Today, we took some young friends to our private shooting range that we share with a herd of about 40 Longhorns. You'd think these majestic creatures would run for the hills when the lead starts flying down range, but they are so used to hearing a variety of firearms, that they tend to just ignore us now. But that's not the point of this post.
We have been experiencing balmy winter days in the 60s, but overnight, the temperature dropped 25 degrees and an icy wind howled out of the north at nearly 35 mph, with periodic gusts that shook the windows and caused tree limbs to grate across our tin roof. The result: as we tested the chill in the air, we all quickly decided we needed appropriate...and warm....outerwear if we were going to be comfortable while shooting. Interestingly enough, we all reached for Polar Fleece.
Hypothermia can occur at temperatures as high as 40 degrees if accompanied by cold winds, and it's important to keep your core from getting over-chilled. If you keep a polar fleece jacket with you, you'll be ready for sudden temperature changes like we encountered.
Some of the reasons I make a polar fleece jacket part of my emergency preparation provisions is that it absorbs less than 1% of its weight in moisture (it's water resistant), it's lightweight (if you have to carry it distances), and it's breathable (it keeps you from sweating underneath your layers and getting more chilled).
Polar fleece vests and jackets come in a variety of styles, but my personal favorite is the pullover with side pockets, a chest pocket, and a zip up collar. That enables you to keep extra mags, ammo, food bars, or emergency supplies with you. If possible, get a flame-retardant version, and make sure you are not sacrificing quality for a cheaper price. The garment should be lightweight, but not thin. Patagonia and Cabelas both sell quality and affordable products.
Proverbs 25:20 "Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."