When I moved out to Colorado, I had my mind set on hunting big game in the Rockies. So I got my tags and began scouting for my spot in GMU 20. I wrote about my hunting season experience in another blog post and mentioned the best gear purchase I made this year, my underwear.
After that first scouting trip I realized something very important. Walking in the Rockies is hard and sweaty work. My under garments were woefully inadequate to cope with the amount of moisture my body produced. The result was predictable. When ever I got home, my cotton socks and underwear were 100% saturated and had caused some painful issues. My feet were blistered due to the moisture and friction. The insides of my thighs were chafed and too painful to touch. I was walking around for the next couple of days in obvious pain. If I was going to have even a remote chance of having an enjoyable hunting experience, I needed new socks and undies.
The socks were easy. In one of my Sportsman's Boxes, a quarterly subscription for outdoor gear that is getting it's own review, I received a pair of low cut hiking socks from a company called Farm to Feet. Farm to Feet is committed to the simple goal of creating the world’s best wool socks. They do this by using US materials, US manufacturing, and US workers. With its supply chain completely within the U.S., Farm to Feet is able to ensure the highest quality materials and end products, while having as little impact on the environment as possible. Merino wool socks like these are perfect for a number of reasons. They transport moisture away from the body, it helps you regulate body temperature and keeps you warm even if it gets wet, its comfortable and all natural.
The Farm to Feet socks I picked up were the "Boulder No Fly Zone". All No Fly Zone socks are manufactured using yarns treated with permethrin insect repellent. Odorless and durable, permethrin repels common biting insects like mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, midges, ticks, and ants. They were ultra comfortable and padded in the appropriate places. I wear a size 11 boot and bought the X-Large. The fit was great.
With the socks out of the way it was time to focus on my unmentionables. I'm 34 years old and have never bought anything other than cotton underwear. So I set off to do some internet research. I quickly landed on the trusted Fruit of the Loom brand. Their microfiber boxer, a blend of polyester and spandex, was my choice. These boxers have a 9" leg and that feature was a game changer. I ha e big thighs and the 9" leg prevented my thighs from rubbing as I walked. The firm fit and moisture wicking materials kept me dry and comfortable. They were relatively inexpensive and I liked them so much all of my underwear will eventually be these.
A lot of consideration is given to your outer layers, and rightly so. Your jackets and pants are the first line of defense for the elements. Water and wind resistant outer layers will most certainly keep you in the field longer. But if you don't take care of your feet and private areas, you'll still be a miserable hunter.