cold—whether you’re in Africa or staking out local game. SRP: $175.
Africa will test your endurance, stamina, resilience... and your clothing. Wear rugged stuff or suffer the consequences. Kitanica passed the test.
Vetted in Africa, Kitanica’s clothing met the challenge of 30 days in the bush By Richard Mann
n overlooked key to a successful hunt is comfort. If you’re not comfortable in the field, you’ll spend less time there. Rugged clothing, tough enough for the environment but with a comfortable and practical interface, is the answer. Every year I spend a month or so on safari in Africa, and every year I take new clothing to try. In 2018, I found some gear I’ve been seeking out for a long time. Let me introduce you to Kitanica.
Kitanica is derived from the word “chitin” (pronounced KY-tin), which is the primary component in the exoskeletons of
arthropods—insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. It’s meant to describe a tough outer protective skin. You could say Kitanica gear is rugged, functional, easy to wear, and even overbuilt. It comes from a family-owned business, and all its products are made in the United States, mostly with domestically produced materials.
Africa is full of thorns. Threethorn, wait-a-bit, and acacia will shred common hunting clothes, make you utter words unfit for social settings, and leave you looking for a first-aid kit. I wore Kitanica’s RSP Pants for a month and would walk and crawl through the veld and over rocky hills with The waterproof/breathable American Softshell has just the right amount of give and stretch.
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no worry of injury while my professional hunter looked on in awe. RSP Pants are constructed of breathable Nyco ripstop fabric, with double layering at the seat and knees. They have eight smartly placed pockets—some open, some zippered, some snapped, and others that seal with Velcro. My typical load was a rangefinder, compact camera, ammo caddy, snuff can, full bottle of water, knife, flashlight, and a radio. The side size-adjusting straps made for a perfect fit that did not sag under the weight. And, the ingenious Cordura corner pocket protectors prevented clip-knife wear. These are great utility pants for the field, farm, or range. You can load them down without looking like Pockets—Red Buttons’ character from Howard Hawks’ 1962 film Hatari!—and still move like an athlete. There’s also enough room for layering when it gets
Few associate a jacket with a safari. However, in Africa’s Northern Cape during the African winter— June and July—sub-freezing morning temperatures are not uncommon. Kitanica’s Len Riccio suggested the American Softshell. It was the ideal choice. This windproof, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant jacket is constructed from 100-denier, waterproof, breathable laminated fleece, with just the right amount of give and stretch. And, like with the RSP Pants, there are plenty of pockets. I used the right lower sleeve pocket for my jackal call, and the upper for a small notebook. In the left sleeve pocket I carried a cell phone, and under the covering flap a pen. The slash pockets held my gloves and hearing protection. And the Velcro patch on the right sleeve was perfect for a Versacarry AmmoCaddy. The hood was even appreciated during cold morning rides in the back of the Land Cruiser. Because of the stretch fabric, gusseted underarms, contoured sleeves, articulated elbows, adjustable hood, and cinch waist and sweep, few jackets I’ve worn—hunting or casual—are as comfortable as the American Softshell. SRP: $349.
I’m not much for hunting in shorts, but for those who do, Kitanica has several. The Range Shorts are sort of a short-leg version of the RSP Pants. My son used them in Africa and sang their praises. With their seven belt loops, eight pockets, and pocketcorner reinforcements, they’d also be ideal for the shooting range. Around the lodge, I preferred the Cargoid Shorts, which are constructed of a lighter-weight, 65/35 poly/cotton ripstop material. They’re cut just above the knees, and offer a great range of motion. They also have seven belt loops and side size-adjusting straps. Like every Kitanica garment I’ve tried, you can tell serious outdoorsmen had a hand in their creation. For 2019, Kitanica is offering a drop-ship service. They’ll ship directly to the customer, allowing web retailers to service their clientele with some of the best outdoor clothing in the industry without stocking inventory. Booth #20111. (kitanica.net)
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SHOT Daily from day 1 of the 2019 SHOT Show.