Well, did anyone buy new gear this season? How did it work out? Any thoughts, regrets, recommendations, etc?
I bought a Hilleberg 10x10 tarp (the 10UL) from Barney's. It is awesome. I used this on my sheep hunt for a shelter for two nights in the rain. It worked great, went up in a flash, is very light and the stuff sack is built into the bag. I carry a few MSR ground hog stakes in case I need to anchor it to the ground. I found that I like the MSR stakes better than the Hilleberg model. I would definitely recommend this tarp to anyone that is looking for something like this.
I also bought a pack cover for my Barney's Pinnacle pack. I broke down and got the Kool-Dri model that Barney's sells and it worked great in Kodiak. I wish I had it on my sheep hunt a few weeks earlier. In fact this is why I decided to get it. After getting my pack wet (not the stuff inside that was in dry bags), I decided that I'd like to shave off a few pounds of soaking bag material. Definitely the way to go if you have a Barney's pack.
Brooks Range Jacket. I'm sold on this. I wasn't even close to cold on either of my hunts this year after buying this at the Sportsman's show in the spring. I'm glad I bought the hood as well. I didn't go with the camo version. Didn't think it was that important and it was a tiny bit heavier as well. I would recommend getting a compression stuff sack though. I got a regular stuff sack as recommended at Barney's. My friend has the same thing but with the compression sack. It is amazing how much more room he had after compressing all of his clothing and other items. My problem isn't really weight, it is now space. I'll be upgrading those this winter.
I also got the Mountain Hardware Compressor pants. This worked great for staying warm while spotting, early in the morning or late at night when I wasn't moving around. Nice to be able to remove them without taking my boots off.
Nikwax. I can't believe how much better this stuff works over the crap that AMH sold me. My boots (Lowa GTX hunter extreme)didn't even begin to look wet until the very end of the hunt. This was after a ton of creek crossings, mud, rain, wet brush, etc.