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Batteling the Elements a Garment Layering System

Every hunter has experienced the discomfort created from being under-prepared when weather conditions change. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable as long as a little preparation and thought is given to the garments you wear on your hunting excursion. With Gore-Tex’s simple layering system “three-part comfort control formula” you can enjoy hunting in any condition Mother Nature can throw at you. The Wicking Layer- This is commonly referred to as the Base Layer and is designed to draw moisture away from the body. It is important to move the moisture away from the body to prevent conductive heat loss. It is generally worn as a skin tight garment and is composed of synthetic materials due to their quick drying and light weight features. The Insulating Layer- The primary purpose of the insulating layer is to trap air. This age old concept is used in double-paned windows, mattresses and now in insulating layers as a barrier to prevent direct contact to cold. The best insulating layers are composed of synthetic material as they will keep you warm when wet and they are less bulky than wool. The Weather Protection Layer- The weather protection layer acts as the first layer of defense to the elements while protecting the two under layers. It is also referred to as the outer shell and must possess two key features. It must be windproof to prevent convective heat loss while also providing breathability to allow moisture to escape. A variety of weather protection layers are available which are designed for different conditions, rain, wind, extreme cold and any combination. I am a member of the Mountain Tech product testing community for Gore Tex with personal experience that this system works. I also recommend having a large enough pack to carry an extra layer and to be able to store layers that are shed throughout the day. If you are camping I recommend having two sets of wicking and insulating layers which you can cycle as you wear one and the other dries. Buy several outer layers that are designed for various climates and conditions as certain hunting seasons can span drastic weather changes. Some companies have developed lines of products which are tailored to the layering system. I have become amazed with Sitka gear and its effectiveness at defending the body from the elements. The Sitka layering system is explained in detail at http://www.sitkagear.com/technology/layering.aspx. I hope this has inspired a few hunters out there to re-think the clothes you wear while stalking the big one. After all the more comfortable you are, the longer you stay out, the more successful you will be. Cheers, Finn

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