Making sure you have the best mountain hunting clothes when you’re planning your backcountry hunt is crucial. The last thing you want in the middle of your hunt is uncomfortable and low-quality hunting clothes.
It is important to wear quality hunting clothes when hunting in the mountains. Because much of the season takes place in winter, wearing layers will make it easier to navigate the terrain comfortably and safely. These usually include a base layer, a middle layer of insulation, and a waterproof layer.
Pairing these with accessories that are appropriate for the rocky, sloping terrain ensures that you can get around comfortably and efficiently, giving you more time and energy to focus on hunting. Read on to learn what you should look for in mountain hunting clothes.
Mountain Hunting Clothes Overview
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Hunting in the mountains means you are dealing with a cooler climate, especially later in the season. Mountain hunting is also very active, so dressing in layers designed to wick away moisture and regulate body temperature will keep you from overheating.
Layers let you easily adjust your outfit as needed. If you find yourself sweating you can remove a layer, and if you start to get cold it is just as easy to slip into something warm. This limits the energy you waste on regulating the temperature so you can spend it focusing on hunting and trekking.
Hunting Clothes Considerations
When selecting clothes for hunting you want them to be flexible, comfortable, and blend in with your surroundings. You do not necessarily need to wear camo, but sticking with earth tones like dark greens and browns helps you blend in.
Make sure you are wearing the appropriate amount of blaze orange for the area you are hunting in if required.
Base Layer: Moisture Wicking and Thermoregulation
Your base layer should be lightweight and breathable. Most hunters prefer high-quality merino wool next to the skin because it wicks moisture away instead of retaining it.
A base layer should include:
- A quality wicking base layer top
- A quality wicking base layer bottom
- Merino wool socks for the appropriate hunting season
- Merino wool gloves to preserve dexterity
Keep your base layer light; you can always add more on top if you need extra warmth.
Mid Layer: Insulation
While the base layer helps you regulate body temperature, the mid layer of insulation is what will keep you warm. Look for zippered jackets that you can easily remove if you start to heat up.
The pants you wear should also be flexible to allow for increased mobility. You should also look for waterproofing features unless you want to add another layer to your legs to protect them from snow or rain. I recommend First Lite’s corrugate foundry pants that are both flexible and waterproof, making them a great choice for legwear.
Outerwear: Waterproof and Breathable
While you may not always need a third layer you need to have it at hand. This layer is important for protecting you from weather conditions like rain, snow, and wind.
For the most part, your outerwear should be synthetic materials that are effective at blocking moisture and wind. You can usually find these features in a quality raincoat or in a combination puffy/waterproof jacket.
Keeping the waterproof layer separate from the insulating layer gives you more control of your temperature, but it also costs more and takes up more space in your pack.
Other Mountain Hunting Apparel
Proper mountain hunting apparel goes beyond shirts and pants. Completing your outfit with well-designed clothing will keep you comfortable and capable the entire time you hunt. These usually include:
- Sturdy boots for navigating the tricky terrain – I use Kenetrek
- A neck gaiter to keep your neck warm
- A brimmed hat to block sunlight
Primal Pioneer is a food blog and public land hunting resource by Mike and Jennifer Shreckengost. We’re a husband and wife team who combined their two passions – a love of the outdoors and food – into a joint effort with Primal Pioneer! You’ll find resources on planning and executing your own DIY over-the-counter public land big game hunt, along with wild game recipes featuring mostly venison and elk.