If you’re anything like me, there are few things that beat a late-season hunt.
Something about knowing that most of the world has given up or can’t stomach the cold that makes me want to go hunt even more.
When the days get shorter, and the temperatures drop, and while most of the world is asleep, I love making the long trek to a tree stand or hunting blind on a chilly dark morning.
But how do we keep the cold from getting to us?
There are great layering systems, but on those especially cold, windy midwestern mornings later in the season, they’re not always enough.
Here are five ideas to keep you warmer in the blind and hopefully longer in the field.
The jury is still out on these for some people but for others, like me, there’s also a passionate following. They may be non-traditional to some, but I love to use hybrid glove mittens to keep my hands warm on cold mornings.
Even if you have a standard pair of gloves, pulling your fingers into the palm area can allow for the transfer of heat from one finger to another, keeping your digits warmer longer.
The right pair of Glomitts should allow for easy access to your trigger finger at a moment’s notice for when that quick-moving trophy tries to squeeze by.
This is a pretty common solution to address getting cold. Where many go wrong though, is the placement of these wonderful little sauna pouches.
Sure keeping them in your boots or gloves can keep the tips of your digits from freezing, but the real power of these heat packs comes in their placement.
Some coats and shirts now include pockets for placement of small heat packs in strategic locations on the human body. You can even buy sleeves or shirts dedicated to this effort that place the heat packs over thin areas of your skin to keep warmth right next to your bloodstream.
This allows warm blood to travel throughout your body keeping everything nice and toasty.
One trick I like to do each morning before a cold hunt is to take my boots and gloves and lay them on or near a vent that’s carrying warm air from my home furnace.
Allowing even a few minutes by a furnace vent can increase the interior temp of your boots and gloves by a few degrees.
Finishing strong is often a matter of starting strong, and giving yourself the boost of even just a few extra degrees at the start of your cold-weather hunt may give you those additional precious minutes of warmth right when it counts.
I know I already threw a shot at layering, but it really might be the most critical step to surviving and enjoying cold weather hunts.
Outside of proper layering, there continues to be the development of new and interesting clothing tech. Heated vests and insoles are worth exploring if you’re the particularly cold-blooded type. Muffs, scarfs, balaclavas, and the like are also well worth considering if you’ll be exposed to wind or particularly cold temps for an extended period.
Choosing bibs over pants is another great way to eliminate a seam or gap in your clothing system that could allow for cool temps to sneak in.
Whether you’re in a box blind or a tree stand, a simple hack to ward off a chill is to utilize cardboard as a wind barrier.
Cover the seams in your blind with cardboard to keep a breeze from ripping through.
It works great for makeshift floors in treestands as well and keeps a simple layer between your boots and the cold metal, not to mention prevent cool air from blasting over your boots and the bottoms of your pants.
What other hacks would you add to this list?
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