Intro to Archery: Dressing Warmly for Bow Season

I hate being cold. Absolutely hate it. And while my summer tan still lingers, this morning there was a thin layer of frost on the grass and across our windshields, marking the official arrival of fall. I learned last year how chilly it can get after sitting in a tree stand for hours, watching squirrels and chickadees dance among the crispy leaves, waiting for opportunity to show up.

Me and Annie Russell of Vermont Public Radio. I may be smiling, but it is definitely cold outside.

Annie Russell of Vermont Public Radio (left) and me on our way to my tree stand last season. I may be smiling, but it is definitely cold outside.

And this year, I will not be cold. I decided that last year and started my plan of attack over the summer, figuring out which layers were the least noisy, yet most warm. There are so many variables to choose from, but since I didn’t want added bulk, I opted for merino wool and newer down technology to hopefully get me through this year’s archery deer season.

My warm clothes arsenal:

Patagonia merino midweight crew
Breathable; wicks away sweat so the chill won’t settle against me.

Patagonia Nano-Air vest
Easy layering piece over shirts and under jackets; adds warmth without weight.

Under Armour ColdGear Infrared EVO leggings
Warm base layer without any bulk; built-in scent control.

Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Speed Freek jacket and pants
Quiet and flexible fabric; built-in scent control; fleece-lined zippered pockets. Pants have side zip legs so that they fit snugly over boots.

Wool socks:
I favor thick Darn Tough wool socks with foot warmers stuck to the bottoms.

I have two pairs of boots — and I admit that I use both of these pre and post-hunting season since they are incredibly comfortable and perfect for hiking around muddy, snowy or uneven terrain.

Under Armour Speed Freek Bozeman boots
Waterproof, lightweight and perfect for first half of the season.

LaCrosse AeroHead 7mm boots
Waterproof/Weatherproof; insulating and warm; mid weight (not clunky to wear for hours on end).

Under Armour boots in action

Under Armour boots in action

I’m still on the lookout for a great pair of gloves that will provide the warmth I need (as my fingers are often the coldest part on my body) without constricting my movements. Right now, I’m wearing basically a fleece camo mitten on my bow hand while my release hand is shoved deep into a pocket, clutching a hand warmer.

What do you wear to keep warm during bow season?