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A Hunter’s Guide to Staying Warm in Cold Weather: The Importance of Insulated Layers

Getting close to nature is a huge part of what so many people love about hunting and other outdoor sports. You’re out in the elements, enduring all sorts of environments and weather conditions, braving freezing temps – and loving every second of it. But even the most hardcore outdoor enthusiasts will tell you that there’s a time when you don’t want to let nature get too close to you. That time is when you need high-performance outdoor gear and insulated layers from RefrigiWear.

Whether you are brand new to the wilderness or an old pro, our guide will help you assemble your perfect insulation solution.

What Happens When Your Body Gets Cold?

Tons of research has been done to understand the effects of cold on the human body. The second cold air or water hits your skin, you start to lose body heat, and it doesn’t take very low temperatures at all to start seeing negative effects from the cold.

Shivering is among the first signs you’ll notice when your body is losing heat. It’s not a bad thing in itself—your body is trying to keep warm through the energy created by these thousands of tiny muscle shakes. It’s often at least partially effective for keeping you warm! But if you’re shivering, it means that whatever cold protection you’re using isn’t doing the trick. Your body has a priority when it feels threatened by cold – protect your vital organs. It does this through blood flow – so your feet and hands lose blood that is redirected to your core. The warmer your core is, the less chance you have of frostbite in your extremities.

Frostbite isn’t the only worry. Hypothermia is another big danger you need to be careful of when you’re hunting in a cold environment. If you don’t have enough protection, especially if you get wet, you lose body heat faster than you can recreate it. When that happens, your body temperature drops, and your organs eventually begin to shut down. Needless to say, hypothermia is dangerous and if you notice any of the signs, you should get help right away.

That goes for frostbite as well. If you notice symptoms of either of these two conditions, it’s time to cut the adventure short and get to somewhere warm as quickly as possible. Frostbite takes just minutes to strike, and hypothermia sets in quicker than you may realize. You can always head out again another time. Ignoring these conditions can be life-threatening.

The Principles of Insulation

So, now we understand what the cold is trying to do to your body, and it’s not very nice stuff. Luckily, humans figured out early how to stay warm when temperatures drop. And the more we learned, the better the protection got.

Insulated garments, whether they’re down, synthetic, wool, or any other material, work by keeping your body heat in and the cold out. If the air can’t get to you, your warmth stays with you, where it belongs! As our technology has improved, we’ve come up with better and better ways to maintain the barrier between you and the cold. One of the biggest advancements in warmth is keeping yourself dry through a process called moisture-wicking.

Moisture-Wicking: The Art of Staying Dry

Keeping your body dry is crucial to maintaining warmth in a cold environment. A wet body will lose heat much more quickly than a dry one. Once water cools on a person’s skin, it quickly begins to draw heat away from their body. So, whether it is from rain, snow or sweat, water on the skin is extremely dangerous in a cold environment. That’s why the use of moisture-wicking garments is important to fighting the cold.

Moisture-wicking fabric keeps water off the skin by drawing it away and to the surface. Moving the moisture up a layer might not seem like a game-changer, but it can make a huge difference when you’re out in the cold for hours at a time. Since we’re committed to giving our customers the best-insulated garments available, we have several different moisture wicking garments in our catalog.

What Kind of Warmth Do You Need?

Before you start shopping, you want to take a minute to get a clearer picture of what you should be looking for. You can get a good idea of what the best gear for you is by asking yourself some basic questions, including:

  • How low do the average temperatures get during the time of year when you’ll be hunting? We offer comfort ratings on all our products to help you choose gear that is right for the temperatures you will be facing.
  • Do you mostly go on day trips, or will you need gear for multi-day expeditions where weather conditions may change without warning? Layers are always a good idea, but they’re especially important if you need to be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Do you hunt in wet climates where you’re likely to get caught in rain or snow? You’ll probably want both a waterproof jacket and a moisture-wicking underlayer.
  • Will you be in a tree stand or blind for most of the time, or are you likely to be moving on foot a lot? The more you’ll be sitting still, the more heavy-duty protection you’ll probably need since you won’t be warming your body up through physical activity.
  • Do you already own blaze orange gear, or will you need to add some to your collection?
  • What other accessories will you need, including gloves or hats?

  • Once you’ve arrived at a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to dive in! Let us take you on a quick tour of the extensive options we’ve got available to keep you toasty-warm, wherever your hunt takes you.

Rugged Outdoor Warmth from RefrigiWear

RefrigiWear’s gear is designed to allow you to not just survive the harshest conditions but to thrive in them. We combine state-of-the-art technology in numerous styles and materials to give you a full range of options for taking on some of the toughest conditions on Earth. We’ve been around for over 65 years, which is long enough to have provided our outerwear to the unbelievably tough men and women who built the Alaska Pipeline. Despite that high bar, our gear has only gotten warmer and more advanced since then! Our catalog has solutions for every level of warmth and protection you need. From our light and flexible layers and spring outerwear to heavy-duty insulation, we give you the warmth to conquer the wild:

  • Sport Wick Long Sleeve: This durable polyester mesh long-sleeve is perfect for adding an extra layer of warmth. Its light but rugged design is ideal for physical activity and active comfort. The Sport Wick Long Sleeve also features the moisture-wicking technology that will help you stay dry. Slip it on under your coat when you need a little extra protection and wicking power.
  • HiVis Reversible Softshell Vest: Don’t just add a high-visibility vest to your outfit—add a layer of warmth, too! This durable polyester jacket is decked out in safety blaze orange and is made from a lightweight water-repellent membrane. For ultimate versatility, it’s also reversible and can become a plain black vest with 270g insulation when you don’t need the blaze.
  • Cooler Wear Trousers: With all the great jackets available, it can be easy to forget that your legs need durable comfort and protection too! These insulated polyester pants have an elastic waistband for enhanced comfort, plus knit ankle cuffs for extra heat-sealing power.
  • PolarForce™ Jacket with Performance-Flex: Need a high-performance active jacket with serious warmth? The PolarForce™ has you covered. Its Performance-Flex technology gives extra movement and flexibility at key points, such as the elbows and underarms, while 500g insulation protects your body even in the most nightmarishly cold conditions. And, naturally, it’s water-repellent and wind-tight, with an inner drawcord that turns the jacket into a tightly sealed warmth zone.
  • Iron-Tuff® Coveralls with Hood: If you are going to be sitting in a stand or blind without moving, this is an all-in-one solution for all-over warmth. These heavy-duty coveralls are rated to keep you warm all the way down to -50ºF, when combined with appropriate accessories like gloves, and feature a tear-resistant nylon shell that will stand up all the weather nature can throw at you. If you’re planning for long, cold days in the wild, go Iron-Tuff®.

But, wait—are you missing something? You might be if you don’t have a warm hat, gloves, socks and all the other components that come together for complete warmth. Naturally, we’ve got you covered on all those important extras too.

High-Performance Outerwear Accessories

To keep out nature’s wrath, you’ll often need to accessorize. That’s why RefrigiWear offers all the thermal accessories you need:

Assembling your ideal thermal protection kit has never been easier. Enough talk—you’re ready to get out and feel the wind on your face, right? We’re happy to hear it, and we’re also happy to help take the wind off your face once you decide you don’t want it there anymore. RefrigiWear will be there to keep you warm, dry, and safe so that you can keep making the memories of a lifetime in the great outdoors we love so much.