By Brandon Wikman
As late December approaches – so does Jack Frost. The northern parts of the United States are starting to see the worst of what late season brings, which is finger numbing, ice ridden weather that puts the freeze on many hunters.
There is certainly a right and wrong way to stay warm when it comes to hunting in frigid conditions, especially if you aren’t in a blind. Below you will find a few tips to keep you cozy when the weather isn’t.
Wear thermal underwear. You can purchase thermal underwear in virtually any apparel and clothing store. Slipping into thermals is a wise idea to get layered-up and ready to face the extreme cold.
Don’t forget your fleece-lined jeans. Fleece in general is very warm and prevents much of your core heat from escaping. Fleece lined jeans are an exceptional way to keep the heat in and cold out.
Slip on your long socks. These will keep your legs’ warmth in more closely, rather than just wearing pants and ordinary socks. You may want to prefer wool socks or even alpaca, which is the ultimate cold weather sock!
A jacket is a must. A good, thick zip up jacket is perfect for cold weather. It's warm, but also easy to put on and off. Get rid of those cotton jackets; buy wool or a good polyester jacket instead! Don't wear hoodies in extremely cold weather as this allows the wind to go through the fibers without the wind chill. You will be a lot warmer, so make sure you have a windproof jacket. Try synthetics like Gore-tex that let your sweat escape if you are doing vigorous activities like walking to and from your stand.
Other accessories such as gloves, scarves and beanies combine to be a critical asset in your gear choice. All of these items can add an extra warm flair to your outfit while also keeping you alert and on the ready!
The most important aspect of trying to stay warm in cold weather is to prevent your body from overheating, which leads to sweating. Many people jump into a snowmobile suit and walk to their stand. Unfortunately, by the time they arrive, climb the ladder, and get settled in, it’s far too late. Sweat is moisture. Moisture is our nasty cold enemy that will drastically drop your body’s temperature. Be sure to take your time walking to your stand and even yank off a few layers to prevent the sweat factor. I typically carry in most of my outer layers, which helps me out a ton.