What's more important? Base or outer layer in cold weather

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by JHasty, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. JHasty

    JHasty Weekend Warrior

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    Just trying to get some fellow hunters opinions on this topic. I live in Georgia and we don't get brutally cold weather here like some of the northern states. Our bow season opened September 11 and it usually doesn't get cold here until December or January right as season is finishing up. When I say cold 40's and 30's and rarely in the 20's. I strictly bow hunt and most of the places I hunt I don't have to walk but a few hundred yards to get to my stand. After I have sat in my stand stationary for 2 or 3 hours I tend to start getting cold no matter how I layer. Usually my feet are first and then my legs. My question for you guy is should I be focusing more on my base layer or outer layer. I know they both play a role but I am just curious if one is more important than the other? Do I need to buy a quality base layer and get a decent outer or buy just an ok base layer but a more expensive and higher quality outer layer to try to help keep me warm. I am just the average weekend warrior and I cant afford to go out and buy thousands of dollars of gear just to try to find what works for me. I have been researching the Badlands Pyre gear this morning and it looks like it would be plenty warm and I know there are tons of other companies out there that make quality gear but I hate to drop all of that money on outer layers and still get cold in the stand. Should I be looking for outer layers that have a fleece style liner, certain insulations like Primaloft silver/gold etc? Thanks in advance
     
  2. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    If I was only pic one, I would go with a outer layer. What I do is hunt with the same clothes all season and add layers on top as needed. Find a outer layer with windstopper and it will go alot farther into the temps and usually will be thiner. A high quality outer layer can be very versatile. I use cheap thermal layer and high quality outer. But just stepping up your under layer to a quality wool is a huge difference.

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  3. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Something that cuts the wind and breathes well if that makes sense. Example: You can have a rain coat on that stops all rain/wind, but it retains moisture, so you will get cold. You need a quality outer layer that cuts wind but allows that body moisture to dissipate. Go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls and find some fleece Columbia sweatpants/sweaters and you'll have a good fluffy base layer.
    So, I suppose my answer would be an outer layer.

    A set of these will save your toes: https://www.arcticshieldoutdoor.com...-18?returnurl=/products/gear/boot-insulators/
     
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  4. NebMo Hunter

    NebMo Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    mid layer

    in the real cold youll probably have a mid layer as well.
    I pretty much wear the same base layer unless its in the 60s and up, and I always wear the same outter layer.
    the key to cold weather is mid layer insulation. I have a double thick windproof water resistant fleece vest and zip up (Duluth shoremans fleece). If i wear both the zip up and vest Im good to whatever the Midwestern winter brings my way.
     
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  5. JW Gruv

    JW Gruv Newb

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    I also always wear the same 150 weight merino wool base layers weather it's 0 degrees or 70 degrees and just add layers as it get colder. Over the last 5 or so seasons I have found that a good mid-layer has made a huge difference when it gets below 40.....I wear a permaloft mid-layer both on top and bottom over my wool layer/layers. Also, a windblock breathable outer layer is very important to staying comfortable up here in the great white north
     
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  6. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    Best to go find and listen to folks like John Barlow on this point. You need to think a bit more holistically and think about other factors like weather, activity, and others especially if hunting beyond Georgia.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  7. Wedes

    Wedes Weekend Warrior

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    So I have a decent amount of experience in this. From sitting in a OP at 10000 ft plus to rucking in all temps and sitting in a stand in cool but real windy weather. I’m going to take a cop out answer but it’s true. It’s both. First merino wool for base layer and it’s not opinion. It breathes well and allows you to be comfortable in the widest of temperature fluctuations, dries quickly, will keep warm even if wet,and controls scent. Merino is somewhat fragile and shouldn’t be used as an outer layer as thorns will destroy it quickly. I agree on having mid layers. Quality thin ones is a must. It creates the dead air pocket space that keeps you warm. The thinness allows comfortable movement to do your job which in this case, draw a bow and shoot effectively. Outer layer must have a breathable wind breaking ability. If you have good mid and base layer you don’t even need a heavy outer layer. I recommend looking at zip off thermals bottoms. I wear the ones from first lite but the major brands all have them. They are great for putting in your pack and putting them on when you get to your spot. Don’t even have to take boots off.

    As far as feet and hands, obviously good wool socks are huge. For gloves, get some thin merino gloves to go under whatever gloves you plan on wearing. We did a long range shooting course for work up in north Idaho in December. Highs in the 20s. First day I wore heavy gloves and my hands still got really cold. Added these and had to take my heavy gloves off when working bc my hands stayed so warm.

    Final thing. I know you don’t want to spend a ton of money but remember you get what you pay for. If you never plan on hunting outside of Georgia you can probably go cheaper for lack of a better term but if you ever want to go somewhere like out west for something, I would get the good stuff.


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  8. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have always mostly been a still hunter for deer, with a rifle or muzzleloader. Didn't have to dress for sitting still in a tree. I only archery hunted for elk in September.
    The last few years I've gotten more into sitting in a tree for whitetail, mainly bow and muzzleloader. I quickly found out that you have to dress WAY warmer for that.
    I started off wearing my same base layer thermals I already had and putting on some bulky outer layers. Didn't work well at all, still got cold and found it hard to draw a bow.
    Last year I bought some merino base layers. Wore a light mid layer with it, some sweats and a long sleeve merino shirt, and then good outerwear that cuts the wind well. Stayed much warmer and had more freedom of movement to boot.
    The heated vests are fairly affordable now too, everyone that has one I've talked with absolutely loves them.
    My feet are what drive me out of the stand now. I've tried all kinds of tactics to keep my feet warm, nothing works for very long. Wore lighter foot wear to walk to the stand and then swapped them and socks out. Bigger boots that aren't too tight, light sock and a heavier merino sock, air activated insole warmers. With water proof boots the warmers just don't get enough oxygen to stay activated. Just going to go to heated socks this year.
     
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  9. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    a lot to like in Wedes reply, but one thing you have to consider- if your base layer locks in moisture, you will freeze your nips off even in cool weather.

    I have been wearing the same Farm and Fleet base layers that I bought appx.....8 years ago now? I have 3 sets of tops/bottoms and they are still in like-new condition.

    https://www.farmandfleet.com/produc...t-mens-20-thermolator-4-way-stretch-crew.html

    If it's 65* - 0*, those are next to my skin. I can layer merino or thermal fleece over it as needed, but those base layers are always next to my skin. I hunt an absolute crapload (over 30 days per year) and probably 70% entails walking in over a mile with a stand on my back.

    No chafing, very good at not absorbing or transmitting odor...they are awesome. I see they're about 50% more expensive than when I bought them, but they're still worth it.

    Also, I may be in the minority here but I do not like thick gloves no matter how cold it is. When I am moving my hands stay warm, and when I am in the stand a very lightweight thin glove is good enough for me - I just keep my hands in my pockets.

    Feet...that's a whole other story. I do OK in 800gr rubber boots from 40*-20*; but if it's colder than that I wear these ridiculous Cabela pac boots that are not comfie for walking but do the job in a stand.
     
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  10. NebMo Hunter

    NebMo Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    agree with dnoodles. i wear thin gloves because it makes it easier to do whatever needs to be done with your hands. I will wear a handmuff with warmers in it and slide my hands in it for extra warmth.
     
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