For some hunters, there’s no more rewarding season than winter. Staying warm, though, can be as tough as it is important. Being miserably cold is, well, miserable, and can make it harder to stay out for longer periods. Below, we’ll look at a few ways to keep Jack Frost at bay.
They’ve been around forever because they work. Today’s one-piece thermals are warmer and less bulky than they used to be. Look for stretchy fleece-type material for maximum warmth that doesn’t feel heavy or restricting. A warm first layer is one of the best ways to keep your body heat from escaping.
Since so much body heat escapes through our heads, it’s critical to keep our heads covered in extreme cold. There are now hats and caps that are warm on their own and also contain pouches for hot packs that sit on or near the neck for added warmth in addition to heat retention.
Some boots claim to keep your feet warm, but end up making your feet sweat, and wet feet don’t stay warm. Heated boot covers are designed to hold hand warmer packs in a pouch that rests right over your toes. They’re worn over your boots and can keep your feet toasty from sunup to sundown.
Heated back wraps
Most pharmacies and mega marts carry back, neck, arm, and leg wraps that are advertised as a way to deliver heat to sore muscles for as long as eight hours. They feature bands that wrap around the intended body part and fasten in a Velcro-type manner. Wearing one of the back wraps so that the heat is on your lower back and kidney area can help keep your whole body warm all day. SInce your blood flows through your kidneys, keeping your kidneys warm can help keep your blood, and therefore the rest of your body, warm. The heat delivered is steady, but there’s no danger of burns and no electricity or batteries to worry about.
Made like a sleeve that goes over your head and sits around your neck, a heated gaiter can help keep body heat contained. A model that allows you to insert hot packs (hand warmers) can help warm the blood flowing through the major pulse points in your neck.
Gloves or hand muffs
Many hunters don’t like wearing gloves since they tend to limit mobility. If you’re okay with gloves, adding a hand-heating pack can give you extra warmth. If you’d rather not worry about gloves, consider a hand muff that you can wear around your waist. Load it up with hand heaters, and you can keep your hands tucked in and toasty until you’re ready to line up a shot.
Lighter-weight rain gear can be very effective at blocking wind and retaining body heat. The fact that they’re impervious to rain is what helps keep wind out and body heat in.
If your rain jacket or other cold-weather jacket comes with a hood, use it. Again, you’re keeping wind out and your own body heat in. If your hood fits rather snugly, you can add a hot pack to generate additional heat.
Keeping warm during the coldest weather isn’t just a way to keep you comfortable as you wait for your prey. It’s also about keeping you safe and better able to concentrate on the job at hand, not to mention better able to move your fingers when it’s time to take your best shot.