First Lite for Elk Hunting?

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Grayson Everett, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Grayson Everett

    Grayson Everett Newb

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    Planning for my elk hunt in Utah last September...Buying gear I need or think I need, looking for input. Most of my hunting gear that fits me is for cold weather so I need some moderate weather stuff. Planning on buying a pair of cheap cotton BDU pants/jacket for backup. I know cotton kills, it's in case it's really hot. I'll probably bring my Michigan November "cold" wool stuff in the case as well. But I was planning on first lite corrugate jacket and pants. I'm a cheapskate, so I'm having a hard time justifying dropping almost $300 on clothes. I know the good stuff is important and I can afford it, I'm just cheap and have trouble spending money I don't have to. I do 1-2 western hunts a year and hunt here in Michigan a ton, so it'll see use. Tell me what you think.
     
  2. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    September changes quite a bit from the first two weeks to the last two weeks. The first two can have some pretty darn warm days and the last two can have some chilly mornings with frost (I'm in Idaho and hunt around 2500'-4000' elevation)
    The most important types of clothes I like to have for September elk is lightweight breathable clothes for when it's hot, quiet waterproof stuff for rainy days, and the lightest moisture wicking base layer I can find. Hot, sweaty, and/or wet will make for the most miserable conditions for you. I just layer cheaper cotton stuff for cold mornings and then shed it as needed.
    The most expensive will be good rain proof camo and a decent quality base layer.
    Depending on the area of Utah there may not be near the up/down hiking in elevation that I'm thinking of.
    Lightweight breathable shirts and pants can be had for a decent price, as can cheaper cotton stuff for layering on frosty mornings.
    I have a set of River's West waterproof camo that is good quality, it is fairly spendy stuff too though.
     
  3. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    I wear FL for most elk hunts. 90% of the time my primary pieces are the corrugate pants (flex, roomy, not to cold at 30 or too hot at 75, nylon and dry pretty quick), llano 1/2 zip (older piece, but the thinnest marino top-three new version is the Wick) and a Halstead 1/4 zip (older waffle fleece top the new version is the Klamath). Darn tough socks. Maybe $300.

    Other critical pieces, a generic down puffy when cold (morning sit or if a storm blows in), rain jacket (I had a nice goretex top that I lost, replaced it with a 32 degree jacket) - does double duty for rain or wind break. These two pieces stay in my pack most of the time, and I seldom need them if I'm moving.

    I'd skip the corrugate jacket...not rain proof and not really an insulation not wind proof layer. Instead of recommend:
    either buy a marino or aerowool base top like a wick (wool antibacterial keeps stink down, and warm if wet) or;

    Buy a warmth layer like the kiln or Klamath.

    Complement with other wool or nylon gear. For layers, but stay away from cotton!
     
  4. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    I'll add...
    IMHO - The best reasons for buying tech apparel are the features the materials offer:

    wool breaths (more so with lighter pieces), is naturally anti microbial, provides warmth even when wet. To me, the anti microbial feature for a layer at the skin keeping your sink in check for days, more for yourself and hunting partners - it's not scent control, but your sleeping bag, vehicle and person don't smell like a locker room on day 2 or 3, 4, 5 (OK about day 4 or 5 you're probably ready to run into town for a shower , but in a pinch rinse in a stream, wring out and hang over a bush while eating lunch). Wool is not terribly strong and does wear... This is where the wool blends help and why the former wool (Kanab) pants were a bust...and niche the obsidians try to fill.

    Nylon has good abrasion properties and dries quickly. The stretchy synthetic blends (lycra or other) hold water more than plain nylon... The corrugates fabric is a decent trade off giving 4 way stretch.
     
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  5. Oldcarp

    Oldcarp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    We bow hunt elk in Utah around 9600 feet to 10000 feet. Our hunt starts in the middle of August and ends in the middle of September. We set up a base camp. So I can take a couple different sets of clothes. The majority of the time it is cold in the mornings and warm in the afternoons. Of course this year was was fairly warm but I still had two days that it snowed on us.
    I do have a pair of Sitka pants and two of Sitka thin base layers. I have a little bit of kings Camo. I have two pair of the ridge pants and one pair of the preacher pants. I also have the quarter zip. Also a set of their rain gear and a halofil (not sure how to spell that) jacket that compressors very tightly for fitting in my pack. Like WI704 said the tech clothing dries a lot quicker and stretches with you. I know it is more pricier. I am a cheapskate. So I look for sales or find somebody selling something used. Five years ago I would’ve said you’re crazy for spending that much on clothing. But after buying my first pair five years ago I was sold.
     
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