Hunting during winter or late fall poses a challenge due to the inclement weather. Also, the low temperatures will make you chilly, unless you get the right gear. Your feet are likely to suffer the brunt of the frigid weather as you need to step on snow and wet surfaces. So for this post, I will share the best way to keep feet warm while hunting without compromising your comfort and mobility.
1. Keep the blood flowing
To prevent your feet from freezing while hunting, you have to ensure that blood flow isn’t restricted. Avoid very tight boots or socks that will make your feet numb and easily cold.
Even though it’s cold, you should take time to untie your laces and wiggle your toes. You don’t necessarily have to remove your boots. Just allow some breathing space for your feet to let the blood flow and keep the soles warm.
You can keep your feet moving while standing near a tree without making a ruffling noise. Wiggling your toes will help a lot, and it will also prevent feet pain later on.
2. Wear multiple socks
When it comes to hunting in the winter, you must layer up to prevent cold air from touching your feet. Wool is the best option since it traps body heat, not to mention that it has excellent moisture-wicking properties.
Unlike cotton, wool doesn’t absorb moisture too much. The problem with cotton is that it tends to absorb moisture in the air. So even if your feet aren’t soaked, airborne water molecules can still make your soles cold.
Another good option is polypropylene socks since it wicks away moisture. You can wear this under a pair of wool socks for added warmth. Also, feel free to wear multiple pairs as long as it doesn’t restrict the blood flow.
If you want to be extra, you can use a heated pair of socks. Like heated gloves, the socks have a special heating element powered by a battery. This will keep your feet warm all day long, but it may feel bulky.
3. Use boot covers
Another way to prevent the cold air from getting into your feet is by wearing boot covers or shoe wraps. These are designed for hunting and made of waterproof material. It also has rubber soles that will repel the cold temperature from the ground.
Boot covers can be worn right away, and it also protects your shoes from damages. Some even have pockets where you can place heat packs for more warmth.
However, if you don’t have boot covers handy, you can improvise with an oven bag or bread wrapper worn inside your boots. This will give you more warmth, and you can throw it away after each use.
4. Stash some heat packs
One of the easiest ways to keep your feet warm while hunting is to stash some heat packs on your boots. You can also place some on your boot covers.
Just make sure that there’s enough space for the heat packs so your feet won’t feel cramped. For long hunting sessions, you should bring several packs to replace the used ones.
I highly recommend the HotHands Super Warmers. It comes in a box of 40 warmers, with each one lasting for up to 18 hours. It’s very affordable and a must-have if you’re going outdoors for hunting and other activities. To activate each pack, simply shake it, and the pack will start to get warm in 15 minutes.
5. Place cardboard beneath
If you don’t want to spend anything to keep your feet warm, simply use cardboard. Place it under your soles to shield your feet from the cold temperature. This is more effective if you wear socks.
The cardboard will help block the moisture even before it gets into your soles. However, it may not offer 100% protection against cold weather, so you should pair it with other methods I discussed here.
6. Apply some foot powder
Foot powder isn’t just for neutralizing bad odor. This is also useful in absorbing moisture so it won’t get into your soles. It’s a great hack that even hikers use during winter.
Before you put your socks in, apply some foot powder, and rub the soles together. After that, put on your wool socks. If foot powder isn’t available, you can use baking soda as an alternative.
The bonus part is that your feet won’t smell bad even after hours of hunting.
7. Choose the right pair of boots
The right pair of boots will make a big difference in keeping your feet warm while hunting. Aside from protecting your feet from sharp twigs and harsh elements, the boots should be well-insulated, too. Rubber hunting boots are great options since it’s watertight and won’t let the moisture in.
Also, you should focus on insulation. It’s usually measured in grams, which pertains to the amount of insulation material used. Aim for at least 800 grams of insulation for winter. If you’re not moving a lot, you’ll never go wrong with 1,000 grams of insulation.
8. Bring hot drinks
Lastly, don’t forget to bring some hot drinks. You should have something to keep your body warm from the inside, aside from layering up and using heat packs. A well-insulated thermos will keep your hot drink warm even if you’re hunting for hours.
Taking a sip from time to time will help maintain a warm temperature inside your body. This will help warm up your feet, hands, and entire body.
However, you should never pour warm water on your feet just to keep it from getting chilly. Later on, the warm water will cool and freeze, making your feet colder than ever.
The best way to keep feet warm while hunting is to layer up and use some simple hacks. Heat packs, hot drinks, and boot covers will make a big difference. All of these will keep your feet warm and dry, even if you’re braving the winter season in the wild.
Do you have more winter hunting tips to add here? Let me know below!