Clothing for -40 degree hunting

buzzy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
360
I’m looking for clothing options for a Nunivak Muskox hunt where the temps can dip as low as -40. The layering system that I have is as follows and I’m wondering if it will be adequate.

Bottom
- Kuiu Pro merino 200 thermals
- Kuiu Chinook Pants
- Sleeping Indian wool pants. They are equivalent to the King of the Mountain Bunwarmer pants

Top
- Kuiu ultra merino 145 shirt
- Kuiu strongfleece 260 zip hoodie
- Kuiu super down jacket
- Kuiu Pelton 240 jacket
- Sleeping Indian wool jacket. They are equivalent to the King of the Mountain Bowman jacket.

If needed I can also throw on my Kuiu rain gear over the wool coat and pants.

I’m wondering if I need some puffy pants under my wool pants? And possibly a heavier puffy jacket. Or maybe what I have will work just fine in these cold temps. We will be riding snow machines so very little walking until it’s time to stalk an animal.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Wyobohunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
1,585
I don’t know if the chinook pants and peloton jacket are true hardshells. If they aren’t I’d get some. Also add a very warm and a medium warm hat. Add some hard shell mittens with insulated inserts and thin contact gloves. I bet you are going guided. I’d also ask the guide service (native guide?).
 

Yellowknife

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,758
Location
Fishhook, Alaska
Yeah, that's not ideal snowmaching hunting gear. Wool is great and I use it a lot but you need old school down for the cold stuff. Even if it's merely 0F you will want a heavy down coat. It if truely hits -20F to -40F, that is the ONLY option for prolonged time outside. Note that cold northern snow is very dry, so waterproof isn't needed or even helpful. On snowmobiles, wind resistance (i.e. nylon face fabric) is a must. Even off the snowmobiles, the cold arctic wind will cut right through that wool.

My preference is:

Bottoms:

- Medium weight synthetic long underwear. Brand is fairly irrelevant, but it' helps if they are snug enough that they don't hike up your leg.
- Insulated softshell pants, although wool can work here too.
- Heavy arctic grade bib overalls. The kind they use in the northern oilfields work great. If it's warmer (-10F and above) I might use zip-off synthetic puffy pants so I can drop them quicker on a stalk.

Top:

- medium weight synthetic or wool long sleeve shirt. - any brand
- Fleece pull over - any brand.
- Light synthetic puffy - any brand (I use OR and Arc'tyrex mostly, but they are almost all the same)
- Large down jacket. I usually use a packable mountaineering style 800FP down one from marmot or mountain hardwear that I can stuff it in my pack when I'm moving.
- Loose nylon Anorak. Mine is styled after the type the Inuit use and is white for hunting. This layer is uninsulated and is solely for shedding wind. If you can trap the air inside the outer layer, the whole insulation system is much more efficient.

- Alternatively, when I lived in the NWT the Canadian Goose down parkas and similar were popular, and eliminate the wind shell / anorak They are heavy, bulky, and expensive although certainly effective. Your guide might have something you can borrow?

Other items are a neck gaiter and a face mask + a fur hat if you can get your hands on one.

There are other effective variations, but this combination gives me a quite a number of layering options to fit different activity ranges and weather conditions. I've killed a lot of caribou and winter moose using it, although I usually quite hunting before it truly gets -40F. That's a pretty dangerous temperature.


IMG_6959.JPG
 
OP
B

buzzy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
360
I don’t know if the chinook pants and peloton jacket are true hardshells. If they aren’t I’d get some. Also add a very warm and a medium warm hat. Add some hard shell mittens with insulated inserts and thin contact gloves. I bet you are going guided. I’d also ask the guide service (native guide?).
Thanks for the feedback.

Yes going with a local transporter but not fully guided. They take you out and give you room and board. You have to stalk and clean the animal.
 
OP
B

buzzy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
360
Yeah, that's not ideal snowmaching hunting gear. Wool is great and I use it a lot but you need old school down for the cold stuff. Even if it's merely 0F you will want a heavy down coat. It if truely hits -20F to -40F, that is the ONLY option for prolonged time outside. Note that cold northern snow is very dry, so waterproof isn't needed or even helpful. On snowmobiles, wind resistance (i.e. nylon face fabric) is a must. Even off the snowmobiles, the cold arctic wind will cut right through that wool.

My preference is:

Bottoms:

- Medium weight synthetic long underwear. Brand is fairly irrelevant, but it' helps if they are snug enough that they don't hike up your leg.
- Insulated softshell pants, although wool can work here too.
- Heavy arctic grade bib overalls. The kind they use in the northern oilfields work great. If it's warmer (-10F and above) I might use zip-off synthetic puffy pants so I can drop them quicker on a stalk.

Top:

- medium weight synthetic or wool long sleeve shirt. - any brand
- Fleece pull over - any brand.
- Light synthetic puffy - any brand (I use OR and Arc'tyrex mostly, but they are almost all the same)
- Large down jacket. I usually use a packable mountaineering style 800FP down one from marmot or mountain hardwear that I can stuff it in my pack when I'm moving.
- Loose nylon Anorak. Mine is styled after the type the Inuit use and is white for hunting. This layer is uninsulated and is solely for shedding wind. If you can trap the air inside the outer layer, the whole insulation system is much more efficient.

- Alternatively, when I lived in the NWT the Canadian Goose down parkas and similar were popular, and eliminate the wind shell / anorak They are heavy, bulky, and expensive although certainly effective. Your guide might have something you can borrow?

Other items are a neck gaiter and a face mask + a fur hat if you can get your hands on one.

There are other effective variations, but this combination gives me a quite a number of layering options to fit different activity ranges and weather conditions. I've killed a lot of caribou and winter moose using it, although I usually quite hunting before it truly gets -40F. That's a pretty dangerous temperature.


View attachment 384643
Thank you for the detailed info on your clothing system. I have some items but it looks like I need to get some new gear to be prepared for this hunt. Do you or anyone else have any experience with refrigiwear clothing for these cold temps. Thanks
 

chinook907

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
100
The refrigiwear coveralls and similar Walls Blizzardpruf coveralls are pretty much standard outerwear for trapping etc in those temps.

You'll still want/need to dress well under them though, with decent weight long underwear (showing my age!), fleece pants, a solid down or synthetic parka, neck gaiter, bunny boots. I like to wear a full face helmet too, and switch to a bomber style hat when off the snogo. And bring some snowshoes for a long stalk or in case you need to walk home. Latex gloves help keep your hands warmer when butchering. A good practice to rewarm your hands when butchering is to simply lay them on the still warm carcass.

The clothing under the coveralls will be necessary to keep you warm when bombing around at 20-40mph in those temps. And when the time comes to get off the snogo & sneak, if the temps allow it you can unzip out of the coveralls pretty quickly.

As said above, -40 is a bit dangerous, and I don't throw that word around much. Gear gets stiff and things are much more likely to break down, and then you may be walking home in those temps, in deep snow.
 

AKHUNTER

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
193
Location
Interior Alaska
The bottoms are pretty easy. I typically wear some fairly tight base layer "long johns", then puffy pants, then a windproof outer pant. The outer shell could be windstopper fleece pants, typical snomachine pants, etc. Some heavy insulated Carhartt bibs would also work perhaps with some fleece pants underneath.

The top also starts with a base layer, medium layer, maybe a light/medium puffy jacket, then a windproof parka with a ruff. Where you are headed you need outer layers that block the wind. You will freeze if the wind cuts through your clothing. Cabela's used to make an awesome windstopper parka for mushers. I've used mine for nearly 20 years but they stopped making it. My winter gear is old so I don't really have links to new gear for you, but those types of items are what you will need. A fur hat or equivalent will also be needed.

When I first moved to Fairbanks, AK, I used these pants for winter work and they really are pretty bomb proof, super warm, big pockets, and cheap.

https://www.venturesurplus.com/products/usaf-extreme-cold-weather-trousers-f-1b/?attribute_pa_size=30-waist&attribute_pa_condition=used&dTribesID=f7b7a37c1470525ac13759acdc1f99a1|adtribes|292670&utm_source=Google Shopping&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=292670&gclid=CjwKCAiAvOeQBhBkEiwAxutUVHoewkS5S8qXyXdhK2OPGwBO0rGexPVMVd97kmq_TYLw85NUvm4ivxoC3NsQAvD_BwE

One of these might work: https://www.armynavysales.com/g-i-n3b-extreme-cold-weather-parka-mj118-353.html

These guys make high end clothing made for mushers and AK winters:

My parka is a slip-over Anorak design (old Cabelas) which I love. Apocolypse makes them:
 
Last edited:
OP
B

buzzy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
360
The bottoms are pretty easy. I typically wear some fairly tight base layer "long johns", then puffy pants, then a windproof outer pant. The outer shell could be windstopper fleece pants, typical snomachine pants, etc. Some heavy insulated Carhartt bibs would also work perhaps with some fleece pants underneath.

The top also starts with a base layer, medium layer, maybe a light/medium puffy jacket, then a windproof parka with a ruff. Where you are headed you need outer layers that block the wind. You will freeze if the wind cuts through your clothing. Cabela's used to make an awesome windstopper parka for mushers. I've used mine for nearly 20 years but they stopped making it. My winter gear is old so I don't really have links to new gear for you, but those types of items are what you will need. A fur hat or equivalent will also be needed.

When I first moved to Fairbanks, AK, I used these pants for winter work and they really are pretty bomb proof, super warm, big pockets, and cheap.

https://www.venturesurplus.com/products/usaf-extreme-cold-weather-trousers-f-1b/?attribute_pa_size=30-waist&attribute_pa_condition=used&dTribesID=f7b7a37c1470525ac13759acdc1f99a1|adtribes|292670&utm_source=Google Shopping&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=292670&gclid=CjwKCAiAvOeQBhBkEiwAxutUVHoewkS5S8qXyXdhK2OPGwBO0rGexPVMVd97kmq_TYLw85NUvm4ivxoC3NsQAvD_BwE

One of these might work: https://www.armynavysales.com/g-i-n3b-extreme-cold-weather-parka-mj118-353.html

These guys make high end clothing made for mushers and AK winters:

My parka is a slip-over Anorak design (old Cabelas) which I love. Apocolypse makes them:
Thanks AKhunter. Do those military pants really work? Seems like a good thing to grab for $40 and use as your outside shell. Under that if you have your base layers and a good puffy pant it seems that might be a good combination. Are they 100% wind stopper?

Thanks
 

AKHUNTER

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
193
Location
Interior Alaska
Those military pants look exactly like the pair that I have owned for about 18 years. We call them "fat boy" pants. They are very, very warm. I have never been cold wearing them to include snowmachining and other winter work to 30-40 below Fahrenheit. I recall only needing to wear a thin and a medium weight long johns underneath. I know I would not need puffy pants under mine. They have big cargo pockets and are very tough pants. They are windproof. I sewed on a piece of 1" webbing and a snap to the bottom of the pant cuff because the zipper would open up after a while. The webbing strap and snap helps keep the zipper closed. If those are like the pair that I have, and they sure look like it, you will not get cold.

I have never tried the extreme cold military parkas, but I suspect they are also pretty warm and may be an affordable alternative especially since this will be a one time hunt.
 

akrdkill

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
438
You can save yourself a bunch of money getting the military surplus insulated pants jacket & there hi loft fleece…..then add your outer layer
 

sneaky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
8,886
Location
ID
-40 doesn't seem to be the weather to be trying to save a little money on on warm clothing. I'd find a sea otter trapper's hat, those things are crazy warm. Expensive, but staying alive is important at those temps.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

TreeWalking

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Messages
180
-40F can result in frostbite of exposed fingers in minutes. How will you on your own field dress and quarter an animal while wearing gloves that you keep on and dry? At -40F, I would think the animal starts to freeze as soon as you cut through the hide to the meat. I have been in -15F and frostbit inside my nostrils with 30 minutes of exposure but with no wrap on my face. Was not fun. My toes and fingers were stinging and I was lucky to get out of the cold. Why was I not dressed better? I was a poor college student living off campus and the severe cold that settled in overnight killed my vehicle battery so I walked to campus.
 

Jtenkink

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
15
-40 is a whole different animal than most people are used to in terms of “cold” and being on a snowmobile takes it to another level with the windchill. Definitely look at the hardshell snowmobile bibs and jackets. The biggest thing people forget with these temps is serious boots and serious gloves. Actually in those temps you can’t use gloves, mitts are pretty much a must. If you’ve got the option of heated gloves/boots/whatever powered off the snowmobile those systems can be a game changer. I’ve lived and worked in places where -40 wasn’t uncommon, don’t underestimate it. Sounds like a sweet hunt though! Good luck!
 

AK Troutbum

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
6,819
Location
Chugiak, Alaska
I moose hunted off a snow machine once in -25°F temps., and I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. I think I’m pretty cold tolerant, but when you’re running down a frozen river at 40mph in those temps., any bit of skin that’s exposed gets frostbite pretty quickly. I’ll echo what’s already been said, there’s absolutely no sense in trying to skimp on cheaper/lesser capable clothing or gear when life and limb may depend on it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Marbles

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
1,805
Location
AK
Puffy pants to go over you wool pants would be good. You certainly need a down parka, it should be sized to fit over every other layer in your system. Something like a Rab Positron at minimum. Get a pare of thin leather ice climbing gloves, then get some OR Alti mitts. You will also want a good shell pants (rain pants will work if they do not compress the insulation underneath). 40 Below overboots would be good. A neck gator is a must, as is a beany. There are other ways to skin this cat as discussed by others above.

Expect to spend some money, just what I have listed will run you over $1500 at MSRP, given the time of year though, you might can find deals on prior season styles. As you are on a snow machine, you can also save money by going with heavier alternatives to some of the above.

Stay well hydrated and well fed. Strip layers for any exertion, put the parka on as soon as you sit still. Size your boots slightly large and make sure they do not compress your feet. Adding socks will make things worse if doing so compresses your feet as this will restrict blood flow.

Read the Wilderness Medical Societies guidelines on cold injuries. After reading it, consider adding something mentioned to your kit. https://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(19)30097-3/fulltext

Check the temp ratings of oils and greases used on your equipment, make sure it is not going to freeze up on you. Know that things like Kydex break easer at those temps. Keep electronics inside your clothing or many of them will stop working.
 

Brook.Trout

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
62
Ive always loved the browning full curl wool, jacket and pants are amazing and warm. I hunted lynx multiple days in -30C temperatures and I don’t need to layer much under. But that’s also mostly hiking through at least knee deep snow where I see sign. Riding snowmobiles makes it even tougher and colder though.
 
Top