Small gear review of '12 Dall Sheep Hunt

Easton

Junior Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Alaska
Spent 10 days in the Brooks Range on another dall sheep hunt. The hunt went great as both my father and I harvested a ram. We hiked ten miles from the strip and set up camp.

Tents- Mountain Hardwear skyledge 3 (base camp)- I have used it for 5 years now and it is a great two man tent. Sets up easy and with two vestibules, work great for two guys.
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 (spike)-First time I used it and it was perfect for a spike tent. We pitched literally on the side of the mountain and it worked awesome!!

Pack- Barney's Sports Chalet "Yukon"- OUTSTANDING!!! Best pack I have used. I had it loaded with a sheep and a half (around 130lbs), camp, rifle, food, etc. and it held it all with room to spare. It handles the weight like no other pack! I have used it for everything here in AK and I actually rolled it down a mountain last year and it took it like a champ.

Boots- Koflach "Degres"- OUTSTANDING!!! They supported my ankles like none other and actually flex a lot for a plastic boot. They don't need any beak in period and are extremely comfortable! I never got a blister or hot spot. I have two terrible ankles and these boots saved me this year. I can front point and side hill with ease in these boots. Even on the flat ground they worked great. They do get warm so your feet will sweat more but with good socks ("darn tough socks" it wasn't a problem. I could even take the booties out and put a pair of "wiggy's waders" inside the boot for stream crossings. Dump the water out afterwards, put your booties back in and your off. I will never wear another leather boot again for mountain hunting! I've used Lowa's, Meindle's and Skarpa Liskamm's and for me, the Degres are the best I've used.

Clothing- I used kuiu attack pants and merino 185 and "darn tough" socks each day. My insulation consisted of the merino 250 and the Barney's Sports Chalet "super cub" jacket (very good and compresses down to nothing).

Exped and Neo Air air pads- both worked great.

Marmot Helium 15 and Mountain Hardwear ultralamina 0- Both were great and no issues. It froze two nights and neither of us got chilly.

Havalon Piranta knife- All I needed for two sheep, worked great.

Trekking Poles- Wouldn't do a mountain hunt without them! They have saved me and my ankles several times. 4 points of contact on the mountain instead of two. They don't weigh anything because they are in your hands the whole time acting as hand rails on an escalator.

Most of the other gear consisted of the basics.

My pack was 60 lbs. with everything loaded in it. Dads was less since he wasn't carrying the tents and spotter.

Both were no problem and I didn't notice the weight at all. Training makes a huge difference.
 

muleman

Senior Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
1,522
Location
Utah
Thanks.

I have a couple of questions on the sleeping pads.


  1. Which Exped model?
  2. Which pad was noisier?
  3. Was one more comfortable than the other?
  4. Which did you prefer parallel or perpendicular air baffles?
 

swat8888

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2012
Messages
457
Location
Alaska
Have you ever tried the Scarpa Omega plastics? I'm done with leathers after this year...just trying to decide between the Omega's and Degre's. Degre's look to flex a little better, but look bulkier and have a thicker liner (probably hot like you said). Omega's look a little more streamlined, do not have the hinged ankle, and I think a little bit lighter. Anyhow, just curious if you had any experience with them as I try to decide between the two.

Any of you Alaska guys happen to know if REI, Barneys, or anywhere else around Anchorage sells either the Degre or Omega's?
 
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E

Easton

Junior Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Alaska
I used the Exped UL 7 and my dad used the Neo Air (last years model). The neo air is a little louder but I honestly never heard him moving around, I think the sleeping bag muffles the noise. They both are great pads and I would use either on any given day. I didn't notice a difference in comfort with the different baffles.
 
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Easton

Junior Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Alaska
Swat888,

I tried both on at Barney's in Anchorage and immediately knew the Degres were for me. The Omegas didn't fit or feel good at all compaired to the Degres. The Omegas were stiffer and didn't flex as much. The liner/bootie in the Degres are good and they will heat mold them to your foot. I will admit that they are warm and your feet will sweat more than in an uninsulated leather boot but they are really comfortable. I can walk pretty normal on flat ground with the Degres, the Omegas were very rigid. The Degres have a more flexible plastic material on the top (where the laces are) that give them more flex along with the hinge point at the ankle. I don't think there is any difference in weight between the two. They do look bulkier and more like a ski boot but once you get them on they surprise you.

REI, Barney's and AMH (Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking) have both in Anchorage.
 

thru-hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
313
I just bought a set from Barney's and don't have but maybe 50' on them so far. I doubt I will have any time to wear them before I head out on Monday either so I will be testing that "zero break in" claim!!
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thru-hunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
313
No, they don't. Pack a lunch and several different types of socks then be prepared to take the time to try an assortment of different insoles, sock thicknesses and sizes to find the correct fit.
 
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E

Easton

Junior Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Alaska
Thru-hunter,

You will probably break your feet into them. I wear an 11 shoe and the boots fit perfect in a UK 10.5 or US 11.5. I wore my normal hiking socks and put the insole I use and they fit great first try. The bootie will stretch slightly in the toe box but very little as you wear them. After a week I got used to them but never had an issue right out of the box. Because they are plastic, that part of the boot won't really break in. The bootie/liner will form more to your foot as you walk.
 
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