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So I’m looking for some insight and opinions from some of y’all who have been to Alaska on any type of moose hunt and what kind of hips boots or waders were brought. I’m headed up this September and I’m still back and forth on what to get. I haven’t had much time in either and I figure this would be a good place to get some Kind of idea to set me in the right direction.
Wiggys waders if you are just needing to cross streams/bogs, then switch back into your boots. Not made for walking around in them. Extremely lightweight. I don’t have any experience to fall back on for which waders to get for everyday use.
I use cheapo hippers and wear hiking boots outside the swamp. I'm going to give frog tog pilots with hiking boots this year
Really not a fair question to answer broadly. It is extremely area specific. There are areas I wouldn't dream of hunting without my chest waders/wading boots. Other areas no need for anything beyond normal hikers. Weather also plays a factor. In general, many moose hunts are going to be cold/wet conditions every single day. Solid hip/waist waders or full blown chest waders will be handy for comfort. I much prefer neoprene booty with wading boots vs one piece waders. Much more comfortable to hike in.
Just like 4 wheel drive chest waders can get you into more jams than they get you out of. I prefer them because you can sit down without getting your butt wet. But be really careful crossing any sloughs coming off of rivers or lakes. Poke ahead with a stick. That silty muck can be way deeper than it looks. I had a partner go in up to his neck. Scary!
I used LaCrosse insulated waders. Wore them everyday, for 8 days thru willows ridges and bog areas.
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I'm too short for hip waders. Every time I use them I get soaked.
I prefer a good set of waist-high waders with stocking feet from Cabelas that I use for fishing. Lightweight, dry fast and much more comfortable than rubber hip boots.
I have Cabelas/Herters hip waders, you need a boot for them, they are tough, they are light, can be taken off and stuffed in your pack, they dry fast,,,,, rubber hip boots will get you tired fast
My next pair will be waist high wading pants.
For years with a lot of water I wore ankle fit waders (had insulated and non). On the haul road I used a cheap pair of loose fitting waders for crossing the river in our rafts.
For ankle fit I had to use grocery sacks over my feet or once sweat condensed inside I couldn't get them off by myself.
I also crossed streams with contractor bags,,,, I always thought how smart I was, but they never worked well,,, ha ha
I use a pair of waist high simms stocking foot, I put a rough overly large wool sock over the neoprene. Works like felt soles on slippery rocks, save me the weight of wading boots.
I used Simms chest waders last year but we did a float trip. I wore them everyday even while hunting and had no problem.
Best I've seen; Simms pant waders. You can have those customized to your feet for another $65, good for us bigfoot types- grin
I used the Frogg togg hippers stocking foot and they were excellent EDIT; actually Amazon sent me their wader on accident and I cut them down to hippers- forgot about that but it worked out better for longer legs anyway.
my buddy used the Neos- I would never recommend those; heavy as heck, big billowy and so noisy they sound like a one man band.
Dang, Pat! I jumped over there immediately on seeing your post and couldn't find anything about waders! That may be my next pair if they do them right.
Have been very impressed over a lot of years with those Cabela's waders though - from Alaska to Argentina - salt water and fresh... Only leaks have been due to crossing barbed wire fences and easily repaired. For the price, I absolutely can not complain and may just get another pair of those...
Expensive I seen that from the shot show. Think about 900 or 1000 retail. Wonder who makes them for them. I was told unequivocally that is wasn’t Simms as they turned them down. Coming from a guy that used spend 100 day plus a year in wades I can’t see buying any thing other then Simms.
Anyone use the boot/chaps combos? Yoder, frog legs and a few others. Not made for standing around in water I guess but supposed to be waterproof and tough. Likely more comfortable to be hiking around in. The waterproof nylon is sewn and sealed to the boot of choice.
Read here some time ago some AK hunters were going to give them a try. Curious if they worked out.
Between me and my clients we have probably used every combination of waders. The ones I really like for the last 5 years or so is a high quality pair of breathable pant waders and some high end wading boots. I think my current pair of boots are Simms. They have a cable instead of regular shoestrings. Awesome awesome awesome for putting on wet, partially frozen boots in the am.
I don’t even bring a pair of regular hunting boots anymore. Just a pair of insulated crocs for around camp. I also don’t have to carry rain pants or regular hunting pants preferring to wear fleece under the waders.
With the pant waders I can still carry my sidearm on my hip and they even have a pair of pockets around the knees to stuff stuff that doesn’t need to stay dry.
I have these and love them...
Please pay attention to what mule power said. I once thought that I was done for when my waders filled from chest high water and then I could not crawl up the steep muddy bank due to the weight of the water. Also muck or quicksand can get your waders stuck which is a lot of fun. I would consider the safety aspects of what you purchase. You seem to be getting some good advice from those with experience.......Good luck on your trip ....badbull
Shug are the Cabalas instinct waders pretty quiet? I'm debating on either those or the Lacrosse big chiefs.
All I know is I threw my $79 Cabelas waders in almost as an afterthought for our moose trip. Holy cow we would have been screwed without them. Next time everyone has waders. Don't leave home without a pair.
I used the Cabela's Instinct Accelerator waders during a caribou/grizzly hunt in the Brooks Range last August. They are the only hunting boots I wore and they worked flawlessly. They are comfortable and light. For a moose hunt, you will likely be hunting where there is more and deeper water, but they worked great on the wet tundra.
Was listening to a podcast tonight about Mike Mittens moose hunt and he talked about what he used, might be work a listen
If you've ever dipped two gallons of 40* water into your crotch while jump shooting ducks, you know exactly what Mule Power is speaking of !
Jeg... they are a little noisy but they can be rolled up when not crossing water which negates much of the noise
Those Cabelas waders are quiet,,,, and at 79.00 I bought another pair, because just like anything that is good, they will discontinue it at some time,,,,,,,
Stay away from neoprene, they'll wear you out. JMO
I'd get some cabelas dry-plus waist high waders. Light and easy to walk in.
IMO - Alaska isnt the place to 'try' gear
For the money, not sure you can beat the Cabelas waist high waders. The color isn’t bad for hunting but the Sims look a bit better with 2-tone grey-tan.
I fish with a bunch of guys that have Sims and mine have held up just as well as theirs for a hell of a lot less.
I did pick up some Sims boots last fall on sale and absolutely love them. Best wading boot I have ever used. I would be fine hunting in those boots all day every day for an extended wet country hunt.
Next trip to Denver, gonna look at a new set of waist highs. Might end up with something else if I can see a major difference in comfort or performance for the price.
Ok so i ordered a pair of Lacrosse big chief hip boots and I’m not sure I’m gonna want to where these boys for 9 days in the bush. After reading y’alls posts i think I’m gonna be in the market for chest/pant wanders. Something i can where boots with.
Moose hunting aint like elk hunting. You prob dont want to go too far from base camp.
Call 'em to you!
We called for 2 days 200yds from our tent. By the 3rd day we were covered up in moose. On the 5th day I shot mine 400yds from camp.
Believe me, I would rather pack an elk 3 miles than a moose 1/4 mi.
Im def not an expert on Alaska, havent been there as much as some, but been there twice more than most :)
Many different combinations will work, but to quiet down the uppers I bought some tree stand wrap from stealth outdoors in Michigan in bulk size and pealed an stick to uppers. Very quiet moleskin feel. Mike
I used Neoprene Sock Chest Waders in slightly oversized boots. It rained for 7 days straight! Hard to be quiet when you're slogging through swamps, but I did manage to stalk to within 30 yards of a bedded cow.
Best of Luck, Jeff
That is a good idea, Mike!
I've got the pair Shug posted ,they work in a pinch but mine hurt my ankle bone when walking, took them to Alaska and only used them when loading the plane. never put them on during the hunt yet there was ponds everywhere I looked I used good water proof boots and good rain gear and stayed dry good luck
Herdbull, what kind of boot/wader combo is that?
Gore Tex chest waders or wading pants with neoprene foot. Then wear cheap over sized light weight ankle hikers. Then get a quiet microtex type pants to wear over them for noise. Very comfortable all day everyday.
Herdbull is using the no longer made cabelas tundra boot. Mine have lasted since 2009. Love those boots. Very comfy.
When I am up there I use both stockingfoot waders and hippers. Simms waders and Frogg Togg hippers. I use a pair of Simms wading boots with both the chest waders and hippers. Both are exceptionally lightweight which is generally critical if you are flying in. Waders are warmer when you are in a raft for a long time but the hippers are much more comfortable when you will be hunting. You can get your butt wet in hippers when sitting to glass but it is a trade off for me or you can sit on your pack. I also bring a thick neoprene sock and can wear the wading boots like hiking boots when not wearing any waders or hippers. The only other footwear I need is crocs for around the camp.
For fast stream crossing use I use my KUIU Chugach rain pants. I typically wear Meindl 10" Perfekt Hunter Gortex boots that I have Sno Sealed the heck out of, then use shoe laces or better yet a long piece of 2" wide Velcro to wrap as tightly and as many times as possible around each ankle. I haven't had wet feet or pants when stream crossing in BC with them. That said I wouldn't want to wade river or fish in them while standing in water for minutes on end.
On my Alaskan moose hunts I wore uninsulated LaCrosse ankle fit hip boots. As LKH says they are hard to remove when your feet get sweaty but were the most comfortable rubber boot made for my foot. I still keep a pair of the insulated variety around for certain uses but prefer to hike in leather boots where and when ever possible.