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#107622 - 12/07/08 07:57 PM Back to the Future
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
This is mostly for our Canadian friends since they are the ones out in the really cold weather. This will sound like a goofy question, but I am serious about wanting to know the answer.

I've been reading a lot on www.wintertrekking.com about really cold weather camping. It seems that far from trying to be lightweight, what those guys are wearing looks more like 1908 than 2008 with wool and of all things, cotton like the Empire Canvas anorak, plus big fur hoods and bomber hats like the cops are wearing in Fargo (the movie, not the town itself).

They seem to kind of pooh pooh modern materials. What's the deal? High altitude climbers wear all the latest and greatest in really cold weather, so what makes the difference?


Edited by TomD (12/09/08 10:05 PM)
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#107623 - 12/07/08 08:09 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I tend to the big wool pants and the anorak myself, although mine's a homeade hybrid with nylon sandwitched between two layers of materiel (and big cargo pockets with elastic loops that hold 20 rounds of rifle ammo in hunting season) I don't use the dead muskrat hat, but I prefer a heavy toque with ear flaps. Wool works and works well, and also breathes. You also see a lot of us layering the heck out of things so you can adjust and not sweat. My big down parka is for sitting around stationary.

Having said that, there's plenty of people up here who also go out in "modern" style gear. I could too if for
example, I bought a modern set of snow pants. I don't, because I wear my wool ones in hunting season, and they are *quiet* in the bush. nylon or goretex outers are not.
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#107624 - 12/07/08 08:33 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Phat. A lot of the discussion was about layering and trying to prevent a lot of sweating. Of course, having a tent with a stove in it makes it easier to dry things out.

I had no idea cotton jackets worked well in really cold weather. Now in mixed rain and snow, I'd want my modern raingear.

I'm tempted to buy one of those "mad bomber" hats just because they look so warm.

I must confess though, why anyone would want to be out in -20C or colder is beyond me.


Edited by TomD (12/07/08 08:34 PM)
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#107625 - 12/07/08 08:47 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

I had no idea cotton jackets worked well in really cold weather. Now in mixed rain and snow, I'd want my modern raingear.
[quote]

Yes, my anorak shell is red denim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> it is *NOT* worn in mixed rain and snow. my winters are cold and while
snowy, are dry and cold. it is not the type of deep wet snow you'll find in the BC interior or on the coast.

[quote] I must confess though, why anyone would want to be out in -20C or colder is beyond me.


Because the alternative is going to the mall <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> , and besides, no such thing as bad weather amigo - only weather you aren't dressed for. Particularly when I go to work at 8 AM (and it's DARK) and I come home at
3:30 or 4 (and it's still DARK) going out and spending a day under bright blue sky and deep cold is wonderful - topped off by retiring with a good book and a candle lantern, and a nice nip of scotch.. what more do ya need? (other than a biiig pee bottle because the nights can be a bit long <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )
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#107626 - 12/07/08 08:58 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
[quote]
Because the alternative is going to the mall <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> , and besides, no such thing as bad weather amigo - only weather you aren't dressed for.


That does make a lot of sense. I remember reading that somewhere; maybe it was Amundsen or one of those guys who said it way back when. Not the part about the mall, though. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#107627 - 12/08/08 10:40 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
alanwenker Offline
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." — Sir Rannulph Fiennes.

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#107628 - 12/08/08 10:57 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
There are mamy here in Minnesota who also eschew modern materials and go with wool layers with cotton anaraks. This works wonderfully in really cold weather where rain is not an issue and also works better than modern materials if you are using a fire to keep warm because your clothing doesn't melt and stands up well to wood gathering and cutting. Having said that, I prefer modern materials with wool mixed in. I got caught a couple of years ago in northern Minnesota in late December in an ice and freezing rain storm. If I had not had a gortex jacket and pants, I'd either have had to leave all my gear when I bailed or seriously risk hypothermia.
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#107629 - 12/08/08 11:19 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: alanwenker]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." — Sir Rannulph Fiennes.


I had posted that here years ago and looked for it but couldn't remember where it was. I spelled Rannulph wrong too-only one "n" in Ranulph. The quote is also on the net as an old Norwegian saying, so maybe he heard it at some time. It is often said as "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing."

I saw Fiennes in 1985 give a talk about his round the world trip. He is quite an adventurer. There is a good article on him in Wikipedia.


Edited by TomD (12/08/08 11:21 AM)
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#107630 - 12/08/08 03:43 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
Rick Offline
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Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I would venture to say that wool is as good as many synthetics in many regards, not the least of which is warmth and breathability and it maintains some of its insulating values when wet. At -20C, wool may be the only material that will breath.

Witness the resurgent of wool base layers in recent years. I even saw a shirt the other day that was a wool / synthetic blend - it was Mountain Hardware or one of the other major makers of outdoor clothing. I think we will see more of this in the future.

The other major advantage of wool and cotton for those of us here is durability. Winter camping in these climes usually includes fire - be it a wood stove or open fire. If you've never seen Pertex burn and shrivel up - well its not a nice sight. As I say, survival and comfort means fire and that means cutting wood. Nothing is more upsetting than to snag a Gore jacket on a branch.

There is also the cultural differences that we find amongst ourselves. Folks from nothern points, and I include those from places like Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin, etc. are heavily influenced by our indigenous neighbours. These folks would be on the land for months during the winter season. It would be foolish to ignore their skills, clothing, and practices.

Having said all this, I would not be willing to give up my Primaloft and hard shells. Some of us are an interesting and sometimes confusing mixture of old and new.

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#107631 - 12/08/08 07:22 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Rick]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Rick, What I found interesting about the deep winter campers is that none of you guys seem to be trying to do it UL. Everyone has a pulk with either skis or snowshoes and are much more interested in comfort and warmth than trying to survive with minimal gear, which in that weather is probably a bad idea in the first place.

No alcohol stoves at those temperatures. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

It sounded like from a couple of posts that you could take the train to Northern Ontario and it would drop you off somewhere with your gear and then you'd go off from there. Is that right?

We could do that in New Zealand-take the train to Arthur's Pass and get off before town and head off down a track to a hut. The engineer would stop the train for us, then pick us up on the way back.


Edited by TomD (12/08/08 07:27 PM)
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#107632 - 12/08/08 10:05 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Rick]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Some of us are an interesting and sometimes confusing mixture of old and new.


Yeah, and some of have a lots of old and new gear too... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#107633 - 12/09/08 01:00 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Yes, there are many that have no concept of UL and quite frankly could care less about how much gear and its weight that they pull with their toboggans.

There are others, phat is a good example, who have taken the concept of 'hot tenting' to an ultra light level. A one pound stove and a two pound tent qualifies as UL. I build an eight foot toboggan that weighs about one quarter that of other similar length toboggans. Again, UL by my standard.

This style of camping may not be in everyone's realm of UL camping, but, might I suggest this: Is UL camping done with minimal gear or gear of minimal weight. I think we can agree that it is a combination of both. So, if a person wishes to use a 'hot tent' for their winter adventures and their base weight, regardless if they pull it on a pulk or carry it on there back, is, say, thirty to forty pounds, this is UL by my standards. Certainly not mainstream, especially on this forum, but non the less a style of camping that is practiced my many. The delicate balance between safety and weight has been discussed here before and is always a challenge to achieve when winter camping.

There are four trains that travel the north in Ontario. All four will make 'flag stops' at any point on their track. These trains are used extensively by trappers and hunters, aboriginals and recreational enthusiasts during all months of the year.

Northlander and Polar Bear Express
The Lake Superior
The Canadian
Algoma Central Railway

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#107634 - 12/09/08 08:30 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Rick]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

This style of camping may not be in everyone's realm of UL camping, but, might I suggest this: Is UL camping done with minimal gear or gear of minimal weight. I think we can agree that it is a combination of both. So, if a person wishes to use a 'hot tent' for their winter adventures and their base weight, regardless if they pull it on a pulk or carry it on there back, is, say, thirty to forty pounds, this is UL by my standards. Certainly not mainstream, especially on this forum, but non the less a style of camping that is practiced my many. The delicate balance between safety and weight has been discussed here before and is always a challenge to achieve when winter camping.


Indeed. Poke my winter list on my name Tom - I don't consider it light, well, because
I actually carry it and compared to what I carry when it isn't winter - well, it's not light <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
OTOH, when I do go out in the winter, I do try to go out keeping gear to a minimum and weight to a minimum, but by the time you are melting snow for water and keeping warm in serious temperatures - ya just need a lot of stuff! (I still don't take the expresso machine!)
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#107635 - 12/09/08 09:59 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
My comment wasn't meant to be critical, so I hope it wasn't taken that way. it is just a very different style of camping under extreme conditions.

Some of those guys do take less than others. I've looked at the whole wintertrekking site and read through the trip reports. One of the guys uses a Kifaru Tipi tent instead of a heavier hot tent, for example. Another trip report showed the guys camping under a tarp. The availability of firewood makes a big difference. You can't do that down here in most of the parks.

I can see the need to take what they do, given the temps they are at and why not? I don't see a lot of point to going out in extreme cold and not being as comfortable as possible.

I know you can do UL in winter, but practically speaking, only up to a point. Some of their trips are for about a week, so being comfortable makes sense to me. On my little winter trips, I take far more stuff than other people, but it's worth it to me to have it with me, just in case and I'm not out in anything close to what you go out in up in Canada.
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#107636 - 12/09/08 10:22 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
My comment wasn't meant to be critical, so I hope it wasn't taken that way. it is just a very different style of camping under extreme conditions.


I didn't take it as such. But maybe I'm too used to that kind of stuff, and I don't find it all that much different from how I go out in the winter, so it doesn't strike me as that much different, other than a bit larger scale and focused on lake travel (Not nearly as many lakes where I am)

Then again I don't find lightweight backpacking that much different than "regular" other than
"use your brain, don't buy overfeatured junk, and take what you need and have tested, not what
looks good in the store" so maybe I'm just weird, and a weirdo-inclusionist <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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#107637 - 12/09/08 11:10 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
northernbcr Offline
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Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
most of the question was ansewered very well eg fires burning nylon, noise produced by nylon there is one other problem not meantioned this is the availability of the stuff. in my town there is nowhere to buy the latest and greatest. one store and it is a hunting shop they do stock some stuff but only in camo.

up here there is so much fire wood with all the bug kill that a good size fire is easy and the norm. that is part of the reason for me to use a pulk as the gear used to weather the sparks is usually more heavier. my set up usually requires that i bring alot more food as you can never tall when you may be snowed in for extra days. in that type of scene no one can help you only what you have with you.

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#107638 - 12/09/08 12:26 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
My comment wasn't meant to be critical, so I hope it wasn't taken that way....


I know that, and of course it wasn't. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#107639 - 12/09/08 01:49 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Rick]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
Quote:
My comment wasn't meant to be critical, so I hope it wasn't taken that way....


I know that, and of course it wasn't. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Glad to hear. What we consider winter in California and what you consider winter up your way is so different to me that it just boggles my mind to see guys out there having a great time in such cold weather. I mean we get lots of snow in the Sierra in California, but nothing like the temps you have up North.

Reading the trip reports is really fascinating to me. It really is a whole different world up your way. It seems like there are lakes everywhere. I saw some pics of guys cutting holes in the ice for water or for fishing.
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#107640 - 12/09/08 01:55 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: northernbcr]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
most of the question was ansewered very well eg fires burning nylon, noise produced by nylon there is one other problem not meantioned this is the availability of the stuff. in my town there is nowhere to buy the latest and greatest. one store and it is a hunting shop they do stock some stuff but only in camo.


You can get most of the latest and greatest (if you can afford it) down here, but not the traditional stuff, so it's the reverse of the same problem. Even then, the winter gear is for mild winters or aimed at skiers, mostly because that's what's going to sell.
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#107641 - 12/09/08 02:39 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
alanwenker Offline
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
As with most gear, you can spend as much or as little as you like. For example, I know people who use Swedish Military white cotton jackets in place of an Empire Canvas anorak. Lots of people use military surplus wool pants, in fact Empire Canvas says on their web site that they can't make a better pair of pants than you can get from a surplus store. Wool commando sweaters are a bargain. Plans exist to make most of the gear if you are handy and have the time. Hardcore winter gear is a very small market, so many of the companies are quite small and obscure.

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#107642 - 12/09/08 03:49 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: alanwenker]
kutenay Offline
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Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 102
Loc: B.C. Canada
It is not particularly difficult to winter camp in subzero temps for a few days without a fire and I have often done so, however, you need to know what you are doing and also have the type of personality that is capable of dealing with the circumstances you will encounter when out alone in severe conditions.

I have or have had the stoves, cabins, wall tents, Kifaru tipis and so forth and we always used toboggans and snowshoes to travel, however, I have snowshoed into areas some 10-15 miles in the Kootenay mountains alone and not built a fire for 3-5 days.

I always wore merino wool base layers, usually a Ventile jacket and down insulation, either Meindl mountain boots or Acton pacs with woolen liners and heavy wool socks. In really severe cold, we wore woolen carpet slippers with foam soles inside rubber buckle galoshes and this is VERY warm down to -40, but, I cannot find these slippers anymore.

When considering fire, you really NEED to consider whether you will actually use up more energy keeping it going than you would by huddling in your bag and shelter and this is an important consideration. When actually living/working alone in northern BC and other cold places, I have always made certain that I carried with me an emergency camp that would keep me warm and dry without fire, if, I needed it.

That being said, a candle stove and firestarters are light and I usually have these with me, but, since I am often solo, I do not depend on them as with an ankle fracture, I will not be gathering wood. Most winter camping is much like coping with bears or other wilderness issues, it requires common sense, calmness, caution and learning to do what is practical. After almost 53 years at this, all over western and some of northern Canada, I am STILL learning and expect to until I cannot do it anymore.

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#107643 - 12/09/08 04:15 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: kutenay]
northernbcr Offline
member

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
you are right about fires kutenay one needs to be able to get by with out one. when going out ski touring then that is a trip that i would use no fire as camp would be in the alpine anyways so bring on the nylon type stuff. there is alot of other trips that i plan where a fire is part of the enjoyment .wood is never a problem just a small fold up saw using dead spruce or pine it is no effort at all to cut op 4-6 inchlogs we always leave them very long and just keep pushing the ends in. what would an ice fishing trip be without a fire --basically unheard of.

also you can and i do go light weight and stil have a fire just move nylon tent away and i have some old light weight fleece stuff that u put over the good stuff .there is a moose wintering ground that provides excellent viewing but can not be done as a day trip and it is nice to go lightweight as you have to search a little bit to find the main groups of animals but i still like sitting out under the northern lights with my fire.

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#107644 - 12/09/08 08:17 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: alanwenker]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Alan, do you know a source for those Swedish jackets? Thanks.
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#107645 - 12/09/08 08:52 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
alanwenker Offline
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Tom, I do not know a source. I'm certain the Sportsmans Guide sold them at one time or another, but a quick check yielded nothing. If I come across them I'll drop you a note.

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#107646 - 12/09/08 10:04 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: alanwenker]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Alan, I didn't see anything either, so don't worry about it. I'll look around every now and then. Surplus stuff eventually disappears, so that may be what happened here-replaced by some new fabric probably.

I just noticed I had a typo in the header. Which I fixed in mine, but now all the others don't match. DOH! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


Edited by TomD (12/09/08 10:07 PM)
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#107647 - 12/10/08 06:03 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
JAK Offline
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Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I don't think its a matter of past versus future. It's about doing your own research and ignoring marketing hype. In some situations wool is just better, even if down still works. In other situations down is just better even if fleece and wool still work. Marketing however, is always about making money. People should base their decisions on their own science and experience, not on marketing. Too much clothing and gear today looks like its for mountaineering, rather than other forms of adventuring which call for different solutions, and I would guess that most of it isn't that great even for mountaineering.

Cotton I don't care for, but it has its place if you are going to spend a lot of time near a wood stove as it is easier to launder. I will include a single pair of fleece boxers for this reason also, away from woodstoves. Generally I like to mix fleece with wool, plus light skin and shell layers. Wool is better for keeping on, especially as a sweater. Fleece is better for layers added and removed, but also might be better in snow as pants. It's hard to find good wool pants these days, loosely rather than tightly woven, so my main layers in winter is a hand knit wool sweater and 200wt fleece pants. Both wool and fleece have the advantage over down in that you only need to add or remove a light shell to make them alot warmer or alot cooler. Wool is the best material for absorbing and recovering heat from body moisture, but you have to be able to dry it out. If you don't have too much wool you can keep it dry just in the way you use it, so its sometimes absorbing and recovering heat from body moisture to keep the body warm, and sometimes drying out and keeping the body cool at the same time, from one part of the day or from one level of activity to the next. For hiking and camping amongst trees where wood for fire is available you might as well have a clothing system that can take better advantage of that without being too dependant on it. If sustained temperatures below 0degF are possible, even remotely possible, you need to consider incorporating some down into your clothing system. However, some folks might find a way to use down clothing effectively at 20 to 30F, and others might find a way to go without down clothing even at -20 to -30F. Depends on many factors. People need stuff that works best for the 90% of conditions they expect, but will also work for the other 10%, whether extreme wet or extreme cold or extreme windy or some nast combination of all three. People need to develop and test their own clothing systems. Most stuff that people wear today, even for climbing Mount Everest in my opinion, is based far too much on marketing and brand names, and not enough on personal research and experience. We should all endeavour to be better scientists and adventurers, not consumers.

It is interesting to note that even back in 1946 when Paul Siple wrote his paper, and I would guess even 50-100 years before his time, if not for thousands of year, there was always alot of heated and highly opinionated discussion about what the best cold weather clothing systems were even amongst experts. This is nothing new. What is new, perhaps, is post-modern consumerism. Then again, perhaps not.


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#107648 - 12/10/08 12:38 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: JAK]
alanwenker Offline
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Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Excellent points JAK. I don't know why, but I am more comfortable in wider temperature range in wool versus other fabrics. My guess is wool does a better job than synthetics of moving body pirspiration away from skin to outside layers. But that's just a guess.

Looser knit wool pants - LL Bean and Woolrich may have what you're looking for. Bean has a good wool selection in their hunting section as opposed to the generic outdoor section. That said, you'll have a hard time finding this stuff in stores.

I think you're right about the marketing mode of "make everybody look like a mountaineer." That becomes a sexy backdrop to sell against with beautiful landscapes and rugged, outdoorsy types. The marketing also conveys the "if it works on everest it has to work in Fargo" message. Years ago the North Face really pioneered this style of marketing by sponsoring high profile expeditions and then featuring the expeditions in their catalogs.

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#107649 - 12/15/08 02:14 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
Brotherbob12 Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 71
Loc: Sweden
Quote:
a source for those Swedish jackets? Thanks.



Swedish army cotton "Snöjacka" http://militart.overskott.dinstudio.se/bildgalleri3_T9_R4.htm#
"Snöbyxa" http://militart.overskott.dinstudio.se/bildgalleri2_T7_R4.htm

These are thin cotton garments used for camouflage purposes, very large and baggy to be used over the normal uniform. Not the most practical for winter camping. The price is right, pants and jacket for less than 15 bucks.

"Snow anorak" http://www.bbfab.se/skjortor/p1.htm
This is a better anorak, I have not used it but it looks ok (20 USD)

http://www.klattermusen.se Check out the jacket "Rimfaxe". A cotton winter jacket from a company that has sponsored quite a few North Pole expeditions.


I use Gore Tex when I expect wet weather, but my favourite for cold conditions is a cotton anorak made by a company called "Kavu" I like cotton shell in subfreezing temp because it is quiet and ventilates well.

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#107650 - 12/15/08 06:51 AM Re: Back to the Future [Re: TomD]
finallyME Offline
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Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Tom, thanks for the link. I found it to be a great site. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#107651 - 12/15/08 08:47 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Brotherbob12]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

"Snow anorak" http://www.bbfab.se/skjortor/p1.htm
This is a better anorak, I have not used it but it looks ok (20 USD)


Heh. it's funny. that picture could very well *be* my homemade one:

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#107652 - 12/15/08 10:11 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Brotherbob12]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Bob, I will check those out. Empire Canvas makes a nice anorak but it is expensive, which is why people are looking for the surplus army anoraks.

www.empirecanvasworks.com
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#107653 - 12/16/08 06:58 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: TomD]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I know I (well, my better half and I) sewed mine from a pattern as at least a "hint". however now searching "anorak" in sewing patterns comes up only with stylish chick fashions instead of anything practical, however I'm sure a note to some of our resident sewing gurus with that link above might find a similar pattern. an anorack is not that hard to sew.
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#107654 - 12/16/08 08:55 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
What are the advantages of cotton for an anorak?
Will an old bedsheet do well for material?

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#107655 - 12/16/08 12:16 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: JAK]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
JAK, check out the threads on Wintertrekking for Anoraks, High Tech v. Traditional and Pake's Anorak Modifications in the forums and the article on Winter Clothing Outerwear.

All I know about cotton anoraks, I learned there recently. Never seen one in person.

The basic advantages, according to the guys who have them are that they are durable, breathe well and are fireproof.

But, as with any other cotton garment, once it gets above freezing, they are not good because they may get wet and then you have the usual problems of wet cotton. They are using them in below zero C weather.

I don't think a sheet would work. Look at the anoraks on www.empirecanvasworks.com Those are made out of 6.3 oz. cotton of some kind. Some of the guys on wintertrekking wear surplus CF or Swedish Army clothes because they can find them cheap.


Edited by TomD (12/16/08 12:21 PM)
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#107656 - 12/16/08 01:00 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Durable, doesnt' cook when you're next to a fire, quiet in the bush, breathes well in subzero to let the sweat out, yet when relatively thick acts as a pretty good windblock, deflects snow off the lower layers and you can just beat it out in camp and it sublimates dry quite nice in dry subzero cold.

Not so hot once it's above zero (C).

Mines made of a red heavy denim-like cotton, more like canvas than denim. A bedsheet would probably suck, I want mine to deflect bush and the like - not shred.

My personal preference is more towards cotton duck/denim/canvas for such a thing. However unlike the traditionalists I think you can do fine with a more modern *breathable* nylon (not goretex) for a similar application if you aren't worried about burning it near a fire, or the noise it makes on brush. All this really is
is a light breathable (in subzero temps) garmet to deflect wind, snow, brush, and spindrift from fuzzy warm breathable as heck base layers (with me, multiple layers of merino, cashmere, and fleece but anything appropriate like that can do). the key thing is to cut the wind and deflect snow but stay very breathable and easy on easy off so you can exert yourself and adjust so you're not getting wet.

Note this is for, well, running around in the bush, in very cold weather, where the snow doesn't stick to everything because it's wet. it isn't for digging snow caves. it isn't for wet deep snow. it's for weather like you get in alberta in the deep winter, (or sweden or finland) - then
this works well.
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#107657 - 12/16/08 02:15 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Interesting. I've read about how they used to fireproof canvas, with alum I think, whatever that is. Then it would be used as the pack cover to wrap everything up in, and also as a reflective backdrop for a lean-to type shelter. I might do so experimenting first with a wool blanket and cotton sheet just to see how it works, then try different weights and weaves.

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#107658 - 12/16/08 02:35 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: phat]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I have This CAGOULE Pattern (scroll down the page) and 6.3 oz cotton twill. Hopefully over the holidays I will find time to sew. I'll let you folks know how it preforms.

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#107659 - 12/16/08 03:32 PM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: JAK]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
JAK, there is a thread on wintertrekking on fabric sources with some posts on different kinds of cotton.
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#107660 - 12/17/08 08:14 AM Re: Bck to the Future [Re: Rick]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
looks pretty close to the kind of pattern I made mine off of. Unfortunately I don't think I still have the pattern.

Mine is a zip front - not sure I'd want a pullover because I like the ability to unzip to regulate a bit, although you should be able to easily modify that to put a zipper in the front.
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