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Thread: For caibou, what hip boot or wader?

  1. #1
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    Default For caibou, what hip boot or wader?

    Never worn either so I have no experience. What is best if you basically have to live in them for a week?

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    I use Breathable waist high waders and separate wading boots. Simms makes one of the best kinds of both.

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    A lot depends on where you are going. The only time I wear hip boots when I caribou hunt is getting on and off the float plane. Regular hunting boots for most of the rest. When needed I prefer the hip boots. Ankle fit hip boots would be my choice. But that's only me.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    - pant waders or chest waders - like dieNqvrs said, breathable with separate wading boots...
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    Area 25A is where I will be headed.

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    As said, Simms makes some of the best along with Patagonia but they ar pricey for someone who does't have other uses. Cabelas has several models from 100-180 in breathables, boots are from 65-200 if you choose. They will last several hunts.

    The modern breathable wader is an exellent hunting tool. Hipboots suck unless you are somwhere dry.....which defeats the point. They wear poorly, are usually rather heavy, have poor ankle support, are a pain to take off, and if it does rain, all the stuff dripping off your coat goes down the tops of htem anyway. With waders you are full on covered, whatever noise they make isn't that big of a deal, especially for caribou. I shot a moose with a bow at 15 yards wearing simms waders and goretex jacket.

    Don't be temptedby cheaper neoprenes.....they ahve their place but a hunt is not one of them unless it's ducks.

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    25A is a pretty big area. try to find out if you'll be in the mountains on on tundra. If in the mountians you'll probably be ok with hunting boots. On tundra, you'll need something waterproof. Light weight waders make sitting to glass or shoot pretty easy and you won't need a pad to keep your butt dry. If you go the wader route, do NOT bring felt soled over boots. Get a cheap wading boot with air-bob soles or something similar. If you just bring hunting boots (and they are waterproof), you can get by doing some wading by duct taping your rain pants to the boots. With supertuffs, duct tape & rain pants, you can go about anywhere you could in waders.

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    With supertuffs, duct tape & rain pants, you can go about anywhere you could in waders.[/QUOTE]

    Gary, What are supertuffs?

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Neos work well for most of what you need, and they are light weight. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by razorsharptokill View Post
    With supertuffs, duct tape & rain pants, you can go about anywhere you could in waders.
    Gary, What are supertuffs?[/QUOTE]

    He probably meant Xtra-Tufs, which are Alaska's prefered rubber boot for work or play. I have hated them for decades and wear LaCross boots.

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    As an outfitter I get this question every year from all of my guys. The quick answer is bring a pair of hip boots and a pait of good hunting boots. In Unit 23 we have lots of very wet areas and we have to cross lots of small streams so the hip boots are the ticket for that. But...with all of the mountains we have there is lots of hard hiking that beats the crap out of your feet and thus the 12 inch hunting boots. I have 2 pairs of hip boots that I use and dont bring up the cheap "rubber" boots as the willows will rip them apart.

    I like the old style neoprene lub bottom boots and I have a pair of cabelas "Brush Busters" canvas upper hip boots as well. They work great in the sloppy areas and roll up tight for packing.


    One outfitters opinion!

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    907-259-4290
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Gary, What are supertuffs?
    He probably meant Xtra-Tufs, which are Alaska's prefered rubber boot for work or play. I have hated them for decades and wear LaCross boots.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah - that's what I meant - don't use them myself, either.
    Any type of over the calf rubber boot would work.

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    Awesome, thanks for the info guys. This a great place to come to get help from those who know.

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    I go with the least expensive breathable pant waders (emphasis on breathable) and inexpensive 6-8" (nylon upper) hiking boots. I can usually get 2 years of fishing and hunting out of one set of gear and have less than $100 into the outfit. If this is a one-off trip from OK, I personally would not be spending $$$ on waders and wading shoes that might not get much use otherwise and will definitely get worked over by the willow and alder.

  15. #15

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    6 to 1, half a dozen to another. If you ask me its really about personal preference. I use both frequently. When I was guiding (about 15 years ago), I always hunted in my hip boots. Even when sheep hunting. There are lots of advantages to hip boots. Lacrosse insulated hip boots with the air bob soles are supreme. They are extremely tough. You will rarely ever poke a hole in them. They have excellent traction for climbing mountains. If the weather is hot you can roll them down into a knee high boot. When you get to a stream you can roll them back up again. They are extremely versatile. I feel like they are the ATV of footwear. If you wear the Hely Hansen rain gear that goes below your waist, then your whole body is covered in extreme rain. The down side of hip boots is #1, they don't cover as much of your body as chest waders, but I have found rarely will you or should you venture in water over your hips anyhow. Especially in Alaska's cold and swift waters. The other disadvantage to hip boots is this and I can't emphasize this enough. DON'T EVER, EVER, EVER GET YOUR HIP BOOTS WET!!! If you do and you don't have any other boots you will be sorry. They are almost impossible to dry in the field. I've tried everything. Stuffing newspapers down in the bottom, setting them in front of a wood stove or fire. The only thing that I have found that even remotely works is heating up a can of stream gravel in an empty soup can and pouring the hot rocks in the bottom of the boots. You have to do this several times to get them somewhat dry but they never seem to get completely dry.

    Now for chest waders. If I ever hunt in chest waders I use Gore-Tex waders, not neoprene. Neoprene sucks in my opinion. It doesn't keep you dry and its too constricting and you have a tendency to overheat and sweat in them. When I am on a float hunt I use Gore-tex chest waders a lot. Mainly because I am in and out of the boat constantly and chest waders are a must for this. Hip boots work, but risky because on occasion you may have to climb out of the boat in deep water in order to pull the boat to shore and tie off your bowline etc. Gore-tex waders are very comfortable and breathable. I prefer the comfort of them over hip boots. If by some chance you ever get your Gore-tex waders wet, you can turn them inside out and dry them easily if the weather is cooperative. The down side to waders is they do have a tendency to tear. I do not think the traction is as good for hunting. Also, if you are hunting in cold weather, your wader boots have a tendency to freeze overnight. It is an easy fix, because you can just soak them in the river for a few minutes to thaw them out, but this is kind of a pain and takes more time. You also have to be careful not to have your wading boots drift away down river so fill them up with rock before you soak them.

    Let's see. I'm sure I forgot to mention a few other things but that's all I got for now. If I think of some other things I let you know. If you can fit both in with your gear it wouldn't hurt to have both. There are definitely times when I prefer one over the other. And of course a nice pair of hiking boots is nice to have as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    When I was guiding (about 15 years ago), I always hunted in my hip boots. Even when sheep hunting.
    Hmmmm.....that's interesting. Maybe you're a hockey player and have ankles of steel, but when I was guiding, also about 15 years ago now, there was no way in hell that I would spend all my hunts in hip waders. I don't care what it was......caribou, moose, brown bear, etc... I never cared for ankle roll on the tundra. Although I always had my La Cross ankle fit hip boots near by (we hunted out of float planes) I preferred hunting out of my Miendl goretex boots. I wore those same boots for all my hunts just because I REALLY like ankle support. The last thing I want to do is roll my ankle with a hundred pounds on my back. Don't get me wrong, like I said, I always had my ankle fits ready to go if my Miendls got wet, and they did in fact save my ass a few times. But for me it was a must have to have good, RIDGED goretex hunting boots to hunt out of.

    To the op from OK., if it was me, I'd get some decent ankle fit hip boots....nothing that expensive, but get a good pair of tall goretex hunting boots (like the old Cabella's "Canada Hunters" maybe now they call them "Denali" boots? anything along those lines) and you should be good to go for pretty much everything AK has to throw at ya. You may not need the (inexpensive) hip waders much when you get back home, but you always can use a good pair of hunting boots.....and as far as I'm concerned you should spare no expense on them.

    Oh, and btw.....you couldn't pay me to hunt in chest waders. I don't care how breathable they are, they don't breathe enough for me........lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Bring your hiking boots and a pair of Neo waders that slip over your hiking boots. You can buy them at Barney's and other places. See link below.

    http://barneyssports.com/footwear/ov...e-green-m.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHUNTINFOOL View Post
    Bring your hiking boots and a pair of Neo waders that slip over your hiking boots. You can buy them at Barney's and other places. See link below.

    http://barneyssports.com/footwear/ov...e-green-m.html
    There u go!

    Buy a pr of NEOS. My other waders collect dust.

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    Sheep hunting in Hip Waders....simply BRILLIANT! I knew there was a reason why I put so much faith into this Forum.


    Razor... You have been posting on every single forum known to man about this Caribou hunt. Don't overthink it man, the guys on Rok are steering you wrong. I personally would not wear Hip Boots on a Bou hunt, but I would look into a quality "knee high" boot such as Muck or Lacrosse. I did not need rubber boots last year, but I wore a pair of knee high Mucks for 11 days straight, no blisters.

    All the best bud...

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    Thanks for all of the info and time put into giving it guys.

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