Hunting gear isn’t only for hunting season

I’m a moron. I have a storage room filled with warm hunting gear I’ve collected over four decades, but I didn’t even have one piece of that clothing with me when I went to watch my kids run track over the weekend. Rookie mistake.

I have clothes for every hunting situation. I have gear to keep me dry on a spring turkey hunt. Gear to keep me warm if a raging blizzard rolls in while I’m elk hunting. Outfits that breathe to keep me comfortable on an early season antelope hunt when the sun’s beating down on the prairie.

I probably have 12 pairs of gloves, at least that many pairs of boots, and countless pieces of insulating layers. I am seldom cold when I go hunting. If I do get a little chilly, I always have a couple of layers in my backpack I can pull out and tug on to turn up the heat a bit. That’s the beauty of wearing several layers – you can always take a layer off or put one on to keep yourself toasty, yet you also have the ability to prevent yourself from breaking into a sweat.

So you’d think I’d have been plenty prepared to go sit in the bleachers over the weekend and watch my kids run at a track meet. But you’d be wrong. Because I didn’t take a single piece of clothing from my hunting collection with me.

I have a whole bunch of brand-new KUIU gear I was extremely pleased with during my elk hunt last fall, when the weather started out in the 70s, then dropped to near zero over the Labor Day weekend. I stayed cool when it was hot, and as the temperature dropped, I put on a few more layers and stayed plenty warm. Even when I was sitting still in the trees, waiting for elk to wander past, I was warm and happy.

Not so in the bleachers on Saturday. It was cold. I don’t think it got above freezing until about noon, and the wind was ripping through all day. I can only imagine how cold it was for those poor kids out there in their running shorts and tank tops.

Next weekend, I’ll have several layers handy. I may look stupid in my camo, but at least I’ll be warm.