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Thread: Clothing for Caribou

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Smile Clothing for Caribou

    Well, not really for the caribou, but for me I'm wondering what you suggest for late season caribou. I've seen some pictures/videos where guys are wearing fleece, some wool and some carhartts. What's your preferred attire?

  2. #2

    Default I'd recommend bringing all three!

    When I hunt caribou it is almost always a drop-off/unguided hunt. I bring Polar Fleece (pants & jacket), Carhartts (pants & jacket), Wool Pants, Long underwear (top & bottom), a really good rainsuit (try and make sure its made of the quiet material... nothing more annoying than hiking all day and having to listen to your pants brushing together), and usually a heavy down jacket in case I run in to snow.

    I also bring wool socks, polypropylene socks, a carhartt hood, stocking cap, and a couple pairs of warm work gloves. By bringing all this I know I can always have a warm, dry pair of clothes to get in to if I get one pair wet. As long as you stay dry you'll be fine.

    Let me know if you have any other questions about gear... Oh, and one last important note for you... Last time I flew commercial to Kotzebue we had matches in a sealed bag within a small hard plastic container and they were confiscated in Anchorage. Didn't find this out until we were in the field... Luckily we had a magnesium/flint firestarter as a backup, I recommend bringing one of those along.

  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Layers, layers, layers thats my best advice...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4
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    Avoid cotton, I think most of us understand that wet cotton can be a killer. I have "noisy" raingear that is not bulky so I can wear the raingear under a fleece layer and be a lot quieter than if its on the outside. If I were caught in a real downpour (which I haven't yet), it is easy to wring water out of the fleece.

  5. #5

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    If it's cold and wet cotton is just about useless.

    Wool and synthetics. If I'm ever rich one day, all wool. I like it better than synthetic stuff for some reason.

    I'll second the layers comment.

  6. #6

    Default Caribou clothes?

    Layers. Wool or fleece and some of the high tech wicking underwear. Helly Hansen Impertech 3/4 length rain coat and bibs or some of the Gortex or similar stuff if you trust it not to leak. I like the zip neck underwear top for venting during the hike. I wear pants made by Mad Dog. A warm hat and a ball cap. I like the rubber bottom uninsulated shoe pacs that Schnees makes. Good quality socks like Smart Wool. You want gear that drys quickly and is light so you may like fleece the best for layering. Hunting in Alaska is a learning experience. Depending on the weather you will probably over heat when walking and cool way down if your glassing from a windy hill. Avoid getting to damp or wet and sitting around exposed to the wind as much as possible. If your not, get knowed up about hypothermia! Best of luck to you.

  7. #7
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Guys, I haven't worn cotton for the last 5 years (we all learn the hard way sooner or later) and wouldn't plan too either. I have and trust in wool and lots of fleece. The wool is Columbia, not top notch, but serves well. Various fleece, but Berber with windstopper to go on top. My big concern was whether or not I needed carhartts...I guess I will wait and see.

  8. #8

    Default

    Might be nice for kicking around camp. But I wouldn't take Carhartts into the field if there is threat of wet, unless of course they are those extreme ones that are all synthetic.

  9. #9
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default cotton

    There was a great post on this last season a few months before our sept. trip and the guy suggested taking no heavy coat or pants but bringing only a rainsuit and having multiple layers of synthetic underwear in light meadium and heavy (note even the heavy is quite light) I'm a freeze baby and thought this might not be a good idea, but I tried it anyways and while the weather was pretty much warm for the most part last season the layered underwear worked great and i will definatley use that in the future as it saved me loads of weight and packing size for my gear. Alot of taxis/outfitters/guides limit your total weight to between 80 and 100 lbs, usually 80 and my brother and I were both well under that and found room for a few luxuries. I used madd dogg waterproof raingear which is camo so it's dual purpose, I also own a set of impertechs but didn't bring them on this hunt as it has been my experience(so far) that it doesn't seem to rain alot on my caribou hunts (knock on wood)
    I also have a pair of under armour cold gear which I hate and won't bother to ever wear on a hunt again unless i'm going to be constantly moving. As far as moisture wicking it is the best stuff i've ever used, but when you stop and sit for a while it makes me feel like i'm in a cold sweat or something and i actually get colder faster than if i wore nothing at all.
    they don't get my endorsement.
    Camp shoes, rocky boots, synthetic socks (I really likes these although they seem really expensive for socks) I also bring along a pair of rocky waterproof socks just in case all of my foot wear gets wet so i can still wear my boots with socks inside the waterproof ones and be comfortable.
    For head gear I really like those windproof/waterproof stocking hats that are camo they keep my head jsut right and keep the elements off me, I don't know the brand, but you can find them at sportsmans warehouse.
    for pants and shirts we also went synthetic and got the lightest stuff we could find (six avenue outfitters) and not only that, but we got them filthy with blood and they washed right out.
    I spent a fair amount of money on clothing this last fall for hunting, but now I'm set for a while and it's all good stuff that i will use on nearly every hunt.
    The only thing i had tht was cotton was my underwearwhich I probably didn't even need since I always had on some sort of long johns.
    My .02
    Justin
    Justin

  10. #10
    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    Wool vs. Fleece
    I guess there are two camps when it comes to insulating clothing. There are those that like wool and those that like fleece. And yes there are some folks that use a bit of both. Iíve used both and have no real complains against either. Both have their place. The only real complaint I have is that wool is heavy compared to fleece, and gets even heavier when wet. But it always keeps you warm. In the end I decided that fleece was the way to go for me. Itís warm, soft, lightweight and compresses better than wool.

    Insulating Layers
    I did well with fleece, windblocker and gortex. I really like the Cabelas berber fleece vest, but it doesnít come with wind blocker. I also used the bass pro shopís adaption fleece with wind blocker pullover and pants. The wind blocker makes a bit of noise, but nothing worth noting for rifle hunting. The Patagonia stretch fleece undergarments were very nice. Made you feel like you were hunting in your PJs.

    Wicking Layers Garments
    My wicking layers consisted of REI lycra shirts and REI wicking tops/bottoms. This stuff worked extrememly well at getting the sweat off you and into the next layer. I took two sets. Washed them every few days and they were dry in about an hour. I tried the underarmour cold weather stuff and I just could not get use to the compression fit and ended up leaving the tops and long bottoms at home. I did however use the UA compression fit boxer briefs and liked those.

    Outer Layers
    For outer layer I opted for the Cabelas microtech. Lightweight, quiet and dried quickly. No complaints. These have become my go to clothes when bow hunting whitetails back home in Michigan.

    Rain Gear
    I opted for gortex, mainly because I already own it and because I couldnít find the ĺ length impertech parka here in Michigan. Gortex has never failed my back home while hunting in Michiganís upper penninsula where it can rain for days on end. We didnít get a lot of rain in AK, so the gortexís ablility to keep me dry wasnít really tested. I tried to prepared for the worst. I also has a set of the Riverís West rain gear. I took these to double as a set of warm outers and a backup to the gortex. The RWs are warm to say the least. I wore the jacket a few morning while traveling by ATV. The were nice as a warm layer, but I would not recommend them as a primary rain gear. They were just way too warm. And because they do not breath, the limited hiking I did in them turned them into a walking sauna. Not to mention that they donít compress well, so they take up a lot of room in you pack. Great for stand hunting, bad for hiking. Next time Iíll have an impertech ĺ length parka.

    Footwear
    I opted for meindl alaskan hikers. Nice boot. I ordered the wide size and it fits my wide foot very well. Add a pair of Rockie Alhpa burly knee highs and some smartwool socks and liners and you're all set. I always pack a pair of sealskin waterproof socks just in case. Lets me keep my feet dry, even if I accidentally get my boots filled with h20. I can't stand wet feet.

    I have all kinds of info on all sorts of clothing options if you want more detail. Just drop me a pm. If you canít tell, I have an addiction to hunting clothing. I researched this stuff to death.

    F2T

  11. #11
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    Under armour and BDU's
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  12. #12
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Under Armour and BDU's! Thats what I'm wearing right now! ...hehehe. Man it's hard to get away from the military...what about that Sitka gear stuff you hardcores keep talking about? I hear its not just for mountain hunting.......K

  13. #13
    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about the Sitka gear clothing. But its not cheap. And last fall it was almost impossible to find. I had a hard time spending that kind of money for clothing when I'm buying it on-line. I still keep an eye out for it locally.

  14. #14
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Yeah your right! that sitka gear stuff is not cheap!...it's definently for the snobbish sheep hunter ....hehehe

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