Layering Merino Wool Hunting Clothes

Layering Merino Wool Hunting Clothes

When it comes to hunting gear the clothes you wear is one of the most important things to consider. In this post, we’re taking a look at what works for me in the places I hunt. A lot of this info will apply no matter where you are or what type of hunting you’re doing. But when we start talking about specific pieces of clothing you might need to switch things up for your own needs.

I hunt elk in relatively high elevation areas where temperatures can swing pretty dramatically within the span of a few hours. A 50-60 deg swing isn’t uncommon. The weather can also change rapidly. As mentioned in previous YouTube videos I don’t like to carry a bunch of stuff, so the layers I do have with me need to be versatile to deal with the changing conditions. And when it comes to versatility you just can’t beat merino wool!

Merino is like a miracle fabric. Unlike any other fabric in the world it has the ability to keep you warm in extreme cold, cool when it’s hot, it maintains it’s loft and insulating ability even when wet. It’s dead quiet and it does not stink! These last two things I’ve found to be very important in the type of hunting I do most often – close quarters, backcountry bowhunting.

Let’s talk about noise. One of the things I pride myself on it the ability to get “breath holding” close to big game on a regular basis. When you enter into that hypersensitive zone of awareness that all big game seem to have there is no room for error. Any mistake or stoke of misfortune and the gig is up. Having clothing that doesn’t rustle, hiss, scrape, jingle, etc. is pretty damn important especially if you’re trying to draw a bow for a shot. Merino is silent in motion!

What about scent? Something I’m asked about often is, “What do you do for scent management”? This is it. I wear merino wool. That’s it. For the type extended backcountry hunts I do, taking a bath, washing clothes every day, or most of the other scent control techniques employed by so many whitetail hunters back east, is just impractical. Elk season is a grind. I’m up at 4am and in the sack no earlier than 10pm most days, day after day after day. Merino doesn’t allow the bacterial growth that causes BO. I’ve worn this stuff for weeks without a proper washing and it just doesn’t stink. Try that with synthetics and you’re going to smell like a$$!

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  1. Benjamin Patterson on October 18, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Where do you get your pants? I’m a thick thigh guy and it causes a lot of rubbing and loud noises, any tips on gear? I have tried several types and haven’t found the ideal type yet. Thanks for the video, love your content.

  2. Resonance Homestead on October 18, 2021 at 8:42 am

    G’day from South Australia, saw you on Keto Homestead with Jess ans thought Id come over, sub and watch 🙂 We have a marino sheep amongst ours-the best wool!

  3. mhenschi on October 18, 2021 at 8:43 am

    In respect to quietness I’d be interested to know what you wear in rain and what kind of gaiters you use. Thanks

  4. Taylor Hebert on October 18, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Merino Wool is a great investment. Woolday in Germany is a good company to purchase from, I’ve found.

  5. Armstrong Survival on October 18, 2021 at 8:47 am

    What are your thoughts on the durability of the obsidian pants? A lot of reviews say they get holes easily and just plan don’t hold up over time with actual use. I’m tempted to buy but also don’t feel like wasting my hard earned money. I hunt in northern NY. I do not hunt from a tree stand. I’m either sitting on the ground somewhere or walking the woods.

  6. Tygs on October 18, 2021 at 8:51 am ?

  7. Felipe on October 18, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Spanish sheeps, the best jejejeje

  8. 3nertia on October 18, 2021 at 9:05 am

    I’m guessing that one dislike was a whitetail hunter xD

  9. John Heller on October 18, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Clay, I too am a big fan of wool. You mentioned Obsidian pants from first lite. How durable are they?

  10. CipriaNN on October 18, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Good channel

  11. Matt The Cat on October 18, 2021 at 9:14 am


  12. Jason R. on October 18, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Clay, when whitetail hunting. How do you approach morning and evening hunting? Meaning what type of spots do you hunt on an AM hunt vs. evening hunts? I’m not unsure of what to do, just like to get others perspectives. Maybe worth a video.

  13. Searching for 6th Gear on October 18, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Agreed. Wool is a miracle fabric. The most sought after piece of kit, when I was in the military was the Norwegian Army sweater (longer than normal sleeves that had a thumb hole and could act as almost gloves plus a collar that you could flip up against the wind and cold, but also buttoned up the front like a quarter zip, but with quieter buttons). The German Mountain Infantry start every morning movement with their kit on that was keeping them warm in camp. They stop after 15 min. and strip down to their movement layers.

  14. John P on October 18, 2021 at 9:28 am

    What pant do you recommend instead of the first-lite obsidian pant if your hunting environment requires more durability?

  15. Ross McLeod on October 18, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Big fan of New Zealand merino/outdoor gear. They grow some of the finest wool on the planet, have a strong hunting/outdoors culture and they’ve always punched above their weight quality/design wise. With the exchange rate being what it is, bargains can be had too.

  16. Hunting WildLife on October 18, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I just love the bow and trad Hunting is life

  17. MACTHEGREAT on October 18, 2021 at 9:34 am

    7:44 – I don’t understand how a solid colored bottom and camo top breaks up your silhouette. Wouldn’t you want a camo top and bottom?

  18. Incorporeal on October 18, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Being Scottish I’ll never go hunting, but when the SHTF it’s merino wool for me.

  19. Rich nunya on October 18, 2021 at 9:36 am

    I dont’ know whether I can trust your advice or not because the hard sales stuff going. Hard to navigate these days. Probably won’t buy this gear.