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Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 18
What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

I realize the weather is and can vary A LOT. But lets assume it is going to be low 20's at night and highs in the 50's during the day while I am hunting. What is the most commom thing you guys wear while Elk hunting in Colorado?

I have thinsulate lined jeans, do these have any place on the trip? I am backpacking so weight is an issue. Thats why I am trying to figure out what I should bring. I have some excellent long underwear both Nike and Under Armour.


ecubackpacker's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NC
Joined: 09/11/2009
Posts: 1638
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

xmanpike, you probably can leave your lined jeans at home. Too much bulky insulation and stay away from cotton at all costs. I would stay away from bulky clothing. To stay dry and warm, you'll need to layer your clothing. Several good quality layers including a Gortex layer should suffice. Under Armour should be good. I used UnderArmour capture last fall and it worked great for me. I was moving most of the time in search of elk so I didn't get cold at all. Day time temps were in the high 20's to low 30's. No cotton, wind-proof and water-proof. That should do.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 591
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

The thing you have to remember above all is to layer.

It may be possible to feel more comfortable but I gotta be honest I can't choke down the cost of the Under Armour stuff, maybe I don't know what I'm missing but frankly I don't pay too much attention to what an item is made of.

My typical October elk hunt goes something like this. First thing in the morning I wear a good pair of wools socks (ok maybe I pay attention to one items material.) They will soak up the sweat and keep it away from your feet so you don't get cold. Insulated boots with about 400 to 600 grams work great for me that time of year. Since I'm doing a lot of walking I wear uninsulated pants and I can't stand thermal underwear when it gets warmer as the sun rises in the sky. I just wear normal camo pants. I put on a short sleeve t shirt followed by a long sleeve tshirt. Then goes on a windproof coat that has a zip out liner. Followed by a fleece beenie (ok maybe two items) and some warm gloves. After a few hours the beenie comes off and I switch out to a baseball style cap. Then the gloves come off. Before long I'm taking off the outer layer (shell) of my coat. If the wind is blowing I'lll zip out the inner liner and keep the shell on. If it warms up more then I take off the coat altogether. If it warms up more and I'm packing out some meat then I'm down to the short sleeve tshirt. Of course I have on an orange vest over it all at any given time. Layers is the key if you ask me.

If you don't have a coat with a zip out liner you could just take a water resistant windbreaker with a fleece quarter zip underneath. In all I have 4 layers on my upper body (5 if you count the vest) and yes a pack to carry it all when I strip down as well will help keep you warmer as well.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 591
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

You didn't mention your sleeping conditions. If you're in a tent then you'll want some warm thermal underwear to sleep in. I don't care what they rate sleeping bags at I always get chilly without them in a sleeping bag and they make the midnight pee run a bit more confortable as well. But as soon as I get up the thermal underwear comes off.

Location: western co.
Joined: 08/23/2009
Posts: 131
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

layers,add to increase warmth.take off to decrease warmth. lol

HeavyC's picture
Location: Greeley, CO
Joined: 07/19/2008
Posts: 635
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

Rather...I was the same way till I tried UA! eye roll Even to the hating of long undies. I'd suggest NOT trying it, beccause...

HOLY C&@%! How compfortable they are. Even the long johns are so comfortable I forget I am wearing them. And it sure is nice when that wind starts to howling! Unfortunately I am now hooked on it! Go figure, a skin flint like me paying $30-40 for a single t-shirt! Or $20 for a single pair of boxer briefs! The durability is unmatched though, that UA crud just doesn't seem to wear thin! That alone was my selling point. Heck, since I stocked up on the boxer briefs several years ago, I have not had to buy ANY since! I am simply amazed at the durability, AMAZED!

Though I still cover it all with a Wally World polyester sweater for $9! Thumbs up

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

Just like I said in response to your other post, October in Colorado varies. I've lived here most of my life and can say for sure that October, like April and May, is one of those months in our state where you can have beautiful clear warm conditions and extream wet winter conditions, and sometimes all in the same day. Even in the high country I've experienced 75 to 80 degrees F for a high temp, but have also experienced 25 degrees for a high temp with much colder temps at night and 3 feet of snow accumulation. I would suggest bringing a good selection of various clothing. That's the reason why I suggest that backpacking in for elk hunting is not really the best idea. Like I also said in response to your other post, there is a reason why elk hunters generally own and drive large pick-up trucks, you won't be able to bring everything you need for a safe trip by backpacking it it. The minimalist approach may work well for day hikers in summer or day scrambles up 14ers, but it has no place in the elk hunting areana where you may be out for more than a couple days. For clothing I'll tell you what I bring along, but your mileage may vary:

Warmer/Drier Conditions (wear what is comfortable and approriate to the weather)
-Either a pair of military style BDU pants, poly/cotton blend or a strudy pair of Carhartt canvas carpenter pants
(contrary to popular beliefe cotton isn't alway that bad for outdoor use in dry conditions and actually canvas pants hold up better to brush and gives your skin much more protection from abrasion and thickets)
-bring along a pair of lightweight polyprop long underpants incase of wet weather or perspiration
-midweight wool socks (always have in your pack or pocket an extra pair)
-uninsulated surtdy boots, I perefer at least 8 inches high for hunting
-poly/cotton blend long sleeve t-shirt
-light weight ployprop zip-T to wear at skin level under your t-shirt in case of wet weather or sweating.
-Blaze orange baseball type cap
-bring either a wool, polyfleece, or acrylic beanie, stocking cap, or baclava with you in your pack or pocket. (blaze orange)
-I bring a pair of light form fitting gloves along just for hand protection in case I need it. My choice are USAF nomex flight gloves.
-Don't forget your blaze orange vest.
Cold, Cooler, or Snowy Conditions (wear what is appropriate for the weather)
-Wool cargo pants
-midweight fleece underpants
-midweight waterproof hunting coat
-fleece and polyprop layers for wearing under your coat
-wool or polyfleece hat, baclava (blaze orange)
-heavy weight wool hiking socks (bring extra pair)
-Boots (appropriate type to the weather and terrain)
-knee high waterproof boot gaitors (to use if snow is deep)
-neck gaitor
-convertable insulated waterproof gloves/mittens (fingerless gloves with removable flip-back mitten top)
-don't forget your blaze orange
I don't always wear everything all at once from the above list. I pick and chose combinations depending on the weather,temps, and terrain, just like any other outdoor activity. Bring an AM/FM shortwave radio and get the daily forcast every morning before heading out. Your UnderArmor and Nike underwear will be fine depending on how heavy or light it is and what the temps and weather conditions are.

Joined: 03/18/2009
Posts: 77
Re: What can I expect to wear mid oct CO?

I'll go along with everything thats been said,layers ,little to no cotton ,gortex or equivelent. This stuff can cost a bundle and if you are on a tight budget like many of us are don't be above checking out the thrift stores. Every time I go to Denver I spend a few hours checking a few out ,you can't beleave what you can find.For a couple hundred dollars I have several thousand worth of gear,2 gortex jackets not camo but brown and grey,lots of camo shirts (I buy some in 2x or 3x to go over my outerware if its not camo) 2 camo pants one gortex,brown gortex snowboard pants, wool hunting pants and tons of fleese vests and pullovers. Once I even scored a pair of gortex redwing boots that had never even been laced up, paid a wooping $35 for them,I may be cheap but I'm warm and dry.It takes awhile to get an eye for it but it can save a ton of cash!! But remember no blue or yellow it looks like neon to an elk and wash everything with hunting laundry detergent!! Good luck good shopping and better hunting.