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Essential Cold-Weather Gear

When the Weather Turns Nasty, Stay in the Game with Proper Preparation.

Scent-Lok's Cyclone Convertible Parka
The flexibility of a convertible style parka is always welcome. Stripped of internal liners, it serves during moderate weather, zip-in layers added when weather turns rough. Scent-Lok's Cyclone Convertible Parka ($210; www.scentlok.com) -- from the ThunderTek Series -- includes waterproof/breathable qualities and 150-gram Thinsulate Insulation wrapped around the company's renowned activated carbon technology; an insulated, zip-in quilted liner adds warmth on demand.

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Russell Outdoors' Drystalker 2 Scent-Stop Bibs
Insulated bibs are standard during cold-weather sits. Russell Outdoors' Drystalker 2 Scent-Stop Bibs ($160; www.russelloutdoorsgear.com) are as good as it gets. Waterproof, wind-resistant and breathable, they also include the advantage of Scent-Stop antimicrobial finish (and Mossy Oak camouflage patterns). What more could a whitetail hunter ask for?

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Sitka Gear Kelvin Series
When it comes to high-tech insulation in an integrated layering system, Sitka Gear rewrote the book. A serious part of this cold-weather system is the Kelvin series ($149-$199, Vest, Jacket and Pant; www.sitkagear.com), providing extreme heat-to-weight ratios via space-age PrimaLoft One Insulation, and Gore Optifade Big Game Forest and Open Country camo options.

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Browning's AddHeat Vest
My attitude regarding extreme cold changed completely after discovering battery-operated, temperature-control heater vests. Browning's AddHeat Vest ($100; www.browning.com) allows instant temperature control from 85-103 degrees Fahrenheit; including long-life, rechargeable lithium battery, soft fleece shell and machine-washable heating elements.

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Under Armour New Capture Technology ColdGear
In the world of base layers and moisture management garments, Under Armour is largely responsible for creating an industry-wide consciousness. Compression-fit ColdGear base layers have become standard with bowhunters across the nation. New Capture Technology ColdGear ($75 shirt or pant; www.underarmour.com) now includes a polymer-treated inner lining trapping odors before they can be detected.

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Heater Body Suit
Venturing out during an Alberta Clipper would be insane without The Heater Body Suit ($330-$340; www.heaterbodysuit.com). The Suit wraps you in warm air like a sleeping bag. It's so effective it's guaranteed: If you get cold your money's refunded. The suit's rolled and toted to the stand with provided pack straps, silent internal zipper and shoulder straps allowing unrestricted shooting at the moment of truth.

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Warmbag
With an easy to reach reversible zipper, the five-pound Warmbag ($249; www.thewarmbag.com) is easy to maneuver in and features a 2-way stretch brushed face poly laminate that is windproof, waterproof and quiet. Lined with a layer of insulating fleece, the inside is incredibly soft and quiet. The Warmbag makes hunting in cold temperatures more manageable and is perfect for all day sits when temperatures dip and snow starts flying.

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Cabela's Predator Extreme Pac Boots
When it comes to cold-weather boots, look no further than mail-order giants Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops. Cabela's Predator Extreme Pac Boots ($150-$160; www.cabelas.com) include a removable 9mm Texel liner and Moisture Trap footbed to draw away moisture and keep feet warm, plus a heat-pack pocket under the toe area. It also includes 1,200-gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, Dry-Plus waterproof barrier, rugged construction and 11.5-inch height; in Brown and Mossy Oak Break-Up.

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Bass Pro's Ultra Hunter Insulate Hunting Boots
Bass Pro's Ultra Hunter 10-inch Side-Zip Gore-Tex Waterproof Insulated Hunting Boots ($130; www.basspro.com) include 800-gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation, Gore-Tex 100-percent waterproof membrane, Cambrelle moisture-wicking

lining and Poloyou odor-fighting footbeds, all wrapped in full-grain leather and 1000-denier nylon. Look for them in Brown/Mossy Oak Break-Up.

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Gamehide's Trophy Hat
Gamehide's Trophy Hat ($35; www.gamehide.com) is the company's warmest, a classic brimmed, adjustable ear-flap design with Velcro-secured chin strap. It includes deep pile lining and Tech Plus waterproof membrane; in Mossy Oak New Break-Up, Naked North and Realtree AP patterns.

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Bass Pro's RedHead XTS Insulated Cuff Cap
Bass Pro's RedHead XTS Insulated Cuff Cap ($10; www.basspro.com) is everything a cold-weather hat should be; warm via Thinsulate Supreme Insulation, soft and quiet due to polyester fleece construction, and scent-free through X-Static antimicrobial silver bonding; also serving to regulate body temperature. It's reversible from Mossy Oak Break-Up and Infinity or Realtree AP, APG and Max-4 camo to blaze orange.

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Cabela's Arctic Fleece Dry-Plus Balaclava
Cabela's Arctic Fleece Dry-Plus Balaclava ($35; www.cabelas.com) is made of quiet 200-gram fleece, highly versatile and adjustable, 100-percent waterproof and breathable and warm; in Realtree AP and Max-4 or Mossy Oak Break-Up and Infinity.

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Sitka's Traverse Balaclava
Sitka's Traverse Balaclava ($35; www.sitkagear.com) includes super stretch and wind-resistant polyester construction; in Gore Optifade Big Game Forest and Open Country.

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Hunter Safety System's Muff-Pak
Hunter Safety System's Muff-Pak ($20; www.huntersafetysystem.com) is more than a hand-warming muffler; it's also a "fanny-pack" gear organizer. It includes heavy insulation and a multitude of streamlined zippered pockets and quick-access pouches for calls, extra heat warming packs, candy bars and other essential knickknacks.

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WarmXUSA Heated Underwear
Using silver-plated fibers embedded in knitwear that gets energy supply from a small accumulator and warms up directly on the skin -- without heating wires -- WarmXUSA's (Contact manufacturer for pricing; www.warmxusa.com) new heated underwear is perfect for the cold-weather bowhunter. Not only does this system keep you warm and ready for action during freezing temps, it's also perfect for sore muscles and muscle tension. Available in a number of garments for men and women, the heated apparel uses a rechargeable source of heat and can be switched on as needed and off again when you're toasty and warm.

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Heat Factory Neck Gator
Constructed from double-lined fleece and available in Mossy Oak Break-Up camo, Heat Factory's ($20; www.heatfactory.com) Neck Gator features heat-warmer pockets over the ears, chest and back of neck for the ultimate in protection against biting temps. An elastic cinch strap provides perfect fitting. The Neck Gator comes with one pair of Mini Heat Factory Warmers.

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Northern Outfitters 9-piece Arctic System
Bowhunters hunting in the coldest temperatures will appreciate Northern Outfitters 9-piece Arctic System ($1,275; www.northernoutfitters.com). Designed to keep hunters warm in the coldest of temperatures, the Arctic System line of apparel is made to function in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit. The 9-piece system includes a Parka Shell, Liner, Bib Pant, Boots, Severe Hood, Arctic Mittens, Wind Mitten, Anti-Contact Glove and Lanyard.

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