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Thread: Cold weather gear

  1. #1
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    Cold weather gear

    Not really gun related. I fly a lot in a single engine plane, living in Montana, and it being winter, throw an extra bag in the plane with me. It usually has the heaviest socks Filson makes, wool pants, OD green wool heavy wool shirt, scotch cap and my thickest gloves. On the outside is an ifaik. On me I carry a fire steel with some cotton balls in a pill bottle that have been impregnated with petroleum jelly, a couple knives one being a fixed blade esee, 1911, good footwear, a coat, wool sweater, some type of cover, and wool liner gloves. If it is super cold, I wear Duckworth tops and bottom for a base layer. I carry all this crap in case the plane decides it wants to shit the bed and I get the joyous opportunity to spend the night out in the harsh cold on the side of a mountain. The plane has mylar blankets and some survival stuff in it, including tarps etc. Any other suggestions one can think off, you have to remember, there is a weight issue being a plane, and a size issue. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Wool is good but there are better materials available today for outer garments. Layers are key and the top layer needs to be hooded and windproof like a military goretex sized large enough to wear a lot under it. Boots need to be sized for thick socks, you need at least two pairs of socks, rubber overshoes work great, you need something to cover your face, scarf and balaclava, mittens work way better than gloves. Ground insulation is a force multiplier, if you have room something like a GI sleeping pad but at least something to put under your butt. A way to heat water and carry water and hot beverages/soup mix etc. candles waterproof matches and BIC type lighters a fire steel should be a last resort, making a fire is a lot harder when you are shivering and have frozen hands. I would get some calorie dense survival rations and candy bars hard candy also you burn a lot of calories staying warm in extreme conditions. Everything you are not wearing should be in a backpack in case you have to walk out.
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  3. #3
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    Not a biggy, but you can use triple antibiotic ointment that has a petroleum jelly base on the cotton balls for a double purpose item.

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    I spend a lot of time in the mountains, and a lot of time rescuing people in cold mountain environments, and I agree that it's all about layering, with a waterproof shell layer you can wear on the outside in bad weather. If your clothing gets wet from snow or rain, it's going to be hard to keep warm. I prefer merino wool base layers, with wool, fleece, and synthetic down mid layers (real down doesn't work well if it gets wet and there are some great synthetic blends available).

    As for a bug out bag for the situation that you mentioned, you can fit a lot in a pack and still keep the weight down. Personally, I would include a small handheld backpacking stove with small size butane container in a lightweight cooking pot (or the full jetboil system if you have the weight). This allows you to heat/boil water, cook, start a fire easier if things are wet, and the weight is minimal. I also have some blackbeard fire starter in mine, and a small road flare can help starting a fire or signaling for help.

    Something for shelter is important, so it's good the plane has a tarp, as you can do a lot with a tarp, mylar emergency blankets, and some paracord. A waterproof bivvy is nice if you have the weight, but not a necessity.

    Outside of what you mentioned, i think a couple freeze dried meals and water can get you a long ways, and I always have a lightweight water filtration system like a Sawyer with me. I also keep a headlamp and spare batteries, a radio, a multi tool, and a little role of Gorilla tape that can be handy in a lot of situations.

    The fact that you are already thinking about and preparing for a bad situation, will put you far ahead of the curve. We rescue a lot of people, and there is a big difference in outcomes between those who are prepared and those who aren't, and those who have the mindset to survive. Now that you are prepared, let's hope you never have to use it

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    Not a lot to add as my experience with flying is ranch based so we always were pretty close to base as well as being young and dumb at the time lol

    I'm currently reading "7003 Days: 21 Years in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness"

    It has some very interesting survival stories including some very close to fatal events. I'd think one could pick up a few tips from reading it and the writing style is easy and quick paced.

    "Deep in the Idaho wilderness the last vestiges of Old Idaho linger. In 1982, an eager young couple seeking adventure and challenge, Jim and Holley Akenson, moved to a log cabin in the back country to manage Taylor Ranch, the University of Idaho's wilderness research station. In 7003 Days, Jim describes their encounters with wildlife and nature: tracking wolves and cougars, using mules for transportation and ranch work, and introducing university students to life in the rugged Salmon River Mountains of Central Idaho"
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/08...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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    Lots of good points have been covered. Layers, merino wool, goretex outer shells, all good things. I also highly recommend multiple pairs of gloves and face coverings. Contact gloves (thin liners) can be essential to keep under heavier gloves but almost always stay on so you don’t touch stuff like bare metal. But gloves tend to get wet, even when you’re adamant about taking them off before they get wet. Fall in snow? Some gloves are instantly useless. If you can afford the space and weight, extra gloves help. Balaclavas and other face coverings get loaded with condensation. When snowmobiling in sub-zero temps, I’d keep one on my face and rotate it every so often as it freezes up. The fresh one will freeze before your old one thaws, but still better than nothing. A fanny pack that you sling around your chest but under your jacket will help keep things like batteries and the “thawing” balaclava warm. In blizzard conditions, good snowboarding goggles are a huge asset. Last thing, my old unit that specializes in arctic warfare doesn’t use jetboil. I forget the brand but there’s one that’s either rated to lower temps or is more reliable in those temps. Not super helpful since I don’t remember the name but you can probably find it.

    Of course this is all a space and weight trade off.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Cart View Post
    , and I always have a lightweight water filtration system like a Sawyer with me. I also keep a headlamp and spare batteries, a ; )
    Be careful with Sawyer (and as far as I know any other filtration system) in freezing weather because if they freeze they are usually toast.

    lithium batteries for headlamps are a good idea due to not rupturing out of the blue and not being as finicky in cold weather as alkaline. May not be a big issue now, but in the past not all lights could handle the output of a lithium so it is a good idea to check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wake27 View Post
    my old unit that specializes in arctic warfare doesn’t use jetboil. I forget the brand but there’s one that’s either rated to lower temps or is more reliable in those temps.
    Good point, and from my experience, it's the fuel that is the issue, not the stove itself. If you will be in extreme temps, you definitely need to get the fuel canister that is rated for sub zero temps. I've used my jetboil in very cold temps (below zero), and as long as you have the right fuel, it works great. I'd be curious to know if that unit had issues with the fuel or the stove itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbhike View Post
    Be careful with Sawyer (and as far as I know any other filtration system) in freezing weather because if they freeze they are usually toast.
    . For sure. I like having a small stove and pot to boil snow or water if other options aren't available.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbhike View Post
    lithium batteries for headlamps are a good idea due to not rupturing out of the blue and not being as finicky in cold weather as alkaline.
    +1 on this. I only use lithium batteries anymore, and i don't think any of the modern lights have issues with lithium.

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    Thanks for the inputs. I need to re read them again. All my cold clothing gear has been worn outside for long periods of time down to -45f. Far as the layering goes, something completely waterproof and to help cut the wind a little might not be bad. My big heavy coat is a Filson packer with a shearling collar and it is somehow shoved into this bag. That is my cold weather bag, and the room I have to work with. Thanks


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    Quote Originally Posted by ubet View Post
    Far as the layering goes, something completely waterproof and to help cut the wind a little might not be bad.
    A good GoreTex shell for top and bottom is a must have IMO, and they can pack up pretty small if it's a true shell with no insulation. I prefer Arc Teryx or Black Diamond if you have the budget for it. It's pricey up front but lasts a long time. I have the Arc Teryx Beta AR shell pants, and they zip over existing clothing so no need to take off your boots or pants to put them on. I abuse mine and they've been nothing but great over many years of hard use. For the Jacket, Black Diamond has a shell called the Liquid Point shell that is GoreTex and lightweight, and quite a bit less expensive than the Arc Teryx version. Sitka makes good shells as well if you want a camo option.

    Also, if you are LE/Mil or first responder, you can get a good pro-deal with these companies, and the savings are pretty big.

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