The Washington Times - September 10, 2008, 10:53PM


Allow me to clear the air right from the start: I absolutely hate hot, humid weather; can’t stand it. I look forward to frost-covered meadows and lawns in our neighborhood and, yes, there’s still the current month to endure. In the middle Atlantic states some Septembers can be hotter than Hades, but as sure as Joe Gibbs’ racing team got caught cheating, chilly weather will be on its way sometime in October.


Knowing that makes me turn the pages of my favorite hunting catalogs, wishing for new cold-weather clothing. Hey, some people want a new car every couple of years; I wish for new cold-weather jackets, pants and boots.

After checking the inventory of a special closet in a little storage room of our house and then watching me leaf through the latest Cabela’s fall mail-order catalog, my wife said, “You don’t need whatever it is you’re looking at. You have enough stuff now to outfit an army platoon.”


Women simply don’t understand what makes us hunters and fishermen tick.

There on Page 40 of my “wish book” was the new Arctic Shield H7 Complete Body Warming System. Oh, boy!


Inside the 3-in-1 parka (in RealTree camouflage, of course) there’s a zip-out fleece jacket with X-System odor control so the deer can’t pick up your scent. The waterproof, windproof outer shell has two cargo pockets, two chest pockets, two sleeve and two inner pockets for storage. A man can never have enough pockets to store things in. Then there’s also the removable hood and ventilating zippers for changing weather conditions.


The cost for the parka: $219. But I also need the bibs to go with it; those terrific X-System scent control bibs that feature six more storage pockets, long leg zippers to slide easily over the boots that might have been laced up before getting dressed. By the way, these bibs have storm flaps to keep out moisture. Price: $199.


Total cost of this indispensable clothing system for a guy like me: $418.99.

“Forget it, Sugar,” said my resolute native-Alabama bride. (Southerners sometimes can be such a pain in the neck.)

She reminded me that I already had a 3-in-1 clothing systems to ward off even arctic cold. “But it’s getting threadbare,” I said. “Look, there’s a button missing up on the collar where the hood pops in.”


I think I’ll have to settle for a new item from a company called Heatmax ( It’s the new Toasti Toes Insole Foot warmer, said to be perfect for all cold weather outdoor activities.


The tootsie warmers are activated by opening the package and exposing them to air. The adhesive on one side of the foot warmers is used to attach it to the bottom of your socks. They’re odorless (yeah, when new, but what about later on?) and they’re thin and will provide warmth for 9 hours. They cost $2.99.


My spouse said, “I’ll buy you some of those. Now quit whining.”