Cold toes and noses are no fun. You can’t celebrate the great outdoors in Winter without warmth in these areas. Fingers are also important, but that will be another article.
Most of heat is lost from our heads. Ice fishing is a perfect way to prove my point. Sitting on a cold bucket, on a frozen lake, jigging a rod, requires little to no movement. With no hat, your body is like a furnace and your head is the stovepipe.
Hats and Balaclavas Both of these garments are essential. Comfortable and warm headgear is a must. You want a hat that will offer a brim to keep the sun at bay but will also not make you sweat. If you sweat, the hat will freeze and so will your head. There are tons of choices and everyone’s needs are different. Image is not as important as warmth.
The Balaclava, or Capuche, is another great way to keep your head warm, especially in the wind. This headgear comes in many fabrics such as Polar fleece and wool. I am not a big wool guy, but the Polar fleece is awesome and comfortable. You can wear this garb as bandana or pull it up to cover your head and face. On a windy day, this gear is the best! When the Balaclava is around your neck, no heat is lost form this area.
COLD Feet and Toes can ruin the day. If you are uncomfortable with freezing toes and feet, Winter will not be your friend. Some folks apply antiperspirant to their feet before they put on their socks. If your feet are wet from sweat, they will get cold. Foot powders can also help.
Schnee Hunter 2 Boots 20 years ago, I purchased a pair of these great boots. I am still using them today. The toe is designed to fit into a stirrup and the tread is very action traction. These are my go-to pair of boots for late season activities and ice fishing. My toes and feet have NEVER been cold when using these great boots. These boots have a felt liner that wraps your feet in comfort. They are a bit pricey, but are made in Bozeman, Montana and are worth every penny on freezing cold days. Know that you can get dozens of other packs and Muck boots that advertise super warmth but… I have tried many of these and my boot of choice are the Schnees! When your feet and toes are freezing, you will not argue about the price.
There is some technique to keeping your feet warm. This is a personal deal. Everyone has different tolerances and needs. I have found that on cold days, I need to first put on a wicking pair of polypropylene liner socks. Then I add a knee-high winter sock. You could add a Toe Warmer to your foot if needed, but I have never needed them. I have tried the battery socks but have not been impressed. The batteries do not perform when it is cold.
Comfort means fun when playing in Winter!
For more Montana Grant, find him warm and toasty at www.montanagrantfishing.com.