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What Is The Most Important Base Layer For Extreme Cold?

What Is The Most Important Base Layer For Extreme Cold?

The season of cold weather is upon us and with it comes a multitude of fun outdoor recreational activities. Whatever you’re doing, it’s important to dress practically for the temperature and weather. What you wear will somewhat depend on the particular activity you are doing, but there are a few general things to keep in mind. The most important thing to ensure when dressing for any sort of outdoor activity is to select the right clothing and dress with a proper base layer. A base layer is the very first thing that you put on and is a critical part of staying sufficiently warm in a cold environment. Base layers should be comfortable, absorbent, and all-purpose, allowing you to easily add or remove layers throughout the day and during your activities. When you are recreating outdoors without a proper base layer or insulation for the environment around you, you risk cold injuries like hypothermia and frostbite. Skre has the best base layer technology for your favorite cold-weather activities, such as hunting. Read this article to learn all about why layering is important, the best kinds of layers to use for hunting, and how to pick the right one for you!

Get The Best Base Layers for Hunting on the Market

An essential part of any cold weather hunting gear is a high quality base layer. SKRE Gear® offers a variety of base layers to choose from to help you stay comfortable during the entirety of your hunt.

Shop All Base Layers

Why Layering Is Important in Cold Weather?

When setting up your cold weather hunting clothing, it is important to wear a base layer and proper gear for safety. A base layer keeps you warm and dry by keeping away moisture, as well as absorbing it when you sweat. Besides your base layer, you should also include items such as hats, gloves, boots, and jackets layered on top for maximum protection against the winter weather. You can get all these items in one bundle from Skre.

The base layer should be made of a material that will wick away sweat and moisture while also providing insulation from cold temperatures. This will help keep your body temperature regulated so you don’t become too hot or too cold while out in the field. Additionally, wearing a base layer can help reduce chafing caused by rubbing against other layers of bulk hunting clothing or equipment.

Man hunting in cold weather layering system

Proper gear is essential for keeping you safe when hunting in winter conditions. If you don’t have a proper base layer, simply wearing more clothing and gear may not be enough protection. Selecting the right materials when purchasing a base layer is the best way to ensure ample warmth when outside hunting.

The Science Behind Layering

A base layer is a kind of clothing that helps to hold in body heat and keep you warm in cold weather. Layering involves wearing multiple layers of clothing, starting with the base layer closest to the skin and then adding thicker layers on top. This allows your body to regulate its temperature more efficiently by trapping air between the layers, which acts as an insulation method.

The science behind base layering is relatively simple. When you wear multiple layers of clothing, the air gets trapped between them and creates an insulating barrier that prevents heat from escaping from your body. This works because air is a poor conductor of heat and doesn’t allow heat to move easily from one place to another. When air is trapped between two layers of clothing, it helps keep the warmth inside your body.

Base layering also works by wicking away moisture from the skin. This helps prevent sweat from building up and cooling down your body temperature too quickly. The material used for base layering should be lightweight and breathable so that it can absorb moisture without becoming damp or uncomfortable against the skin.

Base layering also works by reflecting some of the body’s own radiant heat energy towards itself instead of letting it escape into the environment around you. This is especially important in colder climates where temperatures are low enough that even small amounts of lost heat can make a big difference in how comfortable you feel outdoors. Base layering is an effective way to stay warm in cold weather by trapping air between multiple layers of clothing and wicking away moisture while reflecting some of your radiant heat energy toward yourself instead of letting it escape into the environment around you.

The Most Common Base Layer Materials

Synthetic Base Layers

Synthetic base layers are a good choice for beginners or people who live in wild climates. They are generally cheaper, however, they don't insulate as well and can become smelly over time.

Silk Base Layers

Silk is also a great option for winter and is super lightweight, but it is more expensive and requires special care when washing. It is breathable and soft, but may not be an option for those who wish to avoid animal products.

Merino Wool Base Layers

Merino wool is one of the best materials for base layers as it is warm, naturally wicking, anti-microbial, and relatively easy to care for. While more expensive than some of the other materials, it is certain to last for years to come.

Bamboo Base Layers

Bamboo base layers are a great vegan alternative to wool or silk but are not as widely available or inexpensive as synthetics. However, they offer incredible softness and durability, making them one of the most comfortable options.

When choosing your base layer, consider your climate, activity level, and budget to find the best option for you. Whichever material you decide on, make sure it meets your needs so that you can enjoy all the benefits of wearing a winter base layer!

Merino Wool Products

When it comes to base layers, Merino wool is the gold standard. Merino wool is a type of wool fabric that is made from the fleece of Merino sheep. It is known for its superior quality, softness, and warmth. Merino wool has been used for centuries to make clothing, blankets, and other items due to its many benefits. Here are five reasons why you should wear Merino wool when hunting in the winter:

1: Efficient Temperature Regulation

Merino wool has natural temperature-regulating properties that allow it to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. This makes it an ideal choice for outdoor activities such as hunting or camping in any season.

2: Protection Against Odors While Outside

Merino wool naturally resists odors, which means you can wear your clothes multiple times without worrying about them smelling bad. This makes it great for hunters, who don’t have access to laundry facilities while out in the mountains.

3: Maximum Breathability

The fibers of merino wool are very fine and tightly woven together, which allows air to flow through them easily and keeps your body temperature regulated during physical activity and cold weather conditions. You’ll be neither too hot nor too cold!

4: Increased Durability

Merino wool is incredibly durable and won’t shrink or stretch out like some other common fabrics do over time with washing or wearing them frequently. This makes it a great choice if you want something that will last for many years of hunting trips!

5: Lasting Comfort

Last but not least, Merino wool is incredibly soft against the skin and provides excellent insulation without being overly bulky or heavy like some other kinds of wool can be when worn as clothing items such as sweaters or jackets in colder climates! Unlike other wools, Merino wool isn’t scratchy and itchy, so you can always count on lasting comfort during your hunting trip.

Man fishing in merino wool base layer top

Merino wool is an excellent choice if you are looking for a wool that offers superior quality, comfort, breathability, odor resistance, and temperature regulation all at once. If you have more questions about merino wool, check out our Merino Wool FAQ page.

Picking the Best Base Layer

When it comes to hunting in the winter, having the right base layer is essential. The base layer is the foundation of your clothing system and helps keep you warm and comfortable while out in the field. Here are some tips for picking the right hunting base layer for winter:

  • Choose a material that will keep you warm and dry. Merino wool is a popular choice for its natural warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties. Synthetic materials like polyester or nylon can also be effective at keeping you warm and dry. Always avoid cotton, as it tends to absorb moisture and won’t keep you as warm when wet.
  • Look for a snug fit that will trap heat close to your body without being too tight or restrictive of movement. A good fit should allow for a full range of motion without bunching up or creating uncomfortable pressure points against your skin when worn under other layers of clothing.
  • Consider investing in a mid-weight or heavyweight base layer if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing during your hunt. These heavier options provide more insulation than lightweight layers but still allow enough breathability to prevent overheating when active outdoors in cold weather conditions.
  • Pay attention to details such as thumbholes, drawstrings, zippers, pockets, etc., which can add convenience and comfort while out on the hunt by allowing you to customize how much warmth you need throughout the day depending on activity level and changing weather conditions.
  • Make sure that whatever base layer you choose is designed specifically for outdoor activities like hunting so that it’s equipped with features like odor-resistant fabrics and anti-microbial treatments that help reduce odors caused by sweat buildup while out in the field all day long.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your winter hunting trips are comfortable, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you! Taking the time to invest in the right base layers, as well as properly layering clothes on top of them helps to ensure your safety and comfort during the winter weather. Focus on making memories with your friends and family while out hunting, rather than worry about having to deal with cumbersome, ineffective layers and trying to stay warm.

No matter the activity, always make sure you always have the right equipment and clothing available, as well as extra sets. Take care to stay dry and always wear any required protective gear. Doing so ensures the best possible experience during your hunt. Choosing the right clothing and base layers is all part of proper hunting safety during the chilly winter months!

Get The Best Base Layers for Hunting on the Market

An essential part of any cold weather hunting gear is a high quality base layer. SKRE Gear® offers a variety of base layers to choose from to help you stay comfortable during the entirety of your hunt.

Shop All Base Layers

Best Base Layer for Hunting by Skre

Now that you know all about base layers and why they’re important for winter hunting, here are some of the best base layers for hunting offered by Skre! Our online store offers a wide range of clothing and gear options for all genders and sizes, so you can be sure that you can find the perfect fit for you! Each clothing item is designed to be lightweight and durable, ensuring you get the best base layer protection for winter that is possible. We offer free shipping on all of our gear, as well as a lifetime warranty. Our easy exchange policy ensures you can always find the perfect size and fit when searching for the best base layer hunting gear. Here are some of our very favorite base layer hunting options:

Kaibab 150 Merino Wool Base Layer Bundle

Merino wool base layer bundle

The Kaibab Merino wool top is the perfect long-sleeve shirt for any hunt. Its outer layer features a scientifically designed pattern that provides superior camouflage in a variety of environments, while its inner layer is made with ultra-soft Merino wool to keep you warm and dry. The 1/4 zip allows you to regulate your body temperature when things get too hot, making this an ideal layering piece for all of your hunting needs.

This Kaibab bottom is crafted with 17.5-micron superfine Merino wool, creating a lightweight, comfortable base layer that wicks away moisture as you work hard outdoors. It offers the warmth, comfort, and breathability you need for those long treks through the mountains or spent crouching waiting for your game animal.

You can purchase the Kaibab 150 Base Layer bundle, which includes the Kaibab 150 Merino Wool Top 1/4 Zipper and Kaibab 150 Merino Wool bottom, to save.

long sleeve merino wool top

Kaibab 150 Merino Wool Long Sleeve Crew

Early-season hunts can be difficult to dress for due to the cool mornings and hot afternoons. To make this easier, we created the Kaibab 150 LS crew. This layering piece is designed specifically for this cooler time of year, with its natural merino fibers managing moisture and keeping you cool and dry. We also use a core-spun process that combines Merino fibers with synthetic fibers for added durability.

Kaibab 300 Merino Wool Bottom

merino wool base layer bottom

The Kaibab 300 Merino Wool Bottom was designed to conquer the mountains, crafted with Superfine Merino wool as a universal core insulation layer. Weighing in at 300 grams per square meter, it is an ideal choice to keep your core temperature regulated and should be worn close to the skin. Merino wool is unparalleled when it comes to breathability due to its ability to absorb up to 35% of its weight in water, without feeling wet and quickly releasing it into the environment.

Wasatch Base Layer Bundle

base layer for hunting bundle

This Wasatch base layer crew top is specially designed to keep you warm and comfortable, while also ensuring your body stays dry by wicking away moisture. The CoreWick2 fabric helps regulate your body temperature in any environment, from the high country to the frigid hardwoods. Its anatomical fit allows for a full range of motion, making it ideal for activities like archery, hunting, and hiking in areas with changing temperatures.

With enhanced warming capabilities to help lessen the impact of harsh wind and extreme cold, the Wasatch bottom is an excellent option for a base layer bottom. It has unbeatable warmth, superior insulation, and incredible breathability all while maintaining it's comfortable design. Its true to size fit ensures that you won't experience any "bunching up" while you are hiking, stalking, or packing out your trophy.

Our Wasatch base layers are also available as a bundle that can help you save when putting together your cold weather hunting outfit.

How to Wear Your Cold Weather Hunting Gear

When it comes to dressing for winter hunting, layering is key. Wearing a base layer and the right hunting gear will keep you warm and comfortable while you’re out in the elements. How you layer and what exact equipment and gear you select will depend on your activity and how late or early in the winter it is. Factors like weather and time of day are also likely to affect this decision. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to layer up all that gear for the perfect winter hunt!

Start With Your Base Layer

First, start with a good base layer. This should be made of wicking material such as Merino wool or synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. These materials will help keep you warm by trapping your body heat close to your skin while also helping to wick away moisture from sweat so that you don’t get too cold or uncomfortable. Make sure your base layer fits snugly but not too tight, as this will help trap more of your body heat and keep it close to your skin.


An insulating mid-layer over top of your base layer should be added. This could be a fleece jacket or vest, like Skre's Hardscrabble Vest, or even a down jacket if temperatures are particularly cold. This extra insulation will help keep you warm while still allowing some breathability so that moisture can escape from sweat and not make you feel clammy or uncomfortable.

Outer Layer

On top of this mid-layer, add an outer shell such as a waterproof jacket or parka with a hood that is designed for outdoor activities such as hunting in cold weather conditions. Make sure the hood fits snugly around your head so that wind does not blow through it and chill you further; also look for features like adjustable cuffs at the wrists and waist drawcords which can help seal out any drafts of cold air coming in from outside sources. The Nebo Rain Jacket provides all of these features to help keep the elements and cold out!

Essential Cold Weather Accessories

Be sure to also add accessories such as gloves, hats, scarves, boots with insulated liners, and other items depending on what type of weather conditions you may encounter during your hunt (such as snow or mud). Don’t forget your hunting vest and other protective gear, as well as all safety-related firearms items!

cold weather hunting gear essentials

All these items should be designed specifically for outdoor activities like hunting to provide maximum protection against the elements while still allowing enough breathability so that sweat does not build up inside them causing discomfort due to clamminess or overheating when temperatures rise slightly during activity periods throughout the day/night cycle during winter hunts. By following these tips on how to wear a base layer and hunting gear in the wintertime properly, you can stay warm without sacrificing comfort levels while out on your next adventure!


When it comes to hunting in cold weather, having the right gear is essential. A base layer is one of the most important pieces of clothing you can wear when hunting in these conditions. The right base layer is lightweight and breathable and fits close to the skin, which helps to remove moisture from your body and keeps you dry and warm while out in the elements. It should also be able to move with your body as you hunt, so it won’t restrict your movements or cause discomfort.

Investing in a quality hunting base layer for cold weather is definitely worth it if you want to stay comfortable and successful during your hunts this season. Whether you are needing base layers, mid-layers, outer layers, or other accessories, Skre offers high quality hunting gear designed to be lightweight and durable. Check out all of our base layers today and get geared up for your next big winter hunt!

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