Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Brooks Range Float Hunt

  1. #1
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default Brooks Range Float Hunt

    My two sons and I are in the planning stages of a 2 week float hunt in the Brooks Range next September. Would you recommend wearing hip waders or chest waders on a trip like that?

  2. #2

    Default Hip Waders

    My wife and I did our first float on a south slope river of the Brooks this past September, and we each wore hip waders which worked fairly well considering the drawbacks associated with rubber waders - hip or chest. We never had a reason to wade beyond hip wader depth, and I'd caution that wading in any deeper water beyond the knee becomes rather dangerous given cold water, slippery footing, and current. After two days in hip waders, even though we wore them down below our knee whenever possible (our Cabela's models had snaps on the thigh straps for wearing the hip waders in a folded position below the knee) we each experienced considerable condensation inside the waders. As a result our waders were never fully dry for the remaining eight days of the hunt, and our socks would eventually become wet with moisture. If you wear rubber hip waders, or for that matter chest waders, I would recommend wool pants and socks as even though the inside of our waders, socks, and to a limited extent our pants where wet, wool retains most of its insulating qualities when wet. We were never really cold thankfully. I've never used a breathable wader for a ten day period, so I don't know if they'd be better or not. I think any wader will eventually experience condensation over a ten day period...other folks on this site may have some info in that regard. Chest waders would likely be advantageous if you have to drag and manhandle a raft through alot of beaver dams and obstacles, but I think the added weight and condensation issues that would be magnified in chest waders make hip waders a better choice.

    WhiteFish

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    A couple of guys I met last year always wear breathable chest waders. They get into and out of the rafts all the time. The breathables act like rain gear saving them weight and gear volume.

    Both guys wore high quality felted wader boots.

    Where they go they seldom shoot a moose farther than 400 yds off the river so they even wear them while packing meat.

    With breathables you have to wear breathable clothes under them. Polypro fleece in layers works well for me out fishing and duck hunting.

  4. #4
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    A couple of guys I met last year always wear breathable chest waders. They get into and out of the rafts all the time. The breathables act like rain gear saving them weight and gear volume.

    Both guys wore high quality felted wader boots.

    Where they go they seldom shoot a moose farther than 400 yds off the river so they even wear them while packing meat.

    With breathables you have to wear breathable clothes under them. Polypro fleece in layers works well for me out fishing and duck hunting.
    I have breathables and that was the plan if it was recommended.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Member Spanman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    on the Creek
    Posts
    136

    Default

    I wear breathable waist highs with a good lug sole boot, the waist highs will be replaced with a chest high after they wear out. Neoprene is too heavy and you sweat too much...and as far as hip waders go there will always be the chance you get in a little deep and dip the goods. I usually turn the waders inside out after we make camp and let them dry and than right them for the overnight condensation. Best thing I did last year was get the 8 hr toe warmers that stick to your socks and wore them. I found that the neoprene booty and wader boot held the cold water and made me extreamly cold, but the toe warmers worked like a champ.
    Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
    So I backed up and hit her again, ya know sometimes I really do miss her!!

  6. #6
    Member jeff p's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    375

    Default

    I would agree with spanman, breathable are the only way to go. You choose waist or chest just use a good wading boot & you are good to go

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default The downside-

    The only two negatives about breathables are that they are noisy as all get-out, and they are relatively fragile. Both issues can be conquered by wearing a pair of bib rain pants over them until you get through the brush and up to your spotting hill. At that point take off the rain bibs.

    Works for me!

    -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

  8. #8
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    I believe you also mentioned that in your book, yes?

  9. #9
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Thumbs up Hip boots

    Kingfish......,

    ...Different strokes for dif folks...6 one way, half-dozen the other....Im OK-Your OK....

    Breathable pants or chest high waders are fine....'cept when its really cold I cant get the over-boots warm, 'cept when I wannna pee or whatever, and noisy and fragile as already mentined.

    LaCross Big Chief hip boots do get damp/wet inside, so bring extra socks. But they fit me. I have put in some high milage days wearing them hippers. And they are tough crashing through the alder brush, and quiet enough. Based on my style, I'm a hip boot guy.

    Everybody is always searching for the perfect deal, hip boots or breathables. If your an active spot & stalk tundra type hunter, I would go with hip boots. Regardless of what you feel about hunting guides and guide camps....most guide camps in western Ak and on the AK Peninsula are full of LaCross Hip Boots. Breathables, not so much. On my hunts, all the guys who bring breathable pants/waders say they will use hip boots when they return.

    ...Blonds or brunettes....Coors or Bud...Potato or Patatoe (hee hee)...Dodge or Ford....Brady or Manning

    You can't really go wrong with either. Or bring both. When I have had both types available, I end up in hip boots most all the time while hunting. Then switch to the chest high breathables when fishing. Or at least try out both during the summer....walking workouts, or rafting/fishing. Either way, it sounds like you are going to have a great experience and a grand adventure with your sons!!!

    Dennis

  10. #10
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Thanks for the input Dennis.


    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Kingfish......,

    ...Different strokes for dif folks...6 one way, half-dozen the other....Im OK-Your OK....

    Breathable pants or chest high waders are fine....'cept when its really cold I cant get the over-boots warm, 'cept when I wannna pee or whatever, and noisy and fragile as already mentined.

    LaCross Big Chief hip boots do get damp/wet inside, so bring extra socks. But they fit me. I have put in some high milage days wearing them hippers. And they are tough crashing through the alder brush, and quiet enough. Based on my style, I'm a hip boot guy.

    Everybody is always searching for the perfect deal, hip boots or breathables. If your an active spot & stalk tundra type hunter, I would go with hip boots. Regardless of what you feel about hunting guides and guide camps....most guide camps in western Ak and on the AK Peninsula are full of LaCross Hip Boots. Breathables, not so much. On my hunts, all the guys who bring breathable pants/waders say they will use hip boots when they return.

    ...Blonds or brunettes....Coors or Bud...Potato or Patatoe (hee hee)...Dodge or Ford....Brady or Manning

    You can't really go wrong with either. Or bring both. When I have had both types available, I end up in hip boots most all the time while hunting. Then switch to the chest high breathables when fishing. Or at least try out both during the summer....walking workouts, or rafting/fishing. Either way, it sounds like you are going to have a great experience and a grand adventure with your sons!!!

    Dennis

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Thumbs up Agreed...

    Dennis makes some good points, and Lord knows, I've slogged my share of miles in LaCrosse ankle-fit hip boots. My biggest beef with them is the condensation issue, and ankle support. I tore a cartilage in my left ankle in Junior High many years ago, and I really have to watch that. My worst pack by far involved a caribou my hunter shot in a hanging valley far from camp. Took me three days to pack that critter out, steep side-hilling most of the way in hippers. It was a nightmare. What I really needed was a good hiking boot for that. My worst time in breathables was one year when it froze on us and my felt soles were blocks of ice. My hunter scampered up the hill like a bee-stung chipmunk and I was sliding everywhere. What I needed then was a boot with a lug sole. Then the sock foot developed a leak that I couldn't find. I ended up having a friend air-drop a pair of LaCrosse hip boots to me and it was heaven! BTW, the LaCrosse boots come in insulated (which I'd recommend for after the middle of September), and non-insulated, which I use in the early part of the season.

    If I could only choose one, I guess I would probably go with the LaCrosse boots, but I would think about it a long time first. Lots of trade-offs either way. The nice thing is to have both; the breathables weigh no more than a pair of pants, so it's worth having them along in case the condensation in your hip boots is driving you crazy.

    I'm afraid that's not much help, but there it is...

    -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

  12. #12
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Dennis makes some good points, and Lord knows, I've slogged my share of miles in LaCrosse ankle-fit hip boots. My biggest beef with them is the condensation issue, and ankle support. I tore a cartilage in my left ankle in Junior High many years ago, and I really have to watch that. My worst pack by far involved a caribou my hunter shot in a hanging valley far from camp. Took me three days to pack that critter out, steep side-hilling most of the way in hippers. It was a nightmare. What I really needed was a good hiking boot for that. My worst time in breathables was one year when it froze on us and my felt soles were blocks of ice. My hunter scampered up the hill like a bee-stung chipmunk and I was sliding everywhere. What I needed then was a boot with a lug sole. Then the sock foot developed a leak that I couldn't find. I ended up having a friend air-drop a pair of LaCrosse hip boots to me and it was heaven! BTW, the LaCrosse boots come in insulated (which I'd recommend for after the middle of September), and non-insulated, which I use in the early part of the season.

    If I could only choose one, I guess I would probably go with the LaCrosse boots, but I would think about it a long time first. Lots of trade-offs either way. The nice thing is to have both; the breathables weigh no more than a pair of pants, so it's worth having them along in case the condensation in your hip boots is driving you crazy.

    I'm afraid that's not much help, but there it is...

    -Mike
    Sounds like good help to me. thanks

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Anchorage-base camp
    Posts
    16

    Default worst case

    I was up in the Brooks this Aug bou hunting, and was told by the taxi service that I could cross w/ wp 9" hunting boots. My mistake for believing that. Turned out that all the bou were across the river, go figure. The first time I stripped down bare a#$ and crossed (ya its on video, not my finest hour). Since that sucked I tried the duct tape approach from there on out. Tape around the top 3" of boot and wrap it around upward until it is above the boot and wraped to about 3" of skin above the boot. Then duct tape waterproof pants to boots w/ the same 3 & 3 deal. Didnt get wet, but tape removel left something to be desired. Bottom line, hip boots would have worked 80% of the time to cross, waist high breathables would have worked 99%, but I wouldnt hunt that country in either if I wanted to be effective. I think you need to cross and switch footwear. I need something light and fast for real milage.

  14. #14
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    . I tore a cartilage in my left ankle in Junior High many years ago, -Mike
    LOL there was a JR one room school room? i though you and King went to the same school
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  15. #15
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    LOL there was a JR one room school room? i though you and King went to the same school
    Maybe it was the school of "hard knocks".

  16. #16
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,407

    Default another consideration

    With the breathables you can go to http://www.korkers.com/ They have an interchangable sole that isn't to difficult and you now have a boot that works for many different things. Worked great for me.

  17. #17
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    3,573

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    With the breathables you can go to http://www.korkers.com/ They have an interchangable sole that isn't to difficult and you now have a boot that works for many different things. Worked great for me.
    +1
    Absolutely cannot go wrong with the Korkers.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  18. #18

    Default

    We were on some North slope rivers last fall with rubber hippers with typical rubber bottomed boots. I was wishing for felt soles BIG time due to the slippery rocks! It was miserable - like walking on greased rocks. I will have felt boots of some sort next time.

    Here is a tip you might find of value: If you use waders with a boot attached, the boot will always get damp from perspiration and likely stay that way for the entire trip. To deal with wet boots that won't dry out simply take 2 pair of cheap ($5) felt insoles and swap them out daily. Remove the insoles at night and put them in your sleeping bag - dry by morning and you can start the day with a dry footbed.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chugiak, AK
    Posts
    61

    Default Breathables/Korkers

    I would agree that korkers are very nice. Last fall was my first season to make the switch from Lacrosse Hip boots to breathables and the Korkers proved to be very comfortable. I immediately put the breathables/korker combination to the test by portaging gear for a day and half. Making more trips that I care to remember due to a member of the team falling ill. Over the course of the trip, I could definitely see where one type of wader is better than the other at certain tasks. I was very pleased with my decision once I started the portage as my friend ended up getting wet by going over his boots in the muskeg. Lucky for him I brought a propane boot dryer just in case and he was able to dry them out that night. It was unseasonable hot those first couple of days which made wearing the chest waders a little less comfortable than the hippers. I figured the next day would determine how well the chest waders had performed and to my amazement I had no blisters and the waders had completely dried overnight by turning them inside out. Overall I couldn't believe that they felt that good the next day. I have some slight chaffing in the groin due to moisture but nothing that persisted. I was very impressed with the durability and comfort provided by the breathable/korker combination. Over the 12 day hunt I wore them everyday and they were very comfortable. The biggest drawbacks are they are loud when going thru brush, can't be rolled down and a bit of trouble to get off take a leak (when your life jacket and hunting jacket are over them). The biggest advantage on a float hunt is your butt stays dry (not so in my friends case) in the raft seat and if you hit a hole while getting in and out of the raft you have a little more free board to deal with. I hope that helps with your decision. I contemplated it for a long time as you don't want to make the wrong decision and you can't realistically bring both on a fly-in hunt. Someday we'll have the best of both worlds. A quiet breathable with waterproof zippers at the hip for a chest wader extension that can be stepped into and zipped on. The biggest thing to avoid and Mike S. mentions this in his book is a fixed boot design unless you have a boot dryer. I found that by turning my waders inside out during the night and putting the booties under my bag, they were dry in the morning eliminating the need for the boot dryer. My hunting partner needed to use the boot dryer several times to dry his fixed boot hippers. Mike

  20. #20
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ketchikan, AK
    Posts
    4,076

    Default

    Thanks Mike.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •