Whether you are going to be outdoors in Texas in the summer or camping and rock climbing at 12,500 feet of elevation in the Rocky Mountains, it pays to be dressed right. Of course, dressing right is important to tactical hog hunters, too, who take on feral hogs in locales as varied as humid swamps and desert-dry plains of mesquite scrub—and most places in between!
With this in mind, the co-founders of Special Hog Weapons and Tactics™ recently gave Blackhawk Warrior Wear Engineered Fit shirts a serious, multi-climate field test. The good news: Blackhawk Warrior Wear makes the grade and makes your time outdoors better.
From Stephen Owen, writing today in Texas:
I’m a big fan of the newer technical fabrics and clothing lines. I love wearing jeans too. But they are not warm in winter or cool in summer. The regular cotton t-shirt is quite comfortable (I’m wearing a SHWAT™ T-shirt as I sit in a coffee shop writing this), but if I get too sweaty, it sticks to me and is not as comfortable anymore. Put it under a backpack, or even my rifle sling, and the problem is compounded.
An alternative is a moisture wicking base layer shirt. It is available in short sleeve and long sleeve (with or without a ¼ length zipper) and in black, white, coyote tan and foliage green. These shirts are made to be worn in a comfortable, slightly snug fit or in a compression fit to eliminate movement of the shirt and reduce muscle fatigue. Mine is short sleeve and fits me in the slightly snug way.
Is it really better than a traditional cotton t-shirt? You bet it is! Going out to test out some Lancer AWM magazines and do a little pistol practice in 104F temps gave me a good idea of how well this shirt wicks the moisture away from my skin. It was very effective at this as evidenced by the lack of a wet feeling in the shirt after over an hour of shooting. This was not overly strenuous exercise though. My first opportunity to really torture test it was in my front yard.
As unglamorous as yard work is, it was a great test of this shirt. These shirts are designed to stand up in the harsh world of combat in the oven that the deserts of the mid-east can be. While the environment of my yard is not that harsh, it was well over 100F, sunny and humid.
In Coyote Tan, it is a good-looking tactical shirt. Does that mean I was doing tactical shrub trimming? Probably not, since it’s illegal to shoot the branches off where I live. Moving on… After a couple of hours of honest work in the yard, cutting, trimming, mowing, whacking, etc., the shirt was still comfortable. Was I cooler than I would have been with a cotton shirt? Yes. With the moister being pulled away from my skin and allowed to evaporate, I was cooler and more comfortable. And when cooler means happier, you know we have a winner.
So, next week when I go out to do some tactical hog hunting, I’ll be wearing my Blackhawk Warrior Wear Engineered Fit shirt for sure. And I just may have to get some more!
From Jonathan Owen, writing from the Rocky Mountains
When it comes to hog hunting and heroic history, Texas is the place to be. But did you read the temps Stephen mentioned above? And Texas is now seeing 109F! Good thing he and others have the Blackhawk shirts. I discovered that a car can be thermostat: Just hop in, drive north, and look for higher elevations, and you’ll find the air temperature changes dramatically. But the need for the right attire remains constant.
At 9000 feet of elevation, morning temps at camp were consistently in the lower forties. And it was always wet and humid from over night rains. Highs could reach the mid eighties, with sun bearing down intensely in the thinner air. Between camp and our target was a four mile hike that would take us up another 3000+ feet.
I can describe the my thoughts about the weather this day essentially in a single word: schizophrenic. When I got up, it was thankfully chilly, and wet, and I needed a base layer to keep some warmth close to my skin while we cooked breakfast outside the tent. Soon enough, the shadows retreated as the sun worked it’s way down the mountains to our valley and everything was just perfect as things dried and warmed. Wearing my Blackhawk Warrior Wear Engineered shirt, I was comfortable and happy.
I geared up and headed out, out into some thick, still wet forest. Now my shirt is damp, and I’m chilly. Hiking this steep trail is keeping me warm though, and soon my shirt is dry again, and all is well. In case I didn’t get the point of how well this worked, I next hiked, climbed crawled, and otherwise worked my way up the side of waterfall. Yep, there was a series of switchbacks I discovered on the way down where I could have avoided this, but where’s the story in that? So, damp again, then dry again. Pause for pictures.
Back on the trail, I break through tree line eventually, and the sun is seriously intense, and I’m seriously warm – okay it now felt just plain hot working up the incline. Earlier, my shirt had taken on moisture externally from the elements. Now, it’s effectively taking on my own sweat, and thankfully dissipating it back to the atmosphere quite rapidly. I’m dry, and I’m happy. And then the high altitude rain starts…
If you haven’t experienced high altitude rain, just trust me that it’s a lot colder than Texas rain, or Georgia rain, or Florida rain, or Aukland New Zealand rain, or any other rain I’ve ever been in. Just as quickly as it came, though, the rain was gone, and the sun was intense, again. And in no time, I was dry and happy, again.
Time to order some more of Blackhawk shirts. I’m headed back to Texas and will need them.