Cold weather can be a hunter’s worst enemy, but if you learn these six tips for staying warm during your next hunt, getting cold will no longer be an issue.
Proper preparation is the key to keeping the cold away. Hunters who are not prepared will likely find themselves worrying more about the weather than the details of the hunt, which can quickly ruin a hunting trip.
The fundamental key to staying warm is to dress in layers. Layers serve two purposes. First of all, layers create pockets of air, which help insulate your body and keep you warm. Secondly, layers can be removed when you start to perspire. Perspiration is a hunter’s worst enemy in cold weather because it will lead to your body cooling more quickly. This leads to a domino effect, which is difficult to reverse.
The layered approach should be applied to all portions of your clothing, including upper body, legs, feet and head. The inner layer should be a material that wicks moisture from your body, while the best outer layers are good insulators. Avoid cotton clothing, which absorbs moisture.
EAT FOR WARMTH
Eating specific food types will help you stay warmer during cold weather. The best foods are complex carbohydrates, such as pasta, oatmeal and peanut butter. Your body burns these foods more slowly, which provides more sustained energy to keep you warm.
Portable hand warmers can be a hunter’s best friend. Not only will they keep your hands warm, they can also be placed inside your coat or boots to keep your entire body warm. They are small and inexpensive, but few things are more valuable when it comes to staying warm on a hunt.
Your head and neck are areas that lose heat quickly if they are not covered properly. Wear a scarf, hat and hood to make sure these portions of your body are insulated, which will help your entire body stay warm.
If you are hunting in a stationary position on the ground, bring along a piece of cardboard or a foam pad to stand on. It does not seem significant, but it will help insulate your feet from the frozen ground, allowing your feet to stay warmer. The same materials can be used to insulate your rear end, if you are sitting on a metal tree stand.
If you start to get cold during your hunt, the best thing to do is get moving. Walk, jog, do jumping jacks – anything to get the blood circulating through your body. If you are in a tree stand it can be helpful just to stand up occasionally, to create better blood flow to your legs. Flexing your toes, feet and hands can also improve blood flow. While it is important to get moving to get warm, do not overdo it, so you begin perspiring. Start small and increase activity as necessary.
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