Hey guys, Scott Kendrix here from First Lite..
Picking the right gear to wear for a particular hunt is an extremely important part of being properly prepared for your next hunting adventure, whether that hunt is scaling the European Alps in search of that 12 year old Alpine Ibex or sitting the family farm in search of that cagey 10 point whitetail buck that keeps taunting you on your trail cameras.
The right clothing is only one aspect of the equation here. To properly maximize the potential of your gear, the right layering system can bring it all together to become an effective tool to be used in any hunting situation.
Let’s take a look at a layering system that would work great on a cold weather hunt situation.
Starting with a next to skin base layer, I would recommend a lightweight merino wool. It breaths, is comfortable, and works well with body heat retention. It is also the best material out there for keeping smell to an absolute minimum. This helps substantially when on say, a backcountry sheep or goat hunt and washing is not an option.
As a second layer, I would recommend a heavier weight wool shirt (and bottom). This second layer really helps curb the cold from creeping in when sitting long hours, whether it’s glassing from a wind swept ridge or sitting still for extended periods of time in the tree stand. This second layer can really help one stave off that chill.
The third layer is your outer layer on most hunting situations. A tough durable pant, such as First Lite’s Kanab pants, should offer excellent weather protection as well as durability from whatever the hunter can throw at them. Jackets should be insulating and should retain body heat as well as be lightweight and durable. Lastly, for your extremities, I would recommend a good merino wool liner glove as a base, as well as carry a second, heavy outer glove to wear when stationary. A good wool beanie for the head will help retain body heat loss greatly as well. A good neck gaitor or scarf will help fill the gap on being covered for your face.
I recently returned from a successful Muskox hunt in the Arctic this past April. I never saw the mercury rise higher than -19F and saw it dip as low as -40 each night. Layering on this hunt was EXTREMLY important. You can lose your life in those temps without the right gear. I utilized a First Lite system that worked really well for me and I was never cold once on the hunt. I used the FL Chama and Allegheny tops and bottoms as a base layer, Chama and Allegheny EXP heavy weight wool as a second layer, then a Uncompahgre Puffy and Kanab pants as a third layer. As an outer most layer, we had expedition weight goose down over coats and pants to help seal out that bitter cold.
I hope this Tech Tip helps some of you guys get your clothing system tuned in for this coming fall season. Best of luck filling those tags, guys!
Scott- Scott is an accomplished hunter, taxidermist, guide and writer who has hunted in 12 countries on 5 continents. From muskox in the barren grounds of the extreme northern Arctic to the highest peaks of Kyrgyzstan chasing long horned Mid Asian ibex, to the thick jesse of Zimbabwe chasing big bull elephant with double rifle in hand, Scott has the experience and expertise on a wide array of hunting types, techniques and locations.