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Old November 30, 2018, 12:46 AM   #1
musicmatty
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Preference for cold weather hunting apparel

I was wondering what the latest preference is for apparel with regards to cold-weather hunting. When I started out hunting back in the late 1980s, I picked up a book by J.Wayne Fears titled ‘hunting Whitetail successfully.

This book educated me 100% on everything from field to table! Totally Educated me on preparing for a hunt.. how to hunt and how to serve tasty venison.
Importantly, it educated me on choosing the right apparel to stay warm on those cold snowy days.

This book which is from the mid-1980s, recommends as the first layer of under clothing to be polypropylene. The polypropylene lets the moisture from your body pass through so you stay dry without a chill. The second layer of clothing recommend is wool (socks,pants,shirt,gloves and hat. Wool is a great insulator and dries out quickly because it breathes.

I have to say that this old-school style of clothing which can be purchased somewhat on the cheap and rather easily through a military surplus store, has served me very well! Please note that this same style of wool clothing purchased through Eddie Bauer and other high-end retailers, is very expensive.

I’ve noticed watching recent YouTube videos, that most people seem to use very fluffy Padded overalls that don’t seem to be to agile or nimble to move around in.

Let’s hear your preference for staying warm —
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Old November 30, 2018, 08:34 AM   #2
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FWIW, most people don't move around much when hunting anymore. I used to, but don't anymore.

I dress in thin layers, with a wicking base layer and a waterproof outer layer.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob86
I dress in thin layers, with a wicking base layer and a waterproof outer layer.
This! Also before you move strip down to the bare minimum to keep from sweating. If you keep dry you have a better chance of staying warm.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:17 AM   #4
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How cold are we talking?


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Old November 30, 2018, 10:21 AM   #5
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This year I bought a few pairs of Army Gen III "silks". That is the polyester base layer that they use in their Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System. Only gotten to wear them into the woods twice but they seem to work great. You wear those next to your skin and if additional thermals are needed they are worn over the silks. There might be better options available on the civilian market - especially for really cold locations. But, for my needs in northern MS they seem to work and they are affordable.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
How cold are we talking?
My septuagenarian father sat 3 hours in a ground blind the last morning of firearm deer season here this year. It was 5 (Fahrenheit) without wind chill.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:31 AM   #7
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We bundle up pretty good once we are in the blind: Thick polyfill coats, neck gaiters, balaclavas, stocking cap and the hood from the coat over it all. We don't put any of that stuff on until we are in the blind, as the 1/2 mile walk in would have us drenched in sweat if we did.

A thick ski glove on the supporting hand and nothin' on the strong hand- keep that in a pocket playing with a hand warmer packet until Bambi shows up.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:40 AM   #8
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I've read that sitting in the cold requires 4 times the insulation as when moving around ! That sounds right Layers then are important .
One thing I have done with gloves is to remove insulation from the end of the trigger finger .Insulation there prevents you from getting a goof feel of the trigger !
Practice moving with full gear on !
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:44 AM   #9
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I've got a couple of closets full of different cold weather clothing I hardly use anymore. I have one suit that's a very cold weather suit and paid around five hundred bucks for it. I rarely wear it anymore. A few years back I discovered the peel and stick adhesive body warmers that can be put on your torso, hand warmers, and toe/foot warmers. This had to be a blow to the cold weather clothing manufacturers. These things stay warm all day long and work great. When I hunt in a ground blind I use a very small Mr. Heater propane heater and a one pound bottle lasts a full five and a half hours. By turning it on as needed it will get you through at least one full day and maybe two depending on the tempratures. I carry it and two bottles in a small bag that has a shoulder strap. I've shot a ton of deer out of various blinds (and even one ladder stand with a full cover) using this little heater. It will get it quite warm inside the blind. I still have my cold weather clothing, but like I said I've found some really good alternatives. The cheapest and most convenient by far are the little stick on heater patches that cost around a buck each.
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Old November 30, 2018, 11:29 AM   #10
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I use a very small Mr. Heater propane heater and a one pound bottle lasts a full five and a half hours.
I have a cousin that does this ..... he sets there all day and complains he sees no deer ..... I have wondered if the smell of burning propane is one reason.......
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Old November 30, 2018, 02:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
I have a cousin that does this ..... he sets there all day and complains he sees no deer ..... I have wondered if the smell of burning propane is one reason.......
I don't think so. I've gotten three deer out of my blind so far this year and they didn't seem to notice. I've been using this heater for around eight years now and I kill bucks every year without exception. I suspect your cousin is just one of those guys who doesn't get deer. Most guys who hunt with me that don't get deer are guilty of taking their smart phones, tablets, books, and other media into the blind/stand with them so they don't get bored. I'm getting lots of deer and they aren't getting any. They're within a hundred to two hundred yards of me, and it doesn't matter which stand they hunt from. Some guys are hunters and some are just out for the exercise.
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Old November 30, 2018, 03:01 PM   #12
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Great responses everyone! I’ve never had the luxury or good fortune of using a blind other than sitting inside a bush once or twice. Coldest hunt I ever participated in was Pennsylvania December 2009. The temperature never got above freezing all that week and usually was in the teens with a trace of snow each and every day.

I set up in that cold tree stand for five days ...a couple of those days watching the snow pile up on my 94. Wasn’t until the last day that good fortune would come my way. I have to admit that old military surplus Wool clothing sure kept me warm and the Hopps #9 oil did it’s job with protecting my 94 carbine.
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Old November 30, 2018, 07:47 PM   #13
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My observance;
City dwellers promote their offspring read/study a Author/s practices.
Country folks indoctrinate their offspring i.e. "mentor tried & true old school ways."
Its to bad both forms of learning haven't yet been merged into one.

As far as hunting clothing. Obeying hunting Rules governing outer-wear is a must do for everyone's safety afield.

There again:
Hunting garb is a matter of preference.
Some prefer the dapper haberdashery look afield.
Others may wear hand-me-downs for: "that Traditional Hunters look."

However be Assured:
How and what one does afield separates the Rookie {bushwhackers} from us Old Hand Competent.
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Old November 30, 2018, 08:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
City dwellers promote their offspring read/study a Author/s practices.
Country folks indoctrinate their offspring i.e. "mentor tried & true old school ways."
Its to bad both forms of learning haven't yet been merged into one.
I got some of both- Grew up on a farm and then joined the Army..... we always got "Cold Weather Injuries and Prevention of Same " classes before Winter Graff ....... and that was a mix of Official Army poop and the older NCO's wisdom...... I still read a lot, but am a believer that the best School is the School of Hard Knocks...... you gotta be REALLY cold a few times to understand how NOT to be cold!
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Old November 30, 2018, 08:43 PM   #15
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Sitting is one thing, moving another.
There is no way this old man is sitting for 4 hours in 5f weather!
I keep reminding my neighbor that i have cold weather clothing, not artic.

Wool socks.
Cold Pruf bottoms under jeans.
Under Armor tee.
Tee shirt.
Cold Pruf thermal if needed.
Under Armor sweat shirt.
Camo, be it leafy suit, or rain suit.
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Old November 30, 2018, 08:53 PM   #16
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This time of year MidwayUSA always has excellent close out deals on hunting gear. Much may be picked over by now, but I bought some primo hunting clothes and boots at huge savings if you are willing to hunt through the closeouts. Different jackets are close outs in different sizes, etc. It can be worth the time.

Go to their website and hit the clearance tab. I try the 75% off section first.
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Old November 30, 2018, 09:09 PM   #17
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I dress in multiple lighter weight layers. I'm not sure polypro is still the best way to go in 2018, but it was 30 years ago. I hunt public land and still walk quite a bit. I was almost 2 miles from the road this morning and I've been MUCH farther at times.

I keep everything as light as possible and carry extra gear in a daypack. Buying GOOD stuff is important if you want to keep it both light and warm. Most of my gear is really intended toward backpacking instead of hunting. But it works better than most hunting gear, and costs less.

If it is really cold and windy I have a backpack sleeping bag rated to +10 that weighs one pound and compresses to about the size of a loaf of bread. I've been known to get in it from the armpits down when sitting.

There are other tricks to staying warm other than clothes. Nibbling on high energy snacks every few minutes will increase metabolism and get blood flowing. It is possible to use isometric exercises to get your heart rate up without any movement to scare game off.
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Old November 30, 2018, 09:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
It is possible to use isometric exercises to get your heart rate up without any movement to scare game off.
Toe curls and the "Butt Cheek Roll" .....lol!
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Old November 30, 2018, 09:57 PM   #19
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I wear too much cotton. But, it's what I prefer.

Base layer: UnderArmor type, or Poly (my military issued stuff still fits, plus I've stocked up on 'surplus').
Mid layers: Various combinations of cotton or cotton blend shirts and hoodies, followed by a light jacket. If it's really damn cold, or windy, I'll break out the MidwayUSA cold weather gear. (I forget the "brand", but it's water resistant and really warm.)
Outer: Gore-Tex, if necessary.

Head: Ball cap. If it's really damn cold, I'll go for a beanie (possibly over the ball cap).

Feet: Poly socks. Another layer of wool or cotton socks (depending upon conditions). And insulated, water-proof boots.

Hands: Whatever I can find that suits the application. I go through gloves pretty quickly, so there's rarely anything around long enough for use year after year. Half the time, I just sling the rifle and keep my hands in my pockets unless they're needed.
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Old November 30, 2018, 10:19 PM   #20
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Layers and lots of chemical hand warmers. They are wonderful. I also wear military Mickey mouse boots. Very warm
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Old December 1, 2018, 02:57 AM   #21
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Base layer is Filson Merino Wool long johns. Chamois Shirt and Pants. Waterproof and insulated Browning Overalls, Parka, and Gloves. Have hunted in 25 with a 25mph wind in the open and only my nose got cold.
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Old December 1, 2018, 04:33 AM   #22
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about cotton, wool and fleece

I wear a lot of cotton in moderate weather (early archery deer and spring gobbler) chamois, flannel, and so on, but cotton is near worthless as serious cold/wet weather apparel. There was a nickname for cotton in the SAR world.....death cloth.

The toss up is between wool and fleece. Both are very good insulators, wool has an edge in warmth once wet. Fleece's edge over wool is that it dries out very quickly and will regain full insulating capability much quicker. Wool stays wet longer, and it can get very heavy depending on the thickness of the garment, but it will still insulate fairly well, which is why it remains a staple. Neither fleece nor wool, unlined or backed, will do well in the wind w/o some type of wind breaking shell garment .

I have two pairs of Korean War era OD wool trousers, that are actually big enough to fit me (not to many 260 lb privates), when you can find them they run to small sizes. I've worn them alot over twenty years, and they show little wear. You couldn't buy them from me. With some type of poly layer under them, sometimes two, they do fine in our climate. I also picked up an unlined camo wool jacket, Columbia mfg maybe, and I am quite tickled with it as well.

While I'm at it, an old GI split tail parka shell works very well over fleece or wool as a windbreak, and sprayed with some type of aerosol treatment, well shed water a bit too.
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Old December 1, 2018, 09:58 AM   #23
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On wet or cold windy days --- Gore Windstopper outer layer clothing & a warm pullover hoodie.

Chemical body warmers

A pair of polypropylene inner wicking socks under heavy socks, polypro underwear & longjohns.

Food to keep me warm, including periodic tightening & relaxing most of my body muscles.
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Old December 2, 2018, 10:53 AM   #24
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I plan on getting out this Thursday and Friday for the first time this season… Which will be the tail end of the season consequently. Temps Will be in the low to mid 20s during the early morning hours....Higs in the mid 30s during the day. I’ll go with my usual oldschool polypropylene underneath and military surplus Wool trousers and shirt for outer garments.
A nice insulated winter coat that’s waterproof With many pockets that I bought at Montgomery Wards 30 years ago.
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Old December 2, 2018, 07:26 PM   #25
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My ~30F outfit is long underwear, insulated pants, a wool shirt, medium wool sweater, bibs, a coat, and a cowboy hat. When things get down into the teens I add a pair of fleece sweatpants, a heavy Filson wool vest, move up to a heavy wool sweater and pull heavy fleece balaclava around my neck so it comes up to my ears. Still going with the cowboy hat.

I'll sit until lunch. I like to change boots and socks after lunch otherwise my feet get cold in the evening. Same with gloves. My hands sweat in gloves even when their cold.

The bibs make a HUGE difference. If you don't have a set, get some.
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