Author Topic: Lighter weight winter clothing  (Read 1296 times)

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Offline wsdstan

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Lighter weight winter clothing
« on: February 18, 2019, 01:17:37 PM »
I am getting to the point where I sometimes cannot remember if I brought something up on the forum....... or not.  I searched and didn't find a post about it so I am going to bring it up.

A few years ago they found George Mallory's body on Mt. Everest.  He died on the mountain in 1924 as a member of the British Everest Expedition.  When they found him he was still wearing much of the clothing that the expedition records said that they used and it got someone at the BBC to thinking and they decided to duplicate the clothing and go to Everest with it and see how it worked. 

Here is a link to the clothing:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5076634.stm

I snowshoe a bit, cross country ski once in a while too and what I do nearly every day, when the temperature is below freezing, is check the cattle and stock water tanks.  In the past I used stuff like Carhartt coveralls, a canvas coat, and similar.  I have used a lot of different gear including Gore-tex, waxed cotton, and wool.  It all works well but it is all kind of heavy.  After they found Mallory?s body on Everest I got interested in how the duplicated clothing performed.  One of the BBC guys wore a set to Everest and they reported on its performance.  It was surprising to them how well it worked at Everest conditions and altitude.  It was silk, wool, and gabardine outerwear.  It was Lighter weight clothing than current technology dictates.  It won't replace Everest wear but it did open some eyes.  I thought about this and wanted to see what I could put together that would be light and warm and work well for temperatures down to about zero or a bit less.  I cannot duplicate what they did, of course, but I did come up with a few workable solutions for a lightweight cold weather outfit that lets me move about easily.
 
Normally, as noted, I am out and about every morning to check stock water tanks and feed bunks and make sure the cows are still where they are supposed to be (on my side of the fences).  My usual cold weather gear is a pair of muck boots, long underwear, jeans, a hooded sweatshirt over a flannel shirt, a pair of overalls, gloves, a Stormy Kromer wool hat, and a silk cowboy scarf.  Sometimes I will wear a Empire Canvas and Wool wool hooded coat in place of the hooded sweatshirt.

Here is what I put together:

boots:  Neos overshoes over insulating wool inserts and two pair of medium weight wool socks.
Long underwear:  polypropylene two piece
shirt:  wool button front medium weight
upper layer: 300 weight polar fleece jacket (zip front and no hood)
outer layer: microfiber zip front wind jacket with hood
second layer on lower body:  polar fleece pants
outer layer on lower body: microfiber wind pants
gloves:  Wool mittens with leather or canvas over mittens
hat:  alpaca wool Peruvian style hat. 
other: Acrylic neck warmer or silk cowboy scarf

Here is what it looks like on:  Ignore the tennis shoes and gloves.  My mittens are in the truck and my boots are in the house.



I wanted to share this simply because I have found it to work very well in temperatures from 30F down to 10 below and it blocks wind as well as anything I have worn.




« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 01:24:31 PM by wsdstan »
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Offline madmax

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 02:30:10 PM »
Holy Moly.  I wore flipflops all day today.

Many moons ago I was prepping for an Everest attempt.  I mercilessly picked my contacts brains for info.  I climbed high.  I climbed in North America.  South America.  Central America.  But never made it to the big leagues.  I sucked at altitude.  Like 18,000 ft up.  I was .  So I had beaucoup gear when I finally threw in the towel.  I gave my stuff to other climbers.  Hoping they would get them to the Sherpas waaaaay out there.  I got one letter.  A guy that had not only summited Everest multiple times.  He set the rope and ladders.  He thanked me and said that he had summited with 18 cotton sweatshirts on. 

Don't ever think you're the badass rolling in on the locals.  That's what I learned.
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 02:52:33 PM »
Layering is definitely the way to go! :thumbsup:  Since the peaks I climb around here are not over 1,500 feet above sea level my winter wardrobe is less specialized.  My winter wardrobe also varies greatly because of the tremendous day to day variations in temperatures & wind strength here in Nebraska.  For the coldest -20 degree conditions, I usually select a 2-piece set of military spec Extreme Cold Weather polar fleece underwear.  They are of course, olive drab in color and, at a casual glance, look more like a common, long sleeve, crew neck sweatshirt.  Sometimes, that's all I wear on top.....looks presentable enough among the farmers around the coffee table at the local co-op.  Over the top of that, I wear a hooded sweatshirt on the outside of the bibs, so I can shed it easily when I go inside.  Over that goes a light, non-insulated, hooded Carhartt jacket that cuts the wind.  When it's REALLY COLD I wear a similar hooded Carhartt jacket with polar fleece insulation.  I wear the matching, military longjohn bottoms under my bibs.....which are either my everyday Key Imperial bibs or, if it's REALLY cold, my insulated Carhartt bibs.  Socks are one or two pairs of those 'guaranteed for life' wool socks that I can't recall the name of. :shrug:   Boots are felt lined Sorel's....heavy and clunky, but warm.   My cap is usually a standard, wool, Stormy Kromer because I like the bill that keeps the sun out of my eyes, but for extreme cold I wear a mad trapper-style, rabbit fur hat that's perfect, IF you are not involved in any type of strenuous physical activity....it's too warm for those conditions and your head sweats.  I also sometimes wear an old Shetland wool balaclava that was made in Scotland.  It is very good protection from extreme cold and breathes better than the fur cap when physically exerting oneself.....not something I normally need to do these days and avoid at all possible cost! :lol:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 05:49:52 PM »
I knew one guy in our ski club who went to Everest Tony, he didn't make the summit but he had a good time.  I hope so because it cost him about $60,000 and that was in 1980 or so.  In high school, 1963, one of our teachers was a member of the 1963 American Everest Expedition.  He was with Jake Breitenbach when the ice tower fell and killed him.  He continued in the expedition but his team did not summit.  Whitaker and Bishop made it and Jerstad and Unsoeld.  My teacher died a year or so ago, in his early 90's I think.  He was inspiring to a lot of us who had him in class.  We did a lot of climbing in Colorado, winter expeditions and rock climbing but it never went further than that. 

Nice of you to give your gear to a sherpa.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 06:33:07 PM »
wolfy, I use some Cabela's expedition weight long unders when it is really cold.  I have always layered but a lot of the farmers and ranchers gear is both heavy and hard to move in with any agility. This microfiber windproof fabric is the best stuff I have found as a outer layer in extreme cold.  There are lots of clothing that is just as warm but all of it is heavier.  This stuff is light and you can move in it without thinking about it.  I weighed my outfit without boots or the leather mittens and it comes in at just over 3 1/2 pounds.  My insulated canvas bibs and Carhartt hooded jacket together weigh 9 pounds. 

With the fleece under layer and good boots and socks I am good for well below zero if it is calm or windy.   Just moved snow for two hours on an open tractor and then with the skid loader with its cab and was none the worse for wear.  Never got cold on the open tractor and it was below 5 F.  I can turn around and backup while pushing snow with the rear blade and actually swivel my head around to see where I am going.  I cannot do that in my normal cold weather bibs and canvas clothing as the hood gets in my line of sight.  The reason this stuff appeals to me is that it is light and comfortable to wear compared to most of my other gear.   :fire2: 
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Offline madmax

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 03:06:23 PM »
I knew one guy in our ski club who went to Everest Tony, he didn't make the summit but he had a good time.  I hope so because it cost him about $60,000 and that was in 1980 or so.  In high school, 1963, one of our teachers was a member of the 1963 American Everest Expedition.  He was with Jake Breitenbach when the ice tower fell and killed him.  He continued in the expedition but his team did not summit.  Whitaker and Bishop made it and Jerstad and Unsoeld.  My teacher died a year or so ago, in his early 90's I think.  He was inspiring to a lot of us who had him in class.  We did a lot of climbing in Colorado, winter expeditions and rock climbing but it never went further than that. 

Nice of you to give your gear to a sherpa.

Yeah I volunteered to lug gear.  Mule.  Sherpa.  Tough way to do a climb.  It wasn't the money.  It just wasn't my forte.  I wonder about the other gear.  I hope they found good guys to pass it on.  Those Russians and Poles suffer like heroes! Dang they're tough.
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 03:52:53 PM »
I remember reading about how the Germans "threw" themselves at the Eiger in the years before WWII.  Tough guys too. 

The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer was a book I read back then and it made me eager to try things like that.  Years later I read Krakauers book on the failed attempts.

I read all I could find about the British expeditions and, of course, the American's 1963 expedition.  Today I follow anything that Dave Hahn writes about his ascents and his work with the Nepalese.  Last I read he had 15 summits, the most of any American climber.
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 08:09:10 PM »
 I've never owned insulated coveralls, though I've worked with hundreds of men who did. I do like my uninsulated carhart overalls though. I recently saw they can be had in a lighter weight fabric other than denim.

I don't like to be all bulky so I have a gifted carhart pile lined coat that's never been worn. I would like to have the pile lined vest though- if anyone was wondering what to get me.

I would be hard pressed to choose which of these two is my best decision purchasing winter clothing. Both are expensive so I would be hard pressed replacing either. A 900 fill power down sweater. Feels like I get a broad range of temp without being too hot( when the Sun is hiding anyway) The other, you guessed it, wool whipcord pants( Mallory's Gaberdine I assume.) Another with a broad comfort range. Not super warm, but tough (for wool) tightly woven so wind resistant at least. Compared to a mackinaw wool type pant, mine are lol bean- these are less binding and allow your longjohns to slip rather than get all bound up.

Choosing between a synthetic glove liner or wool is a choice I cannot decide now. When you cannot help but get hands wet over and over- like when doing Grizz style fishing( usually safe during hibernation due to less competition) or repairing a broken waterline or whatever. Either wrings out pretty dry and is warmer imo than bare skin. Synthetic is a more sure, easier laundry item.

I've been generating quite a static charge lately- I think it is my shoes in some regards; nevertheless with your mix of fleece and wool shirt you should be sure to touch off before smooching your sweetie and heading out.

Speaking of shoes... I've never had Neos, as I recall they do have some tread. I think that's the most interesting part of your wardrobe. A modern, lugged - moose hock. Nice

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Lighter weight winter clothing
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 10:04:04 PM »
Ah wool whipcord.  My choice for wearing when it isn't too cold but cold enough to wear long underwear.  Mine are a Cabela's offering from quite a few years ago. 

Mitten liners (or glove liners if you like them) are a matter of using and choosing for various conditions.  Synthetics or wool are both useful for some work like using trekking poles with your snowshoes.  Wool is better for mitten liners in my experience but if the temperatures are cold enough down mittens are best.  I have a pair of expedition mittens that are great for sitting in a tree stand or ice fishing when you are waiting for something to bite but dreadful when you have to actually do something like wind up the fishing line or use a firearm.  Then a pair of those glove liners with the plastic grip material on the fingers are handy.

Neos expedition overshoes are like mukluks and you can use insulated liners like the Wiggy's I mentioned or wear a pair of tennis shoes if you like.  Just depends on what you are doing and where you are going.  I posted photos of them some time back in a gear review.

Here is a photo of them:  They work very well for me although there are some conditions where Muck boots are better.  If you look at the heel area of the Neos you can see the tread.  Neos makes a lot of other mukluk type boots, some shorter and more for just wearing in sloppy conditions over your shoes.  I have a pair of the shorter model that I carry in my trucks emergency gear box.

;D




 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)