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Thread: Se Alaska Hunting Rain Gear

  1. #1

    Default Se Alaska Hunting Rain Gear

    Can all of the SE Alaska hunters tell me what you are using for raingear and footwear? I am bring my 11 year old son on an Elk hunt in October and just want to be as dry and comfortable as possible.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Blue Tarp... Just joking.

    Tough call, depending on your hunt style, if your trying to go high and spike camp, vs. staying low and running out of a base camp.

    Helly Hansen Impertech, wide brimmed hat, and xtratuffs are the gold standard. Add sufficient base layers and don't move too much and this works fine. Make sure you've established a dry base camp to return to at the end of the day. You'll want to dry out and enjoy camp after wearing this stuff all day.

    If your spiking out and stuff, well, your gonna just get wet. I like to just have a light get wet outfit and when I'm done traveling I get into dry stuff for the top. Ensure you've got a high quality shelter and just get in and gain some sanity before roaming around in the wet stuff.

    I've done a wet Etolin elk hunt before. It's a really, really challenging endeavor.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I would guess you will be on Etolin. Still some snow there on top and maybe more by time you get there.Myself I don't use anything as I prefer a little rain to alot of sweat. A dry bed is important but other than that you will be at least damp one way or the other. xtratuffs or lace up pacs if you have weak ankles.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My daughter and I will be hunting POW at the end of October and we will both be wearing Impertech and some sort of rubber boots. Most likely LaCrosses or Mucks for me since xtratoughs just don't fit me. We'll see what fits her at that time.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  5. #5

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    Thanks for all the input. I do appreciate it.

  6. #6

    Default Raingear

    I have used Impertech plenty of times....its HEAVY, but pretty effective. It does take a bit to dry out if the inside gets wet. I also just wore a pair of Impertech pants on a 7 day sheep hunt and the waist band **** near fell off...crappy single stiching. BUT...they kept me mostly dry, they are durable, and relatively quiet. I wore an outdoor reasearch Foray jacket on top and it was awesome. Lightweight (probably more mid-weight as far as sheep hunting goes) but it was durable, I crawled hands and knees and stomach up a creek and subjected it to abuse busting through wet alders and not a single tear. It also dries very quickly if it gets wet. I won't wear the Impertech jackets for lightweight trips ever again, its just too bulky and heavy. Second to none if you aren't concerned with weight and plan on getting wet. Use it exclusively if I have a long ATV drive and weight is not an issue. Take good synthetic socks as well, I am not a fan of merino, takes too long IMO to dry out. My favorite quick drying socks were Ultimax, I forget the brand, and I had some Bridgedale trekkers that were great for the hike out altough I was in knee deep water half the time so they were soaked, not sure how quickly they dried but they were comfy and kept my soaking wet feet warm. Wore Lowa boots, which do take a long time to dry out....especially the crappy insoles that came with them. I stopped using them after they got wet and only wore my 3/4 length Dr. Scholls inserts which dried faster and were no problem despite not going all the way to the toe.

    Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    I bought a set of the KUIU Chugach raingear this spring.....I'd highly recommend it. I haven't been able to soak it through yet, not even during this heavy rainstorm we've had here over the last few days.

    I don't like xtratuffs for mountain hunting as I feel its a good way to break an ankle. I'd recommend getting a good set of waterproof hunting boots instead...

  8. #8
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I live in Juneau, and after ordering and trying on almost all of the camo raingear in Cabelas, I ended up with the MT050 camo raingear. It is the soft rain gear, and has mesh on the inside instead of the nylon lining. This was the deciding factor beacuse around here you get just as wet on the inside of your gear from perspiration. But that was 4-5 years ago. Raingear without the lining causes you to get wet and feel wet beause you are in contact with the underside of the outer layer (like goretex).

    For foot gear I use one size larger extra tuffs and use to aftermarket felt insoles and wear a super thin sock with a standard calf thick wool or other sock. This does a great job of also not having damp feet after the whole day too. I also ordered and tried all the cabels boots too and my primary focus was to find something with full waterproof boot and a rubber toe that went just of the tip of the boot. I ended up with a boot from REI (sorry forgot), but usually the sole can come apart right at the toe sperating where it meets the leather. I also bought and did the water proofing to the leather, and I use an aftermarket foot insole. Both my extra tuffs and other boots I have 2 pair because on multi day trips having dry foot beds goes a long ways.

    Keeping our kids dry and comfortable (I have 3) is the most important thing (after safety). If they have a bad experience we risk losing their interest. And providing them with good gear is essential.

    Sobie2

  9. #9

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    Thanks all. Good info. Your absolutely right Sobie2, need to keep the kids happy and comfortable to stay interested.

  10. #10

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    It's not the rain in SE that soaks you, it's the miles of wet brush you need to hike through that soaks through gore or any other non-pvc type rain gear. I use Impertech. Not the most durable tho.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swat8888 View Post
    I have used Impertech plenty of times....its HEAVY, but pretty effective. It does take a bit to dry out if the inside gets wet. I also just wore a pair of Impertech pants on a 7 day sheep hunt and the waist band **** near fell off...crappy single stiching. BUT...they kept me mostly dry, they are durable, and relatively quiet. I wore an outdoor reasearch Foray jacket on top and it was awesome. Lightweight (probably more mid-weight as far as sheep hunting goes) but it was durable, I crawled hands and knees and stomach up a creek and subjected it to abuse busting through wet alders and not a single tear. It also dries very quickly if it gets wet. I won't wear the Impertech jackets for lightweight trips ever again, its just too bulky and heavy. Second to none if you aren't concerned with weight and plan on getting wet. Use it exclusively if I have a long ATV drive and weight is not an issue. Take good synthetic socks as well, I am not a fan of merino, takes too long IMO to dry out. My favorite quick drying socks were Ultimax, I forget the brand, and I had some Bridgedale trekkers that were great for the hike out altough I was in knee deep water half the time so they were soaked, not sure how quickly they dried but they were comfy and kept my soaking wet feet warm. Wore Lowa boots, which do take a long time to dry out....especially the crappy insoles that came with them. I stopped using them after they got wet and only wore my 3/4 length Dr. Scholls inserts which dried faster and were no problem despite not going all the way to the toe.

    Good Luck.
    Doesn't sound like Impertech to me at all. Sounds like the regular-weight HH rain gear. Impertech is among the lightest rain gear out there, and it has welded seams, not stitched. And it is whisper-quiet. Check the label.

    -Mike
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    Member Silvertip-CO's Avatar
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    What about like froggtoggs?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvertip-CO View Post
    What about like froggtoggs?
    They're fragile & they leak. Go with HH Impertech. Most of the hunting guides I know use it, for good reasons. Also you might check our gear pages, linked at the top of this page. There's additional info in there about rain gear that's worth the read.

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  14. #14
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    two thumbs down for impertech!! for all you guys, I ran/hiked up to the top of a mt. on douglas on sat. Wore the helly impertech pants---what a joke--there lifespan is limited. It was slightly drizzling, lots of water on the brush. The pants wear out in the crotch and the ankles tear out easily on brush .the saving grace was that i had on a pair of adidas poly warm ups and my body heat kept them not dry but slightly damp. I'm sending mine back to helly just so they can have it. I hate paying good money for sruff that doesn't work. I was easily soaked thru around my waist in 15 min....oh it was more like 20. went out gillnetting with a buddy today, wore his impertech jacket...kepy feeling cold and wet---no visible tears or anything out of the ordinary when held up to the light---garbage. Good thing i brought extra poly tops and a grundens pvc top. i think impertechs are great for some people, but not this cowboy. I detest being wet/cold because my gear fails. This is how i prerpare for southeast hunting. I'd recommend the old standby of the lighter guy cotten bibs in green of course with some fleece or just poly bottoms underneath. For footwear I'd use nothing but meindls perfekts--cause they are perfect---with a full length gator that goes under your guy cottons to keep the water from wicking in. I loke the lightweight pvc grundens top for the downpours, but usually just go with a poly top with sleeves and a pendleton wool shirt that has a few holes in it-----for ventilation. the seatlle sombrero works well as a mini umbrella, but I don't like how it affects my hearing so i usually just use a camo ball cap and carry a spare one. i have found that a well oiled oil skin hat works great too--like water on a ducks butt. Always carry spare socks--I like the smartwools-- one or two poly tops, one pair poly bottoms, waterproof gloves--like the red atlas pvc. ones, wool liners for gloves if temp is around freezing(like late oct.) a stormy seas fleece hat and maybe a spare wool one. If I know I am going up on steep slippery slopes like in the alpine deer lilies i'll take some instep 4 point crampons==really helps with traction. never carry/ wear cotton--except guy cotton. i put all my gear in a small seal line dry bag and strap it to my bare bones cabelas outfitter frame pack--because I always plan on shooting giant animals. That's pretty much the get up I use here in southeast. It works for me. Some buddies think i am stupid, carrying a dry bag of gear in the woods. It hasn't ever really slowed me down, and there a many times when I get back home dry and my buddies are wet and cold. one item i always carry in my dry bag is a working vhf--just in case. has saved my bacon several times. Always plan/pack your bag for the southeast super soaker, 36 degrees and rain days and you'll be prepared and ready for whatever she throws at you. then again some days, like this last saturday I got it handed to me and ended up walking out right down the middle of the creek--because at that point it just didn't matter. the nice part about the day was that the temp went almost up to 60--almost hot!! The other great part was that i was blessed to see some nice does and fawns and whistle pigs and came home with three plump spruce grouse, and even saw a hen sharptail with two chicks!
    To the guy going elk hunting in october, i'd recommend bringing lightweight yet waterproof gear---leave the frog whatevers at home, they are a joke!! they were designed for weekend bass fishermen in louisiana. Here's how to test gear, suit up and go outside, give it the water hose test. See how it feels, willit hold up under the conditions??? brush?? tear resistance?? If any of these are questionable or leave you with any doubt, leave it at home. use base layers that trap body heat---poly pro, under armor, and dry easily and quickly. i like wool for outer layers, traps air even when wet and is natural. same for fleece but is syntheticand some dry out quicker than others. I'd take some small tarps of the 10 mil cleaar visqueen for keeping stuff dry. Those two piecies of visqueen can have many uses and are fairly light. I'd suit your son in extra tuffs and guy cottons or grundens so he is impervious to the southeast sunshine. If you pack for the worst you'll be prepared , and probably have decent weather.....If you pack and dress unwisely, you won't have as much fun if the weather is crummy. Ok, I'll stop rambling....nobody reads my stuff anyway, hope you and your son have a fun, safe, and enjoyable hunt!! Hope you come home dry.. and with an elk!!

  15. #15
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosscoak View Post
    two thumbs down for impertech!! for all you guys, I ran/hiked up to the top of a mt. on douglas on sat. Wore the helly impertech pants---what a joke--there lifespan is limited. It was slightly drizzling, lots of water on the brush. The pants wear out in the crotch and the ankles tear out easily on brush .the saving grace was that i had on a pair of adidas poly warm ups and my body heat kept them not dry but slightly damp. I'm sending mine back to helly just so they can have it. I hate paying good money for sruff that doesn't work. I was easily soaked thru around my waist in 15 min....oh it was more like 20. went out gillnetting with a buddy today, wore his impertech jacket...kepy feeling cold and wet---no visible tears or anything out of the ordinary when held up to the light---garbage....
    Rosco-

    Sorry to hear of your experience with HH Impertech. It's possible you ended up with a set that was severely oxidized for some reason. I've used it for years and it does wear out (just as everything else does), but it takes a lot of abuse before it does. Last pair of HH Impertech rain pants that wore out on me and started leaking was about ten years old. That was ten years of sport fishing, dip netting, moose hunting, sheep hunting in very rugged terrain, caribou hunting on the tundra, and both spring and fall bear hunting. Never had a leak or a tear of any kind.

    You said that you ran / hiked to the top of a mountain and yours wore out in the crotch. I suppose that's possible, but I would not necessarily blame the rain gear. I know of no rain gear that can handle that kind of aerobic workout; running up mountains in Southeast Alaska conjures up images of jumping over and through brush and logs, etc. That would rip out the crotch on just about anything, probably including Grundens. Years ago I had a friend named Carl Allen; the guy was an animal in the woods. He's probably the only guy I have ever met who had the capability of running a deer down. He was an amazing hunter, and incredibly lean and tough. I'd bet if he used HH Impertech, he'd probably blow it up too! You are either Carl's twin brother, or you had a defective set of rain gear, friend.

    Finally, it should be mentioned that HH Impertech is a completely waterproof membrane. If you are running / sweating, you will get soaked in this rain gear even if it's not raining. It is not breathable, nor is it intended so. But until someone comes up with truly breathable rain gear that really works, we're stuck with it.

    Best regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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