Spring Bear Essentials

Spring Bear Essentials
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As the mountains embrace spring, a palpable sense of anticipation surges with the thawing snow, the promise of off-road adventures, and the pursuit of elusive black bears. Contemplating your inevitable future amidst the rugged terrain and vertiginous slopes, the unspoken challenge awaits: Do you have what it takes to prepare yourself mentally and physically and lay the groundwork for a successful black bear hunt?

Each year, as the early tendrils of spring emerge, I find myself drawn to the snow-kissed landscapes of the Rocky Mountain West, eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of a bear amidst the verdant hillsides. Yet, with this eagerness comes the inevitable challenge of navigating through the snow-laden terrain, striving for that perfect vantage point across the valley. The taste of freshly melted snow serves as a reminder of the arduous journey, fueling my determination to establish camp at the perfect glassing point. 

The crisp morning air gives way to the gentle caress of the sun's warmth, a sensation that beckons hunters year after year. However, spring black bear hunting is not without its trials, necessitating the right gear and preparation. Fluctuating temperatures, unrelenting winds, and sudden storms can swiftly transform a promising hunt into a daunting ordeal, underscoring the importance of meticulous planning and preparation.


Let's dive into the gear I carefully selected for my spring black bear expedition in the rugged expanse of the Big Horn National Forest. Situated in terrain that demands resilience, with elevation oscillating between 8,000 to 10,000 feet and trails veiled in lingering snow, the conditions were not for the faint-hearted. Temperatures swung from the chilly confines of the high 20s at night to the mild embrace of the mid-50s by day, accompanied by gusts of wind and intermittent rain. My guiding principle in gear selection is efficiency; every item must serve multiple functions to minimize weight.

Level 1:

I chose the Ridgeline top and bottom, crafted from a lightweight merino wool blend (150gsm). This choice kept me snug during daily excursions, and its quick-drying properties proved invaluable as I traversed the terrain. Come nighttime, I relied on the Ridgeline Heavy (220gsm) top and bottom for warmth and comfort in my shelter. 

Level 2:

The Quiver half-zip hoodie emerged as the unsung hero of my hunt, a constant companion throughout the six-day journey. Its versatility shone as I adjusted the zipper to regulate my temperature in response to changing weather conditions. It provided optimal ventilation during warmer spells and cocoon-like warmth during chilly nights.  

Level 3:

Prepared and informed by historical weather data, I opted for the Frontier Pant (heavy), strategically unzipping the hip vents during rigorous activity. Additionally, I hesitantly chose the Tundra Jacket Light, a 60g synthetic down insulation puff coat, to maintain my core temperature. The main reason for the hesitation was that I chose to save cube space and weight by going with the lighter variant jacket. Despite my initial concerns, this piece surpassed expectations, effortlessly navigating the fluctuating temperatures within the 20 to 50°F range

Level 1:

Ridgeline Top

Ridgeline Bottom

Ridgeline Heavy Top

Ridgeline Heavy Bottom

Level 2:

Quiver Half Zip Hoodie

Level 3:

Frontier Pant

Tundra Jacket Light


Quiver Beanie

Ridgeline Beanie