Headed for home after a few days of glassing for Coues deer bucks in the mountains of Central Arizona.
I started last weekend’s hunt by pulling off the main forest road and unloading the Polaris Ranger XP from the trailer just as the sun went down the night before opening day. I did not have a tag for this hunt. My job was to help out by getting to my assigned spot, do a cold bivy and start glassing at first light while my Dad and brother did the same about 6 miles to the South. I knew from my scouting trips that it was just over 11 miles from the truck to my bivy site at 4900 feet.
As the Ranger cruised smoothly over the dirt two tracker at about 20 miles per hour I zipped up my parka, a Marine APECS Gore-Tex model made by Propper International. This parka and the matching trousers are the current Marine Corps issue shell layer. They are available from U.S. Calvary in Desert and Woodland digital MARPAT camo patterns. Underneath I wore an REI Lightweight MTS Long Sleeve Zip T-Neck Top and Under Armour BoxerJock skivvies.
About 5 miles in, I stopped to add an insulation layer. I was still comfy but it was growing colder as I gained altitude and went deeper into the mountains of central Arizona. Since I was wearing military issue shell gear I figured I would stay in the military theme so I donned a Polartec Classic 300 ECWCS fleece jacket from Cabela’s and a pair of Hanz Nomex Gloves also available from U.S. Calvary. This process of adding and removing layers continued throughout the weekend in response to the temperature, which ranged from 33 to 75 degrees, and my physical activity level. For me at least, this was going to a pretty easy hunt. All I had to do was report what I saw and hopefully, help clean the animal. Since the weather was so mild, base layer pieces were about the only thing that I kept on all weekend.
So there you go. They are not sexy but they will help keep you warm and dry and that my friends will keep you going.
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