I cannot help but gush about some great winter gear, now that the snow has been upon (most) of us for a while and I've been able to get out and stalk around, blending in ever so well. True, all of the seasons that I partake in game-wise are over, and you’ll probably be curious about my deer season story, from last autumn.
Well, even in the upland bird realm, I didn’t see a single pheasant in my outings this year (usually I get a crack at one or two) and I only saw one grouse. I was out hiking with my family and we always bring along our little .410 if there’s an open season—well, my husband saw a bird and it was mama’s turn to try for it. He’d already brought home six grouse for the season, so I was the one with the big goose egg anyway! Well, the short version is I had a clean miss. My first shot at a bird in the air and I just couldn’t bring home the bacon. Or the bird. But, I taught my son a valuable lesson—you don’t always have game to show for your time outdoors, but it is still a successful hunt if you have fun! (Funny, that’s the message from deer season too!)
I’m beginning to think I need to amass my seasonal bounty photos and do one big dump here, just to show that this year is a fluke. I put in a lot of time, so I suppose I was due for a year that wasn’t as laden with crazy huntress stories! I’m okay with that. It means I’ll have even more drive next year.
Quite honestly, this has been an incredibly strange year for me and the outdoor world. You see, when the snow flies and the ice forms it becomes ice fishing season for our family—just another way we harvest food and have fun enjoying Mother Nature here in the Midwest. This year though, it’s already nearly March and between the BITTER cold and living in a new area for four months, we’ve only been out ONCE! That is unheard of. We usually go once a week, most times more!
I know what you’re thinking—why are you telling us about your recent ineptitude when it comes to fishing and hunting? You’re probably thinking I thought this was going to be about bagging a big buck or landing a lunker. Sorry, folks. This one is better. It’s about my insulated jacket and pants. I know that doesn’t sound quite as exciting as the blow by blow narration of a scene from a tree stand – BUT it’s just as remarkable.
You see, what I have done a lot of this winter is snowshoe and play with my son outside. Sledding, snowmen, snowball fights… There has been snow a plenty—we just got another six inches last night. I’ve been playing like an elementary child again! It’s been amazing—very invigorating. I have had wonderful quality time with my boy. The whole time I stayed cozy and dry. Staying warm is usually the limiting factor in my enjoying the winter activities that my son likes.
So my point here? The gear is VERSATILE! It’s not often you can hunt and play in the same gear. The only activity I’ve found that I wouldn’t do in my HVOC insulated pants and coat is cross country skiing—but that’s one of those sports that really makes you sweat. So anything heavy is just not practical. Otherwise it has been especially helpful in me being able to hang out like a kid!
This is me, facing away from the camera in a pine stand in the snow. Pretty amazing how the King's Snow Shadow camo keeps me blending in! I was really impressed when my husband showed me this photo! I knew it was good, but I think I'd be able to bring home the venison in this outfit. Next year will be my year! This year we didn’t even have much for snow, so I’m excited to get a second chance!
I absolutely adore the fact that this set (insulated jacket and pant separates, bibs also available) truly fits my womanly, post-baby figure. It's warm. It is functioning camo.
I ordered size 4 top and bottom. The HVOC insignia is tasteful—it’s not blasted up an arm and across your bum—it’s actually a very cute accent on the ensemble! All of the clothing speaks of great QUALITY. You know when you push a stroller or sit on a chair, hear a fine instrument or know the feel of really good sheets, when all just exude quality? That’s what this is like.
Really. I’m not blowing smoke here; I can tell that a lot of thought and time went into not only the design of the garments but also the making of them. Honestly, my Over and Under Shirt has been my go-to shirt(s) all winter. All occasions—if I happened to take out a Norwegian sweater, I usually ended up putting it back since it “didn’t match my camo!”
Features I love
Full Zip Leg, hooking waist closure (no popping buttons)
Snaps in addition to zip closure, to prevent zipper split/spread
Kings Shadow Camo is amazing in snow and brush. Truly camouflage!
Comfortable enough to sit in the woods or drive in your car—not bulky!
Zippered pockets! No more losing keys in the snow! Cute and stylish enough to wear the jacket as a separate for errands in town or a movie night
Easy to walk in, snowshoe, run with a toddler, pull a sled...
Super soft inner minky fleece that feels like a spa bathrobe—very warm!
Things I'd change
Facilitate a way to keep the fleece inner from poking out of the sleeves when you initially put it on (I’d change this in every kiddo jacket on the market too!) *I love that there is a fastening strap on the outer cuff of the jacket, so that you can cinch them down tight to keep out the wind once you’ve adjusted the inner fleece back in*
Maybe just the tiniest bit longer jacket – I think shorter jackets are more flattering, but for me scooting around under branches, over logs and just sitting in the frigid wind, I’d like a “skirted” style bottom to block out the weather. *I could just try the bibs though I guess!*
So really my complaints are few, and they are not really complaints as much as suggestions, since they aren’t deal breakers at all! I’d love to see the option of adding a coyote ruff on the hood to really keep out Old Man Winter—but something like that would serve only a small population, since it would be quite an upcharge! Maybe the “skirted” style bottom could be an option though.
No matter what you adventure is or where it leads, you’ll be warm wearing the great, quality gear that Miss Haley has to offer in her Haley Vines Outdoor Collection!
(Yes, I still buy CDs. No, I don't bring my discman hunting! Haha!)
That's it. It rocks. It exudes quality and it is super soft and cozy to wear.
You can own this great gear too. Check out all of the Haley Vines Outdoor Collection and find your own outdoor style. If you keep in touch on Facebook, we’d love to hear your stories, even if they do not end in successful game harvest! We just like to know you’re out there in the outdoors!
*This was a post partnership with Haley Vines Outdoor Collection. All opinions are my own and are 100% truthful. I received no further compensation for this post.*