Winter is here! As the cold weather sets in for the season, hunting can become an exercise in perseverance. But with the right winter hunting gear, you’ll stay warm and focused on your hunt. Here’s how to set up the best cold weather hunting kit.
Layering clothing allows you to adapt to changing conditions and use the same pieces across different seasons. If you get too hot or too cold, you can easily remove or add a layer to adjust your body temperature.
The main point of a base layer (also called thermals or long underwear) is to move cold sweat off your skin. Baselayers can also provide some extra warmth and sun protection. Merino wool is one of the best base layer fabrics, because it’s naturally sweat-wicking, odour-resistant, and regulates your body temperature in all weather conditions.
In between your sweat-wicking base layer and your waterproof outer layer should be warm, insulating midlayers. This boosts your temperature and helps block out the wind - there’s a big difference between a cold day and a cold day with wind chill on top.
Here are some popular midlayer top options:
- Fleece - soft and super warm, fleece comes in a range of weights for tackling different temperatures, with heavier weights equalling more warmth.
- Puffa - filled with down or synthetic insulating material to trap your body heat for top- notch warm-to-weight ratios... but they can be more delicate than other jackets.
- Softshell - stretchy and highly breathable, with a good balance of warmth and wind/wet weather protection.
Always bring a durable rain jacket on your hunts to keep out wind, rain and snow. Pick a jacket that lists a 10K+ waterproof rating and 5K+ breathability rating (to allow your sweat vapour out). Whether you choose something lightweight and packable or something extra tough with longer coverage is up to you. Finally, a good pair of waterproof pants will keep you extra dry.
Hunting camo outfits can shield you from being spotted by animals on your hunts.
Some camo outfits are plastered in detailed sticks, leaves and stones. These mimicry camo patterns are designed to blend you into your background. Keep in mind that many animals have worse visual acuity than humans. What looks detailed to us is much blurrier to them!
Most ungulates (like deer) have their eyes placed on the sides of their skulls to detect motion: their main visual defence. A breakup camo pattern uses non-distinctive shapes to disguise your human form. Looking at some photos of hunters wearing camo outfits in breakup patterns will really open your eyes to how well this technique works! Realtree Excape is our top camo pattern pick.
Deer, pigs, elk, sheep, goats and antelope can’t see red, orange, pink or purple. That means you can wear safety colours like fluro orange and pink to keep you safe from other human hunters while staying unseen by prey. We recommend dressing kids in pink camo or orange camo for their safety in the field. Another colour consideration is that ungulates can see the blue spectrum – so any shades of blue will make you much more visible. Otherwise, feel free to stick to traditional camo colours.