Hunting in cold weather requires a little planning to ensure that the trip is a successful outing. Not only do you need to make sure that you have the appropriate equipment to keep your gun properly functioning in frigid temperatures, but you need to see that you have the right clothing and gear to keep yourself safe and warm. Check out a few must-have gadgets for your next cold weather hunting trip.
When hunting during cold weather, one of a hunter’s biggest concerns is keeping themselves warm, comfortable, and safe from the elements. The right pieces of personal gear are vital for cold weather hunting.
Start by packing a pair of quality hunting boots with at least 800 to 1000 grams of insulation. Make sure that you opt for a size larger than you normally wear, as this will enable you to wear multiple pairs of thick, wool socks without feeling like your feet are cramped. Cramped feet actually feel cold faster due to the lack of blood flow.
Next, focus on your clothing. You want to dress in layers for optimal warmth. Your first layer should consist of socks, underwear, a shirt, and pants in a moisture wicking material, such as wool or synthetic polyester. It’s possible for your body to sweat even during chilly temperatures; you don’t want this sweat to remain on your body, as this will ultimately make you feel cold and damp.
Your next layer will consist of insulating clothing, like a sweatshirt, light jacket, or vest. Clothing produced from wool or fleece will keep you toasty without adding a lot of bulk. As the temperature changes, you can add and remove these layers so that you’re comfortable.
Last, you need a wind and water-resistant outer shell to make sure you’re protected from a number of weather conditions, including winter precipitation, high winds, and extreme cold. Your shell should be a little large to allow for multiple layers underneath and optimal airflow. Adequate airflow through your shell can help trap heat so that you stay warm.
Cold weather accessories, like your gloves, hat, and face mask, are the finishing touches for your cold weather attire. Wool and fleece materials are popular options that will help your extremities retain heat. Make sure that your gloves aren’t too thick, as you need to be able to operate your firearm with ease. Some hunters prefer to wear multiple pairs of gloves that they can layer as needed.
Equipment for Your Firearms
Most hunters shoot their game with a rifle or a shotgun, depending on the rules in the state they’re hunting in and their personal preferences. Thought handguns aren’t typically used for shooting game, you may decide to keep a handgun on you during your hunting trips for personal protection. With the appropriate precautions, most firearms will operate as expected during cold weather. The key is to avoid exposing your guns to the elements and remedying any exposure that does occur. Here are a few items you should have on hand to ensure your guns don’t freeze.
Swap your standard lubricant for a cold weather gun lubricant. This type of lubricant is designed to work in sub-zero temperatures; this means that you won’t have to worry about the lubricant becoming gummy and potentially freezing the components of your gun. If you don’t have cold weather gun lubricant, you can use a small amount of regular lubricant if absolutely necessary.
When you aren’t using your firearm, wrap it in a layer of insulating fabric. This will keep the firearm dry and prevent condensation or frost from developing on the gun. If you neglect to wrap the gun or if it’s exposed to precipitation when you’re shooting, make sure that you wipe off any moisture using a dry cloth as quickly as possible.
Another potential issue when hunting in chilly temperatures is your scope fogging up. One way to minimize scope fogging is by using a scope cover. The cover will keep condensation that causes fog off your scope. Look for a piece that you can quickly remove so that you’re ready to operate your gun within seconds.
If you forget to put your scope cover back on or if your scope gets wet while you’re shooting, it’s handy to have a few alcohol swabs nearby. You can use the swab to wipe the moisture from the scope; the alcohol will then quickly evaporate, leaving behind a dry, fog-free scope.
Other Hunting Necessities for Cold Weather
No hunter wants to get caught in the dark, but it’s even more important to be prepared for the unexpected when extreme temperatures and winter precipitation are possibilities. Pack a head lamp in your hunting gear so that you’re able to illuminate your pathway while keeping your hands free.
You may need to make a fire for warmth or to prepare food during your trip. Always keep a small amount of tinder and a pack of matches in your hunting bag so that you can start a fire within minutes when you need heat or nourishment.
Need some help assembling your cold weather hunting gear? Stop by Las Vegas Shooting Center today and check out our retail store for firearms and accessories perfect for your next outing.