Quantcast

Basic gear for high country cold weather elk hunting.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by H&Hhunter, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    11,795
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    And that's the most important part. Finding gear that works best for you. Thats why I love this kind of thread, you get a decent cross section of members and the gear they wear.
     
  2. david58

    david58 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    High Country New Mexico
    I would add a couple of things, just having come back from camp:

    1. Baby wipes (or equivalent). They have replaced TP in my daypack. Nothing like camper butt to make things unpleasant.

    2. Consider a GPS app for your phone. I am using GAIA on my iPhone, $19.99. can download topo and/or satellite overlays. Phone can be on airplane mode (meaning the battery lasts a long time). Downside is charging, since the battery is not removable, so you have to bring spare storage type chargers. Your choice to balance cost/benefit.

    I use the ankle express (decidedly infantry, not cavalry), so I have to tote my gear on my back when hunting. My hunting partner gives me s**t without mercy for how much gear I carry in my pack, but I figure sleeping the night in the woods is better than dying out there. So the hunting pack can be weighty, but I would rather have it and not need it....

    And referring back to cotton - these days the underwear companies make your whitey-tighties/briefs/boxerbriefs in synthetics that are comfortable and that don't hold the body odor like cotton. The only cotton in my gear is my bandana.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  3. Skeet 25

    Skeet 25 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Brings back some good old memories. My last mountain elk hunt we started before daylight and it was dark when we arrived at the mountain top camp site. It was three days later before we stood on flat ground. Too steep for horses we had to hike it all.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    11,795
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    The post on tents has prompted me to add an addition to this. If you are looking for a no joke, real deal, high country cold weather or just a tough as nails all purpose tent then you need to look at The Arctic Oven by Alaska Tarp and Tent.
    http://arcticoventent.com/tents/all-tents
    They are made in the USA and I can attest they are serious about their tents. Mine is awesome. I bought the AO 12 Extreme with vestibule almost 5 years ago and have used it on hunting trips and family camping. I can attest you can fit a family of five, including a pack and play and two cots, inside and still be comfortable. With my stove in place it will sleep 4 easy enough and will keep you comfortable down to near 0, the coldest it got on our trip. But I am sure you'd be fine going even colder with the stove and the right gear. Be warned, they are not cheap, but in this case you absolutely get what you pay for.
     
  5. langenc

    langenc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Montmorency Co, MI
    ""But when sitting I double up on face masks and watchcaps. If I can keep my head and neck warm I've found that I rarely use insulated boots in temps down into single digits and can get by with a much lighter jacket and gloves."" copied from a ways above-

    My Dad was a walking mailman for 35 yrs. His advice-cover up the chimney to keep the body warm..ie-wear a hat.
     
  6. Biggs300

    Biggs300 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Good post. You have compiled a great list of items for elk hunting in the high country. With the items on the list and the additional items that others have suggested, I certainly hope one would be hunting from a trail head base camp, close to your truck or will be going in by horseback with several pack animals. I've hunted elk in CO only 5 years now and I'm still a novice: albeit an old one. Our 1st and 2nd rifle season hunts have been a cabin/horseback hunt, 3 drop camp hunts by horseback, and one (never again) backpack hunt. The three drop camp hunts were limited to 80 lbs of gear per hunter including food and clothing. This included one drop camp hunt where we used our own tent, a 6-man tipi and Ti stove, along with our other camp gear. We hunted in snow and fairly cold weather 3 of the five years and camped at 9K ft or over each year.

    It is surprising how much gear you bring on a hunt that is never be used. It is also amazing how creative you can be when you don't have something you need and have to come up with a work-around. The one thing that I will never be without is a good GPS (my hunting buddy and I use a Garmin Rino's w/radio and bring extra batteries) along with a compass as a backup. Again great list! It never hurts to be prepared.
     
  7. natman

    natman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,660
    To the OP: Excellent post.

    A couple of points:

    Be sure your parka (not jacket) has cuffs that can open up. You generate a lot of heat walking up mountains @9000 feet and it's crucial that you can let it out. The military M65 parka does this wonderfully. Above all you do NOT want to break a sweat in freezing weather.

    Toward this end you want two levels of insulation in your headgear. I wear an ordinary twill cap when walking around, but put a fleece hat over it when sitting still.
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    19,668
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I carry a pack, and keep things like down vests, parka, extra socks and so on in it. When exercising hard (walking up a mountain) I mostly strip down to shirt sleeves, and bundle up when I stop and sit.
     
    H&Hhunter likes this.
  9. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Northern Wyoming
    For "older" hunters don't forget to pack 2-3 days of your needed daily meds in your pack. If you need them and you get lost or in trouble and have to wait a day or 3 for help to get to you it may mean life and death. In addition to paracord I have two 25 rolls of 3/4" nylon webbing. Super strong and can hang elk quarters in trees over night if you need to leave meat until the next day. Lots of uses for it.
     
  10. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    685
    Location:
    Japan planning the move back to Canada
    Something I found works really well for sealing up leather boots is to use grease first and then wax. It does an awesome job. For clothes I find that fleece plus shell works wonders. As H&H said layers rule. Goretex is the best as a shell but for various reasons I use two shells, windproof nylon and waterproof nylon. Works good enough. The key is to not get wet from sweat or rain/snow. Getting wet is deadly.
     
    H&Hhunter likes this.
  11. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Wasilla
    I got sick of putting cold damp boots on in the tent every morning, so i welded up this candle powered boot dryer. The aluminum towers pop out and fit inside the box for storage, also the pipes are the perfect diameter to fit peet dryer pipes onto for mud boots or other taller boots. Runs on two of those little tub candles you use for your kids jack-o-lanterns. The bottom tray slides out so you can light the candles easy. It works just like a peet dryer, only no power required. I am still thinking of a way to add some compact outriggers, although it doesnt seem tippy.
    Whole thing weighs about 4 lbs, so not something to pack around, but awesome at base camp.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    1976B.L.Johns. likes this.
  12. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,188
    Cool idea!
     
  13. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    439
    Sounds good, but elk gun season ends Nov 22nd here and the late shoulder seasons for cows are down in the valley farm and ranch areas, so not sure where you hunt that it can get that snowy that fast. I hiked 2k feet up from camp to around 7K feet during late season, and there was only 4 to 6" of snow... but I guess for those oddball years with a crazy early giant storm, you need to be ready.
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,188
    Danny I don’t know where here is? But in the high country of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana Idaho or Utah, October or November you can and do find yourself in deep snow and below zero temps. In fact you should plan on it. Thus the list.

    Some of my camps we base at 11,000 and go up from there.

    In the last 5 years we’ve had warm mild falls. For the 10 years prior to that we’d usually have 2 to 3 feet of snow on the ground and night time temps of 0 to negative 20 average. I am talking about central Colorado in this case.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    Alaskan Ironworker likes this.
  15. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    All this stuff is fantastic......but get in shape....walk...run if able....stretch....get your heart rate up.....MONTHS before you go....mountain elevation will kick your butt if you are not in shape....prepare your body and mind.....then take all this great stuff
     
  16. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    Addition. Road flares. Pack of three from wal-mart. I keep one in hunting pack, two in camp.

    Will start roaring fire in wet wood in 3-4 minutes. No tinder or kindling needed
     
    1976B.L.Johns. and H&Hhunter like this.
  17. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Maryland, sadly.
    This thread was a good read ! Very timely for us.
    We'll be doing a guided Elk hunt in SW Montana the week of Thanksgiving.
    The lodge is located approximately 20 miles South South East (SSE) of Alder, MT as the crow flies.
    I'm not sure of the precise location of where we'll be hunting; all I know is it will be daily from the lodge either by truck or horseback. (maybe both).
    Much of the gear will be handled by the guide but I have to get warm clothing.
    Boots are taken care of.

    I was looking at the Bolderton line of clothing available from Sportman's guide.
    I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts from anyone who owns or knows about this clothing brand.
    I'm especially interested in hearing if it's durable & well made.

    Thanks in advance!

    REF:
    Bolderton Men's Outlands All-Climate Series Waterproof Shell Pants with Insulated Liner Pants
    https://www.sportsmansguide.com/pro...ll-pants-with-insulated-liner-pants?a=2157244

    Bolderton Men's Outlands All-Climate Series 3-Piece Parka System
    https://www.sportsmansguide.com/pro...climate-series-3-piece-parka-system?a=2182885
     
  18. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    You'll be hunting in God's country!:)
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    19,668
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    My recommendation is take waffle-weave long johns, heavy shirts (Wrangler has some in Wal Mart right now), a pocket size down parka, and a Goretex shell. Wear large size insulated boots with two pairs of thick sox (carry extras), and several wool or thinsulate watch caps or balaklavas.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
  20. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    11,795
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    For those prices take a look at Kuiu or First Lite. Cotton kills. Wear wool if you have to, but some of the new synthetics are warmer, lighter and less bulky.
     
  21. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Wasilla
    Go to a thrift store and look for cashmere sweaters. Cashmere is 6-8 times warmer than sheeps wool, lighter, and less itchy. Its very expensive new, but you should be able to find some good used stuff.
     
    cheygriz likes this.
  22. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,550
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    Call your guide or outfitter and ask them. AVOID BLUE JEANS LIKE THE PLAGUE.

    Good advice on Cashmere.
     
  23. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Messages:
    32
    Maybe I just missed it when reading the thread, but I would not venture out with out a couple of Ziploc bags. Wet spare socks are useless and wet toilet paper is very disappointing.
     
    Alaskan Ironworker likes this.
  24. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,188
    Excellent input!
     
    BigSteve57 likes this.
  25. Gaiudo

    Gaiudo Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,964
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    Still a go-to thread when prepping for hunting in the mountains.
     
    BigSteve57 and H&Hhunter like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice