How to Dress for Cold Weather Fishing.


The Key to Staying Warm When Cold Weather Fishing is Dressing in layers.
Layering is your best protection against cold weather?
Trap the dry air.

Always wear an U.S. Coast Guard Approved Life Jackets when on the water in winter !
Stern Life Vest - Mustang Life Suit - Mustang Life Jacket

Several lighter layers will keep you warmer than one very thick one.
Good cold weather clothing is designed to trap warm, dry air among its fibers and between its layers.
This trapped air insulates the body against heat loss and prevents cold discomfort.
Goal is to minimize weight and maximize staying warm.

Use the acronym COLD when dressing for cold weather.

Layer clothing for maximum warmth and flexibility in cold weather.
Always check out Merino Wool for all layers.

Layering allows you to adjust to various temperatures during the day allowing you to add and remove items to stay in your comfort zone.

Head and Neck

No hat or the wrong hat is a big mistake.
Covering our head and neck is important, and the lower the temperatures that we are exposed to, the more important it is. 

A hat and scarf/neck gaiter can keep heat lost down through the head and neck.
A merino wool balaclava will add warmth.


RedHead Fleece Glomitts for Men - Black - 2XLGlomitts - A Glomitt is a combination glove and mitten.  Fingerless gloves with a mitten flip-top with thumb flap. 
Help keep hands warmer than gloves.
The best prevention against conductive heat loss is the use of minimally compressible insulation in the palms of your gloves or mitts with easily compressible insulation for the back of the hand.

Tip: I put a hot pocket in the Mitten or Glomitts flap.


Wear Water Proof Boots with good insulating properties and a Good pair of Merino Wool Socks.
Make sure you can wiggle your toes with socks on.
Tip: I use a hot pocket toe warmer or sole warmer.


First Layer - the underwear

Wear long underwear made of silk or lightweight, moisture-wicking polyester or merino wool.

The polypropylene base-layer garments of a few years ago have been replaced with improved material like Thermasta™ and the newest compression garments that fit like a second skin.
I’m a fan of and use a silk base and merino wool undergarments.
Silk is form-fitting without the tightness of compression garments
Your underwear should be synthetic fabric, silk or merino wool, no cotton or cotton blend.
The first layers main purpose is to wick perspiration away from the body so it passes to the next layer.

Cotton is a poor cold-weather clothing choice, not even as underwear, it does not wick moisture and contains very little air if it gets wet.
Cotton holds sweat and won't dry quickly.

The Second cold weather Layer is the Insulation layer.

The insulation layer must create space to trap warm air from escaping but allow perspiration in the form of water vapor to pass to the next layer.
Natural merino wool remains an effective insulator.
Today’s good insulation materials are Polar Fleece or Thinsulate™ they retain warmth without weight or bulk.

Quality fleece is relatively inexpensive, it readily allows water vapor to pass through, it retains insulating abilities when wet, and it dries very quickly.
Vests, hats, neck gators, long pants and pull-over/zippered tops are all available in fleece.

Outer layer

The outermost layer must be windproof and waterproof, yet breathable so all that perspiration can escape—otherwise inner layers will become damp and you’ll end up shivering.
The proper outer shell material will prevent rain (large water molecules) from passing through while allowing water vapor (smaller molecules)to pass to the outside.

 High-tech materials that are water proof and breathable:

Rubberized outer shells
Putting on a rubberized outer shell creates a waterproof barrier for sure, but at the same time it doesn’t let moisture escape..
To be comfortable, layering must extend to the entire body.
You must include long-sleeve tops and long bottoms.
And don’t forget the appropriate sock before slipping your foot into a shoe or boot.

Use an additional waterproof layer during prolonged, hard rain.
A Good Rain Poncho works best.

More information on Dressing for the Cold.


Keep skin covered:
Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck.
Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves.
Mittens are more effective than gloves are because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact with one another.
Keep your clothes clean, dirt and grease fill up air spaces and weaken insulation.

Avoid Overheating:
Another key to staying warm is moisture management.
If you get too warm, remove a layer or open some of the clothing's fasteners to get ventilation.
Use clothing made so you can leave some parts open--such as the collar and cuffs--to let in cool air if you need to.
You want to avoid overheating and sweating, Sweat makes clothing next to your skin wet, and wet clothing can't insulate well.
What's more, as sweat evaporates, you'll chili in a hurry, especially in the wind.
Sweating leads to rapid evaporative cooling. 
The latest Polartec fabrics by Malden Mills insulate and wick moisture away from the skin, while outer garments made with silicone-encapsulated fibers by Nextec Applications, Inc. allow sweat to escape while being highly water and wind-resistant.
The idea is to remove moisture faster than it can be produced.

Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing:
The extra layers of air will keep you warmer than if you wore one or two heavy garments.

Keep Clothes Dry:
Heat loss is about 20-30 times faster from wet clothes than dry clothes.
Moisture also acts as a barrier keeping your clothes from breathing.

Materials For Clothing that Work.

Wool is one of nature’s best insulating materials.
Aside from being warmer than cotton, wool also dries much faster.

Merino Wool is finer than traditional wool with tiny overlapping scales that case each fiber, these scales are hydrophobic (water repellent).
Inside it’s a different story, the fiber core is hydrophilic (highly absorbent).
Merino is therefore a wicking fiber and can absorb and release 10 times more moisture than synthetics.
Each fiber can absorb up to one third of its own weight in moisture without feeling clammy or wet to the touch.
Merino wool has the ability to absorb and release moisture to cool or warm, regulating temperature.
It also has excellent anti-microbial properties, helping reduce odor build up inside your socks or gloves.

Also see:
 Cashmere Wool, Vicuna Wool, Qiviut (Musk Ox Down).

Specially engineered fiber from INVISTA™ which transports perspiration away from the skin towards the waterproof, breathable membrane. The uniquely shaped fibers provide great breathability, even when wet, helping you to stay dry in all conditions. In moisture management and breathability tests versus competition, CoollMax® is proven to have the fastest drying rate, the quickest and most efficient movement of moisture away from the skin and the best breathability.

Originally developed under contract for the United States Army as a replacement for down because down absorbs water and loses its insulating properties when wet. Primaloft's® unique composition was patented and the product line was expanded to meet the specific needs of outdoor enthusiasts. The lightweight and soft Primaloft® insulation core creates millions of air spaces suspended in the microfibre mesh. Even when forced into the Primaloft® core, water is repelled and not absorbed by the patented microfiber structure, so Primaloft® keeps you warm, even in the wet.

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How the Body Losses Heat

Never Leave the House in Cold Weather without Hot Hands and Wraps.

Don't let a little cold weather stop you from fishing.
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