This is just a quick post to express the importance of having the proper gear when you are out in the winter. I was out for a walk with my girlfriend (Sarah), and two dogs (Tico and Tyson), admiring the winter wonderland, when Tico fell through the ice. Luckily, he hit his head off the ice, realized he was in a bad spot, and got the hell off the river. About five minutes later, Tyson slipped through, but he’s older than he once was, and was unable to pull himself out. I ended up going in myself because I wasn’t about to watch Tyson drown. I was obviously uneasy going into the river, about three feet deep at this point, but I’d do it again under the same circumstances. For whatever reason, there was a sheet of ice about knee deep which I was able to stand on while breaking the ice on my way to pull Tyson out. Once he was safely on land, I got my jacket back from Sarah, and we started to head back home.
Remarkably, my feet weren’t even wet, thanks to my gear. I heard great reviews on Mucks, and I finally got a pair. They are incredibly comfortable, and reasonably warm when wearing the infamous Red Head socks from Bass Proshops. My only complaint about the Mucks would be that they were a little tight around the calf, and there is no way you are fitting pants under them. I was wearing Under Armor ‘Cold Gear’ which fit in fine, and they add much needed warmth and keep the water off your skin. Over my boots, I had a pair of Red Head Bone Dry pants on. Between my Under Armor gitch, Red Head socks, Muck boots and Read Head pants, I managed to keep my feet dry, and we decided to stay out and continue our walk. I could feel where the water was above my boot, but the tightness I originally complained about, pressed against my calves tight enough to keep the water out, kind of making the boots better!
It is comforting to know that my gear passed the field test, because sometimes we cross creeks, or deep puddles, and you never know when your next soaker will come. It would be devastating to get one on your way out, and have to call your day early because you have wet feet. Never mind getting frost bite because you are deeper in the woods.
Here are links to what I was wearing on my lower body if you are interested.