FHF GEAR: WHAT WE ARE USING AND WHY
Spring is inching closer to summer and outdoor activities and for some of us, gear needs are (or will be) changing. One of the features we pride ourselves on at FHF Gear is the versatility of our gear, and how nearly all of our products can be used across an array of activities, whether you’re bear hunting in the backcountry, hiking your favorite trails, or casting a line on the river.
Recently, our team sat down and compared systems and took notes on who is using what, how we’re using our products across activities, and why each of us likes certain gear functions/ features for different activities. Read on to find out some of our top gear picks for late spring and summer, and get some ideas on how you can get the most out of your FHF Gear.
Paul Lewis, Founder & Designer:
“In the spring, when I’m horn hunting, setting cameras or just hiking, I’ve always got my PRO-M Bino Harness. Using the MOLLE panel on the bottom of my bino harness, I usually attach my Bear Spray Lite holster, as I’m almost always in bear country. I prefer to carry it there for ease of access and consistent placement whether I’m wearing a pack or not.
For spring turkey and fishing, I use the chest rig. The chest rig is unique because it’s a piece of gear that I can customize to fit nearly any activity. For turkey season I can set it up with the FHF turkey kit and bino bucket, but switch it out to the fishing kit all summer for fly fishing. I attach the general purpose pouch underneath (for extra river snacks, sunscreen, etc.) or my bear spray lite depending on the location.”
Rick Hutton, Product Line Manager:
“The Chest Rig has become one of my favorite pieces of gear, especially in the spring. I can easily swap out my waterfowl kit for my spring turkey kit, and even keep a few waterfowl accessories attached, like my MOLLE to Loop Adapter, which gives me an exterior velcro option for attaching my shot shell holder, or my striker sleeve. Once Spring turkey is wrapped, I can swap my turkey kit for my fishing kit and I’m ready to spend time on the river. I’ve even used the chest rig while trail running during the summer- I can stash a water bottle, my phone, a few first aid items and snacks (and even leave my bear spray attached if I need to) and everything stays put.
Another key item I have with me, either on my pack belt, or my wading belt is the water bottle holster. As we all know, hydration during activity, and especially during the warmer months is important. The expandable feature of the water bottle holster allows you to carry a large range of bottle sizes, from a slim coffee thermos to 48oz Nalgenes.”
Jake Jourdonnais, Head of Customer Service:
“In addition to my bino harness, I use the General Purpose Pouch pretty much year round. It’s the perfect size to carry an emergency CAT Tourniquet, small bandage, and smaller first aid items, like band aids. Running the GP Pouch underneath my (Service) bino harness is my preferred method, as it gives me quick and easy access to items I may need in a pinch.
Additionally, the Harness Shoulder Pad is one of my favorite accessories, specifically for early season, spring hunting or hiking. When I am wearing lighter layers the harness shoulder pad gives me a little extra width and padding I prefer, when wearing the Bino Harness for extended periods.”
Phil Larson, Developer:
“For me, mid to late spring is spent bear hunting, and here in Montana the weather can be unpredictable. It can go from 70 and sunny to 35 and snowing in a matter of minutes, so I use my synergy bags for organizing rain gear, and extra possible clothing options so I’m ready for any unexpected weather. I also participate in many archery tournaments through the spring and summer, and use my synergy bags to keep things organized. It allows me to keep my mind on what I need to do, rather than worrying about where my gear might be.
Another gear must-have in my setup is my Bear Spray Lite. I always run it on the bottom of my harness or chest rig. That way no matter what I'm doing, I always have it. I like the fact that you don't have to take the bear spray out to use it. Instead I’ve trained to simply rip the top off, bend over (because I'm tall) and spray like hell! Another point I’d make is that because I don't have to take the bear spray out, the chance of losing the spray in an attack is less of a concern.”
Jen Lewis, Brand Manager:
“One of the staples I use year round is the NAV Pouch. Like many, I have the NAV Pouch on my hip belt, and use the rear sleeve to stash my phone. In colder months it’s insulated and keeps my phone warm when I put a hand warmer in the neighboring compartment. Within that same zippered compartment I keep my headlamp, a mini lighter, extra pair of light gloves and some single serve PB packs. In the warmer months, I swap the hand warmer and extra gloves for some additional first aid products and sunscreen (and probably more snacks….because snacks are life).
Another go-to favorite of mine is the RINO/Radio pouch and a lanyard. The RINO pouch has the MOLLE attachment system, so it can be attached to my bino harness with a ladder panel, or to my pack strap, or pack belt, etc. I have different packs for different activities and it’s quick and easy to move if needed. I also use this pouch on my kids’ packs to ensure they’ve got a radio/GPS secured to them when we’re out in the hills, especially when we’re horn hunting and more likely to spread out.”