Re: Extreme cold weather gear.
- From: Chris Townsend <Chris@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 15:33:09 +0100
In message <7uvll0yc2p5.fsf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, MB <*@*.*> writes
Chirs >I think the only garments suitable for standing round at -40 will be thick down filled ones.
Sure. For sustained inactivity nothing short of a proper winter sleeping bag & pads is enough for staying warm. Obviously, pause clothing as thick as a sleeping bag wouldn't be practical and isn't needed.
However if moving Paramo is excellent as it's windproof and very breathable. I've worn a Paramo jacket and salopettes for ski touring at -35 in Norway. I did need to wear Powerstretch leggings and a Powerstretch base layer and Polartec 100 fleece under the Paramo.
Sure, far less insulation is needed for on-the-move.
I find that there are two significant differences in dressing for very cold conditions as compared to moderate winter conditions:
1. Huge difference in the core insulation needed for excercise and inactivity. Hence easy to get on/off warm pause clothing is essential.
Definitely. I use a down jacket big enough to go over all my other clothing.
2. Need to carefully protect extremites against frostbite, both when active and inactive.
Which involves more than clothing. Watching faces for signs of frostbite is essential.
I carry several pairs of mitts/gloves so if any get damp I have dry spares. At stops where I need to use my hands I store the thick outer ones inside my clothes so they stay warm.
Novices tend to overdress for on the move, with too much core insulation, resulting in sweatting, which is particularily bad in cold conditions.
They certainly do. Teaching beginners Nordic skiing I often had to persuade people to remove some layers.
The intensity of the excercise, and individual differences, are typically much more significant than the external temperature for the amount of core insualtion needed.
Wind is critical too. I remember skiing at -25 in just a light top in windless conditions then turning into a valley with a slight breeze blowing down it and becoming very cold very quickly.
Personally, at -35C, on the move with gear in heavy conditions, I find that any typical fleece would be far too warm, except for the extremites.
Same here when working hard.
Also, I think that windproofness isn't a necessity, at least not in low or no wind conditions (which is typically associated with very cold weather over here). On the contrary, some wind permeability allows for uniform convective ventilation, and that's much more effective in keeping one dry and warm.
But when it's windy windproof clothing is essential. The only time I've skied at -35 we crossed a large lake down which a freezing wind was blowing and I once spent a week skiing in -20/-25 temperatures and a gusty wind. Without windproof clothing I would have frozen within minutes on both occasions.
The great thing with Paramo clothing is that it is highly breathable and windproof. I've spent several years in total wearing Paramo in below freezing temperatures on ski tours and it has always kept me dry and comfortable whatever the weather.
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