Live Hunt: KUIU Gear Review

We test KUIU's new camo line in the backcountry

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Last weekend was supposed to be my first shed hunting trip of the year … it was a little early, but we can usually find at least 1 or 2 elk sheds at this time. The big bonus for the weekend was that I got the chance to put the 2011 KUIU line of camouflage to the test! There has been quite a stir about the KUIU line and how it would perform in it's debut year. I was very excited to see what kind of abuse it could take. It was a good thing that people were waiting on me to try this stuff out, because otherwise I might have cut the trip short. When we arrived at my shed hunting spot, conditions were less than favorable. I saw several elk on the drive up with antlers still attached to their heads, the temperatures were in the low 30's during the day and scratching single digits at night. If you add in the constant 25-30 mph winds and the 3-foot snow drifts around every corner … well, I probably would have turned around and headed to Nebraska to kill some turkeys. But I had a great friend with me, great gear to keep us warm and the slight hope of finding a shed or two. As you can see in the picture, I did a lot of digging!Aron Snyder
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The owner of KUIU (Jason Hairston) was not able to send me the entire line of camouflage, but I did get about half of what he will be offering this year. It was enough to see that this stuff is the real deal. (I will be testing the other half of the line next weekend). This is what I received to test: Attack pants, Guide vest, Guide Beanie, Merino 185 top, Merino 185 beanie and the KUIU ball caps.Aron Snyder
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All of the KUIU gear I received was better than I had hoped for, but the Attack pants really impressed me. I have a bit of a problem with ripping out the seams in the crotch in every other set of pants that I have used. Well what do you know? The Attack pants don't have a seam where I usually rip them apart. The overall fit of the pants was just about perfect: not too tight so you look like Michael Jackson, but not too loose so you look like MC Hammer. The material seems to be more durable than others in its class, but it still breaths well and repels water.Aron Snyder
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The Guide Vest and Merino 185 zip tee
The two big things that stood out with the Guide vest were how quick it dries and how well it repels water. I was able to pour water onto the vest and let it pool up for well over a minute with no water seeping through. From this test I knew the drying period would be very quick. After about 10 minutes in the sun it was dry as a bone. The Merino 185 performed just like you would expect any high quality Merino to perform and the fit (for me anyway) was perfect. I got an XL and I'm 6' 1" and 210 pounds.Aron Snyder
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Here's my informal water test.Aron Snyder
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ReferenceAron Snyder
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The Merino 185 beanie
This cap is light enough to wear all day during a September elk hunt, but will still keep your head warm in somewhat mild temps. Since it's made of Merino wool, it takes a lot of the "stinky head" factor away.Aron Snyder
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The Kifaru 6-man tipi with a stove makes for happy camping in temperatures like this.Aron Snyder
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After Justin got the tipi set up, we started preparing our gear for the miles ahead.Aron Snyder
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The strong winds got the best of us after a few miles and we decided to find a "hiding hole" and glass for sheds instead of walking.Aron Snyder
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We eventually got blown out of our hiding hole, so we decided to hike back to camp and get out of the wind completely for a while.Aron Snyder
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Another great piece of equipment we were able to test out this weekend was the PRIMUS EtaPackLite stove. It performed great and is perfect for 2 people camping.Aron Snyder
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My lucky Benchmade knife has seen many days in the field.Aron Snyder
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Justin gathered wood for the cold night ahead. Thank the Lord we had that stove. He got her cranking up in no time and the temps in the tipi were hitting the mid 70's even though it was in the teens outside.Aron Snyder
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The warmth hit me like a ton of bricks and I was out of it for a few minutes…or an hour.Aron Snyder
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We woke up to a little snow on the ground and the temperature had dropped to 11 degrees without the wind chill. We started the stove back up and got dressed for another day of shed hunting.Aron Snyder
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Now let's play a little "Where's Waldo" Live Hunt edition. See if you can find me in these shots. I posted some of these in black and white to give you an idea what a deer or elk would see. The popular theory is that deer and elk see in black and white, or more accurately, in shades of gray. In other words, they can tell the difference between a dark color and a light color, but they can't distinguish individual colors as we see them. And yes, I am in every photo.Aron Snyder
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