Nicole McClain: Stay Warm During Hunting Season with the Heater Body Suit

Nicole McClain Hunts Buffalo County

Staying warm equals staying happy and able to hunt when the temperatures start dropping fast. (photo copyright Nicole McClain)

I’m a hunter, fisher, and outdoor enthusiast. I’m also a freeze baby.

I don’t eat donuts

“Eat a donut,” say the guys at camp. I don’t want to eat a donut, or pizza, or gain weight so that I can be warm during deer season. I just want to find warm, heated gear that keeps my “schnit” from shaking like a red nose pit bull.

If you’re going to be stupid, pack accordingly

I ran into a problem during my hunt last week – I learned just how damn cold and windy Wisconsin is in October. I was wearing a jacket that didn’t have a slot in the back for my safety harness tether to feed through and connect to the tree strap. Long story short, I removed my jacket and sat in the circling winds of 28-degree weather for 5 hours. It didn’t take but 30 minutes of treestand-shaking to figure out my lunchtime plan – I was going to drive 40 miles into town to buy a new jacket or find some heated gear – immediately.

The Heater Body Suit reminds me of Gossamer

The local hunting store, while cool-as-hell and filled with so many things I “needed,” it didn’t have any heated hunting jackets, pants, base layers, etc. They had only one option — a Heater Body Suit — and only one size — large for a dude.


Nicole checks out the Heater Body Suit before her Wisconsin deer hunt. 

 

If you’ve never seen or used a Heater Body Suit, it’s basically a sleeping bag with pant legs. There is no opening at the bottom for your boots to come through, and there are no sleeves for your arms. It has straps on the inside that wear on your body like backpack straps — this allows you to unzip the moment a deer comes into range and not have the suit fall to your feet, but rather hang off of your back. It zips from the inside all the way up to your neck, unless of course, you’re my size trying on a men’s large – then the damn thing covers your head completely and gives you baggy fabric folds in your legs the size of a sumo wrestler.

The Best Parts:

  • It keeps you warm as advertised. I went from freezing to comfortable in about 20 minutes.
  • It should work this season and next season. There are no heat cables, batteries or electrical pains-in-the-arses to worry about. I can’t tell you how much I DESPISE buying gear that only works for one season or less.
  • Dress normally. I’ve heard some hunters wear only their base layer when using one of these Heater Body Suits – good for you. As for myself, I consider this an addition to my normal clothing because I get just that damn cold out there.
  • Works with a safety harness – at least it did with mine. Since you unzip the heater body suit and let it fall behind you when you are ready to take aim on a deer, the safety harness tether has room to move. However, since safety harness tether strap lengths may vary, I would test for comfort once in your stand with the suit zipped up and the tether strap coming out the top by your neck, and again with the suit unzipped.
  • It’s light enough. I hate carrying crap. I want to travel light, swift, and ethically clandestine. The suit is similar to carrying a sleeping bag.
  • It’s camo. ‘Nuf said.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You can’t walk or climb your ladder stand wearing it. In all fairness, the suit is made to keep you warm, not allow you to walk like a runway fashion model or rappel like a monkey at the circus. You’ll either overheat walking to your stand or trip and fall on your face.
  • It’s tricky to get into safely at high heights. If you hunt in a hanging stand, climber, treestand with no railing, or minimal real estate for your feet, it can be tricky to get dressed safely in this bad boy from 25 feet up. Wearing a safety harness will give you more confidence, but I would still advise dressing slowly and carefully each time.
  • It’s one more thing you have to carry. Again, I hate carrying crap. I want to take my bow, arrows, glass, rangefinder, phone, grunts/bleats, and knife — and even that feels like too much to carry. If you’re a freeze baby though, it’s worth the carry.
  • No interior pockets for hand warmers. I’d like to see some interior pockets for my hand warmers. You’ll have to keep those inside your jacket pockets and gloves, which you can wear underneath the suit.
  • One more movement. You can’t shoot unless you unzip the heater suit and let it fall off of your shoulders. This is one extra movement that could spook a deer that’s within range. However, this suit will keep you warm enough so you can focus on the hunt and spot deer from 100 yards away first, rather than being distracted with sending mental signals to your legs to quit damn shaking.
  • Don’t put a Heater Body Suit in the dryer. Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water, and hang dry. Learn more here.

I can’t have the bitter cold and body shakes hamper my effectiveness as a hunter. I’m not shy about spending money on hunting gear – as long as it works and works well. The Heater Body Suit did just that, and helped me stay comfortable and focused throughout my Wisconsin hunting trip.

Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter

Nicole is connected with brands and foundations like Pink Arrow ProjectLumenokCAMX CrossbowsDeer & Deer Hunting Magazine20th Century FoxFight Like a Girl!J.C. PenneyTGI FridaysKellogg’sColdwater CreekSusan G. KomenU.S. ElitePickle Press ComicsGrange Insurance, and CamoTrading.com.

Check out more of Nicole on Deer & Deer Hunting:

Read Nicole’s Expanded “I’m A Deer Hunter” Feature Now For More Insights!

Watch Nicole on Deer Talk Now!

Take a Look at Nicole’s Photo Gallery!

 

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