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Thread: What kind of hiking/bushcraft/hunting clothing for the Southwest do you guys wear?

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    Guide Slips73's Avatar
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    Default What kind of hiking/bushcraft/hunting clothing for the Southwest do you guys wear?

    Looking for opinions on high desert clothing what do you wear and what seasons? If an area gets very little rain and is arid would cotton be ok in the in winter as it wouldn't really get wet?

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    I usually wear cotton to hike in Arizona desert areas. I always carry a poncho just in case, sometimes we get a surprise storm. If I am up in the higher mountains I will switch to poly/cotton pants and a light nylon shirt. In the desert my hikes are usually November to April, after April I go to higher ground for cooler temps.

    For warmth, I prefer wool of various weights for anticpated cooler temps and keep a down jacket or vest in the pack. I also carry a wind/rain parka to cover the inner layers. I seldom use sythetic fleece in the wilderness, it don't do well with campfires and to me it is uncomfortable when doing strenous activity, more so than natural fibers.

    I also always carry a good sun hat, boonie and a wool watch cap in the pack.

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    We live in the high desert here in Central Oregon. Growing up i pretty much only wore cotton and sometimes wool. Now though i have switched to under garments that wick sweat away and I stay a lot dryer and warmer. It doesn't rain much here but it is always easy to work up a sweat. At least for me.
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    Thanks just so happens those are the two places im thinking of transfering too for college, Bend or Flagstaff

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    I spent many summers teaching survival in south central Utah. Here's my preferred hiking clothing: shirt and pants of light-colored cotton/poly blend (sometimes it rains, or you need to ford a stream, and the blended cloth dries faster. It breathes just as well as 100% cotton). The shirt should be long-sleeved, and the pants long as well. This protects against sunburn and solar gain from the sun, insect bites, and reduces water lost to evaporation. Military-style pants are great, and shirts can be found at the thrift store. I also prefer a wide-brimmed felt hat (cotton or cotton blend hats are fine too). the felt hat is a little hotter, but it protects against rain when needed. It it's really hot/windy/nasty, I'll tuck a bandana under the hat to protect the back and sides of my neck. For shoes, I prefer a light, flexible, single-thickness leather type that's over the ankle (keeps sand out better). I know a lot of folks who who love sandals like Chacos or Tevas. I used to as well, but my feet dry out too much now and I get vicious cracks on my heels. Finally, wear sunglasses! The sun's intense, and you don't want to set yourself up for eye or skin cancer problems later.

    For warmth, the same rules apply as anywhere else.

    This is my basic clothing setup not just for the desert, but everywhere (canoeing in ON and MN, hiking in the mountains, and mucking around the woods here in N. WI.

    Hope that helps?

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    We are nearly the same climate in WA; being high desert and arid for most of the "sunshine" season.
    However, like most desert regions, huge temperature swings can be upwards of 50 degrees between night and mid-day.
    I typically favor a cotton T-shirt under a long-sleeve rip-stop safari shirt; and for the bottom half; (besides my skivvy's) Carhartt double fronts, for the colder days and warm weather BDU's for most of the summer. The BDU's dry quickly when wet; and are plenty durable and flexible to move with you.
    Always wear a hat; and I use USMC desert Boonie with the larger brim; or the Outdoor Research Helios. Being a white guy, one must protect his delicate complexion as much as possible Sunglasses as mentioned are a must; polarized are fantastic.
    I lightweight Shemagh or bandana wrapped around my neck that I can cover with or get wet and cool down if necessary.
    Shoes and boots; my Danner's get the most use unless I am on the river; then I wear Teva's which cover the toes; and are made to be used while wading.
    Really; whatever you find comfortable and offers the best protection and durability will work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slips73 View Post
    Looking for opinions on high desert clothing what do you wear and what seasons? If an area gets very little rain and is arid would cotton be ok in the in winter as it wouldn't really get wet?
    I have gotten away from 100% cotton and prefer the 60/40 blends. The blends have all of the same advantages of 100% cotton but dry much faster and clean easier. Its not really the rain you should worry about but the constant amount of sweating you will be doing when outdoors. Having a shirt that stays wet from sweat and doesn't dry as quickly is the real problem.

    Here is generally what I wear when outdoors but I am constantly mixing it up depending on the season and activity. I mostly do hiking, backpacking, car camping, and trail running in all areas of Arizona between Tucson and Kaibab.

    Summer:
    -Good pair of sunglasses
    -Columbia Titanium Silver ridge shirt for the summer. It is vented built in SPF/UPF very light and cool I have tried them all and this one is the best!
    -Regular rip stop 5.11 cargo pants synthetic cotton blend they are light weight and breathable
    -Merrel Moab boots
    Other synthetic backpacking pants are just too hot and sticky loose weaves like cotton just seem to soak up the dust

    Winter:
    -Good pair of sunglasses
    -Soffe 60/40 shirts
    -XGO long sleeve
    -NorthFace shell jacket
    -head gear any wool watch cap
    -gloves
    -5.11 tactical series pants 100% cotton
    -Soffe synthetic thermos
    -Merrel Sawtooth boots
    More or less layers depending on the temperature. The temperature shifts are quick and large in shade vs sun or day vs night. You can go from a perfect summer 70 degrees during the day to freezing temperatures at night.

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    Here on the dry side of WA I wear wranglers and t-shirts in the summer. After spring is over we won't get rain, it just wont happen. In winter I'll wear wool long johns under my wranglers and maybe throw on a sweatshirt. This keeps me warm down to the upper 20's if I'm active at all. Much colder than that and I'll change to insulated carhartts or more wool under filson tin pants. I hate getting rained on so I keep gore-tex handy or find shelter, dont mind being out in a snowstorm though. YMMV.
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    For bottoms, I'll usually go with whatever; 511 pants, Carhartts, BDU's, or any of several pairs of shorts. If I'm going to be hunting or covering any amount of ground cross country; the mesquites and crown-of-thorns dictate pants, preferably the Carhartts.

    Just about every piece of vegetation in the picture has stickers or thorns on it.



    For footwear, I'll go with any of a number of boots, with the Danner Pronghorn snake boots going out most often. The other guy in the picture says the snake boots are a good idea.



    In the summer, nothing beats a ventilated fishing-style shirt in long sleeves. A good hat, like a boonie, is essential, too.

    In wintertime, I'll break out the XGO wicking thermals or the duofold wool blend long johns. Those, in combination with a moisture wicking t-shirt, make a good base layer. Then, I'll layer on my USGI wool sweater, a vest from my work's uniform vendor, and some sort of jacket. The jacket depends on whether I'm hunting (camo) or just out (Horace Small jacket). A polypro neck gaiter and a beanie are my most common headwear in the cold.

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    thanks guys good ideas.

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