When I was a teen I frequently went duck hunting on fields near Denver Colorado for 2-3 hours before school started. Even though there was often frost on the ground, all I needed was a windbreaker and cap to keep me warm. Today, however, my body speaks to me differently and I find myself following a ritual that keeps me warm throughout my duck hunting day.
I start out with a healthy breakfast and bring along snacks to keep up my energy during the day. Using these calories for energy generates heat. I also drink water regularly even though I may not feel thirsty.
Then I start dressing for the weather. Much of my hunting wardrobe comes from the complete selection offered by the Minturn Anglers shops in Denver, Minturn and Vail. Today the outdoor clothing industry offers a large selection of materials and insulation systems which can keep a person warm even in the wettest and coldest conditions. I take advantage of these advances and tie it in with tested traditions of layering clothes and using materials which wick moisture away from skin.
I start with a good pair of wool socks, sometimes two, but making sure there’s enough room left to wiggle my toes in my boots. Then I usually put on a one piece thermal base layer. It is made from a fleece material which is really comfortable and incredibly warm. This is typically followed by a wool blend long sleeve shirt.
Windproof and waterproof bib overalls and a hooded parka make up my outer layer. The hood is attached to the jacket, preventing rain and snow coming down my neck. A wind proof fleece cap and neck gaiter completes the outfit.
It is hard to keep my hands warm because they are always getting wet. I usually to use neoprene gloves with inserts for disposable hand warmers. My waders are neoprene as well, and lined with Thinsulate.
When it is particularly blustery outside, I make good use of disposable heat packs readily available at most drug stores. For example, I have used a heated back wrap to successfully keep warm for 10 hours or so. Hand warmers have found homes in my hat, in pouches in my gloves, and even over both sides of my neck to warm blood flow.
You can count on successful duck hunting in frigid weather when you gear up with clothing and supplies from Minturn Anglers.