Staying Dry in the PNW

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I just looked at the Kuiu website. How can you AFFORD a beer after outfitting yourself?
I’ve got the Kuiu gear. Decided after having numb feet too many days this year I need more than 400g thinsulate in my boots. Funny, that was plenty in my younger days. But anyway, tried on the Kennetreks today but they don’t have anything more than 400g in stock where I was, so I’ll buy them elsewhere. Just had to try them on before pulling the trigger on them.

That Kuiu stuff is pretty darn amazing. I’ve put it through some pretty hard tests. Nothing gets through them. Just gotta open the armpit vents and slow it down. But I hate the hood on anything. It gives me “tunnel hearing,” so I like to wear a hat in the rain if I’m not going through too thick of brush to keep it on.

I need better baselayers. Mine are allegedly merino but I still get cold if I get wet.

The biggest thing I need to do before next season is get in better shape so I don’t sweat as much. That gets me more than the rain/snow.
 
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Another praise for Kuiu here, they arent any more expensive than anything at Cabelas or any REI hiking counterpart clothing... but Kuiu stuff works and works well. I dont have their raingear (yet) but have learned to stay dry hunting in the rain for years... coast range elk hunting you will learn. Its about time hunters got some hiking level quality clothing to work with.
Hard leather goretex boots with leg gaiters for wet weather is essential at keeping the feet dry, if the pant leg gets wet it will wick down the socks leaving a clammy cold feeling. I have some Killik brand camo rain pants that are actually awesome for being a Sportsmans Warehouse house brand, super quiet unlike other name brand rain pants. I use a light Patagonia brand rain jacket that works well, its a solid but its dark and doesnt make any noise and just works. I might upgrade to a Kuiu rain jacket next year after seeing how well it worked for one of my hunting partners.
 
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When it comes to clothing, cotton is rotton, wool is cool.

Been plenty dry out there on horseback for days with an Ellis Cavalry Bed Roll in some heavy rain and snow conditions...

950d83d43b8958504586b1c1a0b6a8f--ellis-canvas-tent.jpg
 
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When it comes to clothing, cotton is rotton, wool is cool.
In mountaineering cotton is known as the death cloth. its all the same outdoors and hunting, cotton will get you killed if you get stuck in an emergency and soaked.
My favorite layering is a wool midlayer with a synthetic base layer to aid wicking sweat faster towards the wool that keeps me warmer so it dries the sweat faster.
 

osprey

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I am a fan of Gore-tex. Expensive but light, breathable and waterproof. My Sitka is reasonably quiet. Not perfect but if it’s that wet or rainy they are quiet enough for most big game. Crispi boots do stay dry. So do my old Danners. (New Danners are why I wear Crispi Boots now.) My Muck boots are sometimes best if I’m crossing a lot of water but I can’t hike distance in ‘em. Instead, I wear gaiters if I’m in a lot damp brush.

Been hunting Coast for years and I stay dry or drier than when I waterfowl hunt anyway.

“Mud room“ is great advice btw - Thanks Cogs
The offshore Danner’s are definitely not great and quite disposable. However Danner still does have a line of boots made in the usa that perform quite nicely, albeit a bit more money than their offshore counterparts. They will wear better too and when the soles wear out you can send them back to Danner for new ones as they are stitch down construction. I use to wear meindle boots and a couple other high end brands but when they quit using stitch down on the soles I would have premature sole failure with no chance of repair.
 
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I have the Danner Elk Hunters. Pretty sure they’re still made in Portland. They’ve never leaked and I’d not be buying new boots if they came in anything over 400g thinsulate.
 

fredoesway

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old Finnish guy i knew years ago( avid hunter) wore wool and leather boots. he told me if you use bear grease on your boots you will never get wet feet.
 
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In wet weather I wear my old issued USMC Rat boots and have never had an issue with wet feet. I've worn them in the snow and pouring rain.

A few members did bring up an important issue: sweat. Being wet from sweat is just as bad as being wet from rain. I wear a lot of thin layers and warming items that can easily be added or removed (beanie, shemagh, ect).

If you're going to be on the move it's a good idea to start out "cold". Wear the minimal amount of layers to keep you dry. Hiking up hills, or even slow stalking, will warm your body up quick. More than once I've been snowshoeing in just a light shirt and wool pants. Once you stop to glass you can add more layers to keep warm.
 

joshp3

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I would say two things really are the top of the list for me. Layering with various things. Merino wool being the most important. Firstlite has been good to me. Good boots are a must but more important than any piece of gear I've found is; Mindset and planning. Accept your fate here in the PNW IS wet...but it has to become dry. Go out and hunt/hike and do what you can to stay dry to be sure but accept that you will be wet. It's a fact. Make damn sure you have a way to get dried out within 12hrs though. Don't find yourself soaked headed into darkness. Always have a foolproof way of making fire. This has helped me enjoy our rainforests and make the most of every hunt/hike I go on but I definitely learned the hard way with many many purchases and disappointments.
 
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Great tips from a lot of members. Thanks!

One more for the night: Dig a small drain trench around your tent. You want a way to channel the water away from you. Even the best tents can flood. That makes for a bad night. A trench is a little work for a big insurance policy.
 
Don’t overlook Columbia apparel for some quality, yet very reasonably priced weatherproof gear. I have used one of their lightweight Omni-heat vests on some pretty cold/wet days, and it provides warmth well beyond its intended use! That vest, along with a medium-weight jacket also made by them, have stood up very well to environmental wear; lots of beating through the brush yet no rips or tears.

Their waterproof gear is also truly waterproof even after many years of use and wash cycles. They do offer a specific line of gear tailored to hunting (their PHG line), but their “normal” outdoor apparel has suited me perfectly fine!
 
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A few members did bring up an important issue: sweat. Being wet from sweat is just as bad as being wet from rain. I wear a lot of thin layers and warming items that can easily be added or removed (beanie, shemagh, ect).

If you're going to be on the move it's a good idea to start out "cold". Wear the minimal amount of layers to keep you dry. Hiking up hills, or even slow stalking, will warm your body up quick. More than once I've been snowshoeing in just a light shirt and wool pants. Once you stop to glass you can add more layers to keep warm.
and you need to be willing to stop and adjust your layers if you warm up or cool down. its really easy to get into a go-go-go mentality and sweat up your clothes unnecessarily. if youre layer up right with wicking, insulating, and shell layers: if youre feeling clammy, you are sweating more than you realize and are gonna be a shiverfest once you do slow down. stop and take a layer off.

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i spend a lot of time in extreme weather, from sailing to mountain climbing to work.. i also suffer from Reynaulds Phenomenon (abnormally cold hands, from repeated cold injury).. and the following are some things that have been huge for me to figure out over the years

lots of mention of marino wool for baselayer, but in my experience the best baselayer is a thin wicking close fitting synthetic layer, like under armor. needs to be snug against the skin, but not tight. this will immediately wick all moisture away from the skin and send it up through your insulating layers toward the cold where it then hopefully vents out.

wicking layer, wool mid layers, insulating layer if appropriate (below freezing; feather down), shell layer.

i only ever wear smartwool socks - one pair, midweight. i see guys try to stuff an extra sock layer into their boots, believing more insulating or "waterproof" socks will equal more warmth, but if your boots arent sized for that, youre gonna end up with colder feet from reduced circulation. anything that compresses your skin anywhere is going to get cold. also - make sure youre lacing your boots right, as tight laces equal cold feet and loose laces equal blisters. if your boots have lockoff eyes, leave the lower boot a little loose and the upper boot a little snug, just enough for ankle support

if you struggle with cold hands and gloves dont seem to make much difference, look at your ARM insulation - cold arms equal cold hands. if the blood going through your arms is cold, all the glove insulation in the world will not warm your hands up. i take MANY pairs of gloves and glove liners. and glove liners are dope - get some windblocker liners than fit your hands well and pair them up with some insulated mitts. then you can pull your still-lined hand out of the mitt for when you need finger articulation and it wont immediately freeze

theres some off the top o my head..
 

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