View Full Version : keeping ears warm in the snow

01-22-2011, 12:54 PM
how do you guys keep your ears warm while hunting in the very very cold? do you have issues not being able to hear as well using muff style hats?

If you have favorite gloves I'd like to know too. I'm ->||<- this close to buying 6 pairs of crappy cabelas gloves just so I can have a new fresh pair every time I go out and let them dry for 3 days before reusing.

01-22-2011, 1:09 PM
Beanie. Find some gloves that are water proofed. Are you sweating in the gloves? Wear latex gloves underneath. Are you just wearing knit gloves?

01-22-2011, 1:25 PM
Where are you going to be hunting? Is it a dry cold or a wet cold? I Steelhead fish up North in the Winter months and Pheasant hunt in NE in the Fall. Two different kinds of cold. A beanie or balaclava will serve you well in either place. In wet cold climates you will need to stick to breathable waterproofs and synthetics. In a dry cold you can get away with leather, wool, and some natural fibers. For gloves I use neoprene now. They make them with finger cut outs so you can pop your trigger or hook finger out when you need touch then pop em back in when you are done. Big 5 usually carries these gloves this time of year.

01-22-2011, 10:20 PM
so you guys don't consider maximum ability to hear important? or put another way, the reduction in hearing capability does not affect you as much as your ear comfort in the cold?

01-22-2011, 11:18 PM
I think not losing my ears to frostbite takes priority.

01-23-2011, 6:16 AM
so you guys don't consider maximum ability to hear important? or put another way, the reduction in hearing capability does not affect you as much as your ear comfort in the cold?

Where are you hunting and what for? If you hunting big game and moving around I've found it can get pretty damn cold out and with just a simple hat your ears are fine. I've also found that when I properly layer with good layers that my whole body in turn is kept warmer. I have a cabelas windshear vest that is my favorite piece of clothing I own. It keeps my core warm and it's wind proof which is fantastic for sub freezing big game and waterfowl hunts down to temps that make Minnesotan's blush.

I have one of those elmer fudd hats for waterfowl when it's brutal cold. It has the flaps with faux fur or something (thinsulate with goretex as well) that I fold down when my ears are cold. I also have a fleece balaclava which can act as a hat, neck warmer, full head mask etc.

Oh and if your on game, you won't feel it. I was in Eastern Oregon bow hunting one day when it was 22* when we left the truck. Within 4 minutes of leaving the truck we heard bugling. I was sitting on the frozen ground in a pair of cotton BDU style pants for about 20 minutes trying not to move. About the time I started thinking I can't do this anymore my Dad shot an elk. I think my butt cold welded to the pants and at the time it felt like all the nerves froze. lol.

If it's a situation between frostnip/bite and having my ears covered I'll cover the ears. Looking like a college wrestler without the physique is not something I want to do.

01-23-2011, 11:06 AM
northern california in the winter is my experience for big game. pretty new for me though so I'm still getting a handle over all the techniques. Conceptually it seemed like I just wouldn't be able to hear anything when covering my ears. Sit down with some snow on the ground and it feels like I can hear a pin drop at the other side of the treeline. Till my ears get so damn cold I wanna cover up.

02-04-2011, 11:58 PM
+1 Beanie.

02-05-2011, 9:00 AM
Hooded sweatshirt and hooded coat. On days of 0F and below two hooded sweatshirts under the coat.
Hoods are perfect because you can still wear a ball cap. Put on your first hood to keep your neck/head/ears warm, add hoods as needed. Two sweater hoods and a coat hood are really not all that bulky and will keep you warm well below zero. This is how I dress every day that I'm spending time outdoors. With thermals on the coat is usually optional.
I hunt, snowshoe, ice fish this way and I am never cold.
For gloves I like those rubber palmed work gloves. I have a thick pair that work great by themselves, then I have a very thin pair I wear under a slightly oversized pair. Options are nice.

The key to staying warm is layers. I wear a good set of thermals, A heavy pair of socks rolled up over the thermal pant leg all the way to my knees, a heavy pair of work pants, t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, zippered hooded sweatshirt, Sorel boots, and those rubber palmed gloves. Coat for backup. I play in the snow and work construction in this setup and I'm comfortable all day long.