A Winning Strategy for Facing Winter’s Worst Weather
“How to remain on top of your game when Mother Nature dishes out her worst.
Most hunts—be they for whitetails, waterfowl or predators—require you to hide quietly and motionless for extended periods. That’s rarely an easy thing to do, but it becomes even more challenging when temps dip into the teens or lower and winter winds are howling. The answer isn’t to just go out and buy another jacket and hope your chattering teeth don’t spook the game. It’s to employ a system that provides prolonged comfort despite Arctic surroundings.
The system begins with your apparel. First and foremost, ditch anything that is made of cotton, which offers little in the way of insulation and protection, and is difficult to dry if it gets wet. Wool has a place in your socks, but despite its ability to keep you warm even when wet, wool clothes are generally heavy and bulky.
Begin with a base layer of polyester with a thickness rating matched to the conditions outside. Poly-based clothes wick moisture away from your body and dry quickly while transporting any moisture to outside layers. Cabela’s E.C.W.C.S. (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System) base layers, available in three weights, are solid options.
Next, add insulation. While traditional down is lightweight and extremely lofty for insulative purposes, if it gets wet it loses its properties and is hard to dry. You could turn to waterproof-treated down, but newer synthetic alternatives like Thinsulate, PrimaLoft and Polartec Alpha are better bets. These products are compressible and breathable, and they dry faster than down if they become wet. Jackets and liners with 100 to 200 grams of insulation are recommended.
Finally, you need to protect the insulation from outside moisture such as freezing rain or snow. Many synthetic insulations repel water, but protecting them with a waterproof, breathable shell completes your cold-weather clothing system. Gore-Tex is the leader in this category, but more affordable options include Cabela’s 4Most Dry-Plus. Your shell could include the insulation or be a separate, breathable layer.
Complete your ensemble with waterproof boots with up to 1,200 grams of toe insulation, warm gloves (you might even consider a battery-powered pair) and face, head and neck coverings for everything above your shoulders.”
The full article can be found here.
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