Sorry about the hiatus, I was a bit turned off of forums in general due to some various events and a change of employers kept me busy.
Anyways, I'm back and hopefully have things to contribute or at least spur some ideas.
My latest thought: How many of us are "fair weather" field folks?
When's the last time you tried to use your gear or shoot in foul weather?
What made me think of this is running some drills at a buddy's house the other weekend. We ran carbines, pistols, and I test drove some new mods to a scattergun. Oh yeah, it was -2 F according to the Kestral.
Things to consider:
How does your weapon/lube combo act at freezing temps?
Did your zero change?
How does your weapon fit with multiple layers (wicking/warming/weather)?
Do you have manipulation issues with gloves?
Do your optics have issues in rain or in freezing temps?
Did you remember to keep back up batteries close to your body to stay warm?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There's all sorts of variables with gear and clothing. Plastics snapping, metal on skin contact, etc.
Even those of you farther south than I experience temps that tip below the freezing mark. I encourage you to make a point to get out to an outdoor range on those days. You may learn a thing or two about you and your gear...and at the very least, you'll avoid the crowds.
Don't forget the cold (or heat) when it comes to survival items. We don't have the opportunity to choose the weather when things go sour.
"It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." -RADM Hopper