View Full Version : Help shooting in the cold

little b
11-10-2014, 12:04 AM
Ok so call me a sucker for a little punishment, was out this afternoon to get out and knock a few clays out of the sky and the temp was -7 when we got started. Hands after an hour started to get on the numb side of things but it was the frozen cheek that was causing me the most trouble.

So how do you guys deal with colder temps, is there a particular bit of clothing or gear that works well or something you might like.


11-10-2014, 12:35 AM
Both my gal and I have Canada Goose Resolute parkas. We describe them the same way: whatever the weather, we don't feel it.
Can't say I've shot clays with it on though.

On my head/face I have an OR Pro Gorilla Balaclava. They don't make the one I have any more, although the "OR WB Gorilla Balaclava 83995OR" is similar. It's thin, warm, and I can add the Velcro nose piece it comes with if the wind bites. And if its warm I open the Velcro neck portion, and warmer of course I take it off.

11-10-2014, 09:22 AM
Warm thin gloves help with the hands. I like merino wool myself.

11-10-2014, 10:43 AM
I wear a balaclava, nothing specific but as thin as possible while still being warm. For gloves I wear a pair of mechanix gloves when in the station (which are NOT warm at all) and in between stations I have an oversized pair of very warm gloves I put on over top.

little b
11-10-2014, 10:48 AM
The gloves I was wearing were work gloves, after the first hour they had absorbed to much water thus my hands were starting to get toooooo cold.
Bob, thank you that looks like it could do the trick to keep the cold stock from freezing my face. It's going the Xmas list :)

11-10-2014, 11:53 AM
While you wait:


11-10-2014, 12:00 PM
I work outdoors repairing heavy equipment and have shot when its down to -40c. Helly Hanson insulated coveralls my friend. -7c is still too warm for them though. I pull mine out when its below -20c.

11-10-2014, 12:07 PM
Helly Hanson insulated coveralls
Do you mean these:

Related question: anything my gal might wear? (I got her a parka, boots, mits, hats -- legs are left)

11-10-2014, 12:29 PM
Look for their full, one piece coveralls. I'm on my phone right now or I'd look them up for you. Marks Work Warehouse carries them. Get ready for the sticker shock though. If you HAVE to be outside in the bitter cold, they're worth every dime and then some. Trust me on that.

11-10-2014, 12:55 PM
Marks Work Warehouse carries them.

Helly Hansen THOMPSON INS. COVERALL WITH REF. TAPE – F3840 (with Pen Pocket)

Helly Hansen FR FALHER INS. BIB OVERALL WITH CSA TAPE (Matching parka available separately)


11-10-2014, 04:34 PM
I have the bib/parka combo and the coveralls. For overall performance, I prefer the coveralls. $400 seems steep, but youll understand why when its -40c.

11-10-2014, 05:23 PM
We are hardy Canadians......we were made for cold weather......

11-10-2014, 08:08 PM
We are hardy Canadians......we were made for cold weather......

YOU might be a hardy Canadian who was made for winter. I am a wimpy Canadian who likes to be dressed up like the Michelin Man for winter. :)

11-11-2014, 05:48 PM
We are hardy Canadians......we were made for cold weather......

We are hardy Canadians, we go out in any weather.
There is no bad weather, only poor clothing choices.

I've discovered a wide brimmed hat works better than an umbrella -- and it frees up both hands.

Over a month ago, I started seeing people walking their dogs while the people were wearing parkas (while I was wearing a thin long sleeved shirt -- probably around 12C)
Every end-of-winter-but-not-yet-spring I see men outside with nothing above the waist but their undershirts.
Definitely a your-mileage-will-vary Canadian folk.

11-12-2014, 09:51 AM
I wear a neck warmer pulled up to cover the lower half of my face. Sitka makes a nice warm lightweight glove that I really like for hunting/shooting activities.

Josh J
11-20-2014, 11:29 PM
One of the things I've been wanting for a while, but really need to ingratiate myself to my wife in order to justify, is this...
Made for the Austrian special forces, it's a glove in a mitten so you can fold it down and still be protected from the elements whilst shooting. Also, there are multiple pockets made for heat packs. On top of that, this version has the smart phone screen fingertips, and a ton of other cool features.

11-21-2014, 08:19 AM
The gloves seem awesome. One guy on course just had em, everyone was jealous. It even snapped pretty cold for this year and he was doing well. Expensive though. I don't think I can ever pay the price.

11-21-2014, 09:15 AM
Gloves are a must but it's hard finding gloves that allow you to shoot a handgun in the extreme cold. I have video of myself shooting a Norinco NP-22 in the extreme cold. My hards were so frozen I could barely keep holding onto the gun.

11-21-2014, 11:30 AM
Here's something I've found really helps -



Zippo "hand" warmer. But - there's a trick.

They're a mini catalytic heater - it uses a chemical reaction rather than actual flame to produce heat. They're supposed to go in your pocket to 'warm your hands'. That is nearly useless in my experience. First off, unless you have two then one hand gets to suck it. Second, it really only does any good if you're hand is in your pocket, which is not much of the time if you're out doing stuff.

BUT - they come in a little felt bag. The idea is, if you expose more of the top out of the bag then it generates more heat, put it in the bag all the way and it's a little less heat.

The trick is - hang the bag around your neck under your secondary layer so that it dangles right about at your solar plexus level inside your jacket but above your shirt. I use a 'neck key lanyard' (ment for wearing keys or id cards around your neck) and just put a knot or two in it to get the perfect height.

What happens is it dramatically improves your core temperature. Your body stays warm, especially if you're wearing a decent thermal jacket.

The effect is you never get 'chill'. The blood going to your extremities stays warmer and circulation stays good. You still "feel' the cold on your hands and such, but they never start to go numb or the like and when you do go inside you're warm right away instead of needing half an hour to shake that chill. IT's kind of hard to explain, but while it still feels cold, YOU don't really feel cold.

A full tank of 'gas' in one of those lasts me about 12 hours. The more you expose the top to air the hotter it gets and the less time you have, but it's still good for about 10 hours at least. That's a lot of outdoor time. If you use good fuel there's really no smell at all.

There's a few quirks - you really can't turn it off once it's going - it goes till it's out of gas. And you have to 'light' it while you're still somewhere warm, it's much harder to light once you're actually in the cold (can be done, but a bit of a pain). Filling them takes a little practice :)

But i've found it to be a godsend when i'm doing stuff outdoors where i'm not wearing gloves or wearing thin gloves, or at kids' hockey games, or the like. You still need weather appropriate clothes, but it really really takes the edge off of the 'chill', especially if you've got something to break the wind a little against your skin. And they're cheap. You have to replace the catalytic converter on the top every 90 uses or so, but they're cheap and readily available.

Oh, and if you do put it in your pocket - don't put a chocolate bar in with it. You've been warned.

11-21-2014, 03:15 PM
My Under Armour hunting jacket has two pouches in the back over your kidneys for those hand warmer packets. Same idea, put heat on a high blood flow area to keep the core toasty, it does pass along to the extremeties until it gets really cool out. I was thinking of grabbing a couple Zippo or Jone units to try out with the coat.