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Old 12-08-2013, 05:39 PM
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Default Testing Cold Weather Gear



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Since we had a cold snap here and the nighttime temps were -15 to -20F I decided that it was time to try out some of my new cold weather gear. My test was to spend the night in the backyard, using only the gear that I keep in my GHB in the jeep. I wanted to try out the new gear without risking my life. If I was getting to cold I could simply pack up and go in doors.

Gear I had with me:
VŠtrex Parka and liner rated to -60
Mittens with liners rated to -60
Balaclava
Long johns and wool socks☺
Snow boots rated to -60
Snow pants rated to -60
Sleeping bag rated to -30
Sleeping Bivy (no cold rating only to keep dry and as a wind breaker)
** I also have a wind system designed to fit over all of my clothing but I did not use it for this test.

I spent Friday night sleeping in the backyard with snow coming down and was able to stay warm. In the morning I had approx. 3 inches of snow covering the bivy. I slept in the sleeping bag with my long johns on and stuffed my other clothes into the bivy to keep them dry and to use as a pillow. Overall I was quite comfortable so I would consider it a success. I am planning a hiking trip in Canada in January and wanted to try out the gear to see how it would do. Plus its always good to know that your gear can be used for the situation you picked it for. In my case staying warm and alive in the winter.

If you live in a cold area like me.... take the time to learn about how to survive outside during the winter.... the SHTF may not happen in the summer
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:45 PM
Rubicon73 Rubicon73 is offline
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Always a good idea to do a test run of your gear in a controlled environment. How bulky is the system to walk in? I know I went out a few nights ago and the temp was 7 with about 40mph wind gusts. I cant imagine getting gear out to set up a shelter or even getting sleeping gear out to use. It was hard enough just walking around. Anyway congrats on your test run!
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:42 PM
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The gear is quite bulky but it is warm. When I am hiking in cold weather I move at about 2/3 the speed unless I have snowshoes and then I can only go at 1/2 the speed

but surviving the weather takes precedence over moving quite as quickly. On my hiking trip last winter I got cold which is what prompted me to purchase better gear.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:44 PM
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I tried the same thing the other night when it was -16. Ye olde milsurp gear with some HF tarps acting as a snow break and wind block. It wasn't too bad but I think I need to work on moisture control. The down bag was a bit crunchy in the morning.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:56 AM
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Just bought a full set of ice fishing clothes (bibs and jacket) so I'll have to do this as well. I already know my boots will be the weak point even though they have 2000g of Thinsulate. What boots do you use?
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:58 AM
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My boots came from Northern Outfitters. They don't sell the same model any longer but have new ones coming out soon
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:38 PM
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Good for you!!!! I'm glad to see someone testing their winter gear like this! Now is the time to do it, and like you said if you got too cold, warmth was not far away.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:03 PM
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Well done mate! Always nice to get out and test the gear that we depend on.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:13 PM
franklin franklin is offline
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I used to do a lot of cold weather backpacking. Problem I had was the condensation inside the bag. Usually around the feet. Even with top end bags and Goretex covers.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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moisture control is always difficult. the majority comes from your breath. If you can evacuate your breathing with an open hood you are much better off. however this is very difficult in cold weather. I admit that in my trial I had some frost built up inside my bivy
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:07 PM
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It's a good thing to get out and see what an overnight in the cold feels like. I wish I had the choice to test it or not. Last night I spent the night on the tractor keeping myself, my mother, and my 2 aunts plowed out. It was a bit nippy last night too. You learn to dress for the cold really quick if you plow on an open tractor.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:27 PM
biathlon biathlon is offline
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If you post some photos we'll give you some more points on this.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:39 PM
HB of CJ HB of CJ is offline
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Default You All Are Braver Than I Am

Excellent answers and I thank you. I lived in the woods through the winter while "arm-strong-ing" the solar cabin, (hand tools) but that was 25 years ago. Actually brushed snow off the cheap tarp fly covering the cheap $25.00 WW one season tent. Only was +25F.

But... I had a very good sleeping bag and one big dog. You people are to be saluted for actually having the courage to go and try and do the cold weather testing. The only way we will know if something works, (or not) is to actually go and do it. HB of CJ (old coot)
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:02 PM
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For the couple of years my hunting partner braged about the Columbia 100% wool camo outer wear he had paid 300$ for.. I always wanted to get some but couldn't justify the price tag.. 2 weeks ago he called me and said he was coming over for tea, when he came over he had the outfit with him in a bag and just up and gave it to me.. It fit like a glove. The next day i had to try it on to go hunting since we had a cold snap -10 but felt like -18 with the windchill. I wore under armour long johns and long sleeve top with a hood under the coat and i was toasty and not sweaty at all after stalking deer for hours... you have inspired me to give an overnighter a shot and may do so on my upcoming days off. We are in for some cold weather and heavy snow over the next few days ...

Cheers
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:11 PM
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I was just thinking of heading out, thanks for promoting it. There is just something about severe weather that says "Come and get me."

FYI: 3 Dog Night is in reference to it being so cold that it takes three dogs in the bed to keep warm. ....So I read somewhere.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 RAVENS View Post
I was just thinking of heading out, thanks for promoting it. There is just something about severe weather that says "Come and get me."

FYI: 3 Dog Night is in reference to it being so cold that it takes three dogs in the bed to keep warm. ....So I read somewhere.


huh.. I thought 3 dog night was a rock band
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:23 PM
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I will probably do the same here soon. I'm also in MinneSNOWta but further south. The temp today is +18 however the high yesterday was +5.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:21 AM
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Good to see all the MN folks on this forum. OP your a brave man i did the same but it was before the negative just to kinda test out my bag(worked great 4 peice mil surplus) but -20 brrr. might have to try it just to see.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jager78 View Post
I will probably do the same here soon. I'm also in MinneSNOWta but further south. The temp today is +18 however the high yesterday was +5.
Southern MN doesn't get enough snow to call it MinneSNOWda... come a little farther north
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:47 PM
strvger strvger is offline
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i switched to synthetic filled bags, jackets, and vests because of moisture problems with down. maybe it's just me, but the synthetics seem to breath better letting the moisture out while keeping me just as warm. the only "down" side is they are a little heavier.
and for the record, i, too live in northern Mn., up in the arrowhead.
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