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Dry Hunters are Happy Hunters
By Wade Nolan – Bowhunting Biologist
Dec 18, 2008 – 7:01:28 AM
I’ve been accused of “being linear” in my interests. I think that means I don’t golf. I have nothing against golf, I just never got into it. Most of what I do with my spare time is bowhunt. I’m pretty focused on my selected sport. Yet I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, scuba diving, mountain biking, wilderness kayaking, fishing and backpacking to mention a few.
All of these activities have a common denominator in my book. With the exception of diving, they all are easier to enjoy if you’re not wet. Because it rains everywhere I go and usually waits to rain until I get there, I had to develop a plan for keeping dry. My plan works every time. It’s not based on wearing Gore-Tex 24/7 but it is based on preparation.
I buy the good outdoor gear and believe that going first class is a must. Getting wet can occur when it is not raining if you select base layers that don’t breath. You can turn into a sweaty mess if your layers don’t allow moisture to pass through. Allowing hi-tech fabrics to do their job can save your life. Being able to breathe is important.
I recently took a Wilderness First Aid course and learned that hypothermia can be approached if you are exerting yourself and your sweat soaks your clothes. Wet clothes and temperatures under 50-degrees are a good first step in falling victim to hypothermia. We can lose as much as 6-quarts of water a day through heavy sweating. That’s enough to soak you to the bone and it can happen during an elk hunt or while backpacking in the Smokies.
Hunters are especially exposed as we often push the limit by both leaving and returning in the dark…regardless of the weather. I have been seeing a lot of ring necks around my farm. I can promise you that walking up birds on a grey drizzly day with my 1100 is a sure way to get soaked up to your waist. Opening day for bucks is tomorrow and they are already calling for 38-degree rain… all day. This would discourage a guy if the” wet issue” isn’t under control. By now I bet you’re ready for the answer to, “How do stay dry?”
I treat all of my outdoor gear and clothes plus all of my camo with Permanent Water-Guard.
The answer is a single treatment with a waterproofing called Permanent Water-Guard. This stuff is nothing short of amazing. I treat all of my outdoor gear with it. The best news is that one treatment lasts for up to 24 rain events. I have never had it fail me.
Its the easiest solution yet. One treatment plus a toss in the dryer and water is not your enemy
The secret of its effectiveness is a cross-linking polymer that bonds permanently to the fabric without solvents or waxes. Although it will bond under warm temperatures it bonds best if you activate the bond by using heat as the catalyst. A home clothes dryer works perfect. You can even use a hair dryer. Once heated, the polymers crosslink, a chemical reaction that locks the waterproofing to the fibers.
Here is the good news for hunters, It leaves the fabric soft and quiet plus it is totally odor-free. Your notice that hunting pants will not take on a blood stain or absorb oils. Plus as expected, they will not get wet in wet grass or after a day’s exposure in the rain or sleet. Being dry is a good thing.
The river was full of rapids and we were sprayed with water for 17 days. The same yellow fishing shirt that I began with was still fully waterproof on the last day. The Permanent Water-Guard kept me dry for 300 miles of Arctic kayaking.
Last summer my son Reed and I kayaked over 300 miles down an Arctic river. We saw only 4 people in 17 days and they were in sight for under a minute. We were on our own. The biggest killer of arctic adventurers is not grizzlies…its water. Hypothermia can take your life if you get wet and cannot get dry and warm in a hurry. We relied on Permanent Water-Guard and although we ran more than 80 sets of rapids and got sprayed with the full furry of the Noatak River more than once…we never got soaked.
Actually I wore the same long sleeved synthetic fishing shirt for 17 days (Don’t tell my mom). At the end of the expedition I had Reed videotape me splashing water on my shirt sleeve that had been exposed to water 12-hours a day for over two weeks. The water beaded up and ran off as if my sleeve was made of Saran-Wrap. But all the while it breathed like a dry cotton shirt. It was the most extreme example of waterproof performance that I had ever seen.
Now my plan is to treat all of my hunting clothes/camo with Permanent Water-Guard. My strategy is to first wash them in Sport-Wash to remove all residue and then treat them thoroughly with Permanent Water-Guard. The result is a dry you.
You can get Permanent Water-Guard in top sporting goods stores or just click the link and order some at www.atsko.com your dry butt will thank you.