While past generations of cold-weather sports enthusiasts braved the elements clad in attire ill-suited to withstand extreme conditions, winter wear has advanced dramatically in recent years — allowing us to dress for success no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.

The value of dressing for the conditions can’t be overstated. Maintaining your comfort zone is critical to safe and enjoyable outings, whether you’re ice fishing, late-season deer and pheasant hunting, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

On the flip side, once you get soaked, start shivering, or can’t feel your fingers and feet, it’s pretty much game over. Fun and efficiency go out the window, and you’ll quickly head for the truck or the cabin. If shelter isn’t an option, you could suffer adverse health conditions including hypothermia, frostbite or worse.

Check out the infographic below to learn the secrets to successful layering. And get out there and enjoy the late fall and winter!

Upland Hunting

  • Base layer: Medium-weight, flexible base layer to allow for plenty of walking and (hopefully) shooting.
  • Middle layer: Light- to medium fleece.
  • Outer layer: Medium-weight jacket with durable canvas shell, elastic shell holders and bloodproof game bag. Example: Cabela’s 8-in-1 Upland Coat.
  • Socks: Medium-weight wool or synthetic blend with friction-reducing toe seams.
  • Boots: Lightly insulated, durable upland styles such as Cabela’s Kangaroo Featherlight Boots.
  • Cap: Quilted or lightly insulated field cap with baseball-style visor to block sun when shooting; fleece earflaps are a godsend on cold and breezy days.
  • Gloves: lightly insulated gloves durable enough to ward off briars.

Stand Hunting Whitetails

  • Base layer: Heavyweight base layer like Cabela’s Insulated Stand Hunter Base-Layer Top and Bottoms, featuring merino wool, PrimaLoft Silver insulation and odor-fighting treatment.
  • Middle layer: Heavy yet flexible fleece pullover and bottoms.
  • Outer layer: 100- to 200-gram Thinsulate insulated, waterproof parka and bibs with flexible, silent shell with snow-camo pattern.
  • Socks: 16-inch-high, wool/thermolite/nylon blend with dense yarn-loop interior for maximum warmth and moisture-wicking capabilities, such as Cabela’s Deluxe Cold-Weather Socks.
  • Boots: 2,000-gram Thinsulate insulation; waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX membranes. Example: Cabela’s 15-inch Whitetail Extreme Hunting Boots.
  • Cap: 300-weight camo fleece hood and facemask.
  • Gloves: Up to 1,000-gram insulated fleece shooting gloves or mittens with trigger finger.

Ice Fishing

  • Base layer: Heavy base layer made of extra-warm double-fleeced Polar Weight material, or heavy merino wool long underwear; insulation trumps lightness and mobility for sedentary anglers.
  • Middle layer: Heavy yet somewhat flexible fleece pullover and bottoms.
  • Outer Layer: 150- to 200-gram Thinsulate-insulated hooded parka and matching bibs offering articulated elbows and reinforced, padded knees and seat; double GORE-TEX laminate and sealed seams.
  • Socks: Heavyweight blend of merino wool, nylon and Elastane, such as Smartwool Extra-Heavy Hunting Socks.
  • Boots: Waterproof, heavily insulated knee boots rated to -40ºF such as Muck Unisex Arctic Sport Extreme-Conditions Sport Boots.
  • Cap: Neck gaiter and Polarfleece stocking cap or fur-lined, bomber-style hat.
  • Gloves: Heavyweight insulated, waterproof gloves or mittens for non-dexterous duties. Two lighter pairs for holding fishing rod and other tasks requiring fingers (rotate pairs between hands and warm interior pocket to maintain warmth).

Snowshoeing/X-C Skiing

  • Base layer: Lightweight base layer with four-way stretch and excellent moisture-wicking properties; choose four-way stretch fabrics for freedom of motion.
  • Middle layer: light, sleeved pullover and lightweight fleece hoodie.
  • Outer layer: Uninsulated, breathable shell.
  • Socks: Light- to medium-weight wool or synthetic blend with friction-reducing toe seams.
  • Boots: Light- to medium-weight, lightly insulated boots with excellent range of motion.
  • Cap: Neck gaiter and lightweight, windproof fleece or acrylic stocking cap.
  • Gloves: Lightweight, breathable, waterproof, insulated ski gloves with reinforced palms and durable exterior.

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