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Gott Mit Uns
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Here comes another night shift post this one is after working day shift for a week not sure if I am comming or going. Any way hear goes. One of my biggest worries in a SHTF scenario is my intollerance of the cold. It is not medical related I have normal thyroid, hemaglobin etc. I just can not stand the cold. This happened about 10 years ago. (Late 20's) I always seem to have more clothing/layers than the people I am with. Hunting last week my brother in-law had on a t-shirt, thermal underwear and a hoodie and was fine I had a zillion layers on and still froze. (I did not first overheat, get wet then freeze, I just froze) Do the members have tips on staying warm, "tricks of the trade" or something I am missing. I have discovered wool, and the millitary surplus wool sweaters have been a blessing. I was hoping for other tips to help me deal with the cold. Reading stories from Stalingrad, Leningrad etc where people had to deal with the cold makes me dread having to do something like that.
Kind of a strange request but I figured what did I have to lose, maybe somebody can teach me something. Thanks jkc (Kevin):thumb:
 

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wool warmth rating:
alpaca
cashmere
wool and silk
wool and nylon
merino

down warmth rating:
eider down
850-fill down
650-fill down

In addition, "possum" gloves and hat are said to be warm. I never tried "possum".

Are you dressing in layers?

Have you tried wearing a first layer with a mock turtleneck, or a turtleneck? Have a quarter-zip or half-zip to ventilate, it can get too warm.

Many people like a second layer of fleece. Others like a synthetic insulated vest. Others a down vest. Outer layer is a windproof that will shed water.

Bibs and jacket are warmer than if you have a "gap".

Windproof warm hat, covering ears.

I have the PSolar mask because it takes up little space in my pack or pocket. It does not restrict my breathing, even with exertion. If you like, choose the PolarWrap Warm Air Mask or Full Head Cover or ExchangerII.

Some food produces heat more than others: sesame seed and salt is warming, pear = cold.

Do you have a really adequate fat intake? Warming. Are you all carbohydrates. Not warming.

Do you carry a thermos with hot soup?

Do you live on sugar and soda pop? That kind of "diet" will not keep you warm.
 

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Preparing since 1972
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jkc:Get the best undergarments like POLYPROPELENE (my spelling may be off a little).So called wick and dry as they wick away the moisture when your body is active...Also garments with thinsulate..For cold winters get boots with a thinsulate rating of 2000 or more...Outer garments should be windproof and "waterproof" NOT just water repellant.....Keep your head,feet and hands warm.About 70% of your body heat is lost thru the head......The money you spend on good garments will last for many years....Layer,layer and more layers...Forget about other people and their clothes....When you are outdoors always bring more as you can take it off.................I am speaking from experience from hiking and working in remote frigid winters in northern Illinois and South Dakota........Just remember if you get cold or uncomfortable you can always do something about it by wearing more of the right type of clothing........:thumb:
 

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Intolerance of cold is frequently related to running low on water. Some people operate in a continuous state of dehydration. Try ingesting six liters of WATER a day for two weeks. Drinking enough water to stay PROPERLY hydrated is a lot of work and requires discipline. Drinking a liter or two today will offer little benefit. In order to reach optimal hydration it will take several days for your system to absorb the water. Most people dismiss this probable cause of their inability to adjust to cold climates because it requires some effort on their part.
 

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What's the longest period of time you've spent in the "cold?" Do you give yourself enough time to get acclimated?

If you go out for a day or two, your body does not have time to acclimate to the new conditions.

I live in So. Ca and enjoy the one good thing about this place - almost year round nice weather. When we go hunting, we usually camp out in the snow for 1-3 weeks in places like the Idaho panhandle or eastern Oregon.

The first few days I wear every stitch of clothing I brought and am still freezing my ass off. But after that I acclimate and spend the rest of the time in camo pants (no thermal bottoms), a thermal t-shirt, a regular t-shirt, and a wool sweater.

When we first get up and out at 0-dark-thirty, I wear a coat also. But once the sun comes up (even if overcast) I get overheated in the coat once I've acclimated.

Bottom line is you may just need more time to allow yourself to get acclimated.
 

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Gott Mit Uns
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Ghost rider I was wondering if that acclimitization thing was true. I definetly try to spend as little time as I can in the cold I guess I need to change that while life is easy. Thanks to everybody for the info to help everyone I will explain how I dress.
Under armour tyoe shirt
short sleve shirt
long sleved crew neck Army cold weather gear
long sleve button up collard shirt
Flannel vest with hood (looks like sheep skin on outside)
Good quality Mossy Oak style hunting coat. Has thick button up collar that snappes shut
I often will add scarf
I like the masks that cover your face but they always steam my glasses:(
My legs usually stay pretty warm but long johns or army cold weather underwear under standard hunting pants. I have quilted hunting pants but those are pretty bulky and like I said legs do OK
My boots are only 1500 thinsulate and that is a problem. I did not know how much difference the 2000 would be.
with a thin and thick pair of sock my feet are frozen.
A knit hat, or maybe a Russian style fur cap with ear flaps.
This is just to let everybody know where I am starting from.
Thanks for everybodys input it is greatly appreciated. This is a pretty important thing to me that I would like to improve on.:thumb:
 

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Gott Mit Uns
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Discussion Starter #8
I eat a very healthy diet, in fact that might be a little of my problem. (PS healthy for me does not mean low fat) Lots of fatty fish and red meat. I used to compete in Bodybuilding. My body fat is still petty low usually single digets maybe up around 11% when I am at my heaviest. Lots of muscle. 5 ft 5 inches and 180-185 My brother in -law in the hoodie likes his beer and has more insulation:D: Obviously I do not want to add a winter coat of fat, besides that with my metabolism anything I had would be burnt off when SHTF from reduced calorie intake.
 

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I have to deal with static -50's, the coldest I've ever been in was nearly static -70F.

And that's pretty cold. So I think know a thing or two about cold.

My best advice is to get polypropylene long underwear, and not the thin stuff its useless imo, as is anything made of cotton.

http://outersports.com/tall-sizesdesert-sand-2-layer-polypro-fleece-thermals-p-2914.html

That's the thickest I've ever been able to find. Like my dead air insulated boots I really don't ware this stuff until its pretty cold. I'm uncomfortably warm outside in this, jeans, a leather jacket, and a hat until its down into the 20's.

After that I switch to the primaloft jacket and add a polarfleece tube to keep my neck warm. Use a bomber hat (the kind with ear flaps). I've found that with the neck warmer you get the equivalent of an adjustable, layered balaclava.

Layering thin t-shirts also works well. Remember, the only thing that's going to hold any significant heat unless you can get your hands on aerogel (which is basically dead space with substance), is dead space. From the space created between the layers you get your greatest insulation, plus if you're doing anything active then the heat and moisture can escape more easily.

After it hits around -35 the sneakers go away, and I break out the bunny boots. You're feet will sweat, but they will be quite warm.

As for gloves, I use wool gloves which leave my fingers exposed which have mittens that I can pull over. Gloves have way too much surface area, mittens are more effective by far. They also render your hands all but useless. I find the hybrid glove/mitten a fair compromise. I use wool because your gloves will at some point get wet. Polarflece is decent but pretty thin usually. Leather gloves I only use for spirited driving.

wearing synthetic socks inside thick wool socks also improves the thermal efficiency.


If you're getting frostbite, well in ideal conditions warm it up immediately with 100-104 degree water. A lot of people who have never gotten frostbite subscribe to the notion that you should warm it up slowly. The only real concern is burning the effected tissue so don't grab an exhaust manifold or anything, but as a rule of thumb the kind of heat should be hot tub temperatures. Time is critical warm it up quickly, the only time you should refrain from warming it up is if you think it might freeze again.

And if you get bad frostbite that tissue will be slightly more susceptible to frostbite for a long time, And it hurts pretty badly, but not until you begin warming it up. Thats the danger I never understood.

I didn't realize the bare-metal of the wrench at -40 something had been sucking the life out of my palm until I looked down and realized it was frozen solid. Chemical signals don't get sent to the brain from frozen chemicals, kind of obvious really.

Well, if you can't get it warmed up ducktape it. A lot of snowmachiners who race will come in faces completely masked in ducktape.

And if you live in a dry climate, use Vaseline to seal your face and hands or anywhere else exposed, keeps sweat from wicking away your precious heat.


It may be possible that your system is just really good at transferring heat to your core if its your skin and extremities freezing. Are you just feeling surface cold, or are you actually going hypothermic? Once you're hypothermic you don't feel cold anymore but you get disoriented. Or are you getting frostbite?


An extra layer of winter fat really helps.

If you're in the cold long enough you'll get used to it. After a few years of cold winters up north, when I'm in the southeast it doesn't bother me at all. Today I cleared my parents driveway, capacity of about 9 cars if you lined them up in threes, in a t-shirt, a button down t-shirt, and jeans. I wasn't cold in the least and it was about 30 above.

Well, that's my take on it. I've know people who just couldn't stand cold who after a while had no problem with it. My last roommate drove a jeep with a plugged heater core. It was in the mid -60's in places the first winter for a few weeks, then the next was in the -40's for an inordinate number of weeks.

The only thing you never get used to is how it burns your windpipe and lungs in the extreme temps, makes it so you can't move quickly because you can't breath fast.
 

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Here comes another night shift post this one is after working day shift for a week not sure if I am comming or going. Any way hear goes. One of my biggest worries in a SHTF scenario is my intollerance of the cold. It is not medical related I have normal thyroid, hemaglobin etc. I just can not stand the cold. This happened about 10 years ago. (Late 20's) I always seem to have more clothing/layers than the people I am with. Hunting last week my brother in-law had on a t-shirt, thermal underwear and a hoodie and was fine I had a zillion layers on and still froze. (I did not first overheat, get wet then freeze, I just froze) Do the members have tips on staying warm, "tricks of the trade" or something I am missing. I have discovered wool, and the millitary surplus wool sweaters have been a blessing. I was hoping for other tips to help me deal with the cold. Reading stories from Stalingrad, Leningrad etc where people had to deal with the cold makes me dread having to do something like that.
Kind of a strange request but I figured what did I have to lose, maybe somebody can teach me something. Thanks jkc (Kevin):thumb:
Cold is just your body's way of telling you something needs tending to, like holding your hand too close to a fire burns. Once you acknowledge that you can learn to ignore it, like getting tired in the middle of a marathon. You tell your body you are tired and you push through it to keep going.

I get cold sitting in a deer stand sometimes. Not this year, but some years I have. I mentally check to make sure it's not frost bite setting in and then tell myself I'm going to push through it. Cold is not pleasant for anyone to feel, that's how the sensation saves your life. But if you dress well, don't have a circulation problem (what you describe really sounds like a heart problem), you can deal with it. Especially if you are doing something exciting that distracts you. If you dwell on the cold you are going to feel it. Stop worrying about it and know that you are stronger than the cold and eventually it won't be something you dread, it'll just be a part of life.
 

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Maximus
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I actually say dress lighter in the cooler weather. Your body will eventually acclimate itself to the cold. Dont get purple fingers or frostbite or anything. But give yourself a month of "slightly uncomfortable cool" and your body can adjust.
 

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The Dollar Stores around here have those little things you can put in your mittens or boots to keep you warm; they last for about 6-8 hours. I haven't used them ( I am mostly used to the cold up here, and do not do much outdoor physical stuff anyway in the extreme cold of January) but I've bought a few to throw into DH's Christmas stocking. He is from the Vancouver, B.C. area and is not so much into the cold...
 

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2500ak is right, air is the best insulator. sometimes less is more, a lot of people really load up on tight fitting layers, which is a mistake, you have to let your body ventilate. a few loose fitting layers will do much more. as also stated, warm boots and long underwear are a must.

although i do think your problem is most likely your body type. im thin (little body fat), and get cold much faster than some of my thicker friends. and as you should know, larger muscle mass means more circulatory effort from your body. its probably something you'll have to get used to.
 

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JKC,
I have the same problem now, which started in my mid-30s. I've lived in Michigan all my life but, as I got older, never spent much time outdoors in the winter. I was never much of a winter sports person anyway, but spent extensive time outdoors in the spring, summer, and fall. I do remember, in high school, when the winter highs hit 40F, we would take off our coats.

At the office, in the summer, I always wear a tshirt under a sweatshirt. In the winter, at the office, I add long underwear under my jeans, and a knit hat.

I try to drink hot drinks, like tea and coffee, but the caffeine can dehydrate you. In the winter you must drink much more water because you get more dehydrated from the dry air. Sometimes I just drink hot water.

Those disposable heaters are also good for real cold days. I like to put the small ones in my shoes. Keep your feet and head warm and dry, and the body will follow.

I also use turtleneck shirts and sweatshirts (yes they have turtleneck sweatshirts). I also use fleece shirts with a half-zipper. That way if I get too hot, I can unzip the neck area which cools me down and prevents me from sweating. Sweat=bad in cold weather.
 

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I like the masks that cover your face but they always steam my glasses
These are "heat exchanger" masks: you do not lose the warmth on each outbreath and your inbreath is pre-warmed.

The PSolar fits so well it doe not steam my eyeglasses. It looks stupid; I don't care, so I haven't tried the Polarwrap models.

Hydration 1+ In mountainclimbing days, we were told to drink a lot of water days before and to stay well hydrated, out, frequently sipping small amounts of water. Hydration is that important. I still do it.

I have Baffin -50 boots with felt and silver thread liner booties that are often so warm I only wear Thorlo Light Hiker socks.

Windstopper is good in a synthetic hat, although I only use that hat for Spring and Fall. In Winter, I have a Thinsulate liner in my thick wool and nylon hat that has ear flaps and a chin strap to hold the ear flaps in close.

The cold and wet Oregon coast, I wrapped an alpaca wrap around my core. In Montana winter, wool and silk longjohns, Remington brand fleece bibs and jacket, worn with a light weight shirt and Thinsuate insulated vest were so warm I often had to walk with the jacket open and the bib straps loose. I cannot be active and wear my Eddie Bauer Kara Koram coat. I have to do more lightweight and versatile layers.

Have your heart checked? Heart problems = feel cold.

1+ for acclimatization Wear lightweight clothing close to home, getting chilled. Not too much. I noticed in about 5-7 or 7-10 days I was acclimatized.
 

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Intolerance of cold is frequently related to running low on water. Some people operate in a continuous state of dehydration. Try ingesting six liters of WATER a day for two weeks. Drinking enough water to stay PROPERLY hydrated is a lot of work and requires discipline. Drinking a liter or two today will offer little benefit. In order to reach optimal hydration it will take several days for your system to absorb the water. Most people dismiss this probable cause of their inability to adjust to cold climates because it requires some effort on their part.
Water, water, water...

Very true and you beat me to it. When I was at FLETC in Georgia for 5 months, I had to drink 150 oz of water every day and I still struggled with over-heating on longer runs. My temp was up around 102 a couple times. Just had to regulate it with water and not push it too hard for very long. Lucky I finished in June, instead of August.

Also, in the cold, make sure that your layers are breathing a little bit. Tight clothing will restrict movement, which gets you colder and their is no air flow to allow your body heat to insulate you.

Properly fitting boots that breathe will keep your feet warm, same thing with gloves and you should always wear a hat out doors.
 

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Gott Mit Uns
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the info. For follow up, the heart/circulation are fine. Still train pretty hard but eased up on the heavy weights and got more into cardio. Being an RN I keep close tabs on my health and have frequent lab work, ECG, and other stuff like that. I have used the heater paks when hunting, but considered this to not applicable to SHTF situation as supply would eventually run out. I guess just the fact hearing other normal people have this cold intollerance makes me feel better. I hope that does not sound strange or sellfish. I really appreciate everybody taking time to post. Please add other thought if you are new to this post thanks jkc.:thumb: Is there a way to stop my glasses from fogging up when I cover my face?
 

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jkc-
1. Ever consider a move closer to the equator?
2. While drinking water is the form of hydration, too much can kill you. 6 liters a day may work for some people in dry hot climates, but in Indiana it may be 3 liters too many. Ask your Dr.
 

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As for the glasses fogging up, you might try moving them farther down your nose. Then the glasses are farther away from the water vapor coming off of a person. So then it does not tend to fog the glasses up near as easily, or that has been my experience anyway.
A wool scarf that covers the neck very well is a great help. I wear one all bunched up in front to cover all the front of the neck right up to the bottom of the chin. If wool makes the neck itch, you can wrap the center portion of the wool scarf in something else like a thin layer of polyester and then put the scarf on.
A merino wool sweater or vest will likely help. Merino wool is great stuff. You said you've discovered wool. You might consider getting a navy pea coat and wear it under the best parka that you can find. I have seen that work well for some people.
In my book, wearing a wool scarf, some warm sock hats along with a hoodie worn over the hats and cinched down a bit is a great help. That, along with several wool layers under the hoodie sweater (or coat) and a good quality down-filled vest worn as the last layer, well, that combination has been a great help. In cold weather, I wear three layers of socks including some thick wool socks.
I wear three layers on my legs. That is, polyester fleece next to the skin, then some very thick sweatpants over that, and then some pants. I've not had to buy gaiters, but gaiters are another thing that you could consider.
I have a sheepskin coat and vest and I have to say that good quality sheepskin clothing can be a major help too.
I certainly agree with the others about being hydrated and wearing the layers loose enough to allow air to be an insulator too.
Good luck!
 

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Maximus
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Go high tech to keep you warm

Just saw this today and thought of this thread.

This is a heat vest. It is thin like an undershirt but it will keep your core and the organs there warm. That will keep your fingers and other extremeties warm in your body.

Your fingers, feet, nose, ears get cold when your core temp goes down. Those vessels in the outter extremeties restrict to conserve heat for the vital organs.

Check it out http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1937994_1938235_1938267,00.html
 
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