Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I also had a bad experience on eBay with a computer, but got it mostly resolved. Your choices for gear shopping make a lot of sense as well. Depending on where you live, secondhand shops can be a good place to look. Not everyone needs expedition quality gear or clothes. Some of what I have is really old, but I don't get out that much to justify replacing it and it works just fine.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
I have what I believe to be a mild case of Reynaud's - it affects only some of my fingers. For me the key is core temperature and carefully managing it. As long as my core temp is up my circulation to the extremities is good and though my hands may get a little cold the circulation doesn't shut down and they don't turn white. But if I let my core temp drop, say by not adding layers soon enough when I stop, then some fingers will go white and I have a hard time getting my hands warm again. And warmer gloves/mittens don't make much difference for me - it's all about having a good flow of warm blood from the core to the extremities. I never have any issues with my feet, but that's mostly because when I am in the snow I'm skiing, and my ski boots - plastic with thermo-moldable foam liners - are very warm. I'm having to learn to manage my clothing more carefully than I did before, because now I can't get away with what I used to be able to
I am also finding that keeping my core temp higher is helping. I find staying on the warmer side of ideal seems to work better at keeping both my hands and feet warm.
For me the new mitts are working well to keep that heat from bleeding off faster than my hands can make it. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized my fingers were not going numb. I do have to discipline myself to not remove them unless absolutely necessary. The lobster claw liners do make it easier to articulate. I am able to work all my zips and tiny buckles on my clothing and daypack. I also converted my winter boots to a barrel lock system so I don't have to tie or retie them with bare hands.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Paul, it's about the same with me. I think taking herbal supplements helps too. I try to take cayenne and gingko everyday. They do seem to help prevent the problem.
I'm pretty sure that a big contributor to my problem is from slicing my fingers with razor knives and sheet metal a few times when I was younger. It's those fingers that get it.
But I get the blood circulating again pretty quickly by massaging my hand and fingers. Basically I just keep pushing blood into the fingers until they get their color back and retain it. Once they do the blood keeps flowing to them fine.
When things get too cold for my trail runners with GoreTex and wool socks (around 15F), I use a hybrid footwear system which basically amounts to a waterproof mukluk. Starting with the outer layer:
Tingley natural rubber overboots NEOS EVA foam insoles or Steger wool insoles (can't decide which I prefer) Steger mukluk liners spare wool socks to stuff into the large empty space over the foot medium to thick wool socks vapor barrier: oven bag: turkey size polypro liner socks
The vapor barrier is critical because these aren't breathable at all. Without it, the insulation will wet out from sweat and not work very well.
My coldest use of these was in the backyard at 0F. I was sitting around playing with fire stoves, and my feet were toasty. On the other hand, they're a little bit sloppy-fitting for hiking. Snowshoeing seems to work ok though.