Ready to brave the cold to get your kill?
If there is one thing common between hunting and late season – it’s that they are both unpredictable but rewarding if you are persistent enough to pursue your goal.
Since temperatures are going to drop, you will experience your bone chills as your ears burn and finger freeze from the cold. But you don’t have to stay keeping yourself warm in front of a fireplace anymore.
It can be challenging but there are tons of solutions to help you out so that you could stay warm while hunting on the field and get that big buck. Below are tips to help you function during the cold and let you concentrate on your deer hunting.
#1 Get Layered-Up!
There are available thermally efficient clothes which has heat insulation and other modern products which can keep you warm while you hunt. However, if you do not have the budget to buy such, you can always stick to ‘layering’.
This is the first thing you should know – a person’s body creates heat, therefore if you want to feel warm inside, wear more clothes. The more layers you put, the more you put water away from your skin because the water will have to move to the layers, one after another which will enable the fabric near you to maintain its insulation and keep you warm. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you feel at ease.
The best fabrics to wear are: nylon, polypropylene, and wool. Nylon was waterproof qualities. Wool is also good at resisting water. However, it is heavy to wear. This is where polypropylene come in. Polypropylene is lightweight, soft and has great ‘wicking’ capabilities.
Don’t forget to pack a facemask, scarves and gloves too. Extra layers allows you to stay warm and dry and adds more flexibility to your movements. In addition, you can also try out shooting scenarios while trying out your outfit in order to ensure its comfortability.
Interested in buying thermally capable items? Check these out:
#2 Forget About Anything Related To Cotton
A big NO. Never ever use cotton when you’re out to hunt during winter. It’s impossible to dry out cotton once it’s soaked. A little bit of sweat also makes the difference because cotton will absorb every little drop from you like a sponge. It does not insulate because all of the air pockets in the cotton fabric will be filled with water.
In turn, you’ll feel cold. But the worse things that could happen to you are disorientation, hypothermia – which could possibly lead to your death once you experience getting chilled. That’s why some people say ‘cotton kills’.
Other fabrics you should not use are modal, rayon, lyocell, tencel – all of which are made from cellulose fiber. They absorb water at a faster rate than cotton! Silk also loses its insulation when it absorbs water.
If you have metal conductors such as steel in your area, do away with them or cover them so that the cold will not be conducted directly to your body. Minimize or totally move away from metal exposure.
#3 Foods You Need To Avoid And Eat Before And During The Hunt
Do away with spicy foods right before your plan to hunt in the cold. Foods like this will make you sweat on the day or during your hunt. Spicy foods stimulate neurotransmitters which can affect your sweat glands. For now, it is highly recommended to eat bland tasting foods.
Eat foods which help you prevent to have high blood sugar. You have to avoid it because if you have high blood sugar, it can make you feel cold. Instead, revel in foods which are under complex carbohydrates – this includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. You can eat pancakes and peanut butter toast to because these foods provide a lot of fuel in your body which you can burn to keep you warm!
For now, keep your sweets and foods with empty calories too. Some of the most famous examples of empty calories are potato chips and cookies.
Don’t forget to eat foods with protein too! Indulge in unprocessed meats plus rich beans with protein such as black-eyed peas and black beans.
Among these reminders, the most important one is to drink plenty of water – hydrate whenever you can! It is the best partner of a healthy well-balanced eating. If you are also well-hydrated, it will help you be alert and excited.
#4 Minimize Perspiration
Yes, you should watch out for your sweat too! If you are carrying a lot of things while walking or climbing, your activities will make you sweat. As I’ve said before, when you sweat, you’ll definitely get cold!
You can roll deodorant on your feet before you go hunting. Do this the night before because it will take six hours to take effect on your sweat glands. It will help you make your feet stay dry and dry feet equals to warmer feet.
Take your TIME while walking. Don’t be in a rush. If you have to restrain yourself from walking fast, DO IT. I promise you it will help you in the long run. Another suggestion for you is to leave early so that you can take short breaks on the way to your destination. Allow yourself to rest every 50 paces.
When you arrive at your destination, remove your socks and boots and change into a new one because your walk probably already generated moisture. If you don’t do this, you’ll freeze in the cold.
You can also use powder as a moisture absorbent. Put powder on your feet before you wear your socks. You can also put the powder in your socks as well. It is highly suggested to use an odorless powder so that the buck won’t smell your feet and go away.
Or if you are on a budget, baking soda is also a cheap alternative and is effective!
Here are products you can use:
#5 Your Boots Matters
Our feet get easily cold, that’s why if you are out to hunt this is one of the most important things you should know. First is to choose the right size. Make sure the boots are at least one inch above from your true size so that you can have room for your socks or if you consider wearing layers of socks plus space so that your toes can move about.
Don’t forget to consider picking a thick sole. This will help you prevent the cold from sneaking in. You can also buy waterproof boots just to be sure that no water will get into chill your whole body. To add, you can also put heat packs in between your boots if you can’t help but feel cold.
If you think a cardboard’s use is only for designs and boxes, you’re wrong. A little piece of cardboard placed under your feet will help guard your foot sole from the cold.
There are boots available that can protect you from -60 degrees Fahrenheit. But sometimes the cool air still manages to invade your boots. In cases like this, you can cut your cardboard into small parts and cover them where you can feel the air go in.
You can also use cotton balls to keep your toes warm. They also absorb moisture but once they are damp, change them right away.
Once you arrive at your spot, you can use a heated blanket while you’re out there. Aside from keeping your feet warm, it will also help in spreading the heat all over your body as well.
Again, make sure you use a scent-free detergent so that you won’t get unnecessary attention and distract your kill away from you.
If you’re making your first purchase, check out this site listing some of the best hunting boots.
Just follow the 5 tips and you’re definitely good to go on your hunting trip – put as many layers, don’t wear cotton, eat foods rich in carbohydrates, minimize your sweat, and choose the right boots!
Do not let the cold ruin your hunt. I’ve given the list of items you can buy as well as alternatives if you are on a tight budget. Make sure to get the best out of the cold season because it’s really a good opportunity to look and catch your kill. Stay hydrated, dry, and prevent the cold from coming.
Which idea do you like best? Have you tried other ways on how to stay warm while hunting? Tell us your experiences in the comment section.