When I was a kid, I went deer hunting a lot with my dad (and later, my brother Steve). They are still my favorite hunting buddies. But for whatever reason, when I went with Dad, I never could find a way to stay warm enough on the deer stand. Somewhere between our arrival before dark and about 8:30 a.m., I would need to climb down out of my tree and walk around a bit to warm up my toes. As those who deer hunt know, this coincides with the peak time for deer movement, so I got to spend a lot of fruitless days up a tree fighting off hypothermia. Fun? Not so much.
Despite all this, I did manage to harvest enough deer in my youth that I developed a passion for it and still go every year. But now that I am older and wiser (and have a few more resources), I have made it a personal goal not to be cold on stand. So I wear heavily insulated bib overalls and a heavily insulated coat over my regular clothes and polar weight long underwear. Until this year, I also wore boots with 600 grams of Thinsulate insulation. These boots worked pretty well. I still got cold toes, but it took a heck of a lot longer than it used to, so my deer hunting success went up.
This year was my first opportunity to hunt in Illinois and one of my buddies asked me if my boots were going to be warm enough. I told him "yes," but then he told me about some boots he had with 2,000 grams of Thinsulate. I jumped at the chance to wear these and, wonder of wonders, I actually had sweaty feet on stand from being too warm. As anyone who has ever had really cold feet knows, sweat is a condition infinitely preferable to cold. But at the end of deer season, I had to return the boots. Which was pretty tragic, in my view, so I resolved to obtain my own pair with all possible speed.
This dream has been realized this week. My dear (or is it deer?) wife enables my obsession a bit each year. This year she gave me the wonderful Valentine's present of a Cabela's gift card. That, combined with a similar card from my grandmother and some Cabela's credit card points (did I mention that I'm a little obsessed with hunting and really like Cabela's?) resulted in the arrival this week of the most glorious cold weather boots ever created by man. If you could have seen me when they got there, I was "doing the dance" like Steve Carrell does in Evan Almighty, because I will never get cold again. (And no, you cannot expect to see any video of said dancing appearing anywhere soon).