Tips for Staying Dry on the Mountain
When hunting in the backcountry, having the proper gear to battle moisture is important – especially in climates like British Columbia, where rain can often be expected. Kawdy hunters should be prepared for a range of weather events, including rain and snow.
There is nothing worse than being wet when the wind blows. Staying dry extends the time you can stay engaged and active on the mountain. But remember that moisture comes from the body and from the elements. Managing both sources is an important aspect of staying comfortable on remote, mountain hunting trips.
Here are a few quick tips for staying dry on the mountain…
Clothing technology has come a long way with hunting specific options that dry quickly and manage moisture. Breathable, quick drying base layers and water-resistant outer layers are extremely helpful on a mountain hunt. Materials of this nature allow moisture like sweat to escape but water from contact with brush or a light drizzle can still roll off the exterior.
Make sure every one of your base layers is either a high quality synthetic or merino wool. Ditch the cotton, and that even goes for your undies. Cotton absorbs moisture and loses all of its breathability and insulating properties when it gets wet. It also takes a long time to dry. In the mountains, cotton means cold.
For your hunting pants and outer layers, choose fabrics that are breathable so that you won’t get a clammy, greenhouse effect underneath. But a DWR finish on these outer layers will help repel light moisture.
Lightweight Rain Gear
Raingear is a critical piece of any mountain hunt, but especially so here in British Columbia. Carry a high quality rain jacket and rain pants to deal with storms. Even when it’s not raining, rain gear will keep you dry when busting through soggy brush. It’s also your wind blocker when glassing on windy ridges.
Rain, sleet and snow are all realities in the high country and great rain gear will carry you through the storm. On a hunting trip here, it wouldn’t be uncommon to wear your rain gear nearly every day of the hunt. High quality rain gear is expensive. But this is the piece that will keep you dry and comfortable through any conditions. Gore-Tex and similar high quality rain gear fabrics not only protect you from outside precipitation – they also breathe, keeping you dry from the inside as well.
Soaked feet are a drag and waterproofing on boots does wear eventually. A quality pair of boots needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained to make sure your feet stay dry and comfortable on a long hunt.
Start with tall mountain boots that are full grain leather and that have a waterproof-breathable membrane. We highly recommend Kenetrek mountain boots. After every trip, clean your boots to remove any mud and dirt, which will be corrosive. Then apply a fresh coat of waterproofing boot wax, as recommended by the manufacturer. Before every trip, apply another coat of waterproofing boot wax, as the leather will continue to dry out, even while the boots are in storage. Also inspect the laces and make sure everything is ready for the hunt.
Your boots will do their job, but hiking in snow and through damp brush will allow moisture to enter through the top. To prevent moisture from wicking down your pants and socks, use a pair of quality gaiters. Gaiters are simple and extremely effective at protecting your feet and legs. They also prevent brush and debris from entering your boots. Invest in a quality pair of gaiters and they will likely last for many hunts and years ahead.
Change on the Mountain
Wearing materials that insulate while wet is a good practice. Merino wool base layers are always insulating and are preferred by many hunters and outdoors folks in general. Regardless of the material choice, changing out wet clothing is a quick and easy way to warm up and extend your hunt. Carry an extra base layer and a fresh pair of socks for the second half of the day. Doing a quick change in the field is refreshing when the weather is wet. Use a compression dry sack to keep your spare layers dry and compact in your daypack.
Contact Us With Questions
If you’d like to learn more about guided hunts in British Columbia with Kawdy Outfitters, please take a few minutes to explore the rest of our website. For more gear specific recommendations, check out the Gear Page. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you plan the ultimate hunting adventure!
Written by Zach Lazzari
Zach is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Kawdy Outfitters team. You can follow Zach’s adventures at bustedoarlock.com.