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Gear: A Cure for Cold Feet

ThermaCELL’s electronically heated insoles aren’t perfect, but they are the best cure for my biggest late-season deer hunting problem: cold feet. When temperatures drop into the teens,  toes can start to burn with the cold unless wearing heavy felt-lined boots. If hiking to a stand or do some still-hunting, however, pac boots make feet sweat, which guarantees  toes will be cold when standing still.Thermacell-Insole-1

The best thing about ThermaCELL’s heated insoles is the fob-like remote and built-in control board and battery. Unlike chemical toe warmers, which start out hot and gradually cool down, these let you wirelessly select “No Heat” when you don’t need any supplemental warmth, then either “Medium” (100 degrees F) or “High” (110 degrees F) heat when you do, all without clumsy external batteries or switches.

That allows for wearing a favorite pair of lightweight, moderately insulated knee-high rubber boots when on the go, with the assurance that the heat can be vamped up if on a stand or stop for whatever reason. And even if wearing heavier boots, the control board acts like a thermostat and temporarily shuts off power to the heating element when it reaches the selected temperature.

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It’s genius—though not without a few flaws.

  • For starters, the molded, cushioned insoles are much thicker than the insoles that come standard with most boots and can only use them with light socks in boots that are large to begin with. Otherwise the fit is way too snug.
  • They could also be a little warmer, and the battery life is disappointing. The lithium-ion unit built into the heel of each insole recharges quickly, but it does not come close to the advertised five-hour run time at medium heat.
  • And they’re pricey, at about $130. If the battery lives up to its promised 500 charges, that works out to only about $0.26 per use, which is about one-quarter what chemical toe warmers cost. At this point, though, that’s still a big “if.”

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But the biggest complaint is with the remote. It doesn’t confirm what setting the insole is at. Sometimes it’s off when it should be on and on when it should be off. A positive on-off switch, or even better a setting and battery level indicator, would be a huge improvement. So for now we’ll have to wait for the perfect cure. Until then, these are still pretty darn good, and a second pair would be convenient so they can be swap out on all-day hunts.

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Gear: A Cure for Cold Feet

ThermaCELL’s electronically heated insoles aren’t perfect, but they are the best cure for my biggest late-season deer hunting problem: cold feet. When temperatures drop into the teens,  toes can start to burn with the cold unless wearing heavy felt-lined boots. If hiking to a stand or do some still-hunting, however, pac boots make feet sweat, which guarantees  toes will be cold when standing still.Thermacell-Insole-1

The best thing about ThermaCELL’s heated insoles is the fob-like remote and built-in control board and battery. Unlike chemical toe warmers, which start out hot and gradually cool down, these let you wirelessly select “No Heat” when you don’t need any supplemental warmth, then either “Medium” (100 degrees F) or “High” (110 degrees F) heat when you do, all without clumsy external batteries or switches.

That allows for wearing a favorite pair of lightweight, moderately insulated knee-high rubber boots when on the go, with the assurance that the heat can be vamped up if on a stand or stop for whatever reason. And even if wearing heavier boots, the control board acts like a thermostat and temporarily shuts off power to the heating element when it reaches the selected temperature.

B_5v_OnVAAAS60U

It’s genius—though not without a few flaws.

  • For starters, the molded, cushioned insoles are much thicker than the insoles that come standard with most boots and can only use them with light socks in boots that are large to begin with. Otherwise the fit is way too snug.
  • They could also be a little warmer, and the battery life is disappointing. The lithium-ion unit built into the heel of each insole recharges quickly, but it does not come close to the advertised five-hour run time at medium heat.
  • And they’re pricey, at about $130. If the battery lives up to its promised 500 charges, that works out to only about $0.26 per use, which is about one-quarter what chemical toe warmers cost. At this point, though, that’s still a big “if.”

imagesPO5E8D77

But the biggest complaint is with the remote. It doesn’t confirm what setting the insole is at. Sometimes it’s off when it should be on and on when it should be off. A positive on-off switch, or even better a setting and battery level indicator, would be a huge improvement. So for now we’ll have to wait for the perfect cure. Until then, these are still pretty darn good, and a second pair would be convenient so they can be swap out on all-day hunts.

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WEB   RATES     FISH    HUNT    CABINS    PHOTOS
TESTIMONIALS    BROCHURE    HUNT BOOKLET

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How to have a problem-free cold-weather hunt

With all the talk of such freezing temperatures, it is no wonder most of us are a lot less eager to suit up and get out hunting. Here is a great article written by By Ken Bailey on how to prepare for a comfortable, cold day hunt!

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In late-November whitetail hunt many years back, I stumbled upon a dream buck lying out in a hayfield. Perhaps he was tired from chasing does, but since I pegged him at about 180 Boone & Crockett points, it wasn’t the time to question my good fortune. I laid my rifl e across a fencepost, found the sweet spot in the scope and squeezed the trigger. You wouldn’t believe how loud an unexpected click sounds in the still, frozen air. Unsure of what had just happened, I ejected the cartridge, pushed in another and squeezed again. Another loud click. At that, the buck jumped to his feet and bounded off while I cursed aloud. The culprit, as it turned out, was a frozen firing pin spring. Here’s how to avoid this happening to you, along with some other tips for a problem-free cold-weather hunt.

Mind the moisture
So, why did my rifle misfire? It’s a common problem, really. Condensation forms on the metal when the firearm is brought in from the cold, then slides into the action and barrel. When you take the gun back outside, the moisture freezes and locks up the action or firing pin.

To prevent this, leave your rifle out in the cold—whether in a locked vehicle or other protected location—if it’s safe to do so. If you have no option but to bring the gun inside, store it muzzle down and dry it thoroughly once it has stopped sweating. Snow can also play havoc with the action and muzzle of your fi rearm, so scrupulously brush off any that accumulates. To ensure snow doesn’t get in the barrel, cover the crown with a strip of electrical tape—it won’t have any impact on the ballistics. As with the problem of condensation, any snow left on your gun will melt when you bring it inside, then turn to ice when you head back out.

Lose the lubricants
I’m vigilant about cleaning and lubricating my fi rearms: a well-oiled rifle ensures consistent friction-free cycling. But lubricants can lose their viscosity in frigid temperatures, and begin to freeze in extreme situations. That can result in slow or inoperable triggers and firing pins.

The good news is, modern firearms are designed to work perfectly fine without lubrication, especially if high-volume shooting, which can lead to heat buildup and increased friction, is not required. So, if you’re going to be hunting in sub-zero temperature, cleanse your action of all lubricants. There are many commercial degreasers on the market, but virtually any solvent, or even gasoline, will work well.

To begin, remove and disassemble your bolt, for this is where years of grease, oil, dirt and general crud can accumulate. This includes inside the firing pin spring. Once you’ve soaked the components in a degreaser, simply wipe them dry and reassemble the gun. If you’re of the notion that you absolutely must use a lubricant, look for one of the modern concoctions rated for -40°C or colder.

Dress for the occasion
Two years ago on a Newfoundland moose hunt, I got caught unprepared when the tail end of a hurricane caused the temperature to plummet 30 degrees. I was forced to put on nearly every stitch of clothing I had with me, most of which wasn’t designed to be worn together.

I really should have known better— when hunting in regions where extreme cold is possible, even if it’s not in the forecast, go prepared for the worst. That means layering your clothing from top to bottom. Wear a base layer that wicks moisture away from your skin; underwear made of polypropylene is a good choice. Cotton absorbs moisture, so avoid it at all costs.

Mid-layers are designed to insulate, so you’ll want several layers to accommodate a wide range of temperatures and activity levels. Popular materials include wool or the various iterations of fleece. Your outer layer should protect you against wind, snow and freezing rain, so the shell must be wind and waterproof. Be sure it includes a hood.

All your clothing should fit comfortably but not tightly. Select sizes such that each layer fits well over the layer below it. And when it comes to covering your feet, head and hands, moisture wicking materials, insulation and protection from the elements are equally important. Now, bring on the cold!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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