I'll be going out on my first deer hunt and need the proper clothing. I'm not sure where to begin, so I'm looking for some recommendations.
Location: Southern Ohio (Athens, OH)
Temperature Average: 43*F, Avg. high = 55*F, Avg. low = 32*F
I'm usually cold rather than hot most of the time, if that helps.
I have rain gear already.
I believe I will need the following:
- Base Layers
- Wool Socks
- Overall Bibs?
- Boots? (I have Muck Fieldblazers which Muck claims a comfort range: 85 degrees F to -20 degrees F)
I have a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Bass Pro Shops nearby along with several local stores.
I'm not trying to take out a second mortgage on this gear, so quality gear that gives great "bang for the buck" is crucial.
I appreciate the help!
Will you be sitting still in a stand all day or moving around?
Do you have a long or hard walk to your stand?
The redhead or bass pro brand base layers have served me very well over the years.
I use the midweights if Im going to do a lot of walking. I use the heavy weight for sitting in a stand all day.
They are very reasonable prices for those pieces.
I tend to plan for the worst weather and end up in my base layer most of the time. Layer up is my advice. I have under armor but anything non-cotton works. Then choose quite pants and shirt and a coat or jacket, which mostly ends up in my pack but is there if needed.
Also you don't need to go pricey-- earth tones work nearly as well as camo and costs less in the case that you decide you don't like hunting etc.
Those Muck boots won't keep you very warm under 45 degrees IMO. But if you bought them big enough you can put on a couple if pairs of wool socks. If you plan on getting a new pair get them a size bigger than you usually buy. Tight boots with will sock will cut off a little cerculation and make your feet cold. Get a hand muff too if you can; much better than a pair of thick gloves. Bass pro is the better place to shop I think and don't go in spending a tone on camp. Like others have said layering is the key. Keeping my feet and hands warm is what keeps me in the stand longer.
The redhead brand wool blend socks are a good investment. I think they have lifetime guarantee.
I 2nd a hand muff is a great idea for in the stand. I do better keeping my hands warm that way then with gloves.
Feet are the tough part. Once they get cold you are done. I have had 1k to 1200 thinsulate boots from Rocky and Irish Setter, they both do an ok job but if it gets cold enough at some point your feet may still get cold. If you can put any type of old carpet or floor mat in your stand it will give you one more layer of some type of insulation from the cold under you.
I have used the footwarmers in the extreme cold and they seem to work "ok" but are def. better then nothing.
You also need to keep kidneys warm. Bibs do a much better job at this then pants but bibs can be bulky. The handwarmers that stick to your back above you belt line are priceless imo. Other then your head/feet keeping that part of your body warm is important.
Stand hunting requires patience and very little movement. Being comfortable helps you move around much less.
You can always not wear what extra clothes you bring..
I’m sure this will be controversial, but my suggestions:
Get a laser cut camouflage suit. Then you can wear whatever is warm under it. You could even wear a hot pink fuzzy snowmobile suit if you were so inclined. Wear silk for a base layer. You don’t have to buy the luxury stuff, cheap is fine. Silk breathes, keeps you warm and does not irritate skin like wool can. Aviators wore it under their flight suits during WWII. Borrow a pair of your wife/girlfriend’s knee high stockings to wear under your socks.
Lastly, it is better to have it (in the stand) and not need it than to need it and not have it.
For your hands, get the glove/mitten combo (where the mitten can be pulled back exposing your fingers. Make sure the ones you get are water proof. Nothing sucks more than cold hands/feet.
For thermals get good, warm, sweat wicking tops and bottoms.
Make sure your jacket/coat has the wind barrier flap that covers the zipper. I prefer a hooded jacket in case it is raining, snowing, or really windy.
For your torso, get a good mid-layer polar artic-type fleece top (I have found the army mil spec ones that are part of their cold weather system to be superior to anything I've bought in a store).
Depending on how long you will be in your stand, take enough of the chemical hand/feet warmers to last throughout the day.
Once it drops below 30F I don my flanel lined pants (just some carharts). Once it drops into the 20Fs I wear an insulated bib. You get a lot colder, easier, and faster when you are just sitting in a stand versus moving around.
As far as a hat, I prefer beanies that are contoured to come down over my ears and lower on my neck than the "standard" round beanies. I'm bald as can be, so the contoured ones stay on my head better and don't ride up (thus allowing cold air to get in).
Throw some long underwear beneath the clothes you have and you will be gtg. Fire is more important at night then clothing.
I was in the Northern California mountains 8k up and it was 20 degrees at night but was fine with basic thick hunting clothes and a fire. During the day I felt fine and even got hot when hiking up a mountain face trying to get a better view for Bucks.
ETA: All I had was mechanix gloves. O and get a scarf cause that's what really kept me warm when I would find a good spot when it got close to sundown.
Might have been said above, but COTTON KILLS avoid cotton clothes like the plague. Cotton easily gets wet from sweet than stinks and stays cold. My BDU pants and shirt, which are a Cotton/poly mix are the only remotely cotton gear I have. I wear these as an outer layer to walk to my stand and resist thorns, burs, etc.
Just went Muzzle-loading last week in NE Iowa and temps were pretty close to what you mention plus some light rain. I wore the following and was very comfy:
- synthetic underwear and T-shirt, moisture wicking
- thick wool socks, must be 90% or better wool
- silk bottoms with a light merino wool pair over them
- Merino wool long sleeve top
- BDU-style camo 6-pocket pants and shirt. These are rip-stop material for walking thru the woods as I mentioned. Cabelas has nice ones in your favorite hunting patterns, Mossy Oak, Realtree, etc. old school Military camo works just as well.
- camo boonie or ball hat, gloves
Outer-layer: I carry these to my stand rolled up in a pack or leave them off in a waterproof container at my stand ahead of time:
- Columbia Wool Hooded Parka. LOVE THIS. Even resists light rain. Warm, quiet and comfy as heaven. ON SALE at Cabelas Columbia wool
- Fleece stocking cap carried in cargo pocket
- camo face mask (synthetic) or ghille mask
- blaze orange vest as required by hunting regs.
-Danners Pronghorn Boots, uninsulated.
Like a woodland Ninja!
Get a fleece balaclava, one of the best purchases I made. I wear a beanie underneath it.