Early in deer hunting season, summer is still petering out and many places around the country remain warm, but as the season progresses, the days get shorter and the air chills. As the seasons change, proper cold weather gear can greatly enhance the hunting experience. There are many varieties of cold weather clothing and ways to stay warm, but here are some essential items to consider when planning the next cold-weather hunt.
The key to staying warm in cold weather is layering up, and the base layer (the layer closest to the body) is an important consideration. Many companies make base layers, but the best options are those that are able to wick moisture away from the body. Cooling sweat does not help one warm up! Many outdoor companies sell solid options for base layers, including both tops and long underwear.
After the base layer, a wool sweater or fleece is a good option. Wool is a time-tested material that is partially water resistant and will keep you warm in cold conditions, but there are a lot of newer, lightweight options that will also get the job done.
Depending on the conditions during the day of the hunt, the outer layer should provide wind and/or rain protection. Unfortunately, rain pants can be pretty noisy when walking, but there are a number of quick-dry fabrics available that are fairly water resistant. The choice will really come down to the conditions on any given day, however. Explore Products offers a variety of outerwear designed for cold-weather hunting.
Feet and hands
Gloves or mittens are a crucial component of cold weather gear. Wool mittens provide a lot of warmth, and there are many brands that make the flip-open fingertips. Dexterity of the fingers is critically important during the hunt, so hand coverage that either flips open or lets you maintain dexterity is probably the best option.
While gloves are critical to have, hands can at least be sat on or tucked into armpits to warm up. Not so with feet. A thick wool sock will be hugely beneficial during cold weather and may be the difference between misery and comfort. You can scale up the thickness depending on how cold the weather is. It can also be nice to wear a liner sock under the wool to provide an extra layer against the cold and help keep the socks from slipping when they get wet.
For both hands and feet, it’s always a good idea to carry some feet and hand warmers, you never know when they may come in handy.
Much of the body’s heat is lost through the head, so it is essential to have good head gear if you want to stay warm. Wool hats are fairly easy to find, but a tightly woven hat will obviously keep your head warmer than a loosely woven hat. In addition to a hat, consider keeping a balaclava handy. The balaclava covers both the top of the head and neck, and can be pulled up over the nose for particularly blustery days.
Everybody has different preferences for staying warm, but following these basic guidelines will help any hunter stay warm in cold weather. Much of this gear is available through Explore Products.