How to keep your fingers and toes warm during cold weather hunting
If you're anything like me, as soon as my hands or feet get cold it feels as though my whole body drops 15 degrees. From late fall fishing for muskies through our often chilly deer and pheasant seasons I have learnt a couple of things to keep my extremities happy. Below is what I found to be the most useful for those days where it is imperative to keep your digits warm as to not let hypothermia settle in.
Years ago I was given a pair of battery operated socks (Flambeau Men's Heated Socks Kit) which I thought were a gimmick at first until I actually used them on a hunt. These paired with a couple layers of merino wool socks are usually my go to. As mentioned in other blog posts of mine, merino wool is great as it wicks moisture, is generally more lightweight than other socks and can be used in the summer as to not be only a singular use item.
The original battery for the socks would last ~3 hours which is fine for a quick hunt but let's be honest, not many are so lucky in just 3 hours. When looking at the battery I noticed it was simply using 3.7V 2400mAh lipo batteries so I decided to amp this up for those long days in the stand, blind or field. For around $7 you can get 6000mAh batteries from sites such as Alibaba. Once I installed these larger batteries I was getting sufficient heat all day and have yet to light myself on fire!
Pair the above battery and conventional sock pairing with some appropriate boots and you are ready to go! Choosing these boots is dependent on the hunting you are doing. If you don't plan to do much moving, I would go with a high insulation boot (measured in grams) as they are going to be more heavy and clunky but for sitting sessions they are great to keep your feet warm. If the plan is to be moving all day you are going to want a lighter weight boot that is waterproof. There really is nothing worse than stepping in a puddle that you thought was solid ground!
I think I have gone through the gambit of hunting gloves to never find the right mix of lightweight, windproof, waterproof, warm and functional gloves that allow you have a full day outside while not being a hindrance to the moment you have to take a shot. As above, I have tried the battery operated gloves, and they do work, but there is something to be said about being able to use your bare hand on the trigger to assure you have the best chance of getting your timely shot.
This is why I created the SleeveShield™ which allows the user to wear NO glove but yet get all of the benefits of the perfect glove: warmth, windproof, waterproof, functional and lightweight. You can check out more about this solution here. With the SleeveShield™ on your firearm you only have to worry about your one hand which doesn't need to be as functional as your trigger hand. For this hand I would always side to a more heavyweight insulation glove as you won't be using this hand much and you can afford for it to be bulky and NOT cold.
These suggestions should help you enjoy your time more in the field this season while still feeling like you're hunting in the spring!