While you may think that socks are socks, that’s not really true. Choosing the wrong socks can make for a miserable hunting trip which is cold and damp. So, which socks should be your go to for hunting? Answer: wool socks.
Why Wool Trumps Cotton On The Hunt
While cotton is great for everyday use, if you need something that keeps moisture out and heat in, wool is the way to go. If it gets wet, forget about insulation, cotton will be useless to you. It’s unfortunately, also not good at absorbing moisture. That means as you hike to your stand and your feet begin to sweat, that will stay with you – robbing you of precious insulation and contributing to body odor.
Wool, on the other hand, is naturally anti-microbial and odor resistant, and it dries much faster than cotton. However, that’s not the whole story, and if you want to know how to REALLY stay warm and dry on the hunt – keep reading. Or, you can check out our top pick for wool socks below!
Editor’s Pick: Darn Tough Wool Socks
Darn Tough, as its name implies is, well, darn tough! They offer excellent insulation and padding, giving comfort when you need it most.
They also come with a lifetime warranty, and if at any time your socks wear through, they will be replaced.
They’re my personal favorites that I wear on all my trips.
How To Stay Warm On The Hunt
While having great socks is step-one, there are a few other considerations to be made before you get out on the trail. You should also be paying attention to the fit of your boots! Not only will ill fitting boots be very uncomfortable on your hike out to your stand, but they could actually be keeping you from staying warm!
Loose Boots – Warm Feet
Believe it or not, many hunters actually recommend buying a boot that is a bit bigger for winter hunts. Leaving a bit of room not only allows for thicker socks, but the extra air circulation room makes for warmer feet too. Now, there’s no need to go overboard here and go up two sizes, just leave a bit of wiggle room and you’ll be good to go.
Layer Up & Warm Up
Adding extra warmth to other areas of your body like your core, and wearing a warm hat can actually help keep your hands and feet warm. Why? Well, because when your body start to lose heat, blood circulation to your arms and legs slows in order to concentrate heat in your core to protect vital organs and keep you going. By keeping those areas adequately warm, you free up heat to go elsewhere.
Get The Right Insulation Level
It’s really hard to have an all-season boot, because in the winter you’ll be freezing, and in the summer you’ll be sweating if you wear the same ones. So, buy yourself a quality boot with the correct insulation rating for your hunting environment or you’ll regret it!
If you live somewhere with mild winters, a 200g insulated boot will likely do the trick, as it will keep you from sweating if temps warm up later in the day. However, if you’re going to be doing tree stand hunting in colder weather, you may consider an 800g. Lastly, 1000g is reserved for the frostiest weather, hiking through snow or icy creeks. Here are a few boot recommendations for you.
Consider Boot Covers
If you’re going to be sitting in a tree stand a lot, then you may consider buying some boot covers. While your boots might be toasty warm as you hike to your stand and are producing body heat… you could have frozen toes after sitting for a while. Boot covers are an easy way to get more heat if you are doing more sitting than stalking.
In short, preparation is your friend, and while having good socks is important, you also need the other bits of your wardrobe to cooperate in order to build a good hunting closet. Need help with that? Check out our hunting clothing article for more!