Before even thinking clothing-wise about what I’m going to wear on a simulated shoot day I pack my bag of essentials which consists of:
Ear defenders – protecting your hearing is top priority!
Eye protection – you can shoot in sunglasses but glasses designed with clay shooting in mind tend to wrap round and protect your eyes a bit more.
A peaked cap – With lots of clays flying over there’s lots of dropping pieces, a cap helps protect your head and eyes further from fast falling potentially damaging bits of clay.
Shoulder pad – another layer of protection for your shoulder when a mis mount of the gun occurs!
Barrel hand guard – If shooting a side by side your supporting hand will be touching very hot barrels without it!
A bottle of water and a snack bar.
Now in terms of the clothing part, function over fashion is key. Here’s two points to consider when deciding what to wear:
Comfort – A simulated day can be as physically demanding as you want it to be, depending on how quick you shoot and can get loaded again. Also depending on how quickly the clays are sent over the guns. Therefore you want to be comfortable when swinging your gun through for a shot. There is no point turning up looking cute and not being able to enjoy the day because you can’t swing your gun in fear you’ll rip your shirt!
Weather – Are you shooting in the peak of summer or middle of winter? It’s important to dress appropriately so you enjoy your day fully. In the summer you’ll less likely to be needing lots of layers and a thick waterproof coat.
Outfit from top down…
Obviously, ear defenders, eye protection and a cap going on your head first.
Top wise, I tend to wear a shirt and a gilet. The gilet acts as another layer of padding for my shoulder. A polo shirt during the summer can also be a smart but comfortable choice. Sim days are mainly warm and intense days for me so I like to wear something breathable and loose.
Bottom wise, I often opt for a pair of jeans, usually green or black in colour as they look smart but casual. However, I have shot in shorts and gym leggings before, as its all down to being comfortable on the day!
Shoes, a bit of kit that depends largely on recent and the upcoming shoot days weather. If it’s wet, I wear my wellies and if the grounds dry, I slip my deck shoes on. If I have my wellies on I also tend to put a pair of my game shooting socks and garters on just to add a bit more colour to my outfit.
I’m no fashion expert and at the end of the day as long as you are comfortable and can shoot safely wear what you like! No one will be looking at what you’re wearing when you’re busy smashing the clays! You might not be wearing a smile on your face before arriving on a sim day but you’ll certainly leave with one after a day with The Country Girls!