What outer layer for cold weather elk hunt

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by valleysnyper, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. CUTTER1

    CUTTER1 Well-Known Member

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    Water proof and wind resistant outer shell! Gortex works well!
    If the weather is dry put it in ur pack
    Down light jacket is a must for mid layer or just top layer weather conditions pending. Wool and synthetics never cotton!
    Rocky Mtns can be miserable weather in late October or it can be hot dry and windy......"if you don't like the weather wait 5 min"
     
    Wanfalt1 likes this.
  2. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    LAYERING
    Mountaineers go out in the worst weather and they all use a layering system.

    1. BASE LAYER-> medium or polar weight long john tops and bottoms
    2. TORSO LAYER-> wool or synthetic sweater or 200 weight fleece shirt
    3. INSULATING LAYER-> down (but WITH a down waterproofing treatment like Dri-Down or Down Tech) or synthetic like Climashield or Primaloft Gold.
    4. WPB (waterproof breathable)SHELL-> I prefer eVent but Gore-Tex Pro is similar and regular Gore-Tex is OK. This is for wind AND rain/wet snow. "Don't leave home without it." This goes for boots as well.

    NEVER wear cotton anything. "Cotton Kills" is the mantra of mountaineers.

    Eric B.
     
  3. Sykes

    Sykes Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I used the kuiu guide jacket and pants last year and that is some great gear! Opening morning in Colorado first season snowed on me all day, never got wet or cold.
    Heavy Wool is always great but I usually only use it on quick trips close to the truck. Cabelas wooltimate is some great stuff in my experience
     
  4. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    I always hunt in cotton in AZ for year round. Usually either jeans as a base layer, or a canvas type pant, like Carhartts. Cover this up with Kuiu Guide pants or even the Yukon Rain pant during late season cold weather hunts. Or both when it get sub-zero (yes, it gets sub-zero on occasion in AZ).
    Top is usually good Poly or Poly/wool blend base, cotton SS tee, maybe cotton LS tee, then some combo of the following: Kuiu Guide vest, Kuiu Guide jacket, Kuiu Chinook jacket, Kuiu Yukon Rain jacket, Kuiu Down jacket. Add wool or Poly neck gaiter,G beanies, gloves, etc. as meeded. Late elk here can range from sub-zero or single digits up to 60s as it warms up. Not uncommon to have a 60-70° temp shift throughout the day. A good pack to carry all your layers midday on an all day excursion is a lifesaver.

    Mine and my 13 year old daughter's layers as the day wears on...almost all of it went back on as sunset approached. I think temps that day were 4° to 65° and back down to 20° when we got back to the truck.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Lance,

    If you are using cotton in AZ you had better check the forecast and pray it stays warm and dry. Hot weather is the only weather to use cotton otherwise you are taking a risk.
    Cotton dries more slowly than any other fabric except silk. It traps water and the water transmits heat rapidly. i.e. you chill quickly.

    True, cotton is generally less expensive than polyester, say for long handled underwear (base layer) and less than heavier nylon "canvas" for pants and coat. But sometimes safety is more important than cost.

    Yeah, "truck hunting" or "cabin hunting" means you can wear cotton and retreat to a truck or cabin or home to change out of wet clothing. But if you run into an early AM rain or wet snow wearing cotton you may need to retreat much sooner than you planned and a day of hunting is lost - or worse, and hypothermia sets in. Why risk it?

    "Cutter" has it right, "...never cotton!"

    Eric B.
     
  6. mpk1996

    mpk1996 Well-Known Member

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    as others have said, you want to layer. I would NOT get anything to heavy, like a parka. you will be carrying that as you move, and only wearing it when you stop. look at some of the puffy style jackets from kuiu or sitka. or really even some of the regular camping/hiking ones. if you have a light shell that's camo, these light puffys can be warn under when you stop. tons of sales on "last years" colors and styles that will work just awesome.

    you will have to figure out how fast you walk, what the terrain is, and how much heat you build. I know I build a lot of heat. I can wear a light long sleeve shirt (usually someones "base layer") when its very cold (20 or so) if I have a pack and am walking up hill. so I want light weight stuff so I'm humping the lightest pack I can. I went with the kuiu stuff and their puffy (both jacket and pants) and the attack pants, chinook jacket, and Chugach NX rain gear. it was the perfect combo of lightweight for the performance. sitka and others have good gear too. just depends on how much you want to spend
     
  7. LaHunter

    LaHunter Well-Known Member

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    I hunt in WY during the second half of October at about 8500-9000 ft. Temps can be super cold (low teens and howling wind) or comfortable (50 degrees). When I'm moving, I usually wear First Lite merino base layer, Kanab or Attack Pants, and maybe a microfleece pullover like the First Lite Halstead, and that's all. Maybe I will have my First Lite merino Springer vest on too. I will have a down vest and my Guide Jacket in my pack for when I am sitting / glassing. I will also have rain gear in my pack. This also helps if the wind is bad. If you've never hunted out west, you will be surprised how comfortable you will be with minimal clothing, as long as it's the right clothing, you are moving, and it is not raining. Regular wool will have you ringing wet with sweat in no time and it is heavy. No cotton, it holds moisture and wet can be dangerous. If your gonna be bivy hunting in late October, you better have the proper sleeping / camp gear. It can snow over a foot in a day at higher elevations during late October.
     
  8. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Thin poly pro under layers and wool outer. carry a jacket in your pack.

    Steve
     
  9. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    P.S.
    As LaHunter said, a down vest is nice to have along. Very versatile and takes up little space in your pack.
    You can wear it in cool all type weather over a shirt or in very cold weather and stand hunting wear it under your down or synthetic jacket.
    My vest an Eddie Bauer 1st Ascent 800 fill down vest with DriDown treatment on the down for 35% less moisture absorption and 60% faster drying than untreated down.

    I took my EB vest with me when Len and I hiked the Grand Canyon last November and it was all I needed sitting around in the evening before bedtime. On the coolest night I wore my eVent parks over it and was very comfy. No need for the full down jacket.

    Eric B.
     
  10. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    Merino wool base layer, synthetic light weight outer wear and carry quality Goretex gear for wind/rain. NO COTTON for anything. Also, I am not a fan of wool since it gets very heavy when wet.
     
  11. Shane Lindsey

    Shane Lindsey Well-Known Member

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    Considering you are going to carry it on your shoulders back to camp I would look for as much multi use as possible because of weight. That said, I am not a fan of softshells if I have to carry it unless it's waterproof.

    I scored a Sitka Coldfront (basically a softshell with goretex) on clearance so couldn't pass it up. It works well as the outer portion is pretty sturdy and won't get destroyed by the terrain. Not super warm though. Needs lots of puffy underneath.
    Also have a Sitka Contrail wind shirt that works well with a puffy under it and is super light weight and "camo".
     
  12. magtech83

    magtech83 Member

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    Columbia wool outer
     
  13. valleysnyper

    valleysnyper Well-Known Member

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    I have a set of Columbia wool, does it seem too heavy for hiking ?
     
  14. bowshot

    bowshot New Member

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    For temps down to 0 F, hiking and horsebacking, poly pro or merino wool long sleeve t- shirt, king of the mountain shirt / pull over / sweater then a Kuiu guide jacket.
    Poly pro or merino wool long johns, Kuiu Guide pants. As it cools down, add layers as needed. A good wool hat and snowmobile mitts with merino wool liners when it gets seriously cold, -20F and south. Temps to 20 F- light sweater and Kuiu Guide Jacket, maybe gloves.