I just completed a hunting skills weekend class (never been hunting) and while the instructors all cautioned against simply going to Walmart and buying cheap hunting clothes/boots, money is tighter this year (just bought a shotgun).
Lets get back to what the OP stated. I wanted to ask him, just what kind of class this was. I too am a hunter safety instructor and have taught since 1990. We teach the basics and mostly related to safety. I know that various states conduct "advanced" hunter skills . I believe one, in Oregon, is called the Master's Hunters training and that is a whole different skill level. ...
During our basic course, we do not promote brands or stores. We do teach Situational Awareness
and address each challenge as it arises. We teach in the midwest states. Y'all teach in VA and other places that are worlds apart from Alaska. In the 22 years that I have taught, I have never had to teach nor would I teach, what is needed to hunt in Africa, Alaska or even Southern California. We don't pick on, nor promote Gander Mountain, Cabelas or Walmart. ....
Be Safe !!!