Ultimate Hunting Gear List - 2013 Ram

2013 Ram

I though it would be interesting to create the ultimate hunting gear list (clothing specific) for the multi-season, multi-species Western / Alaskan hunter.  In other words, me.  If you hunt in similar terrains perhaps you will find this list of interest.  This list will cover Alaskan August Dall Sheep Hunts, September Moose hunts, fall and spring bear hunts, Caribou pursuits, Alaskan winter predator hunts, and an occasional L48 October Mule Deer hunt.  These theoretical hunts are a mixture of backpack and base-camp style hunting with a focus on high quality, lightweight and versatile gear.   This list is mainly to get one thinking about their kit in its entirety.   While you may not agree with my brands or minute specifics, the premise itself is pretty solid (At least in my humble opinion and experience). Please note this is NOT a pack list for a specific hunt, but rather a complete kit of gear that a hunter can pull from as the specifics of the pursuit demand.  Everything on this list is gear I have personally used.

I will start with base layers. In the past my go to fabric has been primarily merino wool.  I use 2-3 sets in various weights, utilized as conditions demand.   I have used Smartwool, KUIU, Sitka Gear and First Lite. Of the bunch, First Lite is the superior merino, both in comfort and durability.  Despite merino’s well deserved popularity, synthetic base layer technology is rapidly closing the gap. An article that made me rethink synthetics can be read here: A Navy Seal Rewarming Drill

My biggest frustration with merino is the dry time required, especially for the heavier layers. I have slowly started moving toward a mixed base layer kit that includes Sitka Gear’s Core line (released in 2015).  I have found that the light weight Core T’s do amazingly well at keeping my cool and dry during hard early season climbs. I have also appreciated the quick dry time of the medium weight layers.  However, two of my favorite pieces are my First Lite Chama Hoody and my First Lite Springer Vest. I have found that both merino and synthetics (especially modern ones like the new Sitka Core) have their place.

The ultimate next to skin T shirt for hard charging climbing is the Patagonia Capilene Lightweight T.  This ultra light shirt does an amazing job of wicking sweat and dries quickly!

Ultimate Hunting Gear List – Base Layers


Light Weight Base Layers:
Long Sleeve Tops:
First Lite Lano (1)
Sitka Core Crew Top LS (1)

Short Sleeve Tops:
Sitka Core Crew SS (2)

Sitka Core Lightweight Bottom (1)
First Lite Red Desert Boxer or Sitka Merino Boxer (2-3)

Heavy to Mid Weight:
Top Layers:
Sitka Traverse (1)
Sitka Core Mideweight Zip T (1)
Sitka Traverse Cold Weather Hoody (1)

Sitka Core Heavyweight Bottom (1)
Or other Core weight layers as needed.

Ultimate Hunting Gear List – Outer Layers

In my opinion the complete kit consists of at least 3 pairs of pants; lightweight, mid-weight, and heavy weight. My light weight favorites are the First Lite Corrugate Guide and the KUHL Renegades. I prefer my light weight pants to be in solid colors as they are mainly used in the summer and for scouting trips.  Both the Guide, and the Rengades, come in several good color choices.

Sitka Mountain Pants

Sitka Mountain Pants

The KUIU Attack pants were  my go to alpine pants for  3 seasons.  My biggest critique was the upper “hand” pockets.  They flare out and make carrying a pocket knife with a clip a pain and  I lost a good knife learning this lesson. I also wanted to find a pant with the integrated knee pads.  As such I have been using the Sitka Mountain pants and really appreciate the integrated knee pads and pocket design.

For late season / cold weather hunts I like to utilize a heavier weight pant.   For soft shells I like both the Sitka 90% and the KUIU Guide. However, the Sitka Timberline, with its integrated knee pads, waterproof seat and reinforced knees is quickly becoming my cool weather favorite. The great thing about the Timberlines is that they come in several solid colors as well as Opftidae.

For my thoughts on rain gear please read here: Comprehensive Rain Gear Reviews
Another article on the subject can be found at this link: Additional Thoughts on Rain Gear


Sitka Stormfront

Sitka Stormfront

Merino Beanie
Remote Pursuits ball cap
Waterproof Wool Felt Crusher

Sitka Hanger Gloves
Sitka Talus Gloves (a heavier duty Shooter glove)
First Lite Merino gloves
(work perfectly as an extra liner under the Shooter/Talus gloves)
For cold weather use I have a pair of Sitka Stormfront Gloves and the Cabela’s Woolitmate Glove.

I have written several articles on boots. However, the key is fit. You need a boot that fits well and is tailored to your hunt. Steep, rocky terrain requires a different boot than the lowland trails.

Rubber Boots:  Every multi season hunter needs a good pair of rubber boots of some type. I really like my insulated LaCrosse Pac Boots, they are the most “walk-able” rubber boot I have worn.  I have experienced some fading of the camo pattern in the toe area, but the boots are still 100% functional.

Darn Tough, First Lite, the list goes on.  Just make sure that the sock AND boot are viewed as a system and TESTED as a system before heading deep into the back-country!

The last piece to this kit is insulation. I typically prefer Primaloft / synthetic insulation over down.   I like that it is warm when wet and I don’t get those irritating feathers poking through the gear. However, Primaloft is doing amazing things with blended materials these days.
My puffy jacket post provides more info:

For when the weather is really cold I have a pair of Patagonia’s Micro Puff pants (a discontinued pair from the MARs line in Alpha Green).    Along with the Primaloft gear I run the always debated soft shell jacket.   It’s the one piece of gear that is always on my list to not take, yet someone how always ends up in the pack and is usually well used by the end of the trip. This last year I have been testing the Sitka Gear Blizzard Jacket. Its an amazing jacket for cold weather hunting!

UPDATED Sept 26, 2015

Ultimate Hunting Gear List - Gear Matters