Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick-No Treat

                       The first portion of our local waterfowl season usually finds Mid-Atlantic hunters sitting in the blind in little more than a long sleeved camo t-shirt and a fleece vest. Late October can offer temps in the mid 60's on opening day. One may even have to swat the odd misquito that lingers in the marsh.   
Fast forward to mid-January. You are sitting in a goose pit and it is cold. "Colder than a grave digger's ass" as my grandfather used to say. You are wearing thermal long underwear under fleece lined gore-tex camo pants and boots with 1000 of Thinsulate. Your coat is high tech camo inuslation from Cabelas.You are sporting a fleece camo hat. You have $35.00 gloves on your hands. Sadly, after sitting all morning in a goose pit or duck blind, your hands can still get cold. Cold hands can lead to bad shooitng. Cold feet can lead to a miserable experience. Many of the hunting catalogues offer expensive propane heating devices tailored to waterfowl hunters. Rather than mess with compressed gas I stick to a trick I learned from one of the old guys in my hunting Club.
    The trick is simple and cheap. Get an old coffee can..remove the label, cut the top off and place a can of sterno inside. With the sterno lit you can place the can on the bench seat of the blind or in on a shekf in front. The sterno generates enough heat to do the job. Sterno can be found at the grocery store or a hardware store. This set up provides plenty of warmth to toast up your hands or toes and is cheap, light weight and reasonably foolproof. You can even put a piece of chicken wire over the top and heat up your tea or coffee if the thermos is losing the thermodynamic battle. When the damp wind is wipping across the marsh or field and the temperature is 19 degrees, holding your digits over this little device can be the difference between a good and bad hunt.   


Pat said...

Great hot does the can get? Do you need a potholder?? to touch it?

Main Line Sportsman said...

pat, The can get fairly hot...but obviously cools off fairly quick once the sterno is extinguished.