Hunting is hard enough when the weather is just a little chilly. When it drops to winter conditions… that’s when things get really rough. In addition to the usual demands of hunting and trapping, you’re going to have to reckon with questions of basic survival thanks to the low, low temperatures.
We can’t help you track and kill your game: That’s all in your corner. We can, however, give you some tips to help you stay warm – and alive – while you’re hunting during the colder months. That’s going to make your life a lot easier when you’re hunting for fun.
It’s also going to prepare you for a time when hunting is a matter of survival, not recreation.
Clear Your Campsite
Before you pitch your tent, you want to get all the snow and ice and as much of the damp ground out of the way as you can. It’s going to help you to keep dry when you’re sleeping. You’re also going to make your overnights warmer by making it so that the ground isn’t quite so cold. If you’re having trouble removing the snow and ice, put down a layer of wood, then a tarp, then your tent.
Sleep On Your Clothes
You don’t have to sleep in your clothes. Sleeping on them is just fine. Why? Well, it will provide another layer of insulation from the cold of the ground. But there’s a more important reason for you to sleep on top of your clothes for the morning: They’re going to be warm when you get up and put them on at the break of dawn.
Leave The Water Bottle At Home
When you’re out camping and hunting in the winter, every ounce of weight counts. So many hunters carry water bottles around in the dead of winter and it’s just totally unnecessary. Why? Because any water that you put in the bottle is going to freeze. So a mug is just fine for your purposes during the winter months.
The Redneck Hot Water Bottle
Another way to stay warm when you’re out in the wild during the winter months is to use a hot water bottle. You don’t have to go down to Walgreens and get one from the medical section. In fact, you probably already have something that you have at home you can use – a Nalgene bottle. Yes, it’s not going to be useful for drinking water, but if you boil some water and throw it into a Nalgene, you’ll be glad you did all night long.
Handwarmers Are A Must
A lot of guys don’t like hand warmers because they think they’re going to get some kind of a prize for suffering in the winter months. Well, they’re not. Handwarmers can keep your hands comfortable, but they can also keep you from going to the hospital with a nasty case of frostbite. In a survival situation, such an easily treatable condition can quickly become life-threatening or even fatal.
Face Your Tent Door In The Right Direction
If there’s a prevailing wind direction, you should point the door of your tent in the opposite direction. This will keep your sleeping area protected from the frosty gusts of wind that will be blowing against your tent all night long.
Get Some Snowshoes
Trudging through the winter snow might be a weird flex of manhood when you’re away for the weekend. In a SHTF survival scenario, it’s just a bad idea. There are easy ways to make snowshoes at home, but nothing beats a quality pair of professional snowshoes for making your movement faster and keeping your feet warm and dry. You might also want to take up cross-country skiing now because that’s a great skill to have for when you’re hunting for survival.
Wear A Mask To Bed
This might not sound like the most comfortable thing in the world, but you’re definitely going to sleep better. Trust us. Wearing some kind of full-head mask – ski mask or whatever – while you sleep is going to help you get a much better night in. Remember – most of the heat in your body is evaporating through your head.
Hunting in the wintertime is hard. But you don’t need to make it any harder than it has to be. Follow these tips and you’re going to have a lot easier time catching the game whether it’s for a weekend trip or the end of the world as we know it.