For years, hunters have struggled with the “two sets of gear” conundrum.
Since different hunting seasons – and specifically deer hunting season – straddle different climate types, one set of gear isn’t generally enough to keep you camouflaged all year round. For instance, if you hunt in the summer or early autumn, brighter and green camouflage outfits are generally the best choice. The leaves haven’t started to change colors yet and as long as your area hasn’t been struck by draught, chances are that most of the brush you are using as cover is still fairly green and vibrant.
The game changes in the late autumn, winter, or early spring, however. Green turns to red, orange, and yellow in the leaves, and then ultimately to brown. Brown is the overpowering color of these seasons – well, except for winter white – and as such, hunters generally need to switch over to brown camouflage when the weather gets colder. Hence the “two sets of gear” conundrum.
However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel for that particular roadblock. Cabela’s is working on a new, chameleonic type of camouflage gear that will allow hunters to effectively change color along with the seasons. In theory, hunters will be able to use the gear all year round, with equal concealment no matter the season or temperature. In other words, Cabela’s new camouflage development – which the outdoor retailer is calling “ColorPhase” – could be a development that saves hunters money, storage space, and hassle. It’s a big seller in the making.
In essence, ColorPhase works a lot like those spoons that come in cereal boxes and change colors when used in different temperature liquids. ColorPhase apparel will be printed with the traditional camouflage patterns, but will use what Cabela’s calls “rapid-change, temperature-activated dye.” That dye will in turn make it possible for the camouflage fabric to change colors depending on the temperature. In weather of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the fabric will be a greener, forest-colored hue; in temperatures below 65 degrees, it will take on a drabber, browner color.
Check out this video from Cabela’s explaining the camo:
Some hunters will probably wish the dividing line temperature was a bit lower, as some spring or fall morning hunts can be cool – below 65 degrees at least – but still take place alongside bright green backgrounds. However, the ColorPhase technology is certainly an interesting innovation in camouflage gear, and for prices ranging from $20 to $80 – for a full range of hunting gear, including jackets, shirts, pants, hats, and gloves – Cabela’s new chameleonic hunting clothing will actually be quite a bargain.
Of course, Cabela’s and ColorPhase have not quite solved the “two sets of gear” conundrum just yet. While different color hues are one reason that hunters switch their gear out at a certain point in the hunting year calendar, it isn’t the only reason for the change. Colder weather hunting gear, in addition to taking on a brown color, requires greater insulation than the gear hunters wear in warmer seasons. We could be wrong, but we don’t think Cabela’s is quite to the point of making hunting clothing that shifts its insulation and warmth to suit both summer and winter hunters.