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What to Wear Duck Hunting: Gear if You’re New to Waterfowl

Duck hunting is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by many hunters. While the primary focus is on the hunt itself, it’s important to consider what to wear to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. If you’re new to waterfowl, remember that the right clothing can make all the difference in staying warm, dry, and comfortable during a long day in the field. When it comes to duck hunting, the weather can be unpredictable. Hunters may face rain, snow, wind, or sunshine, all in the same day.

It’s crucial to dress in layers, so you can add or remove clothing as needed to regulate your body temperature. Additionally, clothing should be chosen based on its ability to repel water and protect against the elements. Wet clothing can quickly lead to hypothermia, which is a serious risk when hunting in cold weather. With that being said, let’s take a look at what gear you need in your setup.

Drake mallard sitting on a rock in a clear alpine lake

Essential Gear for Duck Hunting

Camouflage Clothing

One of the most important aspects of duck hunting is blending in with the environment. Camouflage clothing is essential to help hunters blend in and remain undetected by ducks. When selecting camouflage clothing, it is important to consider the environment in which you will be hunting. For example, if you will be hunting in a marshy area, clothing with a grass or reed pattern would be ideal.


Waders are a crucial piece of gear for duck hunting, especially if you plan on hunting in wetlands or marshy areas. They allow hunters to move through water without getting wet, which can be important for staying warm and comfortable during long hunts. Waders come in different materials, including neoprene and breathable fabrics. It is important to select waders that fit well and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Waterproof Outerwear

Duck hunting often involves being exposed to wet and cold conditions, so it is important to have waterproof outerwear to keep you dry and warm. Look for jackets and pants made of waterproof and breathable materials, such as Gore-Tex. It is also important to consider insulation, as you’ll want to stay warm during long hunts.

Layering is key, so consider wearing a base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer to stay warm and dry. By having the right gear, duck hunters can increase their chances of success while staying comfortable in the field. Camouflage clothing, waders, and waterproof outerwear are essential pieces of gear for any duck hunter.

A wet black lab during a waterfowl hunting session

Additional Considerations

Layering for Temperature Control

Duck hunting often takes place in cold, wet conditions, so it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. Layering is key to staying warm and comfortable throughout the day. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from the skin. Add an insulating layer, such as fleece or wool, for warmth. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and breathable outer layer to protect against the elements.

Headgear, Gloves and Accessories

In addition to layering, it’s important to protect your extremities from the cold. A warm hat or beanie can help retain heat, while gloves or mittens will keep your hands warm and dry.

Look for gloves with a waterproof and breathable membrane to keep your hands dry while still allowing sweat to escape.

Finally, ensure you get yourself a great backpack for storing all of your gear when you’re out on the lake or in the fields. Of course, we a slightly biased, but our Breakwater Supply Fogland Waterproof Backpack is the best on the market. Completely waterproof and built tough, this is a great option for a day in the field.

Duck hunting with the Breakwater Supply Fogland CORDURA Waterproof Backpack
Duck hunting with the Breakwater Supply Fogland CORDURA Waterproof Backpack

Blaze Orange for Safety

Many states require hunters to wear blaze orange during hunting season for safety reasons. Blaze orange is highly visible and helps other hunters see you in the field. Check your state’s regulations to see what the requirements are for blaze orange clothing. It’s also a good idea to wear a blaze orange hat or vest over your regular hunting gear to ensure you’re easily visible.

By considering these additional factors, hunters can ensure they’re comfortable, safe, and prepared for a successful day of duck hunting.