The appeal of hunting and fishing is that you get to experience Mother Nature in all of her glory. When the colder conditions set in, it is typically when wildlife species become more active, and so the colder months provide the greatest opportunity for successful hunting.
You find yourself often miles from the nearest outpost and the distractions of the every day; however, the joy of the great outdoors can lose its appeal when you find yourself in extreme cold temperature and are not adequately prepared. You also risk suffering from serious health complications as a result, so keeping warm is not just an ideal, but a necessity.
You should always check that the clothing that you buy is rated for the temperatures that you are going to be in. Your clothing needs to be able to keep you dry, warm and concealed for the terrain that you are in. A cold weather base layer should be breathable and moisture wicking so that you can maintain your core’s temperature and regulate body heat. A merino wool is ideal, but avoid cotton; it doesn’t remove the moisture from your body or insulate the heat. As well as layers, invest in a windproof vest, it will protect you from the chill without being too bulky.
Pay attention to your extremities – your head, hands, and feet – as these are key areas that heat escapes through. Wearing a hat while you are walking can encourage you to sweat, but when you get to the stand, make sure that your head is covered. A face mask is the ideal solution and helps to avoid headaches from staring into the wind.
Tip: keep your boots loose. This means that you can wear more pairs of socks and even add a chemical warmer, but also tight boots can restrict the blood’s circulation and cause feet to feel even colder.
Food and Drink
In ordinary conditions, you may not think too much about food while you are hunting, but the cold conditions place additional requirements on your body as your body burns calories keeping warm. You need to eat snacks regularly to help fight the body’s stress and fatigue that the cold can cause. Eat a high-calories meal before you go out and take complex-carb and protein snacks to fuel you during the hunt.
When it is cold you don’t notice the fluids that you are losing through sweat, so its important that you drink lots of water. A flask of hot water is best so that you gain the warmth and the hydration that you need. Dehydration can cause a lapse of judgment.
The key to keeping warm is by wearing layers of quality breathable materials that will help your body’s insulation. Have a hearty meal before you go out and prepare snacks that will help to sustain your energy when you are out in the field. If you are distracted by feeling cold, you won’t be in the right mental frame for the hunt, and you may make mistakes.
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