Being a disabled hunter we are faced with many obstacles, the hardest one is dealing with the cold. With either poor circulation, improper clothing or just not being prepared can turn a fun hunt into a life threatening situation. Being in a wheelchair, it is not easy to move around and try to regenerate body heat that is lost.
However, there are many products that can help you stay in the woods longer. Below I will talk about some of the items I have used successfully that have helped me combat the cold.
The chemical warmer is another great product that can be applied anywhere and they are inexpensive and easy to carry. You open the package and take out the bag, shake it to activate and put it in your gloves, boots or anywhere you need heat. There are multiple sizes depending on your needs. The bigger size can be put in a pouch and placed on the kidney area. I like to use them in a hand muff because I don’t wear a glove on my shooting hand. You must keep checking the bag as they can sometimes get very hot.
Another great product I have found useful is the Heater Body Suit. The Heater Suit is similar to a sleeping bag but it has legs and a zipper down the front. You put the suit on like a pair of pants and pull it up over you shoulders and zip it up to stay warm. When you need to unzip, just let it fall off your shoulders and you are ready to shoot. Using a ground blind or a permanent blind can help you keep out of the elements like the rain, wind, or snow. You just crawl in and put on the Heater Suit, fire up a couple of chemical warmers, open a few windows and you are set for a relaxing hunt.
In extreme cold another item you can use in concert with the blind is a portable propane heater. Make sure you have a window open for adequate ventilation.
One of the newest products that can really make a difference is heated clothing. In the past all heated items operated off of batteries. They never were warm enough and you were always changing batteries. Heated clothing of today operates using rechargeable battery packs some lasting up to four to six hours depending on what setting you use. If you need to extend your time out have another charged battery to replace the old one. With today’s new technology heated clothing has expended their line of products they include vests, mittens, shirts, base layers, muffs, pants, insoles, and even a heated band that can be used anywhere. Some of the bigger items require direct power like a 12 volt power system. With the new and advanced heated clothing I can extend my time in the woods and we all know that the longer you are out the better your chances of taking a deer of a lifetime!
These are some of my tips I use to help combat the harsh winters here in Minnesota. There are a lot of products and ideas out there. Use the internet and search to find what is available so when you have designed your own cold weather system you will create more time hunting for yourself and increase the odds in your favor.