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Warmth - at the core of late-season performance

When you tagged out last season, it probably seemed like next season would never get here. For much of the country, next season is just around the corner. For the rest? We’ll have to gut it out at least several more weeks. But it’s coming!

And just like many of us thought the cold weather of late fall and winter months would take forever to get here again, cold temperatures aren’t far off, either. And as every hunter knows, the cold temperatures of the later season get the big animals moving. It’s the time to be out. And many of us want to be out all day to get the best chance at the taking the animal we’re after.

With cold temperatures come issues for hunters. Maybe more than the average hunter realizes. Sure, your body gets cold. That’s basic. But, did you ever stop to think how both the body and mind are impacted by cold? Knowing what happens to the body and mind when you are hunting in cold temperatures helps you plan ahead to give yourself the best chance of success during late season hunts.

 When temperatures drop? So does your performance.

When cold temperatures hit and the temperature of your muscles fall below 82°, endurance decreases. Fact. It happens to everyone. No exceptions. So, it makes sense a key to cold weather hunting success is keeping your muscle temperatures above that level. How? Proper body insulation. And the key to achieving the right body insulation? The right apparel.

Here’s an example. In 2015, ESPN’s “Sport Science” series simulated the frigid environment professional football players endure during a late-season game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. They used an ice truck to help make their point. The temperature in the truck was set at 10 degrees (F). The host of the series, who had taken baseline temperatures before he went into the frigid vehicle, spent 30 minutes inside. How did the cold impact him?

Loss of strength in grip: The host entered the truck with his core body temperature at 99 degrees. To help maintain that temperature level, the cardiovascular system pumps less blood to our extremities. That’s one reason why fingers, toes, and ears get cold so quickly. It took only 15 minutes for the temperature of the host’s skin to drop to 35-degrees. When the strength of grip was tested, his level was half of what it was prior to entering the 10-degree truck. Think about that. He lost half his grip strength in only 15 minutes. In that amount of time, the critical movements required to move smoothly to reach for your bow, grip it, draw your bow back smoothly and with purpose, find your anchor point, zero in on your mark, hold yourself at full draw and release a perfect shot are negatively impacted.

All it takes is one movement – just one – that doesn’t have the fluidity you shot hundreds upon hundreds, maybe thousands, of arrows during the offseason to achieve, and your chances of success are gone

Time to react: After 30 minutes inside the truck and exposed to frigid temperatures, the host’s core body temperature was remarkably stable at 99 degrees. But, for the body to keep the core protected and functioning, it robs from stored glucose at a rate of five times what’s used in warm weather. So, what does that mean? Poor reaction time.

Rapid loss of glucose means less energy available for critical actions and reactions while hunting. The show host found his reaction times lowered by 45 percent. Any chance a big buck’s reaction time declines by 45 percent when temperatures drop? Does that question need an answer? While our body’s loss of heat and glucose negates a hunter’s ability to react as needed decreases in cold weather, it has the opposite effect on the big game you’re after. They never move with more speed and agility, and with senses on high than they do in cold weather. Yes, you want to be out in the cold when big animal activity is at a peak. You should be out. But with big game functioning at their best and you functioning at sub-optimal levels – the gap between your ability to take an animal and the animal’s ability to avoid being taken gets further and further apart. So, how do you close the gap? By keeping your body and muscle temperatures up. You need help to do that. And there’s no better way to do it than with a foundation in your layering system that starts with the IconX Heated Core Vest.

The IconX Heated Core Vest – warmth at the core


There’s no warmer piece of gear in any hunting layering system for cold weather hunts than the IconX Heated Core Vest. And there’s no piece of cold-weather gear that is lighter and easier to move in.

The fabric of the Heated Core Vest is made of hollow Hydrowick yarn. The hollow chambers are filled with air that’s naturally heated by your body to retain heat. That means the Vest is working to maintain critical body heat before it's even turned on. The hollow fibers also absorb sweat and move it to the outer layer for dissipation. Yes, we sweat even in cold temperatures. And if sweat isn’t moved away from the skin during extremely cold weather? That can be dangerous. Even life-threatening as the body could experience hypothermia.

When the Heated Core Vest is turned on during cold weather hunts as your next-to-skin base layer, it delivers consistent heat directly to the body core. And with more heat being delivered to the core, movements throughout your body are smoother and deliberate. Your reaction time is faster. You’re moving with more purpose and thinking more clearly. That big performance gap mentioned before of a cold hunter and big game with optimal performance in cold weather? That gap starts to narrow. Now you’re the force to be reckoned with.

When the temperature selection button of the Heated Core Vest is set at Low, the carbon fiber heating elements deliver 100-degrees of consistent heat for up to six hours from the rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Heating elements are strategically placed across the chest/heart, kidneys, and lower neck to deliver heat where it’s needed most.

Turning temperature up to Medium or High or on/off throughout your cold-weather hunt is done at the push of a button. And for all-day cold weather hunts in the field, mountain, or tree stand an extra battery is carried easily in your pack. Changing out batteries is easy and fast.

There’s no other cold-weather gear that delivers heat directly to your body like the next-to-skin IconX Heated Core Vest. Heated jackets can have a hard time delivering heat through mid-layers and base layers before heat even reaches the body. Remember your dad finding an open door during winter and yelling out “Hey, what are we doing here? Heating the whole neighborhood?” Well, with a heated jacket allowing heat to escape to the outside – that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re heating the neighborhood.

Heat your core. It’s where warmth begins and performance is optimized. And it gives you every chance at success during cold weather hunts.

Get the Heated Core Vest and go make yourself a memory in the field.

To visit the IconX Heated Core Vest page on the website, click here.

Learn more about all our cold weather hunting gear, including the Selkirk and Waypoint Hunting Systems, the IconX Base Layer System, Merino Wool Base Layer System, and the Insulator Mid-Layer Insulation System

Have questions? We're glad to help. Contact us.


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