GUEST BLOG: Tom Slaughter, Filson clothing maintenance and preparation
When it comes to hunting and fishing, Tom Slaughter understands that a key aspect to a successful trip is detailed preparation. Here Tom explains how he checks and double-checks all of his Filson gear to make sure it is all suitable for his trip. We all know you never want to be stuck in the field with some damaged goods.
One of the best parts going hunting or fishing is actually preparing for the trip. This may involve loading custom ammunition, tying flies, or fine tuning your bow. In my case, as a Filson fan who has acquired many different garments over the years, part of my preparation for any trip involves making sure that all of my Filson gear is ready for use.
Shelter and Tin Cloth
I use 4-5 Shelter and Tin Cloth Garments every year for 30+ days in the field. I have a set of hunting pants, a shelter cloth jacket, a wool lined tin cap, etc. All of the items require annual waxing, but prior to waxing, I inspect the garments’ buttons, snaps and the high wear spots. This year, all of the buttons and snaps were in proper working order. However, the bottoms of my hunting pants needed a little attention. There are a few different options available when repairing your Tin products, whether going directly through Filson @ 1-800-123-4567 or going to your local seamstress.*
My wool hunting bibs and coat has seen quite a few days in the field. The occasional barbed wire fence has not been very forgiving on the wool. Despite a few minor tears, which I have had repaired, these bibs and coat are incredibly resilient. I would recommend taking the wool garments for dry cleaning at the end of every season, not the beginning. Dry cleaning not only cleans the garments, but also cleans the “pores” of the wool which will maximize the breathability, water repellency, and odor control.
I have several pairs of Filson shoes and boots. The Highlander boot is by far the best pair of boots I have ever owned. At the beginning of every season, I order a couple bottles of boot oil, a new set of cork insoles, and a new set of laces. I not only oil the boots, but inspect for wear and take the time to replace the shoe laces if they show signs of wear. After all, the last thing you would want is to have a shoe lace break 5 miles from Elk camp. In addition, I keep a set of shoe trees installed in the boot. The shoe trees are a must for travel, helping the boots to keep their shape while being stuffed in a duffle bag.
The process of readying my clothing is just as important as the other preparations I make in anticipation of a hunt or fishing trip. With limited space to pack, limited resources at the hunting and fishing destination, and the potential for unanticipated weather conditions, having clothing that is durable, practical, and comfortable is key. Filson not only meets my needs, but exceeds all of my expectations.
*If you choose to use a local tailor or seamstress for your hemming needs, it is important to make sure that the shop has the capability to sew heavy garments. Additionally, one idea to keep in mind if you order your garments un-hemmed is that you can ask the seamstress to save the leftovers for future patches. I have learned that not only do my local seamstress and dry cleaner provide great service; the owners of both shops have stated that they are impressed with the quality of my Filson clothing.