Ron Stepp’s recent trip to Quinlan Ranch gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. Stepp, director of customer relations for Sporting Classics, took his first elk—a free-ranging monster that came a bit too close one snowy day last November.

The herds were moving down from the mountains as winter approached, but snow already lay deep in the valley when hunter and hunted met. The elk were merely inconvenienced by the wintry conditions; Ron was totally out of his element. Having primarily hunted in the Southeast, the 8,000-foot-plus elevations were something totally new for the lifelong hunter.

He had anticipated this scenario, though. In preparation for his hunt, Stepp ordered new clothing from First Lite to best match the conditions:

Chama 230g merino-wool quarter zip and hoodie

  • These are both midweight pieces designed to provide extra warmth when you need it, yet are easy to pack away when you don’t. They comfortably layer over lightweight base layers without having to size up.

Allegheny 230g merino bottoms

  • This midweight, 100 percent merino-wool bottom is designed to be worn under pants/bibs to provide extra warmth.

Uncompahgre Puffy Vest and Jacket

  • Ultralight insulation. Both jacket and vest are extremely lightweight and packable, providing a lot of warmth without a lot of weight. These pieces can live in the bottom of your pack while you’re hiking hard up the mountain and be pulled out during long glassing sessions to keep you comfortable.

Boundary Stormtight Jacket and Pant

  • Boundary Stormtight Jacket has since been discontinued and replaced with the Vapor Stormlight Jacket. Both are designed to protect you from the elements, with the Vapor weighing a scant 12 ounces and featuring a two-layer design.


Stepp later said that without these articles of clothing, he could not have been successful.

For more information on First Lite, be sure to check out their website. Ron’s dispatches from Quinlan can be read here.



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