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Managing The Cold

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Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 04, 2017 •  [Post 1]

Every tree stand hunter knows it is easy to get cold sitting still in a tree stand. I have had several hunters leave their stand earlier than planned due to cold, when the temperatures were well above freezing. Walking around on the ground would bring on a sweat with less clothes than you will be very uncomfortable in while sitting for hours. How much cold do you deal with and do you keep reasonably comfortable?
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Tigger » 11 06, 2017 •  [Post 2]

I live and hunt in Minnesota, so I have seen my share of cold. Today, I brought my 9 year old boy into the deer stand with me and it was 11 degrees. Neither of us got cold. here are some random thoughts:

1. I have been sooooo impressed with Sitka Kelvin series. It is so light and so comfy to wear and you just don't get cold. My brother just bought the Incinerator coat and bibs (you can too if you sell your house to pay for it!) and he says it is the best he has seen by far. 25 degrees the other day and he had on a long sleeve shirt and the Incinerator stuff and had to unzip even with a stiff wind hitting him in the face. the price is high but the performance is high. The Kelvin series is much cheaper and you can find them for $150 and for most of the them. If just starting, get the vest to start, then maybe the hoody or the jacket. The only beef I have with the Kelvin stuff is it can be kinda loud as an outer layer.

2. Wear both neck and leg gaiters. they make a huge difference.

3. Fleece works okay as an insulating layer and is very quiet as a top layer.

4. Do NOT have any type of clothing or footwear be tight. Tight equals cold.

5. Stay away from cotton. I used it growing up. There is no comparison.

6. Wool is also good, but heavy. Nice and quiet.

My current deer hunting system is Cabelas Wooltimate pants, Smartwool socks, Schnees boots, Sitka or Smartwool long underwear. On top a Sitka long sleeve, Sitka Kelvin vest, Sitka Kelvin Jacket. that gets me to about 20 degrees. Colder I will add the sitka Kelvin hoody. That was fine at 11 today. Below zero I start using hand warmers in inside layer pockets.

Wind is a killer. Give me 0 and calm over 30 and windy. get out of the wind.

Lastly, if you think you are going to be cold, you will be cold. Dress right and forget about the cold and you will have a much better chance of being warm. It is amazing how much attitude plays into it.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 06, 2017 •  [Post 3]

I understand that having loose fitting clothes is warmer, but how do you deal with baggy when you need to shoot? I worry most about baggy sleeves, so I wear a vest. I am ok with being moderately cold, but it can get to be too much. That is when I use some of the tactics Tigger does. I also like a wool stocking cap. Two are ok if it is too cold.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Tigger » 11 07, 2017 •  [Post 4]

Good point on the baggy sleeves thing. I don't do a lot of late season bow hunting. I was talking more in general terms...ice fishing, other types of hunting, etc.

I tell you one thing that I have gravitated towards that really surprises me. Merino wool is awesome. Most people know that. But honestly, I don't like the stuff next to my skin. At the end of the day, my back itches so bad I about pass out it feels so good when my wife scratches my back. I find myself looking at the merino in the morning and either passing it over or putting it in the middle. So I usually go synthetic next to my skin and merino as the next layer. Gotta change that synthetic daily though as it can stink if you work up a good sweat.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 07, 2017 •  [Post 5]

I wear cotton next to my hide. I too stink quickly from synthetics. I have wool, but as you mention it is heavy, and I only wear it on cold days. I would myself wearing it in Idaho this September when the temps barely dropped below freezing. Still all day in a stand can get cold.
I have an old light weight sleeping bag I have been considering taking to my stand and climbing in on cold days. I could get it off quickly I suppose, and dress lighter inside. What do you hunters think?
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Tigger » 11 07, 2017 •  [Post 6]

I think that is a great idea as you can just have it up to your arm pits leaving your hands free. Can you cinch it tight? That would really keep a feller warm.

Try going synthetic next to your skin. Because cotton holds moisture so well, I think it makes you colder in the long run.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 07, 2017 •  [Post 7]

The synthetic is definitely worth a try. I don't sweat much especially on a cold day. They wash easy too, so that is a plus.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Tigger » 11 07, 2017 •  [Post 8]

Where you sweat is the walk in. It doesn't take much. Just last Saturday I didn't think I was sweating on the walk in and I put my phone in an inner pocket to stay warm. I pulled it out later and it had a little visible moisture on it. The synthetic got that away from my body where cotton would have absorbed it.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Washington Wapiti » 11 08, 2017 •  [Post 9]

Hunt from a blind with a Heater Buddy when temps drop below 40. :D That's just me. When I'm treestanding in the early season, I hike to my hunting area in a cotton shirt, and then change into a dry shirt once I'm in my stand. I have my camo jacket/shell, an extra long sleeve shirt and UnderArmour camo hoodie in my pack and layer as necessary. This seems to usually get me by in the typical PNW early Autumn temps. I've only had to use hand warmers a couple of times in the past. It just struck me that I rarely bring a polypro or other synthetic top, but will wear a bottom base layer. Years ago when I was doing a lot of mountaineering and backpacking, I used all the latest and greatest synthetic base layers and socks and can attest to their wicking properties and effectiveness. Smartwool is very good and will still use those on colder or wetter days. I also remember liking Thorlo brand a lot. I used to live by the 'ol "cotton kills" mantra . . . I think I've gotten more complacent with hunting. I throw a brand new pack of cotton socks into my gear tote every year, so I have a brand new pair everyday of the hunt. This is a weird comfort thing I started doing about 4 years ago. Nothing like the feel of brand new socks on your feet . . .
The only time I've hugged a tree is to hang a stand.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 08, 2017 •  [Post 10]

I just went into my man cave and came up with an old kids summer sleeping bag. I am fresh out of kids now, so the bag will take on a new life. It is fairly short, but easily comes up to my face. It had a tear that I quickly sewed up. I tried it out sitting in a chair. It will get used next season if I don't get a critter right away. I will also be looking at some synthetic underwear. Getting deep down cold makes it hard to stay in the stand all day. Getting deep down cold takes all of the fun out of tree stand hunting.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Washington Wapiti » 11 08, 2017 •  [Post 11]

Swede wrote:I just went into my man cave and came up with an old kids summer sleeping bag. I am fresh out of kids now, so the bag will take on a new life. It is fairly short, but easily comes up to my face. It had a tear that I quickly sewed up. I tried it out sitting in a chair. It will get used next season if I don't get a critter right away. I will also be looking at some synthetic underwear. Getting deep down cold makes it hard to stay in the stand all day. Getting deep down cold takes all of the fun out of tree stand hunting.


Re-purposing . . . perfect! You'll have to let us know how it works. I've thought about doing the same. But I worry I'll fall out of my stand trying to get into it. That's the kind of stuff I do :lol:
The only time I've hugged a tree is to hang a stand.
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Swede » 11 08, 2017 •  [Post 12]

When I get into that bag, I will stay tethered to my safety line. No exceptions. While in that bag, I will stay tethered to my safety line. No exceptions. :D
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Lefty » 11 10, 2017 •  [Post 13]

Swede wrote: I too stink . ,.....
Swede the new stuff isnt a problem like some of the older stuff.
I had some polar tech that got so my wife tossed it out.

Even the cheap new stuff isnt a problem anymore.
Working construction in Minnesota my dad taught us to dress right. Now hunting in a goose layout blind the proper clothes is important
Im taking the scouts camping tonight. Ive finally go it into their ( mothers) head more bottom layers and insulated boots, hats gloves neck gatiors.
Im a big fan of lots of base layers, adding more to the bottom you need less on top.
Yesterday morning in the goose blind in reverse order. Cabelas 150 bibs, Cabelas fleece pajama pants, really old school thin poly, and cheap Costco heater 32. Last winter was cold. Many mnay days I was the only hunter on the fields,.. because too many think that their single base layer is enough or

I do like the idea of Milwaukee electric jacket
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Re: Managing The Cold

Postby Tigger » 11 10, 2017 •  [Post 14]

I have really become a fan of Primaloft. It will cut down on the layers you need and me you look less like the Michelin man. Be careful with more layers because if you get a tight spot, that will become a cold spot. And at some point, comfort becomes and issue. Ask me how I know that!!

Going to the deer stand today. Temp is 9 degrees right now and a 20-30 mph wind. I will wear a long sleeve teeshirt and 3 layers of Primaloft (hoody, vest, and coat). good enough. on the bottom it will be sitka long underwear under Cabelas Wooltimate pants. Don't forget the disposable hand warmers!
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