Hunting season is accompanied by crisp fall days, cold mornings and in some cases, very cold weather. Yet the early morning hours are critical for hunters. Getting out of a warm bed and tackling the dawn is difficult. But pushing through this entry into the cold will yield more opportunities or at the least, more opportunities to see game out in the open. When you are hunting from a tent in the backcountry, here are a few ways to get motivated and hit the trail early, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Build Your Bed with and Exit Strategy
The most difficult aspect of a cold morning is leaving your warm bed. Make this transition easier by limiting contact with the elements. This means sleeping in your base layer so your feet and extremities are already covered and you won’t catch a chill the instant you leave the covers. Keep your mid layer in the bed as well and get dressed while you are still covered up. Now your body temperature won’t take a major dip by simply leaving the bed. Keep your boots at the bedside for immediate entry. If it’s really cold at night, wrap your boots in a towel or jacket and keep them under the covers so they are nice and warm in the morning.
External Heat Never Hurts
When possible, adding external heat helps you make the early morning transition. Drop a hand warmer in your boots and fire up a catalytic propane heater in the tent if possible. If you’re lucky, your tent will have a wood stove. Stoke the fire early and it’ll be easy to get dressed and ready in the morning darkness. Whenever the opportunity for a quality external heat source is available at camp, take advantage of this luxury. If you are hunting the backcountry out of a pack, hand warmers and layers will have to suffice. Keep in mind that sometimes cold air gets trapped in a small tent and it’s actually warmer outside where the air is moving. This can help motivate your brain in the early morning. Throw in a warm thermos of coffee or tea to drink while you wait on the sunrise and the cold isn’t so bad.
Do a Warmup Routine
You’ve pushed through the initial chill and are dressed and ready. Take another step and warm up your body to get the blood flowing. It’s tempting to jump back in bed after confronting the coldest mornings of the year. Do 20 jumping jacks, a few pushups and enough to raise your heart rate. Adding a short spike to your heart rate is like drinking coffee. It kicks your brain into gear and your body tends to follow. Stretch out and hit the trail to find a great glassng position ahead of the sunrise and you might see a few animals that would have been long gone otherwise.
To learn more about hunting opportunities in British Columbia with Kawdy Outfitters, please explore the rest of our website. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or for specific availability.
Written by Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is a fly fishing guide and freelance writer. When he’s not fishing, Zach is chasing big game, upland birds and waterfowl in the Rocky Mountains and Northwest.