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Thread: Hip boots or Waist Waders for Moose Hunt

  1. #1

    Default Hip boots or Waist Waders for Moose Hunt

    DIY Moose hunt for this fall is booked Sept 5-15. We will be using a zodiac for mobility from our base camp on a lake or river. I have read a lot of reports that highly recomend the use of the Lacrosse Big Chief hip boots. I have also read that some guys are using breathable waders such as Cabelas Gold-Medal Waist high waders/and a good hiking boot, with great success.
    I'm thinking the hip boots would be most durable. But with the waders I could sit on wet surfaces without getting my butt wet. I also figure I could wear the waders with a Helly Hanson jacket during rain, and avoid having to buy rain pants. If I do get hip boots it seems that most guys say that I shoud go un-insulated If hunting before Sept 15. I have had a few pair of lacrosse boots in the past which I loved but they had the air bob soles. I didn't see air bobs on the hip boots. Are the soles offered as good as the air bobs.
    Thanks Tony

  2. #2

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    I used to really like Cabelas "Bog Busters" hip boots, they fit tight on my feet. But recently I've started using breathable waders more often, I like them for the reason you mentioned, your butt doesn't get wet when sitting in the muskeg. Both types have their pros and cons. If I am planning to do a lot of hiking I go with the hip boots. Sitting in a more or less fixed location I go with the breathable waders.

  3. #3
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Default they still make em...

    lacrosse still makes the airbobs just hard to find sometimes, but i know they still make em. have you considered breathable chest waders...i've just recently started using them for lots more than just flyfishing simply cause theyre making them tougher and its so convienent. i've spent years wearing hip boots out and i'm over it... theyre pretty comfy too, i just wear fleece pants under them, and get wet at will. i live in em on float hunts. if your worried about the durablility, another guide i know wheres those cheap army surplus gore tex shells over the top of them. he cuts em mid shin so they dont hinder hiking. you can get a pair of those things army surplus for twenty bucks sometimes. theyre super durable and will double the life of your breathables. good luck on your moose hunt.

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    I had a bad experience with Hally Hanson rain gear on a fly in moose hunt several years back, a very wet year, I was wearing Hally Hanson and my son was wearing mad dog rain gear, I was wet and he stayed dry. They make better and lighter rain gear now, some of its not cheap, buy the best you can afford. 100 miles from no where when its raining is not the place to find out you have bad rain gear.

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    ....there's no way to avoid getting a wet backside.....

    -everything about moose seems to be wet!

    - moose hunting here on the Kenai, we seem to be living with waders-
    -I wear a lightweight German military rainbibs I found some years ago; -lightweight-
    -and, a halibut shirt, sometimes-
    -we trap all winter in waders-

    -we have to buy new ones every 2 years or so; I particularly love the airbob tread, as Nine Foot mentioned -
    -we order ours, sometimes, from the Nitelite catalog(or wherever we can find the airbobs)

    -have a great hunt!....looking forward to hearing about how it goes...
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

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    Default Breathable Wader Pants

    My wife and I are going to try the Frogg Toggs breathable wader pants.

    http://www.fishusa.com/Frogg-Toggs-H...de-Pant_p.html

  7. #7
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wynot View Post
    My wife and I are going to try the Frogg Toggs breathable wader pants.

    http://www.fishusa.com/Frogg-Toggs-H...de-Pant_p.html
    If they're no more durable than the FT raingear you'd better bring something dry to change in to.

  8. #8
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    putting on and taking off "frogg togs" or chest waders aint on my list of things to do on a moose hunt. most guides and moose hunters I know wear the lacrosse hip wader boots. I too have the air bob soled lacrosse and wear them the whole trip. No need to change out footwear on a constant basis, they are comfortable enough to wear the whole time. weight difference between the frogg togs.............a few ounces. from what I've been told regarding the cabelas hip wader boots.....they wear out much quicker than a good set of lacrosse air bob soled waders. I never really thought there was a sensible alternative to the lacrosse waders anyways......i figured it out a long time ago. nothing beats the lacrosse......it's a proven peice of moose hunting gear.

  9. #9
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Magnum

    My 2cents
    I can't speak for the experienced AK bush hunters for sure, but I had one VERY close brush with death wearing chest waders while trapping once and I will never wear them again if I have the option of hippers. I do a little duck hunting and yes they keep my rear dry but I want no part of risking my life vs having a little wet butt in the wilds....
    If you ever get pulled under in waders in current good luck!
    For me its too easy to grab a cushon of sorts - they make some nice turkey/deer ones now that snap to your belt that are simple to wear and help make the rocks dryer and softer!

  10. #10
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default LaCrosse Hip Boots

    magnum,

    LaCrosse hip boots, the Big Chief style, air bob sole with 800MG of insulation is the normal boot for tundra hunts in AK. This includes moose hunts in the river bottoms.

    My recommendation is the result of dealing with about 100+ client-hunters in the last 12 years. The LaCrosse hip boots are hard to get for those of you in the lowere 48. Because of that, many client hunters end up with Cabelas hip boots. And because I can get by with both size 10 or 11 hip boots, I have ended up with several pair of Cabelas hip boots when client-hunters leave AK. Regardless of style, none of the Cabelas hip boots are as comfortable to me as the LaCrosse Big Chief style.

    The wrong foot wear, the wrong boots have led to more problems in the bush than any other single thing. Hip boots are never perfect in every situation, but at the end of every hunt the guys without hip boots say they would not return to AK without 'em. The guys without LaCrosse hip boots say they would not return without LaCrosse.

    The knock on hip boots are that they get wet inside from sweaty feet. True. And I did not care for them at the end of a 16 mile hike on a super warm September day after we got to chasing after a big caribou.

    But most of the time they are the most important single item, along with great rain gear, that will contribute to the success of a tundra hunt for moose, caribou, and bears. If you are gonna sit in a boat or a riverside blind all day or just raft or just fish, then it probably does not matter what type of waterproof footwear you have. But if you are an active spot-and-stalk or run-and-gun hunter....get hip boots, pref LaCrosse.

    So the sweat deal is the negitive point. And without good rain gear or a butt pad, your posterior end will become wet sitting out on the spotting hill. And the guys with fat legs hate trying to get them off at the end of the day.

    Here are the positive points.
    1) Keeps your feet and legs dry.
    2) No time wasting boot changes while racing to cut off a traveling brown bear. Keep in mind that the tundra often has many wet spots and muskeg swamps that look dry until you are knee deep in 'em. (I have saw guys waste 30 minutes changing in and out of boots five times in only a mile...)
    3) On dry ground, fold 'em down to keep your legs cool.
    4) On windy days pull 'em up to keep the wind off your legs.
    5) During those cold days sitting on a lookout hill, stick your hands down your hip boots to keep 'em warm.

    Breathable wader pants and chest-high waders are fine except that they are tough to get down while peeing, and they begin to smell really bad after a few active and sweaty days. More than one hunter has been thrown out of the tent because his breathable wader pants began to smell like ...like really sweaty terrible bad.

    Client-hunters will always debate the merit of LaCross hip Boots as opposed to breathable-pant-waders or as opposed to hiking boots and quick-change-overboots. I have heard the verbal opposition to hip boots so many times that I now, after one or two hip-boot sales talks, I just tell to bring whatever they want. But at the end of a hard day, and at the end of the hunt I know that every client-hunter says he wishes he had listened to me and brought LaCross hip boots.

    But...with hard work and a bit of good fortune you will have a great moose hunt wearing either hip boots or breathables....Chevy vs Ford vs Dodge, Ruger vs Winchester vs Remington, blond vs brunette vs red....

    (Also, check the gear forum and hunting forum archives....and whatever type of boot you want to wear will be supported....somewhere.)

    ...in my experience...in my humble opinion...

    Dennis
    ,

  11. #11
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    cheep neoprene chest waders are how I roll. I trash them in one hunt from climbing trees. I shoot probably 75% of my moose from trees cause its so thick where I hunt you can't see them from the ground. I think hip boots are miserable and I go to deep and get water inside them anyway

  12. #12
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default neither....

    i've given up on both after having several pairs of both give up on me... but i am also challenged by having to get shoes/boots size 15 which causes a lot of problems and limited shopping possiblities at almost all retail stores.

    i'm quite happy with just wearing wading shoes that fit well and being a little wet most of the time, according to a friend i also have "a high tolerance for hypothermia" which also helps. most pairs i've had dry pretty well and fast even while wearing them so i've never had too many problems and always carry extra socks while hiking and newspapers for stuffing them after dark.

    as a side note i have also been swimming in Alaska wearing hip boots, waders (chest high), and wading shoes... and would rather swim in the wading shoes any day of the week. the only shortfall i see in my choice would be the scrapes and bruises my ankles get while hiking in rocks...

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    I hunt moose from a boat and don't normally have to pack to far. Along with my normal mud boots I always have very warm hip boots and neoprene chest waders with me. I have seen way too many moose make it into a pond after shot to not have chest waders. Also packing a moose the last 100 yards through a swamp to the boat can require waders. The neoprene waders are warm and will aide floating should you fall. I only wear the waders as dictated by each situation.

    On a good year the waders will never come out from under the bow of the boat. My boat does have a boot dryer should my boots get wet on the inside. I travel as light as I can but these boots are a necessity for me and not a luxury.

    Obviously other types of hunting don't have the luxuries of multiple pairs of boots and boot driers but I try to make the best with what I have.

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    Default Breathable Waders

    Hello, as you've noticed, there are many opinions on this subject, and like others, I'll give you mine. I don't believe there is a perfect one solution. I, like others, have used both hippers and breathables. I prefer the breathable chest waders to hippers. There have been several times I crossed swampy muck and have found that one hole that is higher than my hippers. Probably my fault, I wasn't using my walking pole well enough to find the hole :-). Since I made the jump to Breathables, that hasn't happened. I pair them with a pair of Korkers, and I have something fit for the river & hiking.

    I agree that you can sweat in them, but you can roll them down some and let alot of the sweat escape. I haven't had the "smell" issue some folks have had, and I have used mine on float hunts as long as 20 days. Typically, I have 2 sets of pants that I rotate out and I turn my waders inside out to dry the inside and air them out. As far as answering natures call, I undo 1 strap (quick release) and take off my wader belt, piece of cake. With the new Simms waders, they have zipper in front to make it even easier.

    Now if you plan on brush busting through miles of alders, then hippers work great, and will last longer.

    Evaluate the country you will be in, the terrain, and make your choice. As has been brought up, there are pros/cons to both.

    My current set of hippers gets more use when I ride my ATV.

    Take care & good luck.

    Moose44

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    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Default noise

    I have used both hippers and wading pants and like both. The breathable waders keep you cooler in warm weather and are remarkably tough. The main down side to them is that they are noisy going through the brush and somewhat baggy. I like going through deeper water with the waders and not worrying about swamping the hip boots. The other good thing about the waders is that they clean up really easy after field dressing a large animal. You can rinse the blood and goo off fairly quickly, and the waders dry very fast. You don't have to deal with blood soaked clothing the rest of the trip.
    The hip boots are quieter in the brush and protect your legs better. My legs end up smelling worse with the hip waders though.
    Unfortunately there is no perfect solution.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Chest waders in a three foot deep glacial stream with slick rocks pushes the envelope to much for me. I've seen to many drowned with just their shirts and boots filling with silt and these streams were but two feet deep but fast

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    I haven't tried it, but I can see where a good set of 1000 denier nylon chaps over the breathables would be a good combination.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question Victims of breathable waders...

    Amigo,
    How many drowning incidents have you witnessed, or become aware of? I'm sure it would be traumatic for you to have witnesses these events. Sucked for the victims also.
    I would like to read about these incidents that apparently involved a few fractured safety principles, to include not wearing personal float vests/devices. While I mean no disrespect to these unfortunate victims, what were their names?

    Dennis

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=AlaskaTrueAdventure;690840]magnum,

    LaCrosse hip boots, the Big Chief style, air bob sole with 800MG of insulation is the normal boot for tundra hunts in AK. This includes moose hunts in the river bottoms.

    My recommendation is the result of dealing with about 100+ client-hunters in the last 12 years. The LaCrosse hip boots are hard to get for those of you in the lowere 48. Because of that, many client hunters end up with Cabelas hip boots. And because I can get by with both size 10 or 11 hip boots, I have ended up with several pair of Cabelas hip boots when client-hunters leave AK. Regardless of style, none of the Cabelas hip boots are as comfortable to me as the LaCrosse Big Chief style.

    .......hey, Dennis....do you by any chance happen to have a pair of size 8 waders hunters have left, that you might want to part with??
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  20. #20
    Member Matt M's Avatar
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    How about some 11 or 12's to part with? Any of them have stiffer soles as my feet need all of the support they can get.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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