Hunting Jacket: Pennsylvania Tuxedo

November 13, 2014



“To deer hunters in Pennsylvania and beyond, it introduced the Classic Hunt Coat. Combined with matching snow pants—in open black-on-deep-cherry-red ‘Heritage Plaid’—it was the uniform of the day for those pursuing whitetails. The ‘Pennsylvania Tuxedo’ debuted in the deer woods in 1925.” -Pennsylvania Department of Wildlife.

I love old style clothing. It puts me into the right mindset. If I’m dressed a bit in the old ways I get into the same epic mindset of being a trophy hunter of old.

I am going to hunt Elk here in the Rockies in a classic style hunting outfit. It’s not that the plaid hunting outfit was particularly traditional here in the West, but the little time I spent in the New England states in fall and winter made an impact on me. From such places as the Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, the  Green Mountains of Vermont and the Maine North Woods, this uniform is ubiquitous in the fall.

The plaid can be effective at breaking up the human profile just as camouflage can be. In fact, the square patterns are the basis of modern military fatigues. The red is not visible to game animals, and yet at the same time it provides with the blaze orange an additional visual indicator to human shooters for increased safety.

Everyone has a red buffalo check pattern in their closet, while the British have their own classy tweedy way of dressing, and the Germans have their rustic loden. There is nothing more free of class and preconception as the American hunting outfit, which is why it works so well for all of us.

Some people say to never put plaid on plaid, or that there is such a thing as WAYYYY too much of it. I say rules are meant to be broken.

Here’s some of my inspiration.

1922 Catalog 1 (1) backcover  pendleton-vintage-canoe-poster




Screen shot 2011-11-13 at 12.19.59 PM1925_Fall_lLL_BEAN_31


Hunting Boots: Kenetrek Northern Pacboots

September 30, 2014

The high peaks of Colorado in mid October till mid November, will be cold, snowy and wet. As I write this, it has been thundering up in the Sawatch, switching for rain, to hail, to fat snow flakes then back to rain. By the second and third season of elk, from mid October till mid November hiking the high country will be harder and there will be snow on the ground that won’t melt away till June.

Autumn aspens & first snow

The pac boot design has been around for over a century, LLBean mentions their founder invented the half rain boot half leather boot in Maine. In WWII and Korea, GI’s used pacboots, or “shoepacs” in winter conditions to mixed success.

A double boot increases your comfort with its insulation you can be warm when you are resting and stopping for long periods, and at night when you sleep the liners can be removed and worn or placed inside the sleeping bag to dry them. There is no joy like putting on warm dry boots when it is gross outside.

I’ve had mixed success with Kenetrek pac boots. In the past I have had durability issues with this brand, but since this year they repaired my boot for free, I will give them another chance.



Note the repair patches on the sides.

The major design feature of pac boots is that they are waterproof on the bottom to muck through mud and slush. Yet the upper laces up and forms to your body like a leather boot.

 The coolest thing about the Kenetrek version over Sorel’s and LLBean boots is they have a half inch steel shank in them like the Bean boot, but aggressive tread and thick liner like the Sorel. The best of both worlds. The shank keeps the boot sole rigid to the ball of the foot. While this shank does not allow for enough stiffness for mountaineering, they work for general purpose packing on rough terrain. The flexibility would not stop me from putting on a strap crampon on them if the snow was packed hard or icy and I needed traction and french technique.

180517_1839737874821_5290124_n (1) blogger-image--580831929



I love treating leather boots. Its a meditative process, and by winter it will be a weekly ritual. I feel connected to the item in a way that a aerosol spray can and goretex boot cant provide. It also smells like honey. If the boot is well constructed, coat of beeswax will keep out water for up to a week of hard use.

photo (6) 



I gotta get these things into the woods and put some scuffs on that nice polish.


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