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Drck

Cold Weather Clothing

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What are some of your cold weather clothing tips?  Particularly for not overheating and getting all sweaty when doing physical activity, and then having to be wet and cold later.

That was something I always struggled with when I lived in WA.  All of my great waterproof gear was really good at keeping water out, but not really breathing well.  So when we'd go snowboarding, I'd dress as light as possible, to the point where I'd rather be cold at times than risk sweating.  That worked if we were with a group of about equal skill and I wasn't having to wait around for people.  In that case, we were usually always on the move and keeping body heat up.

I watch shows that have guys hiking miles and miles for hunts and stuff.  They are all layered up and first thing I think of is "damn, they must be working up a sweat" and that they'll be cold and clammy later. 

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Oh man, I love layers. My brother and I did a lot of backcountry skiing which involves a lot of different levels of exertion and varied weather exposure. For bottom layers, I usually started with synthetic long underwear (Patagonia Capiline 3 or 4) under Gore-Tex non insulated shell pants with full length leg zips (Mountain Hardware something). Top would be a light wool short sleeve (Smartwool) under a synthetic lightweight 3/4 zip hoodie (Patagonia R1). If the weather sucked, I'd wear a Gore-Tex non insulated shell (Arcteryx something) usually with vents open. Lightweight wool neck gaiter and beanie (Arcteryx makes the best). For ascending gloves, I like a lightweight fleece (Arcteryx again). When we get to the top, if we were going to keep going, I'd usually just zip vents closed and keep going. If we were headed down, or it was windy/colder, I keep a windblocking, synthetic insulated zippered hoodie (Arcteryx... again), and my ski gloves, usually whatever full leather Gore-Tex I found at the time. Lost lots of those. On ridiculously bad days, I had some down insulated pants I'd put under the shells. 

One thing I absolutely insist on is non insulted for waterproof gear. That way you only need one water proof piece for a very wide range of temps, just lauer underneath it appropriately. Another thing people screw up all the time is level of exertion. Just because you have the strength and energy to go harder and faster doesn't mean you should. You will always break a sweat, but do your absolute best to minimize it. Slow and steady with breaks when you start to warm up is just as important as dressing right. Always buy the lightest gear you can. The less your extra layers weigh, and the smaller they pack, the more likely you are to bring them, and the more comfortable you'll be. 

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I guess sizing should be mentioned as well. Base layers need to be fitted, so things can fit over them, and external layers should be large enough to allow a *comfortable* -not loose, not tight- fitting of all insulating layers. It should be sized small enough that it still fits well without insulating layers so you don't end up with air gaps that waste body heat. Zip vents for venting, not gaps. 

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One of the things I use is instead of a crew neck upper base layer I use a zip up type, you would be amazed how much you can control your temp with those. 

  Anatomicaly you lose most of your heat working from the head down in these locations:

1: the head

2: the neck, particularly the jugular/carotid areas.

3:  Axillary, (armpits)

4: groin

5: feet. 

  Now if your core starts getting cold, warm up from the core-out.

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Got a better way of staying warm in cold weather than layering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay inside next to warm fire

 

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Yeah, I learned the value of laying pretty quickly.  First outdoor winter jacket was a thicker one.  Well, you need to be warm, right?  Well, it only has an off or on "feature" and no where in between.  That and the lining can get soaked.  Then I went with a thin (or thinner) outer waterproof shell and then varying what's inside. From both snowboarding and shooting in Alaska, I learned a lot.  I also learned that I can wear more than 5 layers and still shoot without feeling like a Stay-Puft marshmallow man!  Haha

The fitting first layer I think is a great tip that I also learned quickly.  I am pretty "thermally efficient", or basically I warm up quickly and get hot.  Then after perspiring and cooling down, it can get miserable.  I had grown to really appreciate stuff like pit and side venting on jackets and even side leg vents on pants. 

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13 hours ago, Asot said:

One of the things I use is instead of a crew neck upper base layer I use a zip up type, you would be amazed how much you can control your temp with those. 

 

 

True story. I didn't think I'd like the zip up base layer, but that thing rules. 

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12 hours ago, vic_b said:

Got a better way of staying warm in cold weather than layering.

Stay inside next to warm fire

 

Don't forget the Irish Coffee xD

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Like everyone says - use layers. Layers, and for wet gore-tex.

Of course, the nice thing about rain is that it means it's really not all that cold. :)

 

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I work outside all year long. Winter time rolls around and it gets cold, I put on a under layer of merlino wool, then a fleece hoody and wrap it up with a vest. Feet get warmer socks and goretex boots. If it gets really cold, I'll put on a tyvek white suit, that we use for pumping the sewage off the trains. That cuts out all the wind and keeps most of the rain/snow off.

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14 minutes ago, Several said:

A mate bought a heated jacket, elements in front and back and a little 12v Li Ion battery and he swears by it.

Heated jackets are the bomb.

I have one for the bike that just plugs into a socket I keep under the edge of the gas tank. I take it along for almost ever tour.

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When I used to snowboard, I never really had to wear a base layer for pants.  Since we were usually on the move, the snowboard pants was usually enough.  Then when I went shooting in AK in 10-20F weather!  Yup, I about wanted to put on every damn layer I brought with me.

Heated jackets?  Never knew of such things.  Closest I got were those hand warmer things that heat up when you expose them to air.  They are actually quite handy. 

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11 hours ago, vic_b said:

I work outside all year long. Winter time rolls around and it gets cold, I put on a under layer of merlino wool, then a fleece hoody and wrap it up with a vest. Feet get warmer socks and goretex boots. If it gets really cold, I'll put on a tyvek white suit, that we use for pumping the sewage off the trains. That cuts out all the wind and keeps most of the rain/snow off.

You ever get flannel lined pants? I'd get the Duluth ones doing electrical in the winter and they're pretty much amazing. 

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For me, I'm in and out of the coaches, so in order to be comfortable I'd have to drop trou if I wear flannel lined pants.

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