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  • Cole Auckland

Why is gear so important?

The repetitive “click-slop-click-slop” of the horse's hooves on the cold snowy Montana trail mud had been like a song on repeat in my ears for the past 11 miles. When the wet snow and rain rolled in 2 miles ago the whole afternoon changed, the blooming glacier lilies and big blue Montana sky changed from welcoming to threatening. My lack of quality gear created the same situation, a day that started warm and beautiful quickly changed to a problem that, had I not been surrounded by my fellow guide school students, could have potentially turned into a life-or-death situation. Whether you are in the high alpine mule deer country of colorado or a lowland swamp chasing mature whitetails your gear and the quality behind it could not only make or break your hunt but it could create a potential emergency.

My experience in guide school that day in Montana opened my eyes to the importance of quality gear. The big dark clouds in the backcountry on that afternoon helped me to realize that a quality Gore-Tex raincoat and pants could make or break the hunt of a lifetime. When approaching new equipment the task can be quite the daunting one between materials, brands, fits, patterns, and cost differentials, it can be quite easy to drown in the pool of choices to enhance your experience in the outdoors.

When it comes to gear, your choice is typically an important one, but find comfort in the fact that the adage “you get what you pay for” in most cases does apply when seeking new hunting apparel. Whether you are seeking a breathable new rain set made from the high-tech Gore-Tex fabric, or an outer layer treated with a DWR finish your choice for a quality outer layer is important to your experience in the outdoors.

Your choice in quality gear doesn't just exceed within the realm of outerwear, it also applies to your glassing equipment, your pack, your shelter, your treestand, your archery tackle, and any facet of the outdoor space that you can think of, quality gear although most of the time is quite the investment is almost always worth the increased technology that comes with it because of the safety and comfort that comes along with it.

My experience that spring Montana day was the springboard into the deep end of the gear junkie pool, the exploration of different glass treatments, jacket treatments, pack fabrics, tent styles, and boot lacing techniques has led to both an improved experience in the outdoors, and a passion for helping others come to the understanding that quality gear is a staple to the interaction between the outdoorsman and the outdoors.

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