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Old October 17, 2011, 07:34 PM   #1
Join Date: August 20, 2011
Location: South Dakota
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Base layers

What kind of base layers are you guys wearing on those cold mornings? I just ordered some Cabelas MTP mediums and I'm hoping their worth a crap.
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Old October 17, 2011, 09:37 PM   #2
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I just use the traditional thermal tops and bottoms. If it is really cold, I will put on two layers of thermal tops and bottoms. IMO, the key is to keep from sweating going to and from your hunting spot. If you stalk, you move a little so that helps to keep you warm.
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Old October 17, 2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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I have cheap under armour type stuff I bought from fleet farm. One layer usually does it for me even on the coldest days. Its all about keeping moisture off your skin and having a material that dries quickly.
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Old October 18, 2011, 08:16 AM   #4
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Doesn't take much. I have a cheap, light sleeveless shell that I've worn for years.

For serious cold, I have a Craft long sleeve base layer. Those kids know toasty.
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Old October 18, 2011, 06:25 PM   #5
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When it gets cold (below 20) I put on a wool sweater under cabales base layer
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Old October 18, 2011, 07:07 PM   #6
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I don't recall who made my thermals, but they are a two-layer fabric of wool lined with polypro. Best I've had yet, as the polypro does a good job of wicking away sweat and the wool, well, is wool.
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
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Old October 18, 2011, 09:11 PM   #7
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Under Armour (military issue )

My general layering scheme looks something like this:
Upper body:
Under Armour (long sleeve) -> Cotton or Cotton blend t-shirt (short sleeve) -> Synthetic knit Sweater -> Fleece Sweater (breathable) -> Fleece Jacket (not very breathable, but breaks the wind) -> GoreTex outer shell (for rain, extreme wind, or extreme cold).
I'm a fan of wool, but don't have any good wool clothing right now. So, it isn't an option.

If I sweat, the Under Armour draws the moisture into the T-shirt. To dry off, I strip down to the synthetic knit sweater. It still offers some insulation, but lets the wind dry the T-shirt. Meanwhile, the Under Armour is still offering some insulation, as well, under the T-shirt.
If it's too windy, or too cold to strip down that far... I can take the t-shirt off, put the rest back on, and let the T-shirt dry on its own.

Lower body:
Under Armour -> BDU pants (still wearing out the military issue stuff ).
My legs don't really get cold.
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Old October 23, 2011, 12:55 AM   #8
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I have been using Patagonia capilene for years and it is great stuff. Wears like iron, wicks well and won't pill or hold odors. Comes in different weights for different conditions. I have used it hunting, skiing, fly fishing etc and always comes through. Craft is making some very good products as well.
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Old October 23, 2011, 06:52 AM   #9
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As I get older I find it harder to stay comfortable. I'm not talking about warm, I mean just not shaking too much to function. Most times I start with a thin polypro layer with maybe another type of underwear over that and then some wool or fleece topped with some wind protection. This is for anything 20* and down. We don't chase the deer so it's stand hunting maybe in some sort of covered blind or popup or maybe an open blind if it's not raining.
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Old October 23, 2011, 08:02 AM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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I've never found a way to stay warm on cold days for more than 2 hours at most. Even 2 hours is "until I can't tolerate it", not "warm". I've finally found boots and socks that more or less keep my feet comfortable but the rest of me, not so much. If it's under 20,25 degrees I generally don't hunt.
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Old October 23, 2011, 10:46 AM   #11
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If I'm on stand I pile on all the clothing layers I can wear and still shoot. If still hunting I wear enough stuff to be barely comfortable while standing still so I don't sweat too much if I have to climb a hill. And there are lots of hills around here.
The older I get the colder I get, it seems.
Getting old is fun. Being old sucks.

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Old October 23, 2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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I get cold, too. Couple of tricks I've learned help.

My winter boots are one size larger than what I typically wear. I wear a thin polypro sock under wool socks, and I want sufficient room in the boot for a chemical toe warmer and space for my feet to "breathe." A tight boot also inhibits circulation, which is critical when it's cold. I also smear my toes with odorless antiperspirant before donning the socks. And I carry along a pair of dry wool socks, just in case. Works well.

I layer on clothing, as does most everyone. When it's REALLY cold, I used to take along an old, beat up rectangular sleeping bag, step into it, and pull it up around my chest. Amazing what that will do to create a warm air space. Unfortunately, my wife found the dirty old bag in the garage and tossed it one year. I'm still looking for another at Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores.
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
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Old October 23, 2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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Under Armour is a step forward from traditional thermals, but the traditionals still work just fine.

I won't spend a fortune on cold weather gear, you can get proven coldweather military surplus that more than does the job for peanuts. For moderate cold, I use Under Armour--->Fleece lined shirt---->German Fleck camo military parka with removalable liner. Thinking about a certain highly buff Swedish military parka also, but it rarely gets that cold in my region, anyway. Like new mil surplus parkas can easily be picked up for $30-$40. You could easily spend $220+ for a stout Columbia winter jacket at Bass Pro Shops...ridiculous...

The main thing for me is keeping my ears, hands and feet warm. As long as I do that, I'm fine. A winter cap with pseudo fur lining and ear flaps, gore-tex gloves and regular socks + heavy wool socks covers all the bases as long as you have some good insulated boots.
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Old October 30, 2011, 05:50 PM   #14
Major Dave (retired)
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Went to 11,000 ft in Colorado wearing

heavy polypro over light polypro long johns, followed by mil surplus wool pants, mil surplus pullover wool sweater, then mil surp BDU pants, down filled coat, w/mil surp BDU "shirt" as the outer garment. The BDU gear was just for camo (and having multiple pockets to stow gear in). Carried a button up wool sweater with a hood in my day pack. Never had to put it on. Took off the down filled coat a few times when moving up and down the mountain.

For foot warmth, I wore boots w/1000 grams of Thinsulate over one pair of wool socks, with one pair of polypro medium weight socks next to my skin. I also carried (in my day pack) a pair of insulated booties which can be pulled over your boots when sitting on stand.

For my head, I started with a neck gaiter, raised in the back to cover my ears and back half of my head, and raised in the front to cover my chin, or even further up to cover my nose. Then I put on a headband which covered my ears (second layer for ears) and my forehead down to the frame of my eye glasses. Put a baseball cap on next, then top it off with a stretchable "watch cap" (third layer for my ears)..

For hands, I have an assortment of Thinsulate insulated gloves, with a choice of 40, 70, or 140 grams, depending on how cold it is. I also use the heat producing packets (Hot Hands?) inside the gloves. Further, I have a hand muffler (like quarter backs use when playing in Green Bay ice bowls), with more heat packs inside to provide extra hand warmth when sitting on stand.

Warm as toast, but temps never went below 20, so can't say how zero would have affected me.
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Last edited by Major Dave (retired); October 30, 2011 at 05:58 PM.
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Old October 31, 2011, 12:40 AM   #15
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I swear by Under Armour, but it seems other stuff keeps getting better. Metal Gear is my choice of the UA lines. I have some Smartwool though, and Patagonia has been good.
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Old October 31, 2011, 07:34 AM   #16
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Most of the time I hunt from my back porch so I wear a coat and drink some hot coco.

When I do walk around I put on some wall-mart special long under wear and then my normal clothing and a coat and my be a hat and gloves.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old October 31, 2011, 08:31 AM   #17
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I have cheap under armour type stuff I bought from fleet farm. One layer usually does it for me even on the coldest days. Its all about keeping moisture off your skin and having a material that dries quickly.

Same here. Very good stuff for the money.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:35 AM   #18
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Old October 31, 2011, 06:31 PM   #19
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As long as you have some "Hot Hands" with you it doesn't mater that much, they are the best thing since smokeless powder in my book!
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