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Should I Insulate My Deer Blind?

Pop Up Ground Blind Tent Near a Field
Photo courtesy of Tina Shaw/USFWS

Although I’m usually a stand hunter, I love taking out the ground blind when the weather gets rough. And like most hunters, I love to take things to the extreme. That means insulating and waterproofing my blind.

If you hunt in frigid climates where deer-season temperatures often drop below zero, insulating your blind is a good idea, especially if it’s a permanent, hard-shell blind. A break-down blind is a bit more complicated, but I can give you some tips. Either way, you should certainly waterproof your blind to take advantage of its weather protection.

Here’s how.

Insulating a Permanent Blind

If you’re building a permanent ground blind made of wood, plastic, or some other material, adding insulation can make it more comfortable. In fact, I would recommend it if you hunt the late season throughout most of the country where temperatures in December and January drop well below freezing. It has the added benefit of deadening sound.

You can insulate a permanent blind with several materials:

  • Panels of foam board (polystyrene, polyurethane, etc.)
  • Fiberglass
  • Spray foam

Since aesthetics aren’t really an issue, foam board and spray foam are fairly straightforward and easy to install. Fiberglass can be a bit more inconvenient, as it involves stapling it into the blind wall and then creating a noise risk within the blind.

Spray foam might be the easiest method, but I recommend foam board if you can. Spray foam has a strong odor that takes a long time to dissipate.

Regardless, though, insulation always has the downside of odor, so you should install it in the off-season well before you plan to hunt. I’d plan for at least a month prior to the beginning of the hunting season.

Insulating a Pop-Up Blind

None of the above methods work for a temporary pop-up blind that you carry into the woods with you. Not only do they smell strongly, they’re impractical.

However, there are a few alternative ways to insulate a pop-up blind:

  • Getting an insulated blind in the first place: You can find many cold-weather blinds on the market with thicker skins or a certain amount of insulation. In fact, if you live in a really cold place, you can repurpose an ice fishing tent.
  • Sew in insulating fabric like fleece: This method takes a lot of work, but if you have some seamster skills, you can attach an additional inner lining to your blind. Just keep in mind this will add some extra bulk.
  • Use natural insulation: My favorite method involves filling and surrounding your blind with as much brush as possible. This traps in heat, deadens sound, and helps mask your odor all in one.

Waterproofing a Ground Blind 

Even if you choose not to insulate, you should always waterproof your blind if it isn’t waterproof as manufactured. The best way to do this is with a silicone waterproofing spray. Cover the bulk of the blind with it, but pay close attention to the seams. You can also bring a waterproof tarp to install over the blind itself.