Tips for shooting in Cold weather

Snow laden trees - Yellowstone
Snow laden trees – Yellowstone

Well it’s a frosty one out today! I enjoy shooting all times of year and I need to make sure I’m prepared. So here are a few tips for shooting in cold weather.

Cold weather for me is below freezing. Most cameras will work fine in this weather but the colder it gets the harder it is on the gear.

  1. Keep your batteries warm. The colder it is the faster the batteries lose power. I usually use a hand or foot warmer and rubber band or tape it over the battery compartment. The spare battery I keep under my coat close to my body.
  2. Check to see if your equipment has weather sealing. Many cameras & lenses today are weather sealed, but many are not. Weather sealing prevents moisture from getting inside the working area of a camera or lens. Moisture can ruin the electronics or cause residue that compromises image quality.
    • If you do not have weather sealing on your gear, put it in a sealed plastic bag, remove as much air as possible and place desiccant or rice in the bag to absorb moisture as you move it between climates. Letting it warm up or cool down slowly, over 30 minutes, is the best bet.
  3. When moving the camera from warm to cold or cold to warm, leave it in your camera bag and let it cool off or warm up slowly, usually around 30 minutes. Frankly I just leave everything in the backpack and remove the batteries and media cards prior to moving between environments.
  4. Make sure you are comfortable. Frozen hands and toes will impair your creative abilities and enjoyment of shooting in cold weather. Here’s a list of my cold weather gear:
    • hand and foot warmers
    • multiple wicking layers of clothing
    • ski pants for wallowing around in the snow
    • boots rated for cold weather
    • a wool hat
    • mittens or fingerless gloves over a thin layered glove that covers my fingers
    • lots of kleenex or handkerchief, frozen nose discharge is gross gentlemen
    • gators – keeps deep snow out of your boots
    • extra pair of socks in case they get wet
    • yaktrax for gripping on icy/snowy ground
    • insulated thermos for the hot beverage of your choice
    • a towel to wipe moisture off gear
    • plastic baggies to protect gear if it gets really wet out

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Happy New Year and Happy shooting!

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