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What Is Your Cold Weather Clothing System…. staying warm and tips?

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  • What Is Your Cold Weather Clothing System…. staying warm and tips?

    On the old forum there were some very informative threads and posts. As it is no longer around I would like to ask here.
    Basically what is your cold weather clothing setup and what items have you added/subtracted to stay warm and dry in the outdoors?
    Military and civilian clothing items?

    What tips have you learned?
    Last edited by Pinemarten; 16-03-2018, 05:17 AM.

  • #2
    Wool with a good porous weave for thermals. NZ used to wear these thick rough black wool bush singlets and they are bulky and warm. Bit prickly for sensitive skins though. IS why soft expensive merino is more popular. Also used to wear felted wool called the Swandri. Heavy when wet though and slow to dry so got moved over to these new easier to pack synthetics.
    Wool wicks sweat fairly well.

    Wool shirt or polar fleece. Synthetic puffer. Because down is useless when damp. Haven't tried these new repellent down versions.
    Raincoat for windblock as well.

    As a rule here if you wear cotton you'll die of exposure.

    This summer I wore a new type of synthetic"thermal"as a shirt. These new fast drying fibres.
    It was uselessly woven but super great at wicking. Sweat was pouring of the head but this shirt was voodoo freakin dry. Unfortunate it didn't have a insulting weave.
    Used to wear a cotton "thermal" that had a waffle pattern on the underside to give it some trapped air for insulation.
    A combination of the two might be interesting. With and engineered tight weave on the outer layer. I suspect it would cost like merino though.

    That sums up my avoid being wet cold miserable life.


    • #3
      I'll put on a hoodie, and maybe migrate from shorts to trousers if it's getting a bit nippy.


      • #4
        Layers...... I'm pretty much not a fan of "all in one" jackets or pants. I wear my base layer mid weight thermal long sleeve crew shirts and pants under the top layers as soon as it starts getting cool out. the top layer could be a 200 weight fleece jacket or even just a modern rain or weather layer, but it cannot be old-school waterproof or heavily insulated and it will need to have pit zips. The pants will be durable hiking pants, preferably with zip off lower sections so that they can become shorts when it gets warm. The pants will be covered with a top layer of a weather she'll or a 300-weight fleece pant if it is cold and dry out.

        Once it starts getting colder, from 50 to 30 degrees F, I switch over to a light mountain jacket as the top layer, preferably with snow skirt or longer waisted cut and it must have a hood and pit zips.

        My biggest bugaboo is a heavy layer that does not allow water/sweat vapor to escape or does not have vents that I can open and close to vary the airflow frequently. No cotton, no old-school wool, and not really any traditional leather.

        My hats range from sun protection for head and eyes, to the same sort of hat for light weather/drips, to more water resistant hats and fleece beanies for cold weather.

        Gloves range from 100 to 300 weight fleece, or puffy winter gloves for the nasty stuff. I currently do not have good thin water/weather resistant gloves, but am keeping an eye out for sales.

        Socks? Lightweight synthetics or Smartwool, heavier ones for backpacking and for inside winter boots or Sorels.


        • #5
          For freezing cold / wet weather in the winter in Transylvania, which thankfully in my area we had very little this year,
          Layers, thermals, t-shirt, tube scarf pulled over the head, skip cap "goretexy type" outer layer pants jacket,
          woolen or cotton socks, impermeable boots.


          • #6
            When I was young it was wool and cotton layers, cotton long johns, wool socks, some kind of hat or toboggan, gloves, some kind of coat. Now, I still wear layers, but no wool, except for socks, some kind of coat, gloves and a scarf on my head.


            • #7
              Originally posted by digrar View Post
              I'll put on a hoodie, and maybe migrate from shorts to trousers if it's getting a bit nippy.
              Would you move from the double pluggers to shoes, or retain the pluggers?

              Long story short, it only gets down to about 0°C winter here, with a few days below this for a few hours. But it does get pretty windy.

              I have a series of fleeces, softshells and shells (Kathmandu brand including Goretex and generic goretex equivalents which i wear. I layer them depending on how cold it is. On super cold days i have an oversized large shell which i can wear anything underneath. If i'm not outside for extended periods i can get away with a softshell or a hoodie most times.

              For when i do have to spend time outside I also have a Aldi snowboard jacket, cheap and waterproof. And I got given a Jacket when we got our last tractor. Its a nice case nylon one, very good for most temperatures here. Except last winter, i only took it and was still bloody cold. A few alcoholoic drinks helped with that.

              And then because we have a farm, i have a pile of farm jackets (Driza bone, nylon parkas etc) which i can wreck without getting too upset. When you are working its not too bad, but when you are sitting in a vehcile or on a bike or horse it gets cold.


              • #8
                I survived -25 ° C for 4 days and nights in the open, sleeping on teh naked icy ground covered with some tree branches only because they took away our sleeping pads to make it more "realistically". The Bundeswehr Kälteschutz saved me.

                I still have it and use it, but only when really really cold and mostly onyl teh jacket.

                Otherwise a longjohn and a tight fitting longsleeve with polo neck , a t.shirt, a hoodie and long half stockings. Standard winter jacket and normal pants.

                When really windy exchange jacket for a windbreaker, optional thermal pants or water proof overgarment when raining. You can get rid of some layers in rain- as it can't be THAT cold then

                Don't forget good warm soft shoes. I made the experience that my standard army boots don't keep my feet warm when standing around.

                Also have ecco boots really cosy, soft and warm boots. They have a price though.


                Keep your head, neck and hands covered all teh time!

                I once was surprsingly caught in a snowstorm and I had no hat! My brain nearly froze.

                It really hurts, had to undress my t-shirt and wrap it around my head...I was laughing stock for going into the mountains and forgetting a hat.

                Anyway freezing is relative...some freeze more than others...some sweat more. You have to find out individually.


                • #9
                  I have to dress for cold weather taking care of horses in a barn. My hat is an Alpaca/polarfleece with wind stopper membrane from Montana alpacas, small brim, very toasty. Jacket is an old shearling off eBay, gloves are "Glomitts" so I can use my fingers to work then cover them back up.. I wear Wrangler thinsulate insulated bluejeans, thick wool socks and insulated rubber muck boots. My polar fleece first layer is an MFH Defence jacket with a wind/waterproof membrane, pit zips, high stand up collar with drawstring and is warm as toast as a stand alone.


                  • #10
                    J.B. Fields Icelandic Arctic Trail socks. All I wear in winter. So thick you almost need to go up a boot size to wear.



                    • #11
                      Thick socks rule in the cold!


                      • #12
                        I just go to the arctic. I hear it's 45' there right now.


                        • #13
                          So, my system is:

                          1. I start using a warm shirt (like hoodie or a sweater) under my summer jacket when it drops below -0ºC.
                          2. I start using my wool cap, a winter jacket and light gloves when it drops below -5ºC
                          3. I start using a bit heavier gloves when it drops below -8ºC, I stay on this mode until it drops below -20ºC then I:
                          4. wear long johns under my jeans and replace my wool cap with a fur hat made of wolf fur.

                          If I have to stay in forest when It's cold, I swap my normal shoes (that I use all year around) to my rubber boots with wool lining.
                          If I have to go ice fishing, I jump to step 4 and and add a long sleeved undershirt.

                          If I have to go exercising, I reconsider and buy beer instead. This helps me to gain some natural insulation.
                          Last edited by PEMM; 17-03-2018, 12:35 PM.


                          • #14
                            Step 1) Avoid going out into the cold.
                            Step 2) If step 1 can't be avoided, get to a prewarmed vehicle immediately so you can reachieve step 1 ASAP.
                            Step 3) At this point, things are actually getting serious. I go with many layers with as many being wool as possible, and very thick wool socks.


                            • #15
                              Wools a funny thing. goose down, cotton and even bamboo awell. Natural products that work and synthetics still can't out perform or if they do its only marginally.

                              The old humble sheep... the ultimate product tester sitting out the in the wet freezing shite 24/7/365 for several millennia
                              Its blog reads... I'm still here you bastards.