We're hunting in the morning, and it's gonna be lots colder than usual here in the Carolina foothills. Besides the common sense layering, what can I do for myself and the Princessa to make tomorrow better?
There's 50/50 Drambuie and single malt in my flask already.
I have a great thick Melton-so thick and heavy it almost feels felted. I've owned it 4 years and this will be the 2nd time I've worn it. I am worried about my feet-xeroxchick, I'm not sure I can fit cashmere socks inside those custom boots-will outside the boots work the same?
Those hot hands and toasty toes things work well.
Consider one of those earmuff things thta goes under your helmet.
White fleece strip as your stock - I had a friend who got a length of that fleece stuff from a craft shop cut into the 'size' and length of her stock tie. Very toasty.
Good ski gloves.
Fleece breeches. Extra layer/s underneath. I have some 'cold weather' breeches that are not that attractive so I rarely wear them, but they are absolutely warmer than regular breeches.
Bigger boots to accomodate toasty toes plus extra socks. I got some ariat thinsulate extreme paddocks that are totally warm, even now. I'd very much consider using them + half chaps if I *had* to hunt.
Chemical toe warmers really work. I use 2 per boot. One goes on top of my foot, just behind my toes. I've found that putting those things on the ball of my foot can be uncomfortable. The other one goes on the outside of my leg about 3 inches above my ankle. It's all about keeping your blood warm. I use polyproplyne sock liners and then 100% wool socks.
Do not use toe warmers in your gloves. They need very little oxygen to do their thing and they create too much heat in a glove. The small hand warmers work pretty well tucked into your gloves.
Best tip ever: do not wear cotton anywhere on your body in extreme cold conditions. Try Poly long underwear, covered by fleece or wool. Cotton gets sweat soaked very easily with just a little exersion and then you would freeze at the checks.
White fleece neck gaiters are hard to find, but they do the best job of cutting heat loss from your upper body and they can be pulled up to keep your lower face warm when needed. Black fleece ear warmer gizmos are available in most sporting goods stores. Check with the ski shops in your area if you have any, or online.
I use the toasty toes but I don't activate them until my feet start to get cold. I have Ariat Bromont field boots one size up for extra room and I put warmers under my toes and then knead them with my toes to activate them. If I start out with them warm my feet get too warm early and then freeze when the warmers wear out. I also keep some hand warmers in my pocket in case I need them. Under Armour under breeches and under canary vest and an Under Armour ski hood. I found all of the Under Armour at TJ Maxx this year. I also splurged on a very heavy melton coat with thermax lining. I've managed to stay warm with all this but I only hunt my push button horse on extremly cold days. I'm sure if I rode one of the greenies on a really cold day I would be forced to do more than be a passenger, break a sweat and then get chilled.
Hunter's Rest-great idea about the fleece stock tie. I can't get it done before tomorrow morning, but I'll have it ready for next time. Our lows for the next 10 days are in the teens to low 20's, so I will be needing it.
Lily, my horse only needs me because she can't drive the rig to the meet herself, so no worries on that front.
Skiers know how to keep warm so go to a ski shop and see what you can find. Things I learned:
-mylar glove liners - metallic cloth reflects body heat
- silk long underwear/socks/glove liners
-polypropylene socks liners or glove liners if silk too expensive for you
- black headband/earcover thingy fits under helmet
-don't wear a well ventilated helmet btw - holes allow heat loss
- by the best wool you can afford and read the label for the highest % wool
- layering definitely way to go, I've worn a nylon windshirt UNDER my melton on really windy days
- better yet....just don't hunt if its THAT cold!!! Car follow instead!!
It was a short but fun outing. We hunted from the kennel, hounds soon found a red fox. Road whips viewed fox crossing into property we don't have access into-tell me foxes don't know what they're doing! Huntsman gave it up pretty soon after that, but Charlie gave us a nice tour before he rubbed us off. There were only 6 of us. The footing wasn't terrible, and we stayed in the woods out of the wind most of the time, so we didn't feel the little bit of breeze that kicked up every now and then.
Only my feet were cold. Before our next meet on Thursday I'm getting those sock liners, for sure. Thanks again, everybody.
DO NOT put moisturizer on your face before hunting in the cold wind, save it for when you come in. Stupid me thought it would help protect from wind burn but it only made it worse. Of course it's not often it's under 20 degrees with 40 MPH winds.