I volunteer from time to time to work with local JOAD groups. We are blessed in the Chicago are with a number of very good JOAD coaches, one of who had this to offer his young charges as the weather turned quite cool here in the area recently.
Shooting In Cool Weather (Guest Post)
by Gabe Querol
Last evening we conducted our JOAD class in the first cool weather of the season. All the kids came dressed in a manner which made me realize I hadn’t done enough to teach them how to operate in cool conditions. I saw hoodies with draw strings, baggy coats, baggy sweatshirts and a young man with shorts and a teeshirt, who was shivering. Needless to say the practice was not productive for many, as some were hitting clothing on every shot and others were uncomfortable and didn’t much care how they shot.
Q: So how should an archer dress for cool weather? A: In layers.
1) The first layer should be a close fitting long sleeve shirt, like an Under Armour shirt.
2) The second layer is to trap warm air and be slightly looser than the first layer. I prefer a short sleeve teeshirt over my base layer.
3) Next comes some sort of jacket or vest. I prefer a convertible cycling jacket because the sleeves can be zipped off. I leave the sleeve on my string arm and zip off the sleeve on my bow arm. Some prefer a vest of some sort, with a compression sleeve on their draw arm. These compression sleeves can also be found at running or cycling stores. If you need a place to start, try Bike Nashbar. Since few jackets and vests are made specifically for archery, you’ll need to tuck in collars so they do not interfere with your drawing process.
4) Next comes a hat. Yes! I know some of you are loathe to wear a hat, but your body sheds an enormous amount of heat through your head. If you want to be comfortable, wear a winter hat or an insulated cap.
5) Keep your hands warm by wearing mittens or gloves when not shooting. Keep a chemical hand warmer in your pockets and keep your hands in your pockets to warm them when needed.
6) Depending on the temperature, wear thermal underwear or fleece-lined pants.
7) Wear shoes and socks which are appropriate for the conditions. Remember shoes which give your feet room to breathe will allow air to circulate and keep your feet warmer. 8) Keep a positive attitude. Shooting in less than ideal conditions is hard for everyone. Those who do the best are able to focus on the target and forget about all distractions. If you start shooting with a poor attitude, it will be reflected in your scores. This applies for wind, cold, rain, or whatever is thrown at you. A positive outlook is the most valuable arrow in your quiver.
Good advice from a good coach! Steve