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June 09, 2008

Out Cold

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Aye, lads, it's cold outside
Colder than the edge of an ice-bound pool;
Colder than the tip of an Eskimo's tool.
Aye, lads, it's a wee bit chilly
But not as cold as my boy Willy
He's dead--f**k him.

--Korean-War-era poem which I either heard in the Army or got from a book; it's hard to remember what's real and what isn't.

As hunters, it's part of our lot in life to be cold. The idea that you can be comfortable at all temperatures, no matter what you're doing, is a crock. Having frozen in various outdoor pursuits for 50 years or so, I can boil (no pun intended) the subject down to two great truths:

1) If you get wet, either from sweat, rain, or snow, you're in trouble.
2) If you can't keep the wind off, you're in trouble.

All else is advertising copy.

Here are some more truths:

Wind goes through wool, period. If you have a wool coat, you better have something windproof to wear underneath.

If you really work hard, your "moisture-permeable membrane" which "allows sweat to escape" will parboil you.

Down will do the same. On two occasions, I've seen condensed sweat roll out of the inside of a down jacket like rain off a roof.

But neither will leave you drenched and steaming like oiled cotton, which is beloved of the British and yuppie sporting clays shooters.

Some people can take a lot more cold than others. So if you are sensitive to cold, follow Gresham's Laws (Grits', not Sir Thomas') which states:

If you don't bring it, you can't wear it.
If I don't bring it, it's because I don't own it.

The most useful item of cold-weather clothing that no one seems to sell: Back in the 60s, ski shops used to carry wool fishnet undershirts from Scandinavia that kept the sweat off your hide and did not stink. They seem to have vanished. There are poly versions around, but after two days like this you will reek like a cage filled with baboons.

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from Jim wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,That net thermal underwear is still available from Brynje of Norway. The original cotton is a bit cheaper than the newer synthetic fiber net thermals, but I think it still works as good today as it did back in the 60's.I wouldn't know tho, I wasn't born until 79.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Chuck,I agree with you fully about the need to always be prepared. I grew up in MN which, compared to ND seems nearly civilized and over populated! I have now lived in Alaska for 50 years.My comment was more to preparation for those times when you know you may be separated from the luxuries mentioned and have no recourse to that but what you have with or on you.cheers,dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, I didn't mean to double post.dg

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,These are the books I was referring to: "My Life with the Eskimos" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson.A read will show that Stefansson lived quite fully with the Eskimos, although the results of his co-habitation are not revealed in the book they are quite well known by followers of his history. Upon the return from this expedition he held for to his NYC audience that they lived on nothing but meat. He was roundly denounced, as the 'experts' knew it was impossible to live on nothing but meat. Whereupon he undertook a program to live for one year under medical supervision on nothing but meat. At the end of the year he proved healthier than most!!!"My Life in the Frozen Arctic" by Peter Freuchen.Relates his early living in northern Greenland, above Thule, along with Knud Rassmussen. Both were Danes.Also see: "Arctic Survial" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. To quote, "This Manual was written for the Air Corps of the United States Army, but the reasons for it go back to civilian flying, indeed to the first job of ordinary commercial air transport between North America and Asia. They go back also to Alaska's first Arctic airplane tragedy." (This being the crash and death of Carl Ben Eielson while attempting to haul furs from the vessel Nanuk which had been caught in ice and forced to over-winter near North Cape on the easter Siberan coast of the Bering Sea, to market in Nome.)Read and enjoy!!dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,These are the books I was referring to: "My Life with the Eskimos" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson.A read will show that Stefansson lived quite fully with the Eskimos, although the results of his co-habitation are not revealed in the book they are quite well known by followers of his history. Upon the return from this expedition he held for to his NYC audience that they lived on nothing but meat. He was roundly denounced, as the 'experts' knew it was impossible to live on nothing but meat. Whereupon he undertook a program to live for one year under medical supervision on nothing but meat. At the end of the year he proved healthier than most!!!"My Life in the Frozen Arctic" by Peter Freuchen.Relates his early living in northern Greenland, above Thule, along with Knud Rassmussen. Both were Danes.Also see: "Arctic Survial" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. To quote, "This Manual was written for the Air Corps of the United States Army, but the reasons for it go back to civilian flying, indeed to the first job of ordinary commercial air transport between North America and Asia. They go back also to Alaska's first Arctic airplane tragedy." (This being the crash and death of Carl Ben Eielson while attempting to haul furs from the vessel Nanuk which had been caught in ice and forced to over-winter near North Cape on the easter Siberan coast of the Bering Sea, to market in Nome.)Read and enjoy!!dickgun

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

By golly Ol’eyeball just about said it, polypropylene is one of the best materials I know of. Keeping dry and comfortable without overexertion is the key to an all out day in the most frigid conditions. In Alaska ATVing in minus -35 degrees, polypropylene long johns, Military BDU pants, Military cold weather brown wool sweater, BDU Shirt next size larger or so to accommodate the Wool sweater, Winter BDU jacket and fat boy pants and a good pair of Sorel® Caribou Boots is my #1 pick. Or a pair of Danners. Any how looks like everything has been said, See yall later! By the way, once your on your stand, make sure the snow is off your boots top of your toe!

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from jes wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

You know, I'm really glad you mentioned it, Dave, because the best combination I have ever had was a wind breaker outer shell, and simply and only, thinsulate on the inside. Nowdays, they have to dress it up with all them damn infernal "mem brains", which aren't worth a half brain, except as a raincoat, in which case they are fine..... Any or all of those membranes you're going to sweat under, if you even half work at it....

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from Rusty In Missouri wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

I live in northern MO and we have our share of cold and wind so it pays to know how to dress. Great points about clothing to keep you warm but one thing not mentioned is shooting with all the additional gear on.I have found that you need to do some practice with additional clothing on. It will make shouldering the weapon very different than just wearing one shirt.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

BuckstopperGood catch! Another self-confessed perp or B.S.'er caught in the act.There were 2 bozo's in my son's store bragging about spring turkey success and how they bagged a couple of grouse, too. All well and good until the game warden listening to their tale from down the aisle followed them out to their truck and wrote citations for out of season grouse and having loaded weapons in their vehicle.LOL

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

BuckstopperGood catch! Another self-confessed perp or B.S.'er caught in the act.There were 2 bozo's in my son's store bragging about spring turkey success and how they bagged a couple of grouse, too. All well and good until the game warden listening to their tale from down the aisle followed them out to their truck and wrote citations for out of season grouse and having loaded weapons in their vehicle.LOL

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from Dave Petzal wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

To Dickgun: What are the titles of the two books? I'd like very much to read them.

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from Chuck wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dickgun,sounds good but that same attitude almost got me killed a bunch of years ago.I grew up in Nebraska, where back in the 50's &60's (my formative years) it could get a mite chilly.I forgot to plug in the block heater on night, it was -35 F real temp, weatherman claimed -80 F windchill. My dad made me go plug it in. I never forgot to plug it in ever again.Forward a bunch of years, probably early 90's, I was going deer hunting Last day of season in Oklahoma and not only did I not get my deer, I fell into a bar ditch up to my crotch in very cold water. But My truck was in my visual field when I went down and the water wasn't frozen so I walked back to my truck. In my fanny pack, I had a survival kit, with 5 ways to start a fire, but I knew the truck could heat me up faster than building a fire or changing clothes(it was too much trouble)As I pulled out of the area I was hunting in (northern OKlahoma) I figured it would take me an hour &1/2 to drive a little more than 100 miles South. No sweat.I thought.Now,You would think a guy who spent four years in the early 70's playing around in funny green uniforms shooting guns and blowing things up and playing SAR would remember that thing called SURVIVAL SCHOOL and the basics that we were taught.But, no, I had now been to UNIVERSITY and was working in Emergency Rooms where I saw people every day who were doing dumb things to get themselves killed. I was TOO smart to get hurt here.The thermostat blew in my truck so all I was getting was cold air blowing on me, no heater at all, Then a snow-ice storm blew in. High winds, no visibilty as I got on I35 at mile 211 there at the Love's and drove south, with the road so slick my truck would fishtail if I got above 35mph.Then I came upon an accident I got out to see what I could do and immediately lost a whole lot of body heat with 30 40 mph winds, maybe more. Nobody had a cell phone, I made sure everyone was as safe as my fuzzed over brain could let me and I got in my truck and drove to the nearest town, found a restaurant on the highway, a phone, and there was no 911 there,I called the operator and told her what happened. she called the OHP. A waitress looked at me and asked if was OK, I said something got a very bad cup of coffee and pulled out on the highway to go home.It took me 3 hours to drive 110 miles, I began to hallucinate that deer were in the road in front of me, several cars around me became deer, as they lost control as they passed me on I35. Other than that I remember very little about the trip home.When I did get home, how I don't know, I was shaking like a leaf in a tornado and my body temp wouldn't register on the oral thermometer we had in the house. My wife did get me to take some hot soup and some hot chocolate and then I went to bed under an electric blanket and an electric heating pad. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I had worked the night before, I got off a 4:00 AM so I could go hunting. I should be dead just from this incident alone. (yes I've had others)I have survived only by the grace of God, and by having some outstanding guardian angels. I'll talk about them at a later date.So you need to always think survival.If you don't you may be a casualty.Chuck

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from Buckstopper wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

RipperIII:You say your first deer hunt was in February in Alabama?!! I hope you are a youth or someone who accompanied a youth(GOD Bless you) on the first weekend and went duck hunting or hog hunting instead! Let me give you a heads up. Deer season ends Jan 31st. More sage advise, don't go bowhunting the first week of October in AL it won't start till the 15th. Youth deer gun hunts are the weekend before gun season starts. Youth duck hunts are the first weekend in Feb. Hogs can be hunted year round.

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from Richard G. wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

I can remember the Boy Scout meeting with the parents. They were worried about Junior going camping in the winter. I would tell them, "The only way to learn how to stay warm, is to get cold and the only way to learn how to stay dry, is to get wet!"Lots of sage advice from a bunch of guys who have obviously frozen their asses off!It's the same thing as, I've never been lost. If someone says they've never been cold, they simply have not been in cold weather!How many of you have had hypothermia? Where, When, What were you doing, what did you do?For me Backpacking in the Smokies, Fall, backpacking, it rained and my Gortex failed badly, cut down a tree (a no no, but I was shaking so hard I could stop it) and built a nice fire.Richard G.Troy, NC

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, guys, but as long as you can get back to the truck, 4X or cabin/house you can't be talking cold survival wear. Cold uncomfortable wear, yes.Read Stefansson or Fruechen re: cold weather survival clothing - and this goes back a long, long way.still warm,dickgun

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Bubba,I dress similar to you but a little bit better since it can get a little colder here. But I don't put it on till at stand or blind cause I may not need it. Especially my socks/boots, thats always been my downfall. And its true that if you sweat gettin there, you'll freeze once your there.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

No cotton for me period. Our season begins in mid Nov adn it usually in the low 20's. I wear wool long johns, top and bottom, wool shirt, wool pants. Bought a coat from LL Beam that the outter shell is Nylon adn 330 Polyster lining. I have a Vest of same material. Wear both if necessary. AS for boots, bought dozens of pairs, feet still groze. The I got a pair of Lowa l0" boots and cold feet problem stopped with a paur of wool socks. Always carry a rain slicker, both for rain, snow or just plain old wind. If can keep thE wind out, I can maKE IT ok. i ALSO HAVE A old (3o or more yrs) Sears Ski suit that is nylon outter and down lined. You will not get cold in that suit, but its a tad clumbsy to wear as is very thick adn have a little trouble getting teh gun butt in correct position when shoot, but will keep you warm. I do use teh heat packs at times in my gloves and shoes. Always wear a hat or tobaggan. Hunted in MT a few ys back, was l3 deg below o when we pulled in to our park place. Being disabled/handicapped,I do get much colder than the average active guy. I either have to stand hunt or can walk a few steps and sit on my stool. After lst few days of l00+ deg. ready for the cold days of Nov. when season opens. Excited about this season as got one of the new MArlin XL7's in 270 and want to see if will do as well as my Rem CDL 700 in o6 or my 700 25-06 on deer. HAd planned on a western trip but never drew in 3 states. Thought would be no problem this year with the ecomony so bad,but decided us hunting nuts gonna go hunting regardless. Hopefully will draw in fall and I;m around to go. Good-hunting guys, shoot straight and often

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Here's my two cents worth if anyone cares.As a kid, I put on enough cotton clothing to stock the local K. Wolens for a winter. I sweated all the way to the stand and immediately froze!I've tried all kinds of tricks. Electric socks worked very well but walking on the little wires hurt like blue blazes! Wool makes me itch! Silk feels slimely to me!For my area of Oklahoma, I wear a tee shirt with some type heavy shirt (flannel, wool) over that. Jeans on the bottom and plain ol' cotton, athletic type cotton socks on the feet. A set of insulated bibs and an insulated coat (with hood) top off my ensemble! A good insulated cap with a sock hat to cover the ears is always in a pocket when needed along with some insulated gloves.My feet get cold, but until they absolutely go numb, I can deal with it!Wet weather? Once I get cold, I'm okay, working to keep body heat up. If I ever go back in a warm up, I don't (can't!) go back out for the rest of the day!Bubba

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Ahhhh but the real trick is walking an hour with climbing treestand on your back, weapon, flashlights, and not sweating in the process while still having the necessary clothing to stay 30 feet in the air staying completely motionless from 5 to 5... ATV's are loud and smell and I'm just not going to use one on general purposes. That's where my ethics draw the line in the sand.

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from Dale wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

All too many spoke of wearing cotton. That is a no-no in cold weather!Polypropelene base then fleece and/or wool top and bottomsI'm 72; learned 2000 gram insulated leather not up to felt boots in rubber/leather boots. a muff with 2 small air activated warmers with silk gloves. Try a British army wool sweater--cheap! Chemical warmers in boots work! I have diabetes keeping warm for 12 hours on stand lets me advise others as to what works

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

SBWAs we used to say in the Navy: "A blinding glimpse of the obvious"!

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from suburban bushwacker wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Great point Jack"The quickest way to figure out how to deal with all that is to go to the nearest construction site nearest to the area you want to hunt and see what the guys who are out in it all day long trying to do their job wear. It's not that different from the needs for hunting. They work, they sweat. They can't quit and run home every time they step in a puddle, get sweaty or it rains a little."That has the clarity of the Elusive Obvious!SBW

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from eyeball wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Polypro long underwear all the way in cold weather. With that on underneath, almost anything with loft and wind resistance that you put on over it will keep you warm.Now to the main event; three things that get coldest when you are on stand are your head, your feet, and your butt. All my hoods make noise when I turn my head in them, so I like a neck cover and separate hat, and wear a mask only if it is really, really cold. Boots, you need thick pacs, LaCrosse or Sorrels, etc. with lofty wool socks on your feet. Tie the laces tight when you walk and loosen them when you get squared away on your stand; your feet will stay warmer with a little more room for circulation. And an insulated, waterproof sitting pad is a good thing for your backside. Keep these three parts warm and the rest of you will be fine. Don't forget that you are out there to hunt; if you have clothes on that keep you warm but make noise every time you move, you are wasting your time. Wool's real advantage is that it can be made to be quiet.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are still having snow in higher elevations! Ski resorts are loving this Global Warming!Hunting out here is mostly about keeping dry so rain gear is indespensible!I was not a hunter when I lived in West Virginia but I worked outside year round -- including sub-zero winter. Similar to Grisham's Law, we would say, "You can always take it off if you brought it; but you can't put it on if you didn't!"

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from paul Wilke wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Keep your head, hands and feet warm and every thing else is a picnic.Jeep cap and hooded sweatshirt for the head.Silk gloves for the hands(ask at a funeral parlor),covered with wool gloves and toped with leather gloves or leather mittens(called choppers up north).Dress socks(top of calf) covered with wool socks(big thick wool socks) and a pair of leather boots that fit.Top that with a military gore-tex parka/with hood!Got it made!

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Mark-1Go get yourself a wool Stormy Kromer cap or one of the Filson hunting hats, the kind that fold down into a hood. That's my go-to cold weather gear.

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from VATXHUNTER wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Boot Blanketshttp://www.icebreakerinc.com/php/bootBlanket.php

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from VATXHUNTER wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Try Boot Blankets too keep the feet warm while on satnd.You carry them in to your stand and then slip them right over your boots. I have not had a cold toe since I started using them.Only drawback I can think of it is just one more thing you need to carry in.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hehe, one advantage of being FAT! All I have to do is walk a few yards to warm up! Me and the boy (thin, athletic, jock-type) were hunting in around zero (F) a few years ago and I was trying to keep up with him, he was verging on hypothermia and I was sweating buckets with both of us dressed equally in layers! Ended up having to head home early, me to change into dry clothes and him a Hot shower to warm up.I usually wear a pair of sweat pants under my camo pants, if it is gonna be below zero and windy I will wear my insulated pants. Got to have thinsulate boots, last year I wore non-insulated boots and after loosing touch with my feet after a few hours walking in snow I had to go home. Not a good thing.Top gets a long sleeve cotton Tshirt, sweatshirt, insulated vest, nylon jacket, and long parka.Head gets one of several different knit hats and a GI Helmet Liner if it gets really cold and windy, if you have never worn one you don't know what your missing, really great for cold windy days.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Don't have time to comment, going to give some serious tips how to stay warm like ATV and snowmobiling at 30 below or a 110 above, rain sleet or snow you can do it! Stay tuned Sportsfans :)

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from hardwoodjdc wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

We have found the answer to staying warm in Mi. winters while deer hunting! Go out in August and build yourself a nice blind W/ plexiglas sliding windows and a propane Mr. Heater, a shelf to sit your Readers Digest on. A 4" pipe thru the roof to get the scent up and away, a place to lean your gun, and don't forget the carpet on the floor. After 40yrs. of freezing this works great, at least on private land. Oh and don't forget that roll of TP!

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from Old Bull wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

It's all worth the suffering once that furry critter walks out though. You ever notice however many layers we have on, when it's time to dress one out, the layers come off?I would not trade a moment of it.

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from Bill (NOT Maher!) wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Drill Sgt. Dave,I think you covered it all and I totally agree. I have frozen for over 50 years too and wonder every year what a sane man is doing freezing to death, yet I still do it!Good comments!

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hunting,fishing, walking, running, dressing game, getting wet, all in the cold and rain.The quickest way to figure out how to deal with all that is to go to the nearest construction site nearest to the area you want to hunt and see what the guys who are out in it all day long trying to do their job wear. It's not that different from the needs for hunting. They work, they sweat. They can't quit and run home every time they step in a puddle, get sweaty or it rains a little.Around here in the cold of winter you see a lot of bib Carharts over long johns and heavy shirts and an insulated hooded Carhart jacket for the worst of the weather.Removing the jacket, unzipping legs or bibs, layer after layer I think you'll find it's easy to accomodate the day from starting in the dark through the day and finishing in the dark.

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Jim in MoI have been looking at those over-boots which go on your feet after you've schlepped into your stand. They will take a bit of walking around, such as to stretch the stiff knees, you loosen your regular boots up and then zip these babies over 'em.RipperSome of the above over-boots have pockets for warmer packs those might even keep my feet warm! I would not use a lighter-fluid hand warmer as the smell is likely to spook every whitetail in the county.SA

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Helleva subject as I’m sweating in this June heat wave…..BUT:I have a good pair of -20 boots w/wool socks. Anything more in insulation are too hot in this Lower 48. I like silk long underwear under a pair of military surplus Swedish wool army pants. I usually wear turtleneck sweaters under a chamois shirt, and have a good Filson coat. I have a wool vest, but I prefer a very old insulated coat insert that’s very warm and thin. My gloves are USAF pilot issue. This combination isn’t too bulky and I have good freedom of movement.Cold weather hats are a problem. I’ve not found one that will stay on my noodle and the wind won’t come through. Balaclava’s and Mad Bomber’s are so-so as are the Montana cold weather Fudd caps with that furry ball on top [Use to call them North Dakota Cowboy hats].

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from Blue Ox wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

DJM,Whereabouts around Chi-town are youse at?

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

SilverArrow,I'm with you, my feet are the first to go. I've invested well in good socks. Layered properly. When I get in my truck to leave home/camp I'm wearing cheap socks and tennis shoes till I arrive so I don't sweat.But I want to tell you of something I read in either F&S or Outdoor Life some time ago about staying warm on stand. He stated that once you arrive pull bread bags over your boots and secure them to your calfs with rubber bands. It may keep the heat in, never tried it.And before anyone asks, yes remove bread first.

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

As YooperJack, Old Bull and I can tell you, it is no picnic in the park living next to the Great Lakes in winter. We usually get heavy winds and lake affect snow off them. It is not bad the farther inland you go but out near the lakes forget it. 20 to 30 MPH winds on top of bitter cold. It is hard to hunt when your teeth are chattering and you can not hold still. The Wind and cold will cut right through any clothing you wear eventually. It is not uncommon to get frost bite on any exposed skin in a matter of seconds in weather like that.Tom the Troll

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from DJM wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I am from Georgia, and currently live in Chicago-land, IL. As im still not used to this weather, I like dressing warm. I know people that invest in single large, nice parkas that hold them up for the season nice and warm, but they buy a new one every other year. They ridicule me for looking like a hobo in 2-3 flannals, a hoodie, a couple tee-shirts, underarmor, and wool long-johns, and a waterproof shell, but you know what? it lasts for years, im still warm, and it actually pretty cheap for all the clohes you wind up getting. Throw in some jeans, lower-half long-john, wool socks and waterproof boots, with a warm hat, and you will (most likely) never hear me complain of the cold.DJM

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from B. Cameron wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I layer the bejesus out of my clothing when I hunt. Deer season in upstate NY (that's Fingerlakes to you, Dave, not Westchester) has a habit of getting downright nippy - ten degrees with a wind chill below zero is not unheard of. Twenty and a wind chill around zero is more common.For those really cold days, it's:- UnderArmor mockneck/leggings- long johns top and bottom- base layer socks- fleece pants (they're pajama pants, but they're warm!), fleece shirt- heavy wool socks- flannel shirt- sweatshirt- winter parka- balaclava- fleece hat/boonie hat- liner gloves- glommits w/ handwarmers- LLBean Maine Hunting bootsYeah, it makes a heck of a pile on the bedroom floor, but it's warm, and I can layer up and down easily.

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

...as a post script, I bought all of my gear at close-outs from several of the big box stores(except the boots)with a total out of pocket cost right at $100.00.I would like to upgrade a bit this year, especially on some bowhunting type apparal any suggestions?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Amen Brian.I can hunt longer, stay on stand, walk further, and be more able to get closer to the game if I am warm and somewhat dry. I generally stay in the field long after some of my buddies have headed to the truck!Inside of 350 yards, any "standard" caliber will do!

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

good afternoon Gentlemen,my first ever deer hunt took place this February on the coldest weekend recorded in the State of Alabama in 50+ years, snow,ice and low teen's temps in the a.m.. I wore a layer of underarmor sheathed in wool then topped off in insulated water proof camo...oversized at that. Two pair of socks, first layer thin silk skiing socks topped off with thick wool hiking socks stuffed into insulated Vasgue hiking boots. I stayed toasty warm and dry each of my 4 rounds on stand with the slight exception that my feet got cold around 9:00 a.m. of the 2nd day, 26 degrees by 10:00 a.m. I did not use hand or feet warmers,...do they work?

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from rob wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Try the new Arcteryx wool - Very soft, wicking, warm, and does not smell. Patagonia capilene is some of the best long underwear made, but it does stink, but it wicks like a sponge. I wear both of these under my Filson tin pants (waxed cotton) and have no complaints of moisture.None of this is cheap, but what is that's good and lasts more than a season?

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from Chris wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Agreed. I think the biggest mistakes are:1) Not bringing proper gear for the weather (underestimating cold, rain, wind, etc).2) Putting on too much gear, too soon.If you work up a big sweat on the way to the blind, you're going to have a heck of a time staying warm. Dress just warm enough to keep from getting chilled on the way to the blind... err on the side of wearing too little. If, after 5 minutes or so of walking you're still cold, then slowly add layers.

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from brian wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

We outdoorsmen should probably worry more about our protection from the elements than deciding which magnum rifle retains more energy at 800 yards.

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from jack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Having been broken down and busted in the cold in the middle of nowhere (no phone, no engine, no common sense) during one of my "invincible moments", I now keep a pack of spare clothing in the truck. It's not designer stuff, nor is it pricey - but it's warm.

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from sarah brady wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

One of the best investments I've made is a large daypack that allows me to carry (not wear) my really-cold weather clothes. I always walk to my stand with my coat unbuttoned, too. Working up a sweat on the way to the stand makes for a miserable hunt. And I like wool - sweaters, socks, coats, pants - but only over a layer of polypro or underarmor. I once sat on stand for 6 hours in -15 temperatures, with a wind chill of -65 wearing those layers. The deer were smarter than me that day. I never saw a one.

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I hear you Dave! Once I am cold, especially my feet, I am about done and it is axiomatic that no miracle fiber seems to keep my feet warm. I have tried hundreds of dollars worth of miracles and found the best solution was cheapest; a one size too big pair of rubber slogger boots from KMart for $18.97 coupled with a thick wool pac boot insert and a couple pair of wool socks, feels like I am walking on pillows too! I add a wool watch cap and a windproof overcap, a Dacron 88 filled vest from Sears (was about 9 bucks, and a pair of wool long johns under a thinsulate coverall. I keep my pit-zippers open and the hat off on a longer walk in and sit in a folding chair rather than on cold ground or rocks. I bring in a big jug of water and an empty 3 liter pop bottle so I can stay hydrated and still be comfortable enough to be still.I have found that if I am very active during a cold weather outing I need to stay hydrated as well as dress in layers; should you come upon me splitting wood for instance I will be in a tee shirt and the aforementioned wool longjohns plus a pair of my size boots for good support and traction. If I work up a sweat then the cotton tee shirt comes off and is replaced with a dry one before I put any additional layers on.When out in cold weather I ALWAYS plan ahead for what I will do if I do inadvertantly get wet or the wind picks up to uncomfortable levels.SA

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Dave:I well remember the Scandinavian fishnet tops and long handles, and still have about three sets packed away in my gear somewhere. Sitting on a hard chair makes the skin on your butt look like diamond-plate.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I agree with Yooper;wool is a good compromise but i still dress in layers with cotton,nylon, or whatever the weather dictates.Wind here in MI isn't really a problem with our trees for cover.I remember the wool mesh sking undershirts in the past with some copy-cat ones marketed in the 80's and 90's never used them, though?Ever hear of a fiberglass sleeping bag? Well, I used one before and had a miserable night to wake frozen and itchy. I tossed that bag in the next dumpster we came across in town.

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Excuse typo, meant to say being, not beding.Yooperjack

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hey Dave, normally I would relish this column at this time of the year. Unfortunately, its still cold up here! In nearly 50 years of beding outside up here in the winter, I think wool is the best compromise. Even in leaf-off, if your in a somewhat mature forest, wind becomes much less of a problem. I think the boles of the trees break it up to the point you can live with it. Also, wool breathes enough to dissapate your sweat. I've often wondered what I would do with the same temps, same wind and a treeless environment, however.YooperJack

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from Jim wrote 5 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,That net thermal underwear is still available from Brynje of Norway. The original cotton is a bit cheaper than the newer synthetic fiber net thermals, but I think it still works as good today as it did back in the 60's.I wouldn't know tho, I wasn't born until 79.

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Chuck,I agree with you fully about the need to always be prepared. I grew up in MN which, compared to ND seems nearly civilized and over populated! I have now lived in Alaska for 50 years.My comment was more to preparation for those times when you know you may be separated from the luxuries mentioned and have no recourse to that but what you have with or on you.cheers,dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, I didn't mean to double post.dg

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,These are the books I was referring to: "My Life with the Eskimos" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson.A read will show that Stefansson lived quite fully with the Eskimos, although the results of his co-habitation are not revealed in the book they are quite well known by followers of his history. Upon the return from this expedition he held for to his NYC audience that they lived on nothing but meat. He was roundly denounced, as the 'experts' knew it was impossible to live on nothing but meat. Whereupon he undertook a program to live for one year under medical supervision on nothing but meat. At the end of the year he proved healthier than most!!!"My Life in the Frozen Arctic" by Peter Freuchen.Relates his early living in northern Greenland, above Thule, along with Knud Rassmussen. Both were Danes.Also see: "Arctic Survial" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. To quote, "This Manual was written for the Air Corps of the United States Army, but the reasons for it go back to civilian flying, indeed to the first job of ordinary commercial air transport between North America and Asia. They go back also to Alaska's first Arctic airplane tragedy." (This being the crash and death of Carl Ben Eielson while attempting to haul furs from the vessel Nanuk which had been caught in ice and forced to over-winter near North Cape on the easter Siberan coast of the Bering Sea, to market in Nome.)Read and enjoy!!dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dave Petzal,These are the books I was referring to: "My Life with the Eskimos" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson.A read will show that Stefansson lived quite fully with the Eskimos, although the results of his co-habitation are not revealed in the book they are quite well known by followers of his history. Upon the return from this expedition he held for to his NYC audience that they lived on nothing but meat. He was roundly denounced, as the 'experts' knew it was impossible to live on nothing but meat. Whereupon he undertook a program to live for one year under medical supervision on nothing but meat. At the end of the year he proved healthier than most!!!"My Life in the Frozen Arctic" by Peter Freuchen.Relates his early living in northern Greenland, above Thule, along with Knud Rassmussen. Both were Danes.Also see: "Arctic Survial" by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. To quote, "This Manual was written for the Air Corps of the United States Army, but the reasons for it go back to civilian flying, indeed to the first job of ordinary commercial air transport between North America and Asia. They go back also to Alaska's first Arctic airplane tragedy." (This being the crash and death of Carl Ben Eielson while attempting to haul furs from the vessel Nanuk which had been caught in ice and forced to over-winter near North Cape on the easter Siberan coast of the Bering Sea, to market in Nome.)Read and enjoy!!dickgun

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

By golly Ol’eyeball just about said it, polypropylene is one of the best materials I know of. Keeping dry and comfortable without overexertion is the key to an all out day in the most frigid conditions. In Alaska ATVing in minus -35 degrees, polypropylene long johns, Military BDU pants, Military cold weather brown wool sweater, BDU Shirt next size larger or so to accommodate the Wool sweater, Winter BDU jacket and fat boy pants and a good pair of Sorel® Caribou Boots is my #1 pick. Or a pair of Danners. Any how looks like everything has been said, See yall later! By the way, once your on your stand, make sure the snow is off your boots top of your toe!

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from jes wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

You know, I'm really glad you mentioned it, Dave, because the best combination I have ever had was a wind breaker outer shell, and simply and only, thinsulate on the inside. Nowdays, they have to dress it up with all them damn infernal "mem brains", which aren't worth a half brain, except as a raincoat, in which case they are fine..... Any or all of those membranes you're going to sweat under, if you even half work at it....

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from Rusty In Missouri wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

I live in northern MO and we have our share of cold and wind so it pays to know how to dress. Great points about clothing to keep you warm but one thing not mentioned is shooting with all the additional gear on.I have found that you need to do some practice with additional clothing on. It will make shouldering the weapon very different than just wearing one shirt.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

BuckstopperGood catch! Another self-confessed perp or B.S.'er caught in the act.There were 2 bozo's in my son's store bragging about spring turkey success and how they bagged a couple of grouse, too. All well and good until the game warden listening to their tale from down the aisle followed them out to their truck and wrote citations for out of season grouse and having loaded weapons in their vehicle.LOL

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

BuckstopperGood catch! Another self-confessed perp or B.S.'er caught in the act.There were 2 bozo's in my son's store bragging about spring turkey success and how they bagged a couple of grouse, too. All well and good until the game warden listening to their tale from down the aisle followed them out to their truck and wrote citations for out of season grouse and having loaded weapons in their vehicle.LOL

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from Dave Petzal wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

To Dickgun: What are the titles of the two books? I'd like very much to read them.

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from Chuck wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Dickgun,sounds good but that same attitude almost got me killed a bunch of years ago.I grew up in Nebraska, where back in the 50's &60's (my formative years) it could get a mite chilly.I forgot to plug in the block heater on night, it was -35 F real temp, weatherman claimed -80 F windchill. My dad made me go plug it in. I never forgot to plug it in ever again.Forward a bunch of years, probably early 90's, I was going deer hunting Last day of season in Oklahoma and not only did I not get my deer, I fell into a bar ditch up to my crotch in very cold water. But My truck was in my visual field when I went down and the water wasn't frozen so I walked back to my truck. In my fanny pack, I had a survival kit, with 5 ways to start a fire, but I knew the truck could heat me up faster than building a fire or changing clothes(it was too much trouble)As I pulled out of the area I was hunting in (northern OKlahoma) I figured it would take me an hour &1/2 to drive a little more than 100 miles South. No sweat.I thought.Now,You would think a guy who spent four years in the early 70's playing around in funny green uniforms shooting guns and blowing things up and playing SAR would remember that thing called SURVIVAL SCHOOL and the basics that we were taught.But, no, I had now been to UNIVERSITY and was working in Emergency Rooms where I saw people every day who were doing dumb things to get themselves killed. I was TOO smart to get hurt here.The thermostat blew in my truck so all I was getting was cold air blowing on me, no heater at all, Then a snow-ice storm blew in. High winds, no visibilty as I got on I35 at mile 211 there at the Love's and drove south, with the road so slick my truck would fishtail if I got above 35mph.Then I came upon an accident I got out to see what I could do and immediately lost a whole lot of body heat with 30 40 mph winds, maybe more. Nobody had a cell phone, I made sure everyone was as safe as my fuzzed over brain could let me and I got in my truck and drove to the nearest town, found a restaurant on the highway, a phone, and there was no 911 there,I called the operator and told her what happened. she called the OHP. A waitress looked at me and asked if was OK, I said something got a very bad cup of coffee and pulled out on the highway to go home.It took me 3 hours to drive 110 miles, I began to hallucinate that deer were in the road in front of me, several cars around me became deer, as they lost control as they passed me on I35. Other than that I remember very little about the trip home.When I did get home, how I don't know, I was shaking like a leaf in a tornado and my body temp wouldn't register on the oral thermometer we had in the house. My wife did get me to take some hot soup and some hot chocolate and then I went to bed under an electric blanket and an electric heating pad. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I had worked the night before, I got off a 4:00 AM so I could go hunting. I should be dead just from this incident alone. (yes I've had others)I have survived only by the grace of God, and by having some outstanding guardian angels. I'll talk about them at a later date.So you need to always think survival.If you don't you may be a casualty.Chuck

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from Buckstopper wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

RipperIII:You say your first deer hunt was in February in Alabama?!! I hope you are a youth or someone who accompanied a youth(GOD Bless you) on the first weekend and went duck hunting or hog hunting instead! Let me give you a heads up. Deer season ends Jan 31st. More sage advise, don't go bowhunting the first week of October in AL it won't start till the 15th. Youth deer gun hunts are the weekend before gun season starts. Youth duck hunts are the first weekend in Feb. Hogs can be hunted year round.

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from Richard G. wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

I can remember the Boy Scout meeting with the parents. They were worried about Junior going camping in the winter. I would tell them, "The only way to learn how to stay warm, is to get cold and the only way to learn how to stay dry, is to get wet!"Lots of sage advice from a bunch of guys who have obviously frozen their asses off!It's the same thing as, I've never been lost. If someone says they've never been cold, they simply have not been in cold weather!How many of you have had hypothermia? Where, When, What were you doing, what did you do?For me Backpacking in the Smokies, Fall, backpacking, it rained and my Gortex failed badly, cut down a tree (a no no, but I was shaking so hard I could stop it) and built a nice fire.Richard G.Troy, NC

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from dickgun wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Sorry, guys, but as long as you can get back to the truck, 4X or cabin/house you can't be talking cold survival wear. Cold uncomfortable wear, yes.Read Stefansson or Fruechen re: cold weather survival clothing - and this goes back a long, long way.still warm,dickgun

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 5 years 44 weeks ago

Bubba,I dress similar to you but a little bit better since it can get a little colder here. But I don't put it on till at stand or blind cause I may not need it. Especially my socks/boots, thats always been my downfall. And its true that if you sweat gettin there, you'll freeze once your there.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

No cotton for me period. Our season begins in mid Nov adn it usually in the low 20's. I wear wool long johns, top and bottom, wool shirt, wool pants. Bought a coat from LL Beam that the outter shell is Nylon adn 330 Polyster lining. I have a Vest of same material. Wear both if necessary. AS for boots, bought dozens of pairs, feet still groze. The I got a pair of Lowa l0" boots and cold feet problem stopped with a paur of wool socks. Always carry a rain slicker, both for rain, snow or just plain old wind. If can keep thE wind out, I can maKE IT ok. i ALSO HAVE A old (3o or more yrs) Sears Ski suit that is nylon outter and down lined. You will not get cold in that suit, but its a tad clumbsy to wear as is very thick adn have a little trouble getting teh gun butt in correct position when shoot, but will keep you warm. I do use teh heat packs at times in my gloves and shoes. Always wear a hat or tobaggan. Hunted in MT a few ys back, was l3 deg below o when we pulled in to our park place. Being disabled/handicapped,I do get much colder than the average active guy. I either have to stand hunt or can walk a few steps and sit on my stool. After lst few days of l00+ deg. ready for the cold days of Nov. when season opens. Excited about this season as got one of the new MArlin XL7's in 270 and want to see if will do as well as my Rem CDL 700 in o6 or my 700 25-06 on deer. HAd planned on a western trip but never drew in 3 states. Thought would be no problem this year with the ecomony so bad,but decided us hunting nuts gonna go hunting regardless. Hopefully will draw in fall and I;m around to go. Good-hunting guys, shoot straight and often

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from Bubba wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Here's my two cents worth if anyone cares.As a kid, I put on enough cotton clothing to stock the local K. Wolens for a winter. I sweated all the way to the stand and immediately froze!I've tried all kinds of tricks. Electric socks worked very well but walking on the little wires hurt like blue blazes! Wool makes me itch! Silk feels slimely to me!For my area of Oklahoma, I wear a tee shirt with some type heavy shirt (flannel, wool) over that. Jeans on the bottom and plain ol' cotton, athletic type cotton socks on the feet. A set of insulated bibs and an insulated coat (with hood) top off my ensemble! A good insulated cap with a sock hat to cover the ears is always in a pocket when needed along with some insulated gloves.My feet get cold, but until they absolutely go numb, I can deal with it!Wet weather? Once I get cold, I'm okay, working to keep body heat up. If I ever go back in a warm up, I don't (can't!) go back out for the rest of the day!Bubba

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Ahhhh but the real trick is walking an hour with climbing treestand on your back, weapon, flashlights, and not sweating in the process while still having the necessary clothing to stay 30 feet in the air staying completely motionless from 5 to 5... ATV's are loud and smell and I'm just not going to use one on general purposes. That's where my ethics draw the line in the sand.

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from Dale wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

All too many spoke of wearing cotton. That is a no-no in cold weather!Polypropelene base then fleece and/or wool top and bottomsI'm 72; learned 2000 gram insulated leather not up to felt boots in rubber/leather boots. a muff with 2 small air activated warmers with silk gloves. Try a British army wool sweater--cheap! Chemical warmers in boots work! I have diabetes keeping warm for 12 hours on stand lets me advise others as to what works

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

SBWAs we used to say in the Navy: "A blinding glimpse of the obvious"!

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from suburban bushwacker wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Great point Jack"The quickest way to figure out how to deal with all that is to go to the nearest construction site nearest to the area you want to hunt and see what the guys who are out in it all day long trying to do their job wear. It's not that different from the needs for hunting. They work, they sweat. They can't quit and run home every time they step in a puddle, get sweaty or it rains a little."That has the clarity of the Elusive Obvious!SBW

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from eyeball wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Polypro long underwear all the way in cold weather. With that on underneath, almost anything with loft and wind resistance that you put on over it will keep you warm.Now to the main event; three things that get coldest when you are on stand are your head, your feet, and your butt. All my hoods make noise when I turn my head in them, so I like a neck cover and separate hat, and wear a mask only if it is really, really cold. Boots, you need thick pacs, LaCrosse or Sorrels, etc. with lofty wool socks on your feet. Tie the laces tight when you walk and loosen them when you get squared away on your stand; your feet will stay warmer with a little more room for circulation. And an insulated, waterproof sitting pad is a good thing for your backside. Keep these three parts warm and the rest of you will be fine. Don't forget that you are out there to hunt; if you have clothes on that keep you warm but make noise every time you move, you are wasting your time. Wool's real advantage is that it can be made to be quiet.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are still having snow in higher elevations! Ski resorts are loving this Global Warming!Hunting out here is mostly about keeping dry so rain gear is indespensible!I was not a hunter when I lived in West Virginia but I worked outside year round -- including sub-zero winter. Similar to Grisham's Law, we would say, "You can always take it off if you brought it; but you can't put it on if you didn't!"

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from paul Wilke wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Keep your head, hands and feet warm and every thing else is a picnic.Jeep cap and hooded sweatshirt for the head.Silk gloves for the hands(ask at a funeral parlor),covered with wool gloves and toped with leather gloves or leather mittens(called choppers up north).Dress socks(top of calf) covered with wool socks(big thick wool socks) and a pair of leather boots that fit.Top that with a military gore-tex parka/with hood!Got it made!

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Mark-1Go get yourself a wool Stormy Kromer cap or one of the Filson hunting hats, the kind that fold down into a hood. That's my go-to cold weather gear.

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from VATXHUNTER wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Boot Blanketshttp://www.icebreakerinc.com/php/bootBlanket.php

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from VATXHUNTER wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Try Boot Blankets too keep the feet warm while on satnd.You carry them in to your stand and then slip them right over your boots. I have not had a cold toe since I started using them.Only drawback I can think of it is just one more thing you need to carry in.

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hehe, one advantage of being FAT! All I have to do is walk a few yards to warm up! Me and the boy (thin, athletic, jock-type) were hunting in around zero (F) a few years ago and I was trying to keep up with him, he was verging on hypothermia and I was sweating buckets with both of us dressed equally in layers! Ended up having to head home early, me to change into dry clothes and him a Hot shower to warm up.I usually wear a pair of sweat pants under my camo pants, if it is gonna be below zero and windy I will wear my insulated pants. Got to have thinsulate boots, last year I wore non-insulated boots and after loosing touch with my feet after a few hours walking in snow I had to go home. Not a good thing.Top gets a long sleeve cotton Tshirt, sweatshirt, insulated vest, nylon jacket, and long parka.Head gets one of several different knit hats and a GI Helmet Liner if it gets really cold and windy, if you have never worn one you don't know what your missing, really great for cold windy days.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Don't have time to comment, going to give some serious tips how to stay warm like ATV and snowmobiling at 30 below or a 110 above, rain sleet or snow you can do it! Stay tuned Sportsfans :)

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from hardwoodjdc wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

We have found the answer to staying warm in Mi. winters while deer hunting! Go out in August and build yourself a nice blind W/ plexiglas sliding windows and a propane Mr. Heater, a shelf to sit your Readers Digest on. A 4" pipe thru the roof to get the scent up and away, a place to lean your gun, and don't forget the carpet on the floor. After 40yrs. of freezing this works great, at least on private land. Oh and don't forget that roll of TP!

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from Old Bull wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

It's all worth the suffering once that furry critter walks out though. You ever notice however many layers we have on, when it's time to dress one out, the layers come off?I would not trade a moment of it.

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from Bill (NOT Maher!) wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Drill Sgt. Dave,I think you covered it all and I totally agree. I have frozen for over 50 years too and wonder every year what a sane man is doing freezing to death, yet I still do it!Good comments!

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hunting,fishing, walking, running, dressing game, getting wet, all in the cold and rain.The quickest way to figure out how to deal with all that is to go to the nearest construction site nearest to the area you want to hunt and see what the guys who are out in it all day long trying to do their job wear. It's not that different from the needs for hunting. They work, they sweat. They can't quit and run home every time they step in a puddle, get sweaty or it rains a little.Around here in the cold of winter you see a lot of bib Carharts over long johns and heavy shirts and an insulated hooded Carhart jacket for the worst of the weather.Removing the jacket, unzipping legs or bibs, layer after layer I think you'll find it's easy to accomodate the day from starting in the dark through the day and finishing in the dark.

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Jim in MoI have been looking at those over-boots which go on your feet after you've schlepped into your stand. They will take a bit of walking around, such as to stretch the stiff knees, you loosen your regular boots up and then zip these babies over 'em.RipperSome of the above over-boots have pockets for warmer packs those might even keep my feet warm! I would not use a lighter-fluid hand warmer as the smell is likely to spook every whitetail in the county.SA

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Helleva subject as I’m sweating in this June heat wave…..BUT:I have a good pair of -20 boots w/wool socks. Anything more in insulation are too hot in this Lower 48. I like silk long underwear under a pair of military surplus Swedish wool army pants. I usually wear turtleneck sweaters under a chamois shirt, and have a good Filson coat. I have a wool vest, but I prefer a very old insulated coat insert that’s very warm and thin. My gloves are USAF pilot issue. This combination isn’t too bulky and I have good freedom of movement.Cold weather hats are a problem. I’ve not found one that will stay on my noodle and the wind won’t come through. Balaclava’s and Mad Bomber’s are so-so as are the Montana cold weather Fudd caps with that furry ball on top [Use to call them North Dakota Cowboy hats].

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from Blue Ox wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

DJM,Whereabouts around Chi-town are youse at?

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

SilverArrow,I'm with you, my feet are the first to go. I've invested well in good socks. Layered properly. When I get in my truck to leave home/camp I'm wearing cheap socks and tennis shoes till I arrive so I don't sweat.But I want to tell you of something I read in either F&S or Outdoor Life some time ago about staying warm on stand. He stated that once you arrive pull bread bags over your boots and secure them to your calfs with rubber bands. It may keep the heat in, never tried it.And before anyone asks, yes remove bread first.

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from Thomas wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

As YooperJack, Old Bull and I can tell you, it is no picnic in the park living next to the Great Lakes in winter. We usually get heavy winds and lake affect snow off them. It is not bad the farther inland you go but out near the lakes forget it. 20 to 30 MPH winds on top of bitter cold. It is hard to hunt when your teeth are chattering and you can not hold still. The Wind and cold will cut right through any clothing you wear eventually. It is not uncommon to get frost bite on any exposed skin in a matter of seconds in weather like that.Tom the Troll

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from DJM wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I am from Georgia, and currently live in Chicago-land, IL. As im still not used to this weather, I like dressing warm. I know people that invest in single large, nice parkas that hold them up for the season nice and warm, but they buy a new one every other year. They ridicule me for looking like a hobo in 2-3 flannals, a hoodie, a couple tee-shirts, underarmor, and wool long-johns, and a waterproof shell, but you know what? it lasts for years, im still warm, and it actually pretty cheap for all the clohes you wind up getting. Throw in some jeans, lower-half long-john, wool socks and waterproof boots, with a warm hat, and you will (most likely) never hear me complain of the cold.DJM

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from B. Cameron wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I layer the bejesus out of my clothing when I hunt. Deer season in upstate NY (that's Fingerlakes to you, Dave, not Westchester) has a habit of getting downright nippy - ten degrees with a wind chill below zero is not unheard of. Twenty and a wind chill around zero is more common.For those really cold days, it's:- UnderArmor mockneck/leggings- long johns top and bottom- base layer socks- fleece pants (they're pajama pants, but they're warm!), fleece shirt- heavy wool socks- flannel shirt- sweatshirt- winter parka- balaclava- fleece hat/boonie hat- liner gloves- glommits w/ handwarmers- LLBean Maine Hunting bootsYeah, it makes a heck of a pile on the bedroom floor, but it's warm, and I can layer up and down easily.

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

...as a post script, I bought all of my gear at close-outs from several of the big box stores(except the boots)with a total out of pocket cost right at $100.00.I would like to upgrade a bit this year, especially on some bowhunting type apparal any suggestions?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Amen Brian.I can hunt longer, stay on stand, walk further, and be more able to get closer to the game if I am warm and somewhat dry. I generally stay in the field long after some of my buddies have headed to the truck!Inside of 350 yards, any "standard" caliber will do!

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

good afternoon Gentlemen,my first ever deer hunt took place this February on the coldest weekend recorded in the State of Alabama in 50+ years, snow,ice and low teen's temps in the a.m.. I wore a layer of underarmor sheathed in wool then topped off in insulated water proof camo...oversized at that. Two pair of socks, first layer thin silk skiing socks topped off with thick wool hiking socks stuffed into insulated Vasgue hiking boots. I stayed toasty warm and dry each of my 4 rounds on stand with the slight exception that my feet got cold around 9:00 a.m. of the 2nd day, 26 degrees by 10:00 a.m. I did not use hand or feet warmers,...do they work?

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from rob wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Try the new Arcteryx wool - Very soft, wicking, warm, and does not smell. Patagonia capilene is some of the best long underwear made, but it does stink, but it wicks like a sponge. I wear both of these under my Filson tin pants (waxed cotton) and have no complaints of moisture.None of this is cheap, but what is that's good and lasts more than a season?

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from Chris wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Agreed. I think the biggest mistakes are:1) Not bringing proper gear for the weather (underestimating cold, rain, wind, etc).2) Putting on too much gear, too soon.If you work up a big sweat on the way to the blind, you're going to have a heck of a time staying warm. Dress just warm enough to keep from getting chilled on the way to the blind... err on the side of wearing too little. If, after 5 minutes or so of walking you're still cold, then slowly add layers.

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from brian wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

We outdoorsmen should probably worry more about our protection from the elements than deciding which magnum rifle retains more energy at 800 yards.

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from jack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Having been broken down and busted in the cold in the middle of nowhere (no phone, no engine, no common sense) during one of my "invincible moments", I now keep a pack of spare clothing in the truck. It's not designer stuff, nor is it pricey - but it's warm.

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from sarah brady wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

One of the best investments I've made is a large daypack that allows me to carry (not wear) my really-cold weather clothes. I always walk to my stand with my coat unbuttoned, too. Working up a sweat on the way to the stand makes for a miserable hunt. And I like wool - sweaters, socks, coats, pants - but only over a layer of polypro or underarmor. I once sat on stand for 6 hours in -15 temperatures, with a wind chill of -65 wearing those layers. The deer were smarter than me that day. I never saw a one.

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from SilverArrow wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I hear you Dave! Once I am cold, especially my feet, I am about done and it is axiomatic that no miracle fiber seems to keep my feet warm. I have tried hundreds of dollars worth of miracles and found the best solution was cheapest; a one size too big pair of rubber slogger boots from KMart for $18.97 coupled with a thick wool pac boot insert and a couple pair of wool socks, feels like I am walking on pillows too! I add a wool watch cap and a windproof overcap, a Dacron 88 filled vest from Sears (was about 9 bucks, and a pair of wool long johns under a thinsulate coverall. I keep my pit-zippers open and the hat off on a longer walk in and sit in a folding chair rather than on cold ground or rocks. I bring in a big jug of water and an empty 3 liter pop bottle so I can stay hydrated and still be comfortable enough to be still.I have found that if I am very active during a cold weather outing I need to stay hydrated as well as dress in layers; should you come upon me splitting wood for instance I will be in a tee shirt and the aforementioned wool longjohns plus a pair of my size boots for good support and traction. If I work up a sweat then the cotton tee shirt comes off and is replaced with a dry one before I put any additional layers on.When out in cold weather I ALWAYS plan ahead for what I will do if I do inadvertantly get wet or the wind picks up to uncomfortable levels.SA

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from Duck Creek Dick wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Dave:I well remember the Scandinavian fishnet tops and long handles, and still have about three sets packed away in my gear somewhere. Sitting on a hard chair makes the skin on your butt look like diamond-plate.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

I agree with Yooper;wool is a good compromise but i still dress in layers with cotton,nylon, or whatever the weather dictates.Wind here in MI isn't really a problem with our trees for cover.I remember the wool mesh sking undershirts in the past with some copy-cat ones marketed in the 80's and 90's never used them, though?Ever hear of a fiberglass sleeping bag? Well, I used one before and had a miserable night to wake frozen and itchy. I tossed that bag in the next dumpster we came across in town.

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Excuse typo, meant to say being, not beding.Yooperjack

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 45 weeks ago

Hey Dave, normally I would relish this column at this time of the year. Unfortunately, its still cold up here! In nearly 50 years of beding outside up here in the winter, I think wool is the best compromise. Even in leaf-off, if your in a somewhat mature forest, wind becomes much less of a problem. I think the boles of the trees break it up to the point you can live with it. Also, wool breathes enough to dissapate your sweat. I've often wondered what I would do with the same temps, same wind and a treeless environment, however.YooperJack

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