brash type vegetation, which can often be extremely damp. This means it's essential that you wear a good quality waterproof trouser that you can really depend on to keep you dry. An excellent example of this is the Seeland Marsh Trouser. This trouser is 100% waterproof and very comfortable. The outside of this trouser is finished with a polyester canvas material which is extremely durable and thorn repellent. The Marsh trouser in my opinion is a must-have for the walking gun and in every way extremely good value. The Seeland Marsh Trouser is currently on offer from £124.99 to £99.99.

Waterproof marsh trouser

Even though a walked up day is not necessarily a formal one, a nicely presented shirt never goes amiss. At John Norris we offer a wide range of extremely affordable shirts in a variety of colours. A nice example can be seen below in the form of the Tattersall range. These shirts are currently on offer from £19.99 to £12.99.

Tattersall shirts

When shooting on walked up days, I find the most effective way to carry cartridges is by far a cartridge belt. In most circumstances quick re-loading is necessary, and cartridges can easily be pulled from the belt and placed in your gun in a matter of seconds. I prefer genuine leather belts as they are more hard wearing and do not absorb water when wet, unlike canvas alternatives (adding extra weight). A great example of this is the GMK Full Leather Cartridge belt, which retails at £64.99.

Leather cartridge belt

Whatever type of shooting I am doing, I always ensure that I have a suitable form of hearing protection with me. Walked up days require you to move through thick brash and duck under branches a lot of the time, so therefore I prefer the in-ear type of hearing protection. Sonic 2 ear plugs are my personal favourite, as they allow you to hear the general noises and conversations around you, yet block impulse noises like the firing of a shotgun. This offers great benefit as you are able to stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you, yet protect your ears at the same time! The Sonic 2 ear plugs retail at £11.99.

Ear protection for shooting

Areas where walked up days take place are often rugged and contain rough ground. In these places it is vital that you choose a type of footwear that offers both support and grip to protect yourself from slips and falls. My item of choice for most types of shooting is the Le Chameau Arran GTX Boots (GORE-TEX). They are one of the highest quality boots made to date and offer the ultimate in waterproofing, support and comfort. They are a boot that’s built to last and back you up no matter what the terrain and conditions. The Le Chameau Arran GTX boots retail at £250.

Gore-tex ankle support boots

When I am expecting to be travelling through thick undergrowth (potentially boggy), I do opt to wear gaiters, to give both my trousers and the upper part of the boot an added bit of protection. They are also very useful to stop water from running down the top of your boots. The Seeland Crieff gaiters offer great value both in terms of performance and price. When shooting in general I prefer to wear a hat as I find it very useful with both blocking out the sun and also for keeping warm. The Seeland Marsh cap is both waterproof and insulating - a great addition to your shooting outfit and a very usable item. The Seeland Marsh cap is on offer from £39.99 to £31.99.

Outdoor marsh cap