Staying Warmon Dec 3, 2012
Beware of the Bulk
For your outer layers, again, keep bulk in mind. You can’t simply grab the biggest, heaviest parka on the shelf. Yes, that coat is probably very warm, but you can bet the farm it’s going to cause you problems when it comes time to shoot. Remember, lots of clothing manufacturers make outer layers specifically with bowhunters in mind. Their gear will have insulation and wind-proof material combined in garments that are sleek and form fitting, so they don’t interfere with a bowstring. Outerwear is not something you should buy from a catalog. You need to actually check out how it fits, and how it reacts in the drawing motion, to determine if it’s right for you.
Chemical hand-warmers will allow you to wear less clothing and avoid the problems that accompany a bulky jacket.
Plan on removing those outer layers for the hike to your hunting spot and while climbing into a tree stand. You want to minimize sweating as much as possible, and those heavy outer layers can cause you to overheat quickly when you’re exerting yourself. Just stuff them in a pack until you’re situated for the hunt. A thick, fleece or wool hat will keep your head warm. If you just have to wear a baseball hat, at least get a fleece hat to pull down over top of it to cover your ears. Facemasks and neck gaiters also are great for keeping those areas warm. When it comes to gloves, you’ve got two options. You can go thin, so you can shoot your bow while wearing your gloves. Or get a thick pair, and plan on removing them when it comes time to shoot. Personally, I prefer wearing thin gloves and having a muff around my waist to stuff my hands inside while sitting.
Keeping Your Piggies Warm
Finding the right boots is a tricky proposition. People’s feet react wildly different to cold weather. Simply put, some feet handle cold better than others. The problem with cold-weather boots is that the best insulating footwear – having at least 2,500 grams of Thinsulation seldom is the most comfortable for walking. These boots will keep your toes toasty on sub-zero days, but if you have to walk more than 50 feet in them, or climb into a tree stand, you’ll curse having bought them. They’re bulky, heavy, and with extra thick soles, they are built for turning ankles. Think about what you need your boots to do before selecting a pair. Fortunately, the next item can eliminate the need for super-heavy pac-boots.
Products like Hot Mocs will allow you to wear lighter boots but remain warm while on stand.