True Cold Weather Advice

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posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 04:49 PM
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Don't buy from "Cabelas'" or "Bass Pro". (unless you want to freeze and get laughed at.)

That hunter with his "real tree" cammo isn't worth his salt, and looks like a d-bag when it's -20F.

I just checked the ambient temp outside and it's 2F. It'll probably drop down to negative degrees overnight. It stays like this with a high pressure system overhead. At times, it can drop down to -20F+ for weeks.

How can YOU prepare?

Clothing seems to be the biggest obstacle, and a layering system is what has been tested, tried and true.

First Rule: COTTON KILLS.
Eliminate any long cotton underwear from your inventory. It is useless when wet, and wil aid in hypothermia.

Second Rule:
Polly-wool/synthetic stretch base layer: Some brands like "Patagonia" make awesome base layers. REI/EMS make some nice stretch stuff for a good price too. Any synthetic base layer that "wicks" moisture from you is your foundation.

Third Rule:
Wool is great! Those old pendleton sweaters from your folks are amazing! Realistically, I am taking about a "polar fleece" insulating layer. Many companies claim to have the best "polar fleece" -- but most are all manufactured in the same place. Save yourself the money and get a "Columbia" brand one. It'll last many seasons, and won't break your bank.

I will admit that I own a down 500-fill North Face vest. "Eddie Bauer" does make an equivalent product in terms of quality. On occasions, I will take the vest with me. It does add an additional "insulating" property to my core.

Fourth Rule:
GoreTex or equivalent as your outer "shell". It keeps the wind off you, and the snow/rain as well. Personally, I think brands are really hijacked for "name" purposes. I have a 20+ year old "Gore Tex" North Face shell that I wear daily. It's actually better than the $400 Arc'Tyerx Theta AR I own, really.

Fifth Rule:
"Put a damned hat on!" -- We, as humans loose at least half of our body heat through the tops of our heads. A good knit hat isn't that expensive, maybe $15. If your outer shell has a hood -- put that up too!

When it comes to your feet and hands -- the same rules still apply. I am sure someone reading this knows the value of Sorel boots. Sorrel's have a removable wool liner -- and a waterproof exterior.

You don't have to break the bank to be warm. Simple, and solid purchases with a "layering" system in mind can keep you nice and toasty!
edit on 8-12-2012 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 04:56 PM
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Great advice.

Goose down is a great insulator but worthless when wet, that goes for sleeping bags as well.
A thermal face mask is invaluable in severe cold.
Mittens keep you warmer than gloves (less surface area)
Make sure to wear multiple layers and do your best to never break a sweat.
That moisture will wick heat away like putting an icicle on your skin.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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I teach the survival course for people that spend the winter doing wildlife surveys alone on snowshoes in remote areas of Northern Canada. Down is nice and cozy but a down jacket in the forest is useless. After a day of walking through the bush there will be nothing left of it but a trail of feathers.

Also, GoreTex is a neat idea but don't expect it to keep up with you in a true survival situation. If it claims to be water resistant it won't breath enough to keep moisture from building up. You're clothes will be so dirty and you'll be working so hard at times (especially during warmer, moister days just around freezing) that no matter what you are wearing you need to be constantly mitigating moisture buildup. I always travel with most of my layers open and button up when I stop. It is much safer to be uncomfortably cold and dry than to sweat and let moisture build up in an enclosed space. Trust me I know....


Also, especially on the days right around freezing whenever you push through the bush wet, sticky, melting snow will constantly fall off off the branches and soak right through everything. Unless you carry a complete change of clothes with you there is an extreme risk of hypothermia. My advice is to carry a light change of clothes in a dry bag so that you have something to change into in case you go through the ice too.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 05:47 PM
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Thank you for sharing this.

When I was relocated to Iowa as a teen from the nice and warm south,I learned how to keep warm in my long days of playing in the snow.
Layers were key and multiple exchanges in gloves and other garments.

The key is when it becomes wet,replace with dryer apparel.That is if it's available.
Loved my insulated coveralls.

As I got into outside construction work when I was older,body armour was a good undergarment.

www.underarmour.com...

It actually got too hot at times,but that is what is good about layering,you can take the layers off .



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by MystikMushroom
 


I'm from Canada and Sorels are garbage and way overpriced ! They used to be excellent when they made them in Kitchener many years ago ! Columbia took them over and their made in china now ! I was at the mall the other day and they range from 180$-300$ !!!! No frickin way !!!



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:27 PM
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I've been looking into buying a wool anorak or capote , there almost impossible to find I might look into making one myself . I've been searching thrift stores for military wool blankets but their few and far between ! I did find a Hudson's bay blanket for 10$ the other day !



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Down is bulky, and as you said worthless when wet.

I searched hard for the warmest synthetic sleeping bag -- apparently the NF has it. My bag might weigh 8 lbs, but it's good down to -30+

Wool is "king" in the water/insulation department. It might not be light, but it will keep you warm. I had to tell my scouts this over and over again as they broke/shook off ice on their wool pants. Those with "Carhartt" gear were sent home.

I highly sugest everyone buy Alpaca wool (if you can afford it) for your socks and hands. Alpaca fibers are hollow like a polar bears. Alpaca fibers retain much more heat because of this. Aplaca wool is also hypo-allergenic, and doesn't "itch".

I love my aplaca wool afghan/throw. It's a "seriously warm blanket".

Where I live it's freeze or die. Seriously, it's "bum killer cold" outside right now.

You don't have to break the bank to stay seriously warm if you use a layering system of synthetics/wool. A decent outer shell, along with the layering techniques I've outlined will keep you warm when the temperature drops below freezing. Or, in my case, -5 to -30F.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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We made some capotes from surplus Russian army blankets last winter. They work pretty well, but any new military wool blanket will itch something fierce! Some makes of blanket you can machine wash after it is cut and sewn, and some will disappear into a pile of fibers and fuzz. IIRC you should look for a 'herringbone' pattern to the fabric to get a good quality.

Hudson Bay (and similar) blankets make the best capotes of course. A new one of good quality will set you back $400 or more, though so......

We put a partial liner in the 'body trunk' area of my son's capote made from a silk blend material and not only did it solve the itch problem but actually made the coat much warmer! I am beginning the process to make my new one this winter. I will probably put a full silk liner in it. My wife is making snide remarks about how SOME people are becoming wimps as they get older. I just smile and think of how warm I will be.

I do have a pattern of sorts and instructions for making a basic capote if anyone needs them.

Oh, and as for cold weather advice- take it from an old freight conductor. If you don't know what you are doing, stay inside till May. I hate tripping over frozen bodies.
edit on 12/8/2012 by Montana because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


My take on Gore-Tex is that if it's good enough to climb Denali, K2 and Everest -- it's good enough for me.

I live in a really harsh environment; clearly not 20 thousand feet with a wind chill of -50F.

Weight should be a consideration for the "survival" folks.

Unless you have a 4-wheeler or snowmobile, you have to wear it or lug it around. Mountain climbers have it down pat. Layering with a blend of synthetics and natural fibers like wool will be your best bet.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:52 PM
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warmest outfit I have ever worn was an Arctic Cat snowmobile jacket and bibs. I could ride 60-70mph in 15 below or lower temps and felt like I was wearing a space suit on the moon. Complete insulation. Also in these temps I have worked up quite a sweat when getting my machine stuck or buried in deep snow and never got chilled after getting going again..... Can't find anything that has kept my fingers from getting cold in those temps, but I swear by that suit of armor.
This is in northern Minnesota from 1995-2004.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by Montana
 


I have seen quite a few patterns on the net and bushcraft sites for wool blanket capotes . Can you sew them with an old school sewing machine ? There was 5 or 6 old singer sewing machines at the thrift store for 20$ a piece !



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by Asktheanimals
Great advice.

Goose down is a great insulator but worthless when wet, that goes for sleeping bags as well.
A thermal face mask is invaluable in severe cold.
Mittens keep you warmer than gloves (less surface area)
Make sure to wear multiple layers and do your best to never break a sweat.
That moisture will wick heat away like putting an icicle on your skin.


I only break out the down when I know I'll be standing around. I also have a "head sock" (not sure if they make those anymore?) -- it's basically a polar fleece balaclava.

Heat doesn't "wick away" -- it transfers. Moisture wicks. Having a suitable, non-cotton base layer with wicking abilities aids in staying warm.

If you're moving you just need your base layer and shell. Perspiration will be wicked and evaporate through your shell. Once you stop, however, it's a good idea to put that nice cozy insulating layer on.

I think it's so funny to see so many people wearing this crap from Sportsman's Warehouse/Cabellas. *ahem* conditions outside are like being in low Earth orbit, that "real tree/cammo crap isn't going to cut it.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by rick004
 


We just sewed them by hand using a blanket stitch. It was really easy and pretty quick. We also used the stitch around any edges as decoration.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by Res Ipsa
 


LOL! Arctic Cat...we call them the "McDonalds" of Snowmachines around my parts. But god damned do they produce some good stuff now and then. I'm a Polaris/Yamaha guy myself. I don't own one of those things, and would rather use skis and snowshoes to get around in the backcountry.

Call me an old fart if you will. Those things just scare away the animals.
edit on 8-12-2012 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by rick004
I've been looking into buying a wool anorak or capote , there almost impossible to find I might look into making one myself . I've been searching thrift stores for military wool blankets but their few and far between ! I did find a Hudson's bay blanket for 10$ the other day !


I like Anorak's -- The native people's use them extensively.

You should look into an alpaca hooded poncho. I swear to god, and I've done the "standing around" trials when it was absent -20F. I quickly learned why all those guys in the Andes are always squatting down! No kidding, that fiber is some of the warmest for the weight I've ever encountered!



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by MystikMushroom
reply to post by Res Ipsa
 


LOL! Arctic Cat...we call them the "McDonalds" of Snowmachines around my parts. But god damned do they produce some good stuff now and then. I'm a Polaris/Yamaha guy myself. I don't own one things and would rather use skis and snowshoes to get around in the backcountry. Call me an old fart if you will. Those things just scare away the animals.


Well he's right about Arctic Cat clothing.

The combination of Thinsulate and GoreTex beats anything else.

Found some gloves and boots made of the same stuff, snowmobiling in -35C is no problem.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:22 PM
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Or you could do what I do.
Don't live in a place where you can die if you get stuck outdoors. I did for a while and decided I didn't want to do that anymore.



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by MystikMushroom
 


I grew up working at a ski hill every winter on the snow making equipment . Our machine of choice was bombardier !! No yamahas or #ty kittys !! LoL everyone wore insulated coveralls and wool lumber jackets underneath , wool socks , skidoo boots and we were outside for 12 hour shifts and toasty warm . I'm not a big fan of all these gore-tex and synthetic coats !!



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
Or you could do what I do.
Don't live in a place where you can die if you get stuck outdoors. I did for a while and decided I didn't want to do that anymore.


And that's why there's less of us living in Canada with more land space per person, plenty of hidden away wild bush, etc.

You wussies.

More for us !



posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by CranialSponge
 

Canada?
Not only is it cold, there are timber wolves and polar bears there! First you catch hypothermia then you get eaten.





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