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A Backcountry Hunters Layering Guide: Part 2-Layering Kits

By Brad Brooks

Wim Hoff is a Dutchman that holds 26 Guinness Book World Records, and is famous for climbing high altitude peaks like Everest in shorts and no shirt (no joke).  His secret?  Controlling his body temperature through breathing, which he claims anyone can do with 3-4 days of coaching.  We can’t all be like Wim, so thankfully clothes allow people like me to continue to be mouth breathers.

While I know what works well for me, everyone has a different thermal regulation, fat layers and metabolism.  Which means everyone is going to have slightly different needs when it comes to layering. I tend to run cold, so I usually bring an extra layer compared to my hunting partners.  But you will need to figure out what works best for you.

That said, below are the layering kits I wear, head to toe, during various times of the year on hunts in the west, from deserts to mountains on an average hunt.

Early September packout in the rain wearing the First Lite Chama Hoody and Obsidian Pant.

Early, Early Season–Mid-August – September 1

This is the easiest layering season of the year.  All layers start close to skin and move outwards:

Up top:

  1. First Lite Minaret Short Sleeve Crew Aerowool Shirt
  2. First Lite Wilkin QZ
  3. First Lite Chama Hoody
  4. First Lite Cirrus Jacket
  5. First Lite Vapor Stormlight Rain Jacket
  6. First Lite Aerowool Liner Gloves

Down Low:

  1. First Lite Corrugate Guide Pants
  2. First Lite Mountain Athlete Triad Sock

Accessories:

  1. First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie
  2. First Lite Aerowool Liner Gloves
  3. Argali Logo Hat

Early Archery Season– September 1st through 15th

Up top:

  1. First Lite Minaret Short Sleeve Crew Aerowool Shirt
  2. First Lite Wilkin QZ
  3. First Lite Chama Hoody
  4. First Lite Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket (Optional, but only if temperatures are colder than usual)
  5. First Lite Uncompahgre Jacket
  6. First Lite Vapor Stormlight Rain Jacket

Down Low:

  1. First Lite Corrugate Guide Pants
  2. First Lite Allegheny 230g Long Underwear (Optional, and only if temps are colder than usual)
  3. First Lite Mountain Athlete Triad Sock

    argali bowhunting first lite vortex

    Who doesn’t love early season archery?

Accessories:

  1. First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie
  2. First Lite Aerowool Liner Gloves
  3. Argali Logo Hat

Late Archery Season- September 15-30

  1. First Lite Minaret Short Sleeve Crew Aerowool Shirt
  2. First Lite Llano QZ
  3. First Lite Chama Hoody
  4. First Lite Cirrus Insulated Jacket
  5. First Lite Uncompahgre Jacket
  6. First Lite Vapor Stormlight Rain Jacket

Down Low:

  1. First Lite Obsidian Merino Wool Pants
  2. First Lite Mountain Athlete Triad Sock

Accessories:

  1. Argali Logo Hat
  2. First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie
  3. First Lite Aerowool Liner Gloves
  4. First Lite Shale Hybrid Gloves

Mid Season–October

A lot can change from the beginning to the end of October, and the list below is the maximum amount of clothing I would take on an October hunt.

  1. First Lite Minaret Short Sleeve Crew Aerowool Shirt
  2. First Lite Llano QZ
  3. First Lite Chama Hoody
  4. First Lite Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket
  5. First Lite Cirrus Puffy Jacket
  6. First Lite Uncompahgre Jacket
  7. First Lite Vapor Stormlight Rain Jacket

Down Low:

  1. First Lite Allegheny 230g Long Underwear
  2. First Lite Obsidian Merino Wool Pants
  3. First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Pants (Would likely only take these mid to late October)
  4. First Lite Mountain Athlete Compression Sock

    Mid October hunting mule deer at high elevation with the Uncompahgre Puffy.

Accessories:

  1. Argali Logo Hat
  2. First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie
  3. First Lite Aerowool Liner Gloves
  4. First Lite Shale Hybrid Gloves
  5. First Lite Wind River Merino Balaclava (optional)

Late Season: November through December

  1. First Lite Minaret Short Sleeve Crew Aerowool Shirt
  2. First Lite Llano QZ
  3. First Lite Chama Hoody
  4. First Lite Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket
  5. First Lite Halstead Tech Fleece
  6. First Lite Cirrus Puffy Jacket
  7. First Lite Uncompahgre Jacket
  8. First Lite Vapor Stormlight Rain Jacket

Down Low:

  1. First Lite Allegheny 230g Long Underwear
  2. First Lite Obsidian Merino Wool Pants
  3. First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Pants
  4. First Lite Mountain Athlete Compression Sock

Accessories:

  1. Argali Logo Hat
  2. First Lite Tag Cuff Beanie
  3. First Lite Shale Hybrid Gloves
  4. First Lite Grizzly Glove
  5. First Lite Wind River Merino Balaclava

Those were my layering kits, which could change slightly for the coming year. Would love to hear what everyone else is wearing in the comments below.