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Old 01-06-2007, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Winter camping/hiking and offroading: clothing and camping

I will start with how to dress. Ya most of you "think" you know how but those are also the fuckers who get frostbite You need to learn to dress in layers.
You want a base layer, a mid layer to insulate, and an outer layer to keep wind/rain/snow off you.

The Base layer is in direct contact with your skin. Its primary job is to pull sweat away from your skin. A snug fitting and wicking material is best to keep you warm and dry. Polypropylene, silk, polyester,UnderArmor (and knockoffs), Thermax, Thinsulate, wool are all good choices
Avoid cotton like the fucking plauge because it traps moisture, so it stays wet and draws heat from you.
Wool does not always agree with everyone so remember that.

Base layers come in various weights. Select a weight based upon the outside temperature and your activity level. The lighter weight is better at wicking, the heavyweight has more insulation. I like using a thin base layer and just adding the mid layer. That and its also cheaper Your can get mil surplus polypro for near dirt or just do like I do and buy in the offseason.

The Mid layer provides insulation. It should be a bit looser than the base layer, but to function properly it needs to maintain contact with the base layer. Mid layers also carry moisture away from the base layer to the outer layer. Material choice for mid layers include down, polyester, fleece, wool. Polar fleese kicks ass for this and is cheap. Once again avoid cotton no matter how cheap it may be.

The Outer Layer blocks wind and allows moisture to escape. Typical outer layers include shells made of Gore-Tex or a similar material. Extras such as armpit openings, ankle zippers (for pants), and a variety of ventilation options should be payed attention to when buying as this is an important option.
You should always adjust your temperature with the small openings first before you open it all up. Its easier to get rid of heat then it is no make it.


Your head is important, cover it. Most of your heat loss is by that

Boots. This is where people fuck up. Dedicate a pair of boots for winter and buy them while wearing polypro socks (base) and NOT FUCKING COTTON bulky socks. spend some money and get some gore-tex sympatex or even leather boots. Rubber ones work well also but they will FILL with sweat. Keep that in mind and carry spare socks.
You want them to fit well with all those socks on, not your normal boots stuffed tight with your winter layers. decreased circulation is BAD

Gloves: go to a snowboard shop and buy a nice pair. I have found they are very durable for the most part. Same deal, base, mid, outer layers. Get a bunch of cheap "contact gloves" (polypro) and ALWAYS wear them. Touching bare metal will freeze your fingers quick.

The most important thing is:
Keep your clothing clean !!
Dirty clothing does not insulate.

I will cover some camping stuff in a bit
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i remember reading an article in backpacker magazine a long time ago while in a waiting room somewhere. it was about the cold winter gear our special forces wear in the extreme cold. the article was pretty good at explaining how each piece of clothing works. i couldn't find the article but did find a part of it with a list of the layers/items and where to find them. link
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Alright fawker I'm interested I work in a freezer box doing deliveries in SF(cold and wet). Bring on the tech bitch because I've been looking for a way to get warm dry feet for a long time now
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Found this and edited out some stupidity/bad info

When the weather looks kind, a camp in a high location overlooking the surrounding scenery can make a trip. You are out there for enjoyment and beautiful scenery and views should certainly be one consideration when choosing a campsite. Other concerns are:
Wind protection. Trees, outcroppings, and a large pine all provide protection from wind. Watch for loaded branches of snow, and place the tent so that you are not directly under them.

• Avalanche hazard. Avoid camping on any slope or at the bottom of any slope that would have the remote possibility to avalanche. Learn to check the surroundings for vulnerability below open areas, steep, narrow chutes or overhanging cornices. It is always important to learn the telltale signs of avalanche conditions.

• Water availability. This is especially important. Having a source of water from an open stream saves a lot of fuel and time melting snow. Often, however, the streams are frozen or covered by snow. Treat all water as tainted.some shit like 90% of all streams in north America are tainted by giardia
You will get the death shits, you will hate life, treat/boil all water.

• Altitude. Avoid valley bottoms and low meadows. Cold air will settle in lower areas and make a chilly, frosty camp. Benches and platforms above the meadow or valley will be warmer.

• Terrain. The easiest location for a tent is obviously a flat area, but, if not available, simply make a platform by using the shovels and digging out a place in the snow. This is one of the luxuries of winter camping: snow can be moved. Once a site has been selected, the members of the group should divide up the tasks of setting up camp, putting up tents and making a kitchen area. The temptation might be to sit and relax but it's important to get the heavy work over with while still warm and energized. Work has the attractive advantage of keeping you warm.


Putting up the Tent

You are probably used to setting up your tent, but there are few additional considerations in the winter.

• Stamp out a level platform with a snow shovel if you have one . You can compact it further by stamping it out with your boots, but it isn't necessary. You can make it level by shoveling out a platform.

• Place the entrance downhill. Cold air will flow into a tent facing uphill.

• Place the tent ninety degrees to the wind. This will help keep the tent door free from drifting snow.

• Make sure to stake out the tent. If you have a dome or tunnel tent, put the poles in place and then stake it out. Throw everyone's pad inside. Then, as you slip into the tent, the pads will cushion you and prevent pits in the snow under the tent. After some time, the snow firms up and provides a platform to sleep on. An unjustified fear of those first trying winter camping is that the snow will melt on contact with the tent, bodies or bag. That doesnt happen.

• Sticks used for tent stakes if you've elected not to bring any snow stakes with you. You can also make "dead men" using rope and sticks, rocks, or other items you don't want back dig a hole a foot deep, drop the stick/whatever with the rope tied in the middle to the bottom, bury it and pack it down with your foot.
TAADAA a dead man

• In front of the tent door,under the fly (you have a tent fly, right?) dig a square hole big enough for ample feet room one to two feet deep. This will serve as a porch when brushing off boots or changing socks. It also acts as a "cold hole" for the cold air to drop into.

• Bury the edges of your fly with snow. This keeps your warm air in.


Kitchen

While some are setting up the tent, others can be constructing the kitchen. If it is bitter cold, then you may dispense with the kitchen and do all the cooking in the tent while wrapped in sleeping bags. In most winter weather, however, cooking can be done outside. If you have to cook inside the "tent" do it outside the body in the vestibule under the fly. This way spills and shit end up there. Also if something catches on fire you can just dump it in the cold hole.
The kitchen area can vary in size depending on how much time you have and how energetic you feel after skiing all day. Ideal kitchen areas are three to four feet deep rectangular holes shoveled in the snow. The length should be five to eight feet and the width three to four feet. A shelf should be made in the snow approximately one foot below the top the hole where a stove can be set and all cooking is done. If you are tired, a kitchen may consist of a small hole deep enough to stand in and to keep the stove out of the wind. The nice thing about such kitchens is their convenience. If deep enough, you can work with the stove and do all of the cooking without bending or kneeling. Most importantly, the stove is protected from the wind. Like kitchens at home, they're places where everyone from the party congregates and chats about the day's activities.


When the kitchen is constructed, get the stove out, fill it up, and start melting water right away. A small ensolite pad placed under the stove will help insulate it from the snow and keep it working more efficiently.


Changing Clothes

While setting up the tent and constructing the kitchen, you'll be working and keeping warm. But, sometime after those chores the activity level drops and you'll need to be careful to put on dry, warmer clothing before you chill. Most people change into a dry pair of socks and then pull on a pair of down or fiberfill booties. Over the booties, a pair of water-resistant overboots can be worn for walking around in the snow. The bootie-overboot combination does the trick when it comes to keeping warm while standing around in camp. It feels good to get out of heavy boots.


Cooking

By the time members of the group have changed into warmer clothing and laid sleeping bags in the tent, the water on the stove is likely to be hot. First on the program is a hot drink for everyone. Cocoa, tea, hot jello--whatever everyone enjoys. The idea is to start replacing lost fluids right away and at the same time to provide extra heat to the body.
You should consume at least a gallon of water each day. Often offroaders only get a few quarts of water during the day from their water bottles if no open streams are available. That means another three quarts will have to be consumed at breakfast and supper. Be aware of this quantity because being thirsty isn't always a reliable indicator of being dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, contributes to making you colder, and can lead to hypothermia. Drink water whenever you can and be conscious of your daily water intake. I try to keep drinking liquids to the point of forcing it.

For the main course, cooking will be easy since you've taken care of all the preparation before leaving on the trip. Freeze-dried foods are simply dropped into the hot water and allowed to soak for a few minutes. If you are preparing one pot meals with grocery store ingredients, all the mixing and combining of ingredients has been done at home. All you need to do is to add it to a pot. Put spoonfuls of butter or margarine on the food to raise its caloric value. When supper is finished, keep the stove going for more hot drinks.
I was eating 6,000+ calories a day during a winter military op and still loosing weight.


Pollution

Winter is as necessary a time as any to minimize environmental impact. Vegetation that can be trampled and destroyed at summer campsites is well protected under a layer of snow. The problem of winter camping is human waste. One characteristic of freeze-dried food is that it keeps you regular. The winter camper should take care to find a bathroom site well away from any streams or drainage paths. If you are allowed to poop outdoors. If winter campers are careless, the spring melt will wash all the preserved human waste from the winter into the streams during a short period of time, fouling the stream early in the season.

Best bet is to buy a nice 5gal pail shitter and take it out with you.

Pick up litter. Don't be conned into believing that the protective white blanket will miraculously sweep away any litter. Particularly be careful not to drop wax wrappers. If you bring oranges, carry out the peels. Pine boughs should only be used for emergency shelters.

Stove Safety

Stoves are dangerous if handled improperly. If possible, cook outside the tent to be safe. It is not always possible, and some cooking probably will have to take place in the tents. It may be also feasible to use the stove just outside the tent door in the vestibule.

Whatever you do, treat the stove with caution. Stoves produce carbon monoxide. Try to do any fuel filling out in the open. A few points to remember:

• For stoves which need to be primed, solid fuel or fire starter pellets are the safest, especially when cooking in tents. White gas used as a primer flares up violently while solid fuel burns predictably.
Avoid wrapping the stove in any kind of insulation. Use only insulation under the base of the stove.

• If the tank becomes so hot it can't be touched, turn off the stove and let it cool.

• Some stoves have a safety release valve in the cap. If too much pressure builds up gas will escape out of the safety release. Usually the escaping gas will ignite throwing flame away from the stove. Keep the cap pointed away from you and outside the tent door.

• Fill the tank before starting to cook. If you have to fill the tank while cooking, allow it to cool off before fueling. A funnel is a considerable help in filling. ALWAYS wear contact gloves when filling. Evaporating fuel will frostbite your ass quick

• After filling, replace the cap on the fuel bottle and place it far away from where you are operating the stove.

• Because stoves produce carbon monoxide gas, always make sure your tent, snow cave, or igloo is well ventilated.

• Most good tents have a drying rack, this it to be used for "moist" items. soaking wet items will just drip on you or freeze. Use a ghetto rack made from sticks near the stove/fire for wet things.


Water

In the winter when water surrounds you, it's surprising to be worried about it. Yet, making sure you have enough of it is a constant concern. If you're in an area where open streams or lakes exist, you'll have a ready supply. Often, however, you'll find that all water has to be melted. It takes time and fuel to melt snow, but avoiding fatigue, headaches, and eventually dehydration is worth it.

Melted snow water in a pot never tastes as good as from a mountain brook. You can help its taste and speed up the melting process by pouring a bit of water left over from a water bottle in the bottom of the pan. Allow it to warm and add snow, just enough that the snow doesn't soak up all the water. If you're cooking inside your tent, pile up bits and chunks of snow just outside the entrance, in order to have your snow supply within reach. Bring plenty of juice mixes, cocoa, coffee or tea to help disguise the pan taste.

I bring jello and granulated chicken bullion, it makes life suck less.

also remember: All water has nasty shit in it, kill it before drinking.


Getting Settled

To make your sleeping area more comfortable, position yourself in a desired location, then bounce up and down jamming your buttocks into the pad, making a depression for your hips. This will help keep the pad in position as well as being more comfortable for sleeping.

To avoid confusion and accidents, it is best for tent mates to get in the tent separately. Brush snow off clothing. Boots can be removed while sitting in the tent and hanging your legs over the porch. Knock snow off the boots before bringing them in so the tent doesn't get wet and dirty. I personally leave my boots in the vestibule and deal with cold boots in the morning.

A candle can be tied to a tent's center pole or set on a pot. Some people bring small candle lanterns to hang in the tent when arranging and sorting equipment.It also does add a bit of warmth.


Keeping Warm

Those who have never tried winter camping may have steered clear of it for fear of freezing during the night. It's an understandable concern, but unjustified With a few simple precautions, no one is going to be found a frozen zombie the next morning. While the proper sleeping bag will keep you from freezing, here are some helpful hints for staying comfortably warm:

• The important first step is to get into the sleeping bag warm. Don't expect the sleeping bag to warm you. It can, but you'll be ahead of the game if you are warm when you first climb into the bag. If you're not warm, drink lots of hot liquids or go for a quick jog to get the blood circulating. remember you sweat in your sleep, I drink some broth.

• Eating something right before you hit the sack can help. It also gets the blood circulating for the digestive process and provides a little extra energy.

• Keep sleeping bags close together in the tent. Take advantage of some of your partner's heat.

•There are 2 schools of thought with clothing in the sleeping bag. You can strip down and use your layers as pillow/padding while in there or you can wear everything.
i strip bare, never had a problem. A good sleeping bag should do its job.

• Keep the bag's hood closed up, leaving only a small opening for your mouth. The hood drawn up in this way helps to contain heat from the head and neck area.

• If you're still cold, get more insulation under your body by placing your pack under the pad and any left over clothing under your bag.
If you happen to be sleeping outside and not in a tent, stay warmer by finding a protected location out of the wind. Sleep under cover such as under branches or build a snow shelter.

• If you're still cold, think about getting a new bag and thicker pad. Some of us have systems that simply can not handle colder temperatures as well as others. If you become very cold, don't be afraid to wake someone.

• Gateraid bottle is your friend. Bring one, write "DONTFUCKING DRINK ME" on the side and use it as your pee bottle at 2am when you gotta go. Trust me on this.

• Wear your hat.

•put as many of your clothes in the bag with you. I put my gloves and shit by my feet. Cold clothes in the morning suck.


Cold Boots

Boots in bed? Some do, some don't. If you don't, you can expect stiff, frozen boots in the morning. While having them in the bag can be a little uncomfortable, those who do will have toasty boots. Place both boots in one stuff bag or each In their own bag and arrange them someplace in the sleeping bag where it's comfortable. Moist mittens and socks can be dried by placing them underneath your shirt next to your warm skin.
Gaiters commonly freeze up. Before retiring, knock the snow off and place them under your bag. Or put them in the same stuff bag as your boots and take them to bed. If you have problems with the zipper, rub on snow seal or candle wax.
I can't do this, it drives me fucking nuts. They go outside and stay there.


Mornings

The first person awake in the morning should bravely get up and fire up the stove. He or she can get the others going by serving them hot drinks in their sleeping bags. However it is done, the first thing to do is to prepare hot drinks.

If I put the stove just outside the tent door, I can heat water in the morning without leaving the warmth of my sleeping bag.

Keep drinking hot drinks after breakfast to start the day with a good supply of fluids. Even while packing, pause and sip a little cocoa, hot liquid jello or whatever.

You can hang your boots around your neck under your jacket to warm them up while eating/drinking.

The last thing to do after the tents are down and packs packed is to remove down booties and put on your boots. The boots will be warm from hanging underneath your jacket. Feet are one of the hardest parts of the body to warm up. If they start to get cold, it may be a couple of miles down the trail before they again feel comfortable.

Pack overboots and down booties, check to make sure the camp is clean, and you're off for another day.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Alright fawker I'm interested I work in a freezer box doing deliveries in SF(cold and wet). Bring on the tech bitch because I've been looking for a way to get warm dry feet for a long time now
capoline/polypro wicking socks, fluffy wool socks, good boots, enough said.
Make sure the boots fit correctly WITH all your socks on. That is the key deal.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Correctly means you can wiggle your toes btw.

Oh and when it's really cold... shave. If you don't know why, you haven't really been in the cold yet
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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BTW, the way to warmth is to trap air. So in general, other than the first layer you want somewhat loose (but not too loose) a fit. Want an easy way to warm dry feet Brandon? Sorel's baby
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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capoline/polypro wicking socks, fluffy wool socks, good boots, enough said.
Make sure the boots fit correctly WITH all your socks on. That is the key deal.
Two tricks I learned during Mnt Warfare School to combat sweaty feet.
1. Get unscented antipersperant and use it on your feet.
2. Wear a plastic bag between the polyp socks and the wool socks. Since then I wear polyp sock, wool sock, goretex sock, boots.

Spent 4 weeks ice climbing, snow shoeing, skiing, and it worked great.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1. Get unscented antipersperant and use it on your feet.
Works, but damn man.. gotta be careful with aluminum salts if you're allergic to em. Nothing worse than swollen feet
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Two tricks I learned during Mnt Warfare School to combat sweaty feet.
1. Get unscented antipersperant and use it on your feet.
2. Wear a plastic bag between the polyp socks and the wool socks. Since then I wear polyp sock, wool sock, goretex sock, boots.

Spent 4 weeks ice climbing, snow shoeing, skiing, and it worked great.

yup and you can " pre treat " your feet and after a month or so of doing it your feet will sweat less for the next few weeks.

Goretex socks also allow you a better boot selection as well
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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In terms of quality how does mil surp goretex stuff hold up as a cheap alternative to use when wheeling and the like so it wouldnt matter if it was damaged?

cheers
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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In terms of quality how does mil surp goretex stuff hold up as a cheap alternative to use when wheeling and the like so it wouldnt matter if it was damaged?

cheers
Tim
It holds up pretty well. I recomend using a goretex compatable "wash in" water proofing (get at any decent camping store) to help it remain waterproof
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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BTW, the way to warmth is to trap air. So in general, other than the first layer you want somewhat loose (but not too loose) a fit. Want an easy way to warm dry feet Brandon? Sorel's baby
I found these on Zappos.com thats the same site my girl uses for heels and shit like that Yeah I have to say those look nice and around $100 for most thats about what you have to spend now. I'm always looking for a boot with big cleats for the impact of jumping out of a truck all day. And then I hate steel or composite toe. The metal gets cold and icy in the freezers and traps moisture.
Here's the link
http://www.zappos.com/n/es/d/722670267/page/1.html
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm always looking for a boot with big cleats for the impact of jumping out of a truck all day. And then I hate steel or composite toe. The metal gets cold and icy in the freezers and traps moisture.
You can get cheaper if ya shop around and if they have your size in stock
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=306860
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=306810
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=290978
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=285312

(i think these are rebadged sorrels because they look like an older style I had, BTW they would be overkill warm)
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=88570
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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In terms of quality how does mil surp goretex stuff hold up as a cheap alternative to use when wheeling and the like so it wouldnt matter if it was damaged?

cheers
Tim
military gortex is cheap?

edit: i just searched and found that the used stuff is pretty cheap. irc, i paid over $200 for my gortex parka. it was new.

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Old 01-07-2007, 07:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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military gortex is cheap?
I get it for free, does that count as cheap ?
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I get it for free, does that count as cheap ?

yep, that's pretty cheap!
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:53 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You can get cheaper if ya shop around and if they have your size in stock
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=306860
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=306810
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=290978
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=285312

(i think these are rebadged sorrels because they look like an older style I had, BTW they would be overkill warm)
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=88570
Thanks man although that last one is definitely overkill I have to be able to drive in them in an Isuzu NQR. They have the cab that will remind you of a hybrid between a van and a car. A boot that won't let me accurately and quickly feel out the petals is likely to kill someone. The first ones are great though.......thanks
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Alright fawker I'm interested I work in a freezer box doing deliveries in SF(cold and wet). Bring on the tech bitch because I've been looking for a way to get warm dry feet for a long time now
Yeah, what he said. However, if you didn't pee your pants, your feet would stay dry!
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I didn't read all of that but most... I am in search and rescue and in the past have taught both medical patient assessment training and equipment use/packing... so here are some thoughts.

Clothing keeps you warm by trapping your body heat next to your skin. The problem with throwing a thick shirt on first is it also traps persperation and when this cools, it cools you. So a nice layer of underarmor is crucial. Go jogging w/o under armor at 40 degrees outside, then do it with under armor. You will be amazed.

A second layer of synthetics is important, I agree NEVER COTTON. Cotton is death material outdoors. You know why you have to wring out a shirt when it gets wet? Cotton traps water between the fibers and when that cools, you are covered in cold water and hypothermia is exelerated.

seam seal boots and packs, to keep your extra clothes dry.... seam seal jackets that say waterproof, they aren't - ever. I just spent 4 days in training with nothing but my backpack and a blue tarp for shelter, it rained 6" in 48 hours and I have the best gear int he world, $5000 in gear in my pack, and it came home wet...

hand warmers... buy them, they cause an exothermic reaction when you shake them, shove them in your pockets, in a sleeping bag by your feet, the sleeping bag will trap the heat like a little heater... keep them off your skin when you sleep though, they can burn you...
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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good info

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17989
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My favorite winter boots are extratuff rubber boots, alot like sorrels except the insulation is between layers so they dry really well and if you swamp them you pour them out and your still better off then if you have a wet removable liner. They are what all the alaska fisherman wear 24/7. For rubber boots they have a suprising amount of cusion in the sole and your feet won't hurt at the end of the day like you would expect wearing rubber boots or sorels.

http://www.madsens1.com/
This logging supply has them for a good price and has excellent service.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Yeah, what he said. However, if you didn't pee your pants, your feet would stay dry!
I'm not saying I never peed in a bottle in the back when no bathroom was available. But I don't pee on myself or others on a regular basis. I do pee on my feet in the shower to kill any chance of athlete's foot. I've only gotten it once but I've peed on my feet ever since.
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My favorite winter boots are extratuff rubber boots, alot like sorrels except the insulation is between layers so they dry really well and if you swamp them you pour them out and your still better off then if you have a wet removable liner. They are what all the alaska fisherman wear 24/7. For rubber boots they have a suprising amount of cusion in the sole and your feet won't hurt at the end of the day like you would expect wearing rubber boots or sorels.

http://www.madsens1.com/
This logging supply has them for a good price and has excellent service.
My sorels have about the same foot feel sole wise as my crocks.. which kick ass standing on concrete

Not all sorels are like the original old school ones
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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i'll add that columbia has the best fitting clothing i've found for big guys like me.

i have a 42" waist and my coat size is 52". columbia xxl sized parkas fit me perfectly around the chest and midriff, are long enough, and are of high quality. their XL or XXL pants fit my 42"x30" size good, depending on the "model" of pant. the snowboarding pants usually fit in XL, and the hiking/mountaineering pants usually need XXL - but be careful, they dont sell all the mountaineering/hiking pants in XXL.

it was very hard for me to find outerwear that fit properly. campmor's house brand stuff sucked, north face was too $$$ and still didnt fit right, and most other brands (mtn hard wear, patagonia, etc) didnt sell sizes that fit right. columbia is the only one i can find so far. awesome awesome clothes!!
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