The bottom fell out of the thermometer this week throughout most of the country. Temperatures plummeted past 20 below zero in many places and subzero windchills were the norm. With whitetail season still in full swing, you really need to have a plan to thwart a short hunt and possibly even frostbite. I’ve spent the past few days in a tower stand on a cliff overlooking a soybean field in Kansas. It’s exposed to say the least. How do I beat the cold? Here are some tips to get extra hours in the field before icicles form on your nose.
1. Purchase the best in clothing and boots. Do your research and then purchase a clothing system that includes a poly-based base layer, an insulation layer and a waterproof outer layer. I’m using Cabela’s MT050 Whitetail Extreme suit including bibs and a parka to get the job done. My boots are Sorels; they protect my feet at temps below negative 40. Good gloves, headwear and a face mask round out my system.
2. If I’m just sitting, I also wrap myself in a Heater Body Suit. This unique garment resembles a sleeping bag. It breaks the wind and traps body heat to create a personal space of warmth. Try one and you’ll always bring it with you when it’s freezing.
3. Pack additional warming units. Air-activated hand and foot warmers are reliable, easily stowed in the right places and most work hard all day long. I always slip a warmer into each glove and slap one on each foot. You can also get electronic warmers including gloves from Cabela’s and foot warmers from ThermaCELL. Heat your extremities because if you don’t it will cause the rest of your body to chill quicker.
4. Eat smart. Food can be your saving grace in cold weather just like good boots and a parka. Stay away from junk food. Try to vary your diet by eating carbohydrates that energize quickly and some protein and fats that take longer to break down, yet provide a longer boost of heat for your core. Salami sandwiches are a good choice. And a hot cup of tea or coffee isn’t a bad idea either.
Cold weather is here to stay until spring arrives, but just because you have to don extra clothing to fight back the chills doesn’t mean the hunting isn’t good. It just takes some planning and gear to stay out and enjoy the hunt. Stay warm!