All the essentials you need to keep you comfortable and safe whilst out on a wildfowling expedition…

• Warm, waterproof, windproof coat – this is an essential piece of kit and, without it, your wildfowling experience will be a miserable one. Steer clear of waxed jackets – they tend to be stiff and cold, and the wax can wear away in time. Paler, brown-toned camouflage colours are best for coastal, marshy landscapes.

Good brands – Seeland, Rivers West, Harkila, Cabela’s

• Chest height waders with built in boots – useful for wading (obviously) but more to keep your legs warm, dry and protected. Those coastal winds and driving rains can really whip at the thighs… don’t underestimate the discomfort caused by soaked, stinging legs.

Good brands – Cabela’s, Tidepool, DIAWA, Bison

• Wading stick – don’t overlook this simple, FREE piece of kit. A good long wading stick, used to feel for dips or holes hidden beneath the water, can save you a soaking. They can also be used to hook dogs/ducks/kit out of creeks and water.

• Steel shot cartridges with plastic casing – there’s just no other logical choice. Paper cases swell with the slightest hint of damp; wildfowling is a very soggy past-time. A stuck cartridge is a sure-fire way to spoil your trip. It is illegal to shoot any type of wildfowl with lead shot – so stick to steel.

Tip: Keep cartridges in a sealable plastic bag to avoid rusting as this can also damage/jam your gun.

Good brands – Gamebore, Hull, Eley, Remington

• Tide table – checking the tide table for your chosen area is absolutely essential. A good tide table book specific to your area is the best bet.

Good brands – Laver Publishing, Admiralty

Or try these websites…

• Mobile phone – it’s a safety thing… just take one, and make sure it stays dry and charged.

• Binoculars, compass and dog – not absolutely essential, but very helpful. Having an idea of which direction you might be facing if a heavy mist descends can save your bacon on the right (or wrong) day. Binoculars can help to identify species and seek out quarry, as well as shot or injured birds. A dog can skip across marshes, creeks and estuaries to retrieve kills in half the time, and effort, that you ever could.