Looking the part

The longer I stay on a gear website, the more responsible I get.

I become incredulous toward my naïve approach to being outside. How could I have been so careless and risked adventures in the cold weather without the latest, hippest, warmest, most scientifically validated gear?

I do appreciate the low-tech approach to staying warm in the old days. The, “That animal looks warm, I should wear it” approach because they didn’t have the Merino Core Crew Long Sleeve at the dry goods store across from the saloon.

You can be a minimalist in today’s woods, but why? The dead deer probably doesn’t care that you have a leaky old rain jacket. You might as well be warm and cozy. Do I really care that it makes for a better story that I was just out hunting in jeans and a hoodie, settling into low-grade hypothermia immediately after exiting the truck?

I was so cold man, but I got the buck.

Cool story, bro.

We’ve got scientists on the case making things warmer, thinner, lighter, stealthier and more expensive – people engineering outdoor comfort and making clothing so darn cool. The newest digital camo patterns have been proven to be respected more by animals in the field. Rifles also function better when pressed up against triple-layered GoreTex.

See? You need this. It’s smart. But you can’t just get one article. That’s cheap. You need the coordinated attack on rain and cold. You need the “system.” Not only will you hide from animals, but you will hide from the cold too. Plus, “system” sounds so much cooler than boring old “layers.” Speaking scientifically, a system is made up of connected things. If you don’t have all of the system, you don’t have that complex whole that you need when afield. You’re the system-less dude that just bought the water resistant pants because you couldn’t afford the waterproof pants. You look partly committed which leads to occasional success.

So that’s why you missed that buck on Prince of Wales last week.

I have to admit, I am enamored with warm, efficient gear and currently have a crush on Sitka. #sickforit. In one of my fits of responsibility I bought a pair of the water resistant pants and love them. Love them. 

Do they make me a better hunter? No. Person? No. But they are comfortable, they fit, they wick moisture and they are everything I could want in a hunting pant until other gear tells me otherwise. Probably in a few months.

As engineers continue to make gear better, warmer, and cooler (you know what I mean), I will continue to drool.

What’s most clear is that I need to engineer a solution to the monetary problem that is keeping me out of an entire system.

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