If you’ve been too wrapped up in the government shutdown to watch the weather, then you might have missed the catastrophic blizzard that paralyzed Wyoming and South Dakota recently. Edges of other states also felt the effects, so forgive me if I left your little piece of heaven unmentioned. I didn’t miss it and neither did my family. While I was trapped for 1 1/2 days in southeastern Wyoming, my family was without electricity and drifted for 33-plus hours. Both of us were ready for it. I had extra gear to combat any weather and I made sure the family had backup heat and food to ride out any storm.
What can you do to guarantee your next hunt doesn’t head south like migrating geese if the weather flip-flops? Make a plan now and pack the right gear so, regardless of any weather event, you’ll be comfortable for the hunt.
1. Check the forecast. This seems like a simple task, but many hunters believe they know what the weather will do during a certain month. Don’t trust your instincts. I looked at the forecast and it said snow. I never would have believed we’d get feet of white fluff in early October at low elevation, but never say never.
2. Protect your temple. Your body is your temple, so purchase the right layers to keep it warm and dry. Poly-based clothing is best for layers and those layers can include fleece, which is a polyester product. In case of rain or snow, be sure to use a waterproof layer on the outside.
3. Keep your tootsies toasty. To cover miles or stay warm in a treestand, your feet need to be warm and dry. A waterproof boot that’s slightly on the larger size will do the job. By purchasing a larger size you can put on an extra pair of socks, or even add Heated Insoles or air-activated hand/foot warmers to ensure cozy comfort.
4. Speaking of hand warmers, pack plenty. These little wonders don’t require electricity to operate and you can put them in your pockets, gloves, boots, or even drop them in the bottom of a sleeping bag to stay warm.
5. Lastly, waterproof your gear. Purchase scope covers for your riflescope and bring along lubricants to maintain firearms and bows during bouts of wet weather. Snow and rain can be hard on everything. Optical wipes can clear lenses of rain, snow and fog—you can’t shoot what you can’t see.
My next two back-to-back hunts are in the Canadian wilderness, and it’s a guarantee that I’ll be in rain, muck and even snow. I’m going through my checklist right now so I’ll be as comfortable as possible if the weather gets rude.