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I'm looking for clothes that could be worn on a backpacking trip in elk country. I'm hunting in mid October so temps should be in the 30s at night time and 50s during the day. I'm anticipating doing a great deal of walking. I'm new to this so any advice would be appreciated. I'm not set on a budget right now so if you give me a cheap and expensive option or even a low middle and high price range I would appreciate it. Specific brands are encouraged.
 

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Polyester pants, lot of good options. Sitka, First Lite, Prana.

Good merino socks and merino or poly boxers.

Lightweight merino t-shirt or quarter zip. I like First Lite aerowool best.

Midweight fleece or puffy jacket. Sitka Kelvin Lite is my go to.

Packable quiet rain shell. I like Cabelas space rain.

Definitely don't skimp on boots especially at the expense of clothes. Get a pair of gaiters too.

Camo doesn't mean much with elk they aren't too visually wary.

Stuff is most expensive this time of year. Good sales around the holidays and then inventory close out in winter.
 

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Backpacking and elk hunting means lite weight, dry and warm. You don't want to skimp on clothing quality as your life may depend on it at 10k feet in the fall. Look at Sitka and First Lite. Yes it's expensive but well worth the money when all you have to protect you from the elements is a thin sheet of nylon.
 

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Zippered pile hoodie with pockets. Great if you can afford an extra piece of gear for camp or if works into your layered daily wear.
Check out Sherpa brand on sale at places like campsaver or moosejaw. More of a climbing brand.
Just did a 100 mile self support kayak trip in Idaho and mine reluctantly made my gear list as I hadn't used it much; best piece of gear I brought.
The fit is slim, but that ended up being a bonus as it was not bulky under a shell. The long back covers your butt. The hood without drawstrings ended up staying in place nicely over a ball cap or when sleeping in it. Hoodie was more comfortable than just wearing a warm hat to bed or around camp as the hoodie also covers your neck (and I only needed to bring one ballcap). The cut and seams are made to be worn while shouldering a pack.
https://www.campsaver.com/sherpa-pemba-hooded-jacket-men-s.html
https://www.campsaver.com/sherpa-dawa-hoodie-men-s.html
https://www.moosejaw.com/product/sherpa-men-s-sikkim-hoodie_10326640
https://www.moosejaw.com/product/sherpa-men-s-limbu-hoodie_10364123
 

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Advice on boots is spot on. You need to have that settled SOON, and then hike the snot out of them between now and the hunt. The last thing you want is stiff or otherwise not serviceable boots when you're far from the civilized world.

Put at least 15-20 miles on them, and use your pack, too, with weight. Get that stuff sorted out early and train with it. It'll pay dividends in the mountains.
 

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As a follow up if you are asking about cloths remember cloths are not the majority of your weight:
Tent\tarp, sleeping bag, back pack are the big 3 for reducing weight along with all the other reductions from using UL backpacker gear.


Ditto tdd; any footwear I take on trips are the boots I have worn for work or are my usual around the farm\hunting\hiking boots. Don't buy a new pair of boots for a trip, but if you do they should be at least be at least gently used by trip time. A good coat of Sno-Seal on a broken-in pair of boots in good condition with a new pair of laces is my ticket and will usually last 10 more days....
 

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And not sure where you are hunting but mid-30s to mid-50s seems like a pretty narrow temp window; I was just in the sawtooths 1 1/2 weeks ago and we had a couple of nights in the high 20's with daytime temp 60-75 degrees. I'd plan on being colder at night and hotter during the day depending on where you are in elk country. I have been snowed on every month of the year when working in Colorado but been in a T-shirt the next day for example. There can be a HUGE difference in temps between the nearest town where you are getting an average temp from as compared to where you are actually camping\hunting at a higher elevation.
 

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And not sure where you are hunting but mid-30s to mid-50s seems like a pretty narrow temp window; I was just in the sawtooths 1 1/2 weeks ago and we had a couple of nights in the high 20's with daytime temp 60-75 degrees. I'd plan on being colder at night and hotter during the day depending on where you are in elk country. I have been snowed on every month of the year when working in Colorado but been in a T-shirt the next day for example. There can be a HUGE difference in temps between the nearest town where you are getting an average temp from as compared to where you are actually camping\hunting at a higher elevation.
I agree and have been hunting the Salmon zone for years. I spend 3-4 weeks there in October. Two years ago the daylight temps at camp (5500 feet) were mid 20's, and by 1300 hrs it was 70 where I was hunting (7000-9000 feet). You have to be prepared for everything, you are a long ways from home and it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Good luck hunting, and buy a wolf tag.
 

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Colorado Flattops last year....step off from the truck at the trail head and it was I think around 20 degrees and windy.

9am it was sunny and about 25.

10am it was a whiteout blizzard around 28-30.

2pm it was sunny and 50.

Next morning it was about 15 in the morning. Mid-50's when I was packing out quarters at noon.

It's also important to note that temps are NOT as keenly perceived in the super low humidity in the Rockies. I walked from my cabin to the bath house to hit the head in the middle of the night one night. It was in the teens that night. I was wearing a sweatshirt, some athletic shorts, and flip flops. I took a few moments to enjoy the night sky free of light pollution (the camp shut down their generator at 9pm, so there was NO light in the area, which was AWESOME). I started feeling the cold after a minute or so, but imagine being outside in those temps in a sweatshirt and shorts in PA.

You're going to be pretty active hunting elk, so you'll need to gear up and dress differently than you do here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
good point guys. My comment about elk country was pretty vague. Specifically i'm hitting up mid-central Colorado at 9000 feet from October 13=17. I just ordered a pair of sitka mountain and timberline pants as well as a merino wool base layer long sleeve shirt.
 

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I was in the Flattops (west of Denver, but north of where you're likely going) around the same time. Hunted around 10,000.

Be prepared for teens to 70's. Sorry, but it's true. Lol

What's your boot situation?
 

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Not to derail the thread, but if you are doing a hike only trip how is your UL backpack gear? That is where you save the weight. Shelter, pack, bag&pad are the big three for weight savings. Not sure if I can provide hunting tips, but can recommend some bar\restaurants in the area LOL.
 

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and another derailment...start chugging water around the Kansas\Colorado line if you are driving. Helps with the altitude. Be in better shape if you can. For me very minor effects up to 7000-8000, but start to notice a bit after 9000-10,000, and once I get over 11,000 I start whining and it is obvious how many breaks I have to take until I get used to the altitude (which takes me at least two weeks).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've got a pair of bone collector tall waterproof boots that I might wear. they don't say gore tex or anything. ive got tons of wool socks that were given to me as Christmas presents.
 

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Waterproof isn’t your only concern. You’re gonna put more wear on those boots in a week of elk hunting than some PA hunters put on theirs in a lifetime.

They need to protect your feet and be comfortable for long hours of hard use with weight on your back.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've got a few merino base layers and a zip up merino t shirt that i'm going to wear. I've also got some mountain and timberline sitka pants to wear while out hunting. Does anyone have any recommendation as to what else I can wear for layers on my upper body. I would also take recommendations on gloves that are waterproof and warm yet small enough to not be cumbersome.
 

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When I went last year, I took tons of stuff. I was able to drive to the cabin I stayed in and throw all my stuff in there and then pick and choose what I took/wore each day.

For hunting, I wore:

-merino base layers.
-medium weight merino socks
-Army multicam pants
-Sitka "Traverse" top
-100% Merino sweater
-Shell/lightly insulated Badlands jacket that is wind and water resistant
-Orange Stormy Kromer hat
-Lowa "Tibet Hi" boots.... 8" boots, no insulation, but sturdy mountain boots
-Sitka "Fanatic" gloves (Half-fingers on thumb and forefinger)
-Orange hunting vest

I also had on my bino harness/binos and my pack. With med kit, food, water, field dressing gear, map/compass/gps/batteries, a couple extra layers, etc, my pack was somewhere I'm guessing around 20lbs. Maybe 25. I took a lot of water, and I did not regret that.

I took my pre-64 Model 70 standard rifle in 270, so that was no lightweight.

I also had a pair of carbon trekking poles. I'll have to check, I think they are a brand called "Cascade Mountain Tech" or something like that. Flip locks, carbon shafts, and rugged. They saved my butt countless times descending steep slopes in snow over fallen timber with a LOT of elk meat on my pack. Great poles, and they were around 40-50 bucks for the pair, not the 100-200 that a big name would be. And they're light. When I didn't need them, they collapsed and stashed easily with my pack and were no problem at all.
 

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I hunt unit 43 and 42 in West - Central CO most years between Sept and mid Oct. I'd echo what the others have said and prepare for temps in the teens to 70's. I've had weeks without a drop of rain or snow, and 7 straight days of rain and snow. I always have rain bibs and a jacket in my pack, regardless of the forecast, and rely on them as a cold weather layer if necessary. I also make sure to do a couple of hikes with all of my clothes/gear on and a full pack. I've found that some packs have a tendency to pull my shirt out of my pants or push the back of my pants down - which can get super frustrating. Also I always have a chap stick in my front pocket and a compass in the other, and 2X as much water as I need in my pack.
 

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Some random tips. Good boots and good lightweight rain gear. Don’t skimp or you will likely pay. Lowa renegade gtx are about perfect for me. Consider you’ll need 2-3 liters of water a day. Sleep with your base layer on, or on them. Mid October I’d expect snow which can be a good thing as it can drive the elk down. Get in shape 3x more than you’ll think you need to and give yourself two days to acclimate. Learn the signs of mountain sickness.
 
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