Just like everybody else, we anglers have personal preferences. Live or artificial bait? Saltwater or freshwater? Catch and keep or catch and release? Despite these differences, though, some of us do still share some similarities as fishermen: one of them being the fact that we wear neck gaiters when going out on fishing trips.
It’s a no-brainer at this point. Even beginner anglers know that you need to protect yourself from the elements if you want a comfortable and enjoyable angling session. But other than merely shielding you from the harmful effects of too much exposure to direct sunlight, there are actually more benefits to neck gaiters than meets the eye.
One neck gaiter, many uses
What exactly are neck gaiters, anyway? If you aren’t familiar with that specific term, you might have heard of buffs, head tubes, fishing face masks, sun masks, bandanas, and other similar products. Just to remove any sort of confusion, it’s best to understand that they all generally refer to the same thing! Simply put, neck gaiters are long fabric tubes, oftentimes made with moisture-wicking fabric, made to cover one’s face and neck. But there are multiple ways to wear them beyond their intended purpose.
For example, if you’d like more coverage, you can style it like a balaclava, as they are long enough to be able to protect most of your face. If you already have some sort of protection for your face and neck built into your clothing, you can even use neck gaiters as makeshift caps or headbands! Be as creative as you can get as they can be one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can bring with you.
Protection from warm or cool weather
Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be extremely harmful to the skin. In fact, it takes more or less 15 minutes of exposure to get a sunburn. Within that short period of time, your fishing experience could inevitably be affected by the discomfort of pain and blistering. And if you often get sunburns due to regular fishing trips, you can get long-term skin damage that not only makes your skin age faster, but also increases your risk of skin cancer.
The odds of you getting skin damage can be significantly lessened by wearing a neck gaiter, as it can block out UV rays and protect your skin from direct exposure to them. For parts of your face that can’t be covered (the area around your eyes, for example), make sure to apply some sunscreen to keep them protected as well. The World Health Organization generally recommends that you get at least SPF 15 when choosing sunscreens, and to reapply them every two hours. It may seem like a hassle, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.
By acting as a layer of insulation, neck gaiters can also relieve your body from too much heat, which then reduces the risk of you getting a heatstroke. Sweat, which is your body’s natural cooling system, helps with that, too, but excessive sweating can still cause skin irritation to an extent, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Thankfully, neck gaiters can prevent this as well by simply soaking up sweat and keeping it from getting through to your skin.
While neck gaiters can be your best friend when it’s hot and humid, they don’t become any less useful in colder climates. They can help you maintain body heat and shield you from the frigid winter air. So, regardless of what season you’re fishing in, a neck gaiter would generally serve you well.
A haven from bugs and insects
Nobody wants to be disturbed while waiting patiently for that big bite, more so by bugs and insects. While not necessarily that common, there are still a series of public health risks caused by these pests, as acknowledged by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) itself. Two of these can be caused by bugs and insects, namely: (1) vector-borne diseases and (2) asthma and allergies.
In case you don’t know, vectors are basically animals, sometimes insects, that transmit diseases to humans and other animals. And a not-so-fun fact is that mosquitoes and ticks, which we commonly encounter while fishing, are vectors as well. A mean bite is one thing, but a disease is another. A neck gaiter helps protect you from these bugs and insects, too, so you don’t get berated by them while fishing.
No, it’s not that neck gaiters magically give you 20/20 vision, but while wearing glasses, they can enhance visibility on the water keeping your glasses from fogging up. In addition, it also lessens the glare produced by your skin when exposed to sunlight, which naturally helps you see more fish. Not to mention that they also help keep your glasses and cap in place.
If you’re in it for a hidden life hack, you can pair a camouflage-colored neck gaiter with a top of similar color for a stealthier look that blends in with nature. This slightly lessens the chances of you scaring away fish!
Some neck gaiters are built into clothing
For efficiency purposes, some fishing apparel companies out there have built neck gaiters into their clothing! However, you should still be wary about which one you pick. For starters, make sure you choose clothes with at least SPF 15 UV protection, since defending yourself from the sun is one of the major reasons you’d want to wear neck gaiters in the first place. Clothing with moisture-wicking technology will also help improve the already existing benefits of neck gaiters by keeping absorbed sweat on the uppermost layer of fabric and drying out sweat quicker. Stretchable fabric will help you move more comfortably, too, so it’s another good feature to have on your fishing getup. Lastly, make it a habit to check customer reviews to get some insights on durability: find out if the fabric tears too quickly, if the stitching runs loose after a few uses, and other important factors.
Not only do our hooded long sleeves here at Baitium offer all of these, they are also made partially from water bottles, making them an environmentally friendly option! You can check out some of them below—we have different designs featuring some of your favorite fish and will be releasing more in the near future!
Looking for something to spruce up your fishing trip outfit while protecting yourself from harsh environments? Neck gaiters are the way to go! They’re cheap, multi-functional, and most of all, can help ensure that your fishing trips go as smoothly as possible. Not only can you style it in different ways to suit your needs, but it also protects you from extreme weather, be it hot or cold where you’re fishing. In the process, it also helps prevent skin or heat-related illnesses and shield you from various bugs and insects you may encounter in the wilderness.
Now that you’re covered up and ready to go, it’s time to give your gear the same love. Check out this article about how to keep your fishing gear in good condition, and if you want to read more helpful tips and tricks like this, make sure you go through our blog!