When I choose a certain camouflage clothing it’s because it has passed my strict checklist with favorable characteristics that separates it from the others. These are a few examples of what I look for:
(1) Quietness…period, without accumulating every single burr I come in contact with.
(2) Flexible elbows, knees, and crotch
(3) The perfect balance of light and dark shadows that marries it to the surroundings I’m hunting in without it puddling me into a dark blob from a distance.
(4) Strength in the fabric and stitching
(5) Ample pockets for the gear I carry
(6) The proper colors and design needed to melt me into the grounds I’m stalking or the type of trees I’m perched in, so hopefully I will be identified as merely a part of the landscape. (It’s important to me to attempt to avoid detection from every living creature around me, color-blind or not.
(7) Protection from wind, rain, burrs and stickers
(8) Knees and elbows are preferred.
(9) Scent control technology is imperative
(10) Loose, comfortable fit
(11) Coolness or warmness to comfort me specifically to that season.
(12) Manufacturer warranties that protect the buyer.
These are the primary features I search for when clothes shopping. It’s not like just buying the pattern itself anymore. The total package must be taken into consideration. Many patterns are somewhat comparable, but there may be subtle differences that could change the “complexion” of your outcome if they are overlooked. That’s why looking closely into the finest details of your potential purchases could make the difference in your future success, so beware and be wise.
I personally have accumulated totes of camo through the years and have them stacked like cordwood in my bow room, so I have a selection that covers every hunt I may be preparing for, from timber to desert. Some styles are universal, but others work specifically for their designed applications. This not only increases my chances of success but it’s fun, kinda like the joy a women experiences with her high-heel collection…kinda.
I have to remind myself that looking good is one thing, but without success photos to show for it my attire is really for looks, or lack of. The only thing that truly makes a guy with a kisser like mine look good is holding a nice rack or any other trophy, so be keen in your selection and utilize your choices for results rather than what looks good in the mirror or hanging on the hanger.
In recent times I’ve come across a camo pattern that sits at the top of my list. Interestingly enough this camouflage was designed by what I consider to be the finest backpack/hunting apparel company in the world…BADLANDS. This statement is without argument simply because of their amazing string of medals and credits and a reputation that speaks for itself..not to mention a lifetime warranty that stands alone in the industry. After years of research and listening to hunters needs and requests they eventually perfected “Approach” camouflage.
Of course they now have it designed on their entire product line…and yes I had to have some….a lot actually. I’ve quickly learned that this pattern is versatile enough to use on any type of hunt we do here in the northwest. The toughest garments+the best pattern+the best warranty. Do the math.
When I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better Bear Archery wisely decided to use it on their incredible line of flagship bows. For the first time in my career my favorite hunting apparel matches my favorite bows beautifully well. Yeah it may be a little foo foo to look at me strutting around like an ole tom with everything jiving in harmony but once in awhile the stars align, so why not capitalize on it? This combination has already made me a more confident meat machine, and I expect things to get even better..God willing.
To be unbiased and fair in all regards there are a number of other companies that have developed some awesome patterns and have proven they should be considered when comparing and selecting the right one for you.
On another note, there is a lingering familiarity between the vast fashions we select to look groovy in around town and the fashions we choose for the field. Everybody is different and fads sometimes get us into wearing some pretty funky stuff. Tats and hats and spandex, from tight knits to baggies with holes and everything in the tackle box hanging off ya except your underwear are seen in all shapes and sizes in town these days, so people’s vast tastes must be noted…for better or worse.
When it comes to whacking and stacking it’s a different ballgame to me personally. If you find yourself struggling between looking good downtown and in the woods, don’t. I suppose there may be a subtle comparison that some may see in their dress codes, but it ain’t me. When I’m enjoying a candle light dinner with my beautiful woman and I’m wearing my Tommy Bahama shirt, that is different than staring into the bulging cockeyed glare from a raging bull fiercely rumbling in with froth dripping from the side of his curled lips and steam mushrooming from his nostrils. My point is, that my backcountry wardrobe requires an entirely different “Approach “ for me to be successful no matter how good I look under candlelight.
Efficiency is the word of the day when it comes to the topic of camouflage, so in the end you have to decide which camo is best for you and your hunt. If you are considering Badlands Approach Camo and you are from the Midwest, look into their new FX Series. They’ve introduced a new color palette more suited for Eastern or midwestern hunters. It may be more favorable for your surroundings. I highly recommend washing your camo only with Atsko’s UV Killer/Scent Free detergent that’s specifically produced for hunting apparel. I also suggest that you be thoughtful and relaxed when making your choices, and don’t rush your purchase until you’re certain what’s right for you. This rule of mine especially applies with companies that have different patterns designated for different types of hunting. I do not take this part of my strategy lightly, for it can make the difference by providing you with more and closer shot opportunities, and potentially that shot of a lifetime.
For more: Johnny Costello
Johnny’s Approved Equipment: Bear Archery Kuma bow, Trophy Ridge accessories, Badlands packs and apparel, Easton FMJ and Da Torch arrows, Conquest Scents, Oakley RX glasses, HECS garments, Crispi boots, TruFire Hardcore release, Dead Down Wind products, Shooting Edge Protx Glove, Flying Arrow Archery