Tag Archives: Cold Weather

Dressing for Winter – Gloves

By: Orvar Bäcklin “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” -Swedish Proverb This is a follow-up to the cold weather primer I wrote. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend starting there. The idea here is to try and produce a series of articles detailing my experiences with how to best equip yourself for dealing with extended operations in sub-arctic or just really cold environments. This first piece will go over taking care of the most important tools you have – your hands. A typical glove setup for field ops for me consists of 3-4 different gloves. I'll have a lightly or non-insulated work glove, a thin wool liner, a heavier five finger glove and mittens. Your hands, much like your feet, sweat and freeze fairly simple. I try to eliminate as much glove-less time as I possibly can for that reason. Classic military or outdoors problems are handling metal objects such as your thermos, stove, weapon, radios etc, most requiring some form of dexterity to maneuver. By using a thin liner glove I can take of my heavier gloves while still maintaining a shield between my fingers and whatever metal surface I just have to touch,

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Equipment For Work In Cold Weather Environments – A Primer

By: Orvar Bäcklin With winter having finally arrived I’ve been seeing a trend of posts in the Facebook groups, primarily in P&S – Gear/Equipment about clothing and gear suitable for working in cold weather. With that in mind I had the idea of doing a series of posts discussing my experiences in how to deal working in winter environments. I’m not really a winter SME. I just happen to live in a place (Sweden) where winters are long and fairly cold and I have chosen a profession (military) that regularly forces me to work for extended periods of time in austere winter conditions. Also please keep in mind that English isn’t my first language, so bear with me if some of the wording seems weird. The winter environment Winter is defined as a periods of time with 24 hour average temperature below 0ºC/32ºF. Depending on your geographical location, the length of winter varies but one thing remains constant – winter provides increased stress for you as an individual and even more so for you as a leader. For the individual having to work in cold winter weather that stress is mainly about maintaining your body and physical readiness as well as

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Being Prepared For All Seasons: Through Layer Selection

When dressing before I head out, I like to ask myself, "can I reasonably change a tire, dressed as I am, with the full range of weather and temperatures for today?" From time to time, we must all deal with weather-effects outside of our norm, while still taking on tasks and problems. This may happen with a sudden and unexpected change of the weather, from deficiencies in packing or preparation, or as relates to modern travel options: it is extremely easy for the individual to move across a broad geographic area very quickly; whether by planes, tranes, or automobiles; and thus to encounter quite the variety of conditions. For example: I recently went from a week spent in temperate North Africa, to a few hours in a wintry East Coast city, before I spent a week and a half in northern New England as several snowstorms worked their way through; the net transition time between these three locations was about 12 hours. When unexpected circumstances displaced me without notice, what I had on-hand for contingency positively influenced the outcome. Layering strategies apply at all times of year, and this must include having provision to up-layer. For best effects, we must

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Tactical, cold, wind, rain, survive.

Here are some things to consider regarding layering and desolate areas. The land of many mountains, high desert and high winds can make for a challenging way to manage your body heat while working with tacti-cool gear. The critical issue is to maintain a balance of body core temperature and also minimize perspiration which will accelerate dehydration and also can be an issue with evaporative cooling when you don’t want it to happen. Here is what I use, some of it is commercial mountaineering gear and some is military gear. I mix and match because I don’t always want to look like a barrel chested freedom fighter (Kilimanjaro, Africa) and frankly I like lightweight gear for my wilderness operations- it allows me to move faster. As long as the colors are muted, such as drabs, khakis, grays, etc. I will use it. I made a switch away from polypro and capilene about ten years ago. I have favored merino wool due to its lightweight, non-funk smell and it works in hot and cold weather. I have a variety of merino thin bottoms from Patagonia, Smartwool, Helley Hansen and the like. I prefer thin layers of wool next to my skin

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