Clothing for Colorado second season Elk

crankin

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Apr 20, 2008
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4
I live in South Texas so I do not have any experience in the type of clothing needed for this hunt. There are so many options for clothing out there, just looking for some in site what to spend my money on. Sitka, First lite, Kulu or if there or other . All help will be greatly appreciated. Thank for your time.
 

Rick Richard

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Jan 7, 2014
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North Carolina
All of those mentioned are good choices. Whatever you purchase I would stick with Merino wool for base layer and synthetic material for outer ware.
 

Hairtrigger

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Jan 10, 2009
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387
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NW OHIO
We hunted just north of Glenwood Springs second season elk. It never happened but we were always prepared to be snowed in for several days.

Usually it was quite cold in the morning before daylight when we would head to our stand but would work up a sweat during the 45 minutes to an hour hike in the morning. Then we would sit and wait till daylight. It was always quite cold waiting.
For me layers was the key to staying comfortable
 

KurtB

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Feb 11, 2004
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532
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Colorado
2nd season keeps getting later. I tend to go with wool base layer, wool mid layer, puffy coat of some sort and then a water proof shell that may or may not be insulated. Been going to pack boots more and more, but need to refresh those as my feet keep getting colder. Like neck gaiters a lot and use leg gaiters too. As was mentioned, layering really is key. Don't forget a good fire starting kit as well.

Mornings see single digits frequently this time of year.
 

cohunt

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Jan 21, 2016
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Colorado Springs, CO
yes, for the next 5 years (at least) everything after 1st season is now a week later-- 2nd this year is Oct 24-Nov 1st
as others said-- layer-- I have seen temps as cold as 3 degrees-- but hiking up hills with gear and layers, I tend to strip off quite a few layers within the first 30-45 minutes---then once at my "waiting" site I slowly put them back on as temps drop just before sunrise and wind seems to pick up

when I'm hiking I dont need much, but I dont have much natural insulation so when I stop I need to layer back up if I'm not going to keep moving within the next 30 minutes. That said, Ive seen temps into the 60's during 2nd season also --Ive seen dry, rain, snow, "hot"& cold -- can depend on your location, altitude, and personal body too--layers are the best bet-- plan for the worse and hope for the best--- remember the saying "cotton kills"
 

ARCaveman

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Oct 22, 2019
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Arkansas
Just as the other guys mentioned layers are the key. That way you can add a layer or shed a layer depending if you’re hot or cold. All the companies you mentioned make quality gear. I always suggest a neck gator, definitely a puffy coat, and good rain gear.

One thing I always tell guys that haven’t been before is start the morning at camp cold. (as in you’re doing jumping jacks to stay warm) I’ve seen a lot of guys layer up so they’re warm at camp. Then 15 minutes into the morning hike they’re sweating and stripping layers. You don’t want to be stopping to take clothes off right off the bat, and if your base layers get wet with sweat that makes for a miserable/cold day.
 

Hairtrigger

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Jan 10, 2009
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NW OHIO
Someone mentioned fire starting kit. The guy that I hunted with would bring little packages of fire starters that were similar in size to a ketchup packet. We always make jokes that it was napalm. It was kind of thick like jelly but it burned easily and long enough to start wood on fire it was easy to start with a match. Now that I think about it kind a like the big bottle of gel are used to start a fire in my pellet stove
For me the huge temperature differences made it difficult riding from camp on ATV was cold in the early morning dark, hiking was warm, too warm, then trying to sit still for 4 or 5 hours was dang cold.... then more hiking.
The memories and friendships and Elk meat was worth every minute
 

renagde

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May 4, 2020
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Somewhere in Paradise
Layers is key. Start with a high quality merino wool base layer, top and bottom. A lightweight insulating mid layer next like the Sitka Apex Hoodie. Next I have a Sitka Jetstream jacket that is light insulation, but windproof. Then I have a puffy jacket and rain gear packed. My legs are usually fine with merino baselayers and Sitka Timberline pants, but I do have puffy pants and rain gear packed as well. Leg gaiters are nice if there's any type of precipitation.
 

zach_destroys

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Feb 10, 2020
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33
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Pennsylvania
2nd season last year, we set up the wall tent and ended up taking my shirt off. It was 20 degrees with 4 inches of snow 3 days later.
Merino base layer. Softshell outer layer to hike in, warming layer like a puffy if you are sitting. Even a heavy under armor hoody can be a warming layer under your outer layer. Don't overthink it, lots of resources out there if you look around.
 

Hairtrigger

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Jan 10, 2009
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387
Location
NW OHIO
Several years we used a wall tent as well, get cold and put a log on the fire and sweat, two hours later wake up freezing and throw another log on

Looking back it was fun at the time, not so much
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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854
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Michigan
Be prepared for everything mother nature can throw at you. Altitude can result in wild temp swings = layering. Dry to wet conditions. Rain, freezing rain and snow. Goretex is your friend. Good weatherproof boots, good socks. Light wind proof, waterproof layering is optimal. Merino wool is always good selection along with good outer shell. Gloves are always overlooked but be prepared for cold, wet to dry conditions. Neck gaiters can add warmth without adding another layer. Good solid gortex hat will be worth it when it is rain/snow etc.

Sleeping bags really need to be rated for at least -20 or else you will be sleeping in all your base layers! Foam mat is huge to keep cold out of kidneys etc. Cots are essential to get off the ground. All this is out window if you are spiking.

Wood stoves are nice to warm up for dressing, breakfast and going to bed. otherwise you will be up all night trying to keep it stoked, that's where a -20 rated bag is worth everything. Small fleece blanket inside bag can also be nice addition to keep the heat inside bag. If folically challenged, nice fleece hat for sleeping! Long time ago I started to sleep with a nice fleece hoodie in my bag so I no longer needed a beanie and adds nice warmth to bag.

Last year 2nd season north of Steamboat Springs on WY border we got 3'-4' of snow and we had to bug out of the back country. Always fun taking down a wall tent in horizontal snowstorm! Those dang stakes seem to be driven into roots too! Be prepared with your truck as well; chains, tow straps, come-along, winches, chainsaws, axe, flat tire repair, shovels, sledges and so on. I did have to pull out another truck that was towing a flatbed with UTV on it, Slid off road just a small tad and could not get traction to get back onto it. My truck with chains had enough grip to do so. AAA is not going to help you when no signal! You really need to be self sufficient and try to think of anything that can help you get back out.
 

zach_destroys

Active Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2020
Messages
33
Location
Pennsylvania
Be prepared for everything mother nature can throw at you. Altitude can result in wild temp swings = layering. Dry to wet conditions. Rain, freezing rain and snow. Goretex is your friend. Good weatherproof boots, good socks. Light wind proof, waterproof layering is optimal. Merino wool is always good selection along with good outer shell. Gloves are always overlooked but be prepared for cold, wet to dry conditions. Neck gaiters can add warmth without adding another layer. Good solid gortex hat will be worth it when it is rain/snow etc.

Sleeping bags really need to be rated for at least -20 or else you will be sleeping in all your base layers! Foam mat is huge to keep cold out of kidneys etc. Cots are essential to get off the ground. All this is out window if you are spiking.

Wood stoves are nice to warm up for dressing, breakfast and going to bed. otherwise you will be up all night trying to keep it stoked, that's where a -20 rated bag is worth everything. Small fleece blanket inside bag can also be nice addition to keep the heat inside bag. If folically challenged, nice fleece hat for sleeping! Long time ago I started to sleep with a nice fleece hoodie in my bag so I no longer needed a beanie and adds nice warmth to bag.

Last year 2nd season north of Steamboat Springs on WY border we got 3'-4' of snow and we had to bug out of the back country. Always fun taking down a wall tent in horizontal snowstorm! Those dang stakes seem to be driven into roots too! Be prepared with your truck as well; chains, tow straps, come-along, winches, chainsaws, axe, flat tire repair, shovels, sledges and so on. I did have to pull out another truck that was towing a flatbed with UTV on it, Slid off road just a small tad and could not get traction to get back onto it. My truck with chains had enough grip to do so. AAA is not going to help you when no signal! You really need to be self sufficient and try to think of anything that can help you get back out.
If you need a -20 degree bag you either have a crappy bag or a crappy un-insulated pad.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
Messages
854
Location
Michigan
Then again sleeping in well below zero over 10,000' will test any bag so my preference is to be warm for all possible conditions. You can wear base layers etc, but I prefer to strip down and let my hunting clothing air out for next days hunt. I've had my share of hunting partners freeze their butt off and use up the precious wood trying to keep a tent warm enough for them to sleep. No doubt a good pad will help but if the bag itself cannot provide the insulating quality needed to keep the warmth in when below zero, it makes for a miserable night. I've had far too many nights below zero at altitude to not have a bag that is capable for the worse temp you expect to be in. The worse night I had was -27 in 3rd season in CO but I have many -10 in 2nd season as well. Maybe you have been luckier than I have with temps but the weather just seems to follow me. Heck last year 2nd season on WY border north of Steamboat got down to single digits but also snowed us out with 3-4' which killed the hunt for us. Just remember this OP is from TX so he is not probably accustomed to really cold weather.
 
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