DIY Gear List Must Have's!
Here are some of the items I use on my DIY hunts in the CO backcountry. I don't get any kickbacks from any of these companies, just my recommendations from being a successful hunter. Last year I harvested a 300" class bull in southwest CO on the second day of first rifle season. In no particular order:
GI Issue GoreTex bivvy system: Heavy, but waterproof and warm. My buddy had a high dollar lightweight bag. It sucked up moisture wherever it touched the ground (on the sides off the sleep pad). I like this because it works.
Socks: Wool hunting socks by FITS. They are expensive, but worth it. I've tried all the other stuff: Cabelas, BassPro, etc. These are BY FAR the best. They keep you warm and dry, don't stink, and provide compression to your feet. BTW, cut your toenails before you go! I take 2 extra pairs for a 5 day hunt. That's 3 pairs total, including the ones I wear up to camp. I change every other day.
GoreTex Rain Gear: Again, I use the GI issue stuff. Cheap on eBay and it works. At times, when I was sitting in the wind, I took off my outer layers (coat/bibs) and put on the GoreTex, then put the outer layers back on. The GoreTex is breathable and windproof and traps a warm dead air layer against your body. It's also lightweight enough to put in your day pack.
Gaiters: Get some. Nylon or GoreTex, whatever you can afford. They are great, and keep moisture and muck off your boots. A
MUST HAVE for snow.
Undergarmets: WOOL!!! Listen, I've tried all the Under Armour and ECWCS synthetic stuff, they don't compare to wool. Wool doesn't stink like synthetics, it still works when wet and is the BEST first layer you can have. I got some Expedition Weight tops and bottoms from MINUS 33. When I get back to camp, I change out of them into my sleep gear. I hang them a few feet away from the campfire and let them air out. I put them on in the morning-I hunt in them for all 5 days. They don't itch and they are WARM.
Outer Layer: This year I'm trying the ECWCS Gen III system to save on weight. Last year I used Colombia Gallatin Wool Bibs and Jacket. Very warm, just bulky. If the forecast calls for snow, I'm wearing the Colombia again.
Boots: GoreTex! Nothing works as well, just find a brand that fits. Bring some moleskin. No matter what, you'll get a least one blister. Duct tape works in a pinch.
Water: I use a Katadyn, backed up by iodine pills. This is a lightweight piece of gear and worth the expense. I fill up my Camelback whenever I need water, which is ALL THE TIME. Up high you need to hydrate. If you cant' sleep at night, get headaches, or are extremely tired, drink some water. I also bring a box of flavor packs 'cause I like some flavor from time to time.
Well, this will get you started in the right direction. More to follow. Hunt hard, stay safe, God bless.