I'm looking to cap with a local hunt this season, but am concerned about how to stay warm, but still be dressed in correct attire. My Ariat show coats are lightweight wool which is great for spring and fall, but not for winter. If I were to ride in what I hunted in back in September, I think I would freeze.
If I were a regular member and hunting frequently, I would go out and buy a heavier coat but until then I'm not sure what to do.
What things would be good to layer with to stay as warm as possible without adding so much bulk that I look like a marshmallow?
Go to a Ski shop and look at their layerings. A LOT of what I learned ; I learned out skiing in brutal cold weather for hours. The materials to look for are: silk liners, mylar liners, 100% wool and polypropylene. Nylon is not warm but it IS a great wind blocker so a lined wool jacket performs both functions of course. Read the labels of any socks/glove liners and make sure there's only the above or combos of the above.
Also go to a camping or hunting store or store section. They sell good products for warmth but again read the labels. The warmest stuff WILL cost more but will last a long time and be worth it.
Silk glove liners under thinsulate gloves. Silk socks under thick wool socks under a pair of knee high nylons are good under your boots.
One of the big secrets is to wear looser/largers sizes so you CAN layer underneath. My winter boots are a whole shoe size larger so I can wear the socks AND most importantly won't cut off the circulation. Anything tight (like tight calved boots) decreases the circulation to your feet and the warmth! When/if you buy a winter melton; get a size larger for sure so you can layer and still move.
And who cares if you look like the michelin man?!! It's not about looks! It's about survival, comfort and fun!!
Get one of those thermal heat packs they sell for us old guys with bad backs. It'll pump out heat for the whole hunt. They also make little versions that can fit in gloves and boots.
There are those who, in extreme cold, will resort to cotton balls between toes and plastic bread bags over their socks.
I hate being COLD...you need room for the ayers and room in your boots, so if everything is tight to begin w/ it doesn't work.
UnderArmour is awesome and I use the Thrmal Heat Paks on lower back, the 5 hour ones for feet and I put the hand ones inside my wrists under my Turtle neck sleeve and put a wrist band on over to keep in place.
Best investment was a proper heavy wool hunt coat used!!!
I love my polar fleece britches for winter riding. Plus my silk long underwear - sometimes two pair under the clothing when the weather is downright bitter. Plus nylon sockings under the socks keep feet much warmer. Plus windproof cycling gloves. Plus neck warmer.
Yup. All but the nose and eyeballs are toasty warm.
How about breeches? Do folks prefer the fleecy "winter" breeches or do you just wear two layers?
For me, the winter breeches have been warmer than regular breeches with Under Armor underneath. I think the difference is winter breeches are more windproof.
Make sure you wear something wicking as a base layer. I have a pretty good idea which layers I need, depending on the temperature and wind, but there's still a big difference between a slow day and one where you have some really good runs. It's difficult to regulate body temperature when you get sweaty and then have to stand around.