6 Tips for Staying Warm

stayingwarm
A group of lady hunters in South Dakota in one of the state’s worst cold spells. They used many of the tips found here to help them enjoy the cold, works for hunting or fishing.

A group of women hunt in South Dakota in one of the state’s worst cold spells.  They used many of the above tips to help them enjoy the cold.  By Joe & Vel Byers

Staying dry and dressing in layers are a one-two punch that will tap out the cold on the worst of days.  Regardless of the quality of your gear, once you become sweaty, staying warm for any length of time is nearly impossible. Try these five tips to stay longer and enjoy winter more.

  1. Allow extra time to reach a distant tree stand or driving post.  Carry as many layers as needed over your shoulder or on a pack.  Then suit up. Walk with your shirt un-tucked and zippers open to allow for maximum air flow.  Carry an extra pair of warm socks and don’t double up unless your boots handle them easily.  The more compressed socks become, the poorer they insulate. Today’s wicking under-layers are terrific for keeping you dry, warm, and scent free.  Products from Under Armour, Scent Blocker, Scent Loc, Medalist, and other can reduce scent and lay a warm foundation.  Add an insulating fleece mid layer and an outer shell and you’ll be toasty for some time.  Pack a down vest to cover your lap and legs, a super solution if your knees tend to get cold.

    Late season hunting harbors all types of game. Autumn Ifland took this good muely buck on a drive that resulted in a well-placed shot.
    Late season hunting harbors all types of game. Autumn Ifland took this good muely buck on a drive that resulted in a well-placed shot.
  2. Today’s wicking under-layers are terrific for keeping you dry,warm, and scent free.  Products from Under Armour, Scent Blocker, Scent Loc, Medalist, and other can reduce scent and lay a warm foundation.  Add an insulating fleece mid layer and an outer shell and you’ll be toasty for some time.  Pack a down vest to cover your lap and legs, a super solution if your knees tend to get cold.
  3. Oxidizing hand and body warmers work incredibly well.  Pop one in each shirt pocket and feel the warmth.  Instead of holding a heat packet in your hand, which often causes sweating, put the heater on your wrist so it will heat the blood going to your fingers.  When it’s really cold, put one under your hat.
  4. Keep your buns warm.  A thick insulated cushion will help you hunt more comfortably and don’t forget your feet.  If you’ll be standing on the ground in snow cover, carry a small piece of carpet pad or other insulator to stand on. 

    Keeping your head warm is paramount. Kim Cahalan chose a face cover and multiple layers as her keep-warm strategy.
    Keeping your head warm is paramount. Kim Cahalan chose a face cover and multiple layers as her keep-warm strategy.
  5. In frigid weather, keeping our head warm is paramount.  If youhave to walk some distance to a stand, tuck your hat under your arm.  Covering your face is equally important, especially on windy days.  A light head net, like turkey hunters use, will make a surprising difference.  Ski masks are also ideal, especially if they allow your breath to flow without causing condensation on the mask. 
  6. Finally, think old-school and carry a small thermos of hot chocolate or coffee and your favorite snacks.  A sip or two of steaming liquid will warm your core and tasty munchies help pass time and keep your spirits high.  Remember, every monster buck harvested was just a little smaller the season before.  Unless you’re out there, you’re not in the game.