The moment your feet start getting cold is the moment when your body gets cold too and you’re only minutes away from getting all chilled and numb. Any hunter knows that shooting isn’t going to be possible with you shaking so keeping your feet dry and warm is one thing to always pay attention to when hunting.
Without any further ado, scroll down for our suggestions. You never know when you need them:
- Always go prepared
- Choose the right hunting boots
- Keep perspiration under control
- Use cotton balls
- Layer your socks
- Use more insulation for your feet
- Eat the right food and drink the right drinks
- Have some warm water in a bottle
- Stay away from metal conductors
- Cover your head and keep it warm
Always go prepared
Having the right gear and essentials with you can make the difference between a good and a bad hunting experience.
You should get with you some extra socks and even an extra pair of boots. Should you ever find yourself with wet socks or wet boots, there isn’t going to be much to be done, except for taking them off and putting on dry socks and boots.
Choose the right hunting boots
The type of your hunting boots has a big role when it comes to keeping your feet comfy and dry.
Here are some things to take into consideration when selecting them:
- When you go shopping for hunting boots, wear the socks that you’re going to wear when hunting. You need to have enough room for wiggling your toes.
- You want the hunting boots to have a thick sole and effective insulation
- Waterproof hunting boots are better for the cold weather
- You should also get yourself a pair of rubber boots so that your feet remain dry through mud.
Keep perspiration under control
Even though it may not be obvious, sweat is going to get you cold eventually. Here’s what you should do for lowering the risk for sweating:
- Use layers for staying warm and add more only if you need it.
- Rub a deodorant on your feet the night before going out there. A deodorant is going to need aroun6 hours until it’s effective on your sweat glands.
- It’s better not to hurry and to walk slower. You may need the extra energy for later and you’re not going to get all sweaty and cold for nothing.
- Remember to have regular breaks (some say that every 50 paces are a good rhythm, especially when going uphill).
- Change your socks and hunting boots if your feet are moist in any way.
- Use foot powder for reducing the risk for moisture. Use the odorless powder when you go hunting. Baking soda is a great alternative to use.
Use cotton balls
Some cotton balls are going to add more insulation for your feet. You can place them between your toes. Not only that they’re going to help you feel warmer, but they’re also great for absorbing moisture.
Layer your socks
You don’t have to be the most experienced hunter out there to know that just one pair of socks isn’t going to be enough when hunting in cold weather. It’s better that you have 2 or even 3 layers of socks.
One thin pair is going to wick moisture away, whereas the other one should be a thick woolen sock for keeping your feet dry and warm.
Use more insulation for your feet
Even if you have good and warm hunting boots, some extra insulation may be exactly what you need at times. Here’s how you get it:
- Add thicker insoles to your boots
- Use cardboard and place it inside your boots
- Cut the leftovers from the cardboard for filling up the extra spaces on the sides of the boots.
- Booties or moccasins may add some extra warmth
- Spreading a blanket over your feet is going to work as well.
Eat the right food and drink the right drinks
Some foods and drinks are going to help you get warmer when hunting on a winter day. Scroll down for some useful tips:
- Sugar spikes are going to make you cold so eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
- Meat and protein rich beans (black-eyed beans or black beans) are great for the cold weather
- Stay away from the sweets and foods with empty calories (cookies, potato chips)
- Avoid the spicy foods the night before you go hunting.
- Have a hot chocolate with butter in it for more energy. It’s not going to clog your arteries, but rather give you a boost of energy on a cold winter day. Everybody is nuts for butter nowadays.
Have some warm water in a bottle
Not only that warm water is going to keep you warm, but it’s also going to keep you hydrated.
You can use the warm water bottle as a heat source. You should store it in a mid-section pocket on your hoodie/vest right under your jacket. Once it’s not warm enough, you can simply drink it, for warming yourself up. You’re going to get hydrated and warm at the same time.
Some warm water is always going to be one way for getting your feet warmer when hunting.
Stay away from metal conductors
Metal conducts the cold to your body. Most of us learn things the unpleasant way, but getting their hand stuck on some cold metal objects. You should always have an insulator between your body and the cold metal.
This means that you should always cover the metal in your tree stand and use a padding/blanket on the bottom of the metal stand. If you’re not using a barrier, the cold from the metal stand is going to go straight to your feet.
Make sure you get rid of the steel. For instance, some boots come with metal steel toes, but it’s better to find another solution. The steel is only going to get cold and lead the cold temperature straight into your toes.
Nevertheless, when you’re hunting in cold weather, you should try your best to eliminate the exposure to cold metal objects.
Even if exercising in a tree stand seems a bit risky, you should know that there are plenty of exercises that are safe to practice even in your tree stand. Here are some suggestions:
- You shouldn’t sit perfectly still, as it’s going to constrict the blood flow. When the blood flow isn’t right, your feet and toes are going to get cold soon enough. Once your feet get cold, it’s only a matter of time until your whole body feels cold. An exercise as simple as flexing your toes is going to be great for sustaining the blood flow and boost the circulation.
- Do some isometric exercises. They’re actually a lot easier to do than they sound, especially in a small space. They’re silent exercises and you only need to contract/release your muscles without moving your legs. This is going to improve the blood circulation, warming up your legs, feet and toes.
- Try to loosen your hunting boots so that you can wiggle your toes and rotate the ankles in small circles. Tighten your boots back on.
Cover your head and keep it warm
Maintaining your head covered and warm is also going to help your whole body (feet including) feel warm. This trick is backed by science and it seems that our head loses 45% of the body heat when it’s not covered. Wearing the right cap on is going to count a lot more than you thought.
Pay the extra buck for a high quality hat that isn’t just going to keep you warm in the coldest weather, but it’s also going to take the use for a long time.
You should also consider using a balaclava and a dickie for adding more warmth. You need to have protection for your head and neck from the cold, so a warm scarf is always going to be a solution for that.
When your head isn’t covered, your body is going to sacrifice the blood for your feet and it’s going to send it to your brain and internal organs instead. Layering your items is the main principle when it comes to protecting your head and neck too. As a matter of fact, the lower the risk for heat loss, the better the chances for staying warm throughout the whole hunting.
Having cold feet (literally) isn’t ideal when you go hunting. Even if it’s not a life-threatening situation (but it can take a turn for the worst in no time), having cold feet is going to ruin your hunting, for sure. It’s a problem that is very easy to solve, so don’t wait until it’s too late.
Most tips to try for maintaining your feet dry and warm are easy to follow and, more importantly, really affordable too. Eat the right foods, protect your head and neck from the cold, have some extra socks in your backpack, stay hydrated and dry so that your feet don’t get cold in the first place.