Because hunting is often done in cold weather, special consideration must be given to staying warm.
- Dress in several layers of clothing to provide insulation. Also, layers can be added or removed to regulate body temperature.
- Start with a layer of synthetic underwear designed to wick away moisture from the skin, which will keep you drier and warmer.
- Select outerwear that is suitable for the weather.
- Many types of cold weather synthetic fabrics, such as fleece, are available. Synthetics are quiet, are water-resistant, and add warmth without weight.
- Wool clothing is an excellent insulator, even when wet. Wear it over synthetic undergarments to eliminate the itchy feeling of wool.
- Goose-down insulation is very lightweight and an excellent insulator. However, unless treated, down garments lose their insulation qualities when they are wet.
- Cotton clothing (underwear, T-shirts, jeans, flannel shirts) is a poor choice for cold, wet weather. When wet, cotton loses its already limited insulating ability and can cause rapid transfer of heat away from the body, increasing the risk of hypothermia.
- Be sure to cover your neck and head since a large amount of body heat is lost through these parts of the body. A neck gaiter or turtleneck pullover will reduce heat loss. Insulated hats will reduce heat loss from the head. Avoid hats with long bills that will get in the way when you shoot. Water-repellent hats are a wise choice if wet weather is expected. In extremely cold weather, insulated hoods on hunting coats or pullover-type caps will provide the best protection.
- Choose footwear that is sturdy and suitable for your hunting conditions.
- Many hunters prefer rubber boots that will help eliminate human scent from footwear. When purchasing boots, be sure to try them on with the type of socks you plan to wear when hunting. While you may have to purchase boots a size larger to accommodate more layers, keep in mind that loose boots can cause blisters.
- For extremely cold weather, insulated boots are available. Find a size that fits snugly but allows you to wiggle your toes, which will help keep your feet warm. Waterproof boots, such as those with Gore-Tex liners, are ideal in wet conditions.
- Wise hunters always carry one or two extra pairs of socks. Wet socks in cold weather make a hunter very uncomfortable.
Gore-Tex is a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates.