In our new “Ask Marti Davis” format of Marti Davis Afield, she explores what underwear is under there — all about baselayers for hunting.
I hunt in Iowa and the temperatures can get pretty doggone-it-all low during hunting season. What type of baselayers do you wear when deer hunting?
Chilly in Cedar Rapids
Winter is upon us now and deer hunting is still in full swing in several states. Baselayers make for an interesting topic to discuss. I reached out to some of the other hunters who are on TeamWON and will share their recommendations, along with my own.
Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer hunts all over the United States, with her home territory being Oregon. For spot-and-stalk and upland bird hunting in the cold weather, she uses Cabela’s Women’s E.C.W.C.S. Silk Weight Tights and Crew. These baselayers are lightweight polyester material that provides warmth with minimal bulk, while offering great mobility. In fact, Cabela’s boast that the current models of these provide 121% more warmth than the previous models did.
Our fearless leader and publisher, Barbara Baird, shared this information on her baselayers.
I usually scour the racks at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls for brand-name ski base layers, like North Face, Patagonia, you-know-the-type. But, after reading our Christine Cunningham’s fine explanation, in her recent column, of why she prefers Merino wool, I believe I’m going to start replacing those pieces with Merino wool base layers, including and most importantly, a turtleneck top. Also, I purchased this Wind River balaclava, by First Lite, from EvoOutdoors. Just … wow. I wore it during a downright chilly duck hunt and whooee. Thin and warm, and it allowed me to move. I wore it 2 days in a row, and it didn’t stink. It is made of 18.5 micron superfine Merino wool, with a 2-piece design that includes ear holes. I threw a camo baseball cap on top and covered it with a fleece camo hat to complete the look and function. This balaclava is machine washable and even dryable! This is available in Realtree Xtra, Realtree Advantage Max-1, Mossy Oak Infinity, Dry Earth and Pine. It is on sale for $38.
Mia Anstine hunts and guides in some of the higher elevations of Colorado and New Mexico. She and the Little Gal, whom we all know and love from Mia’s column, definitely know about hunting in some colder temperatures. Most of their hunting is spot-and-stalk, so very seldom do they stand hunt.
Mia recommends Marmot® ThermalClime Pro top and bottoms. Marmot proclaims that these base layers are powered by Polartec Power Dry, to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. For some heavier weight base layers she uses and recommends the WoolX X-Treme series women’s heavyweight Merino wool thermals. Mia states, ‘I generally don’t hunt from stands, but when I do, if it’s cold, I wear a wool-type material as my base layer. WoolX works in extreme cold especially when you’re hiking, working up a sweat, then stopping for a rest. It will help prevent chill and is a good all-around base layer.”
For spot-and-stalk or chilly stand hunting days, I personally the Under Armour Women’s ColdGear Infrared EVO Scrunch neck top and ColdGear Infrared EVO legging. These feature ColdGear Infrared technology that makes them great layering items for extra warmth. The polyester/elastane material also uses a light and flexible ceramic material that absorbs your body heat. The dual-layer construction combines a smooth, fast-drying exterior with a brushed, heat-trapping interior. For those real frigid days and stand hunting I go with a secondary baselayer – Polartec Power Dry base layers from L.L. Bean. The quarter-zip expedition-weight top and pants are made from some of the best synthetic moisture-wicking fabric found for cold-weather activities. The pill-resistant exterior quickly disperses moisture to keep you dry, warm and comfortable.
I’m going to throw in a bonus item for those cold days afield. This is one of my favorite pieces of hunting clothing. It’s L.L. Bean’s Men’s Waterfowl Sweater with WINDSTOPPER. Yes, it’s for men, but let’s face facts: the guys have more options when it comes to hunting clothing. Hope this helps answer your question and keeps you nice and warm on these cold winter days afield.
Marti Davis is a staff member for Browning Trail Cameras, WoolX and Mossy Oak. She is an authority on most types of hunting in North America, and very active in mentoring the next generation of young hunters. View all posts by Marti Davis