Winter Season: Safety Precautions for a Successful Hunt
Snow is a blessing for hunters. However, winter brings with it low temperature which have risks on their own. Cold temperatures are some of the biggest threats to hunters. Nevertheless, an experienced hunter always knows how to prepare himself for the winter weather conditions and stay safe while hunting. For those of you who need an extra advice on the subject, we have prepared the ultimate guide for staying safe while performing your favourite activity.
Hypothermia is the biggest risk when hunting in cold weather. People expect that hypothermia only occurs in extremely cold weather. However, hypothermia is more common than you think. It can occur at temperatures as high as 50 degrees F. The risk is even greater if you take the hypothermia warning lightly. If the body drops only 2 degrees C, hypothermia occurs. It could come from the cold outside, but also from inadequate gear.
As far as hunting gear goes, it is very important for every hunter to know the types of material which are most suitable for his clothes. Cotton is only recommended as an outer layer. It keeps you warm, but it also retains moisture, making you more subjective to hypothermia. Wool is also a material which is recommended for such extreme conditions. It also doesn’t retain moisture, which is the number one reason why the highest quality underwear has wool in their content. However, with low temperatures and sports activities, there is one general rule which applies. The more layers of clothes, the better.
Nowadays, there are also multi layer hunting clothes which are lightweight and don’t limit your motions. You need a good pair of boots to protect your feet, a jacket, pants etc. The layer which touches your skin is usually not able to retain any moisture and the outer layer is made out of warming materials which were mentioned above. This is the perfect combination which will keep you warm in the winter season hunting without influencing your performances. Nevertheless, insulation is as important as warmth. It allows your body to breathe and the excess moisture to escape your skin. And synthetic blends provide better insulation than natural materials. For this reason, the best solution for these cold days is to choose a proper outfit with a synthetic and natural fibers combination which will provide you the necessary protection from the elements.
It is not rare that a cold wind occurs in these weather conditions. The best protection from a cold wind is a wind protective outfit which will make you forget about the outside conditions and continue with your activities. It is important that you pay a special attention to the extremities, because most of the heat is escaping from the feet and head. Fingers, toes and nose however, have lower blood circulation which makes them more subject to frostbite. If you are wearing a touch screen devices, grip gloves with touch screen manageable properties are also a good idea. And remember, there is no such thing as a cold weather. If you are feeling cold, it means that your outfit is inadequate!
Water resistant clothing is an absolute must. If you cannot avoid such weather conditions, at least make sure you are well prepared for them. The combination of a rainy weather and low temperature requires water resistant and warm clothes which are suitable for those temperatures. Snow can be a wonderful sight, but if it is too wet it can flood your shelter or get you wet. This could either end your hunting activity too early or make you feel the cold in your bones. Neither option is a pleasant experience.
Low blood sugar is one of the main causes for hypothermia. For this reason, it is recommended that you bring some high calories foods. Even though they are not natural, they will provide your body with enough sugar to increase your energy levels and keep you warm.
Sharing your hunting schedule is extremely important. It is becoming more significant as the conditions are worsening. For this reason, letting someone know about how long you will be gone is probably a good idea. It is a bit morbid to prepare yourself for an accident, but look at it as a way to stay safe instead of thinking about this with a dose of negativity. Even though snow storms are usually forecasted days ahead, it is quite possible that something like this happens by surprise. A heavy snow could easily cover your tracks, making it more difficult for other people to find you.
Set up Camp
The setting up of your camp is also a subject on its own. You should choose to set it up on a place that shelters you from winds and possibly snow fall. This way, the temperature inside will be slightly warmer and you would be able to focus on the hunting instead of thinking about the chills from the cold weather.
Protect Your Ears
Hearing protection is something which most hunters use. However, there are some hearing protections which are intended for cold weather conditions and others which aren’t. The difference is in the condensation properties. If the temperature outside is low and your body is warmer, a condensation occurs which is causing moisture in the hearing protection equipment too. The winter protections include a material which sucks the moisture created and it is directing it to the outside, thus leaving your ear dry and healthy. This is especially important for people who already have issues with ear fungal infections which are more likely to occur in moist conditions. A Beanie or a tuque over your ears and head is also a great alternative which you might like to consider.
Hunting in extreme winter conditions can be a great adventure as long as you prepare sufficiently. In life and in hunting it is best to prepare for the worst conditions and hope for the best scenario. By following this advice you are good to go and have a great and successful hunt.
If you have any questions or you would like to prepare our hunters community with a safety experience of your own, you are welcome to leave us a comment in the comment section bellow. Gear up, stay safe and shoot the goal!