Artic kit questions.

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Malmöiter are experts in dressing for rain and fog. Nasty climate there.

It should be mentioned there is not one 'Arctic climate". Norway coastline is nice and mild. The area ( inland area) around Kautokeino is much colder. Further south, in the Arvidsjaur/Arjeplog area even colder.
Has to do with the warming sea, the winds from the east and the protection the mountain chain between Sweden and Norway gives.

Swedish inland can be -40C and across the mountains in Troms it can be -15. At the same moment.

That is the reason historically the Swedish north was so sparsely populated, but northern Norway was (comparably) heavily populated.

The central mountainous part of southern Norway is cold. It is not in the Arctic, but much colder than most places in the arctic Norway.

I hope the OP takes some wise decisions, and enjoys his planned trip.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
I suggest that you go out and play in it at its worst. A month of -40C will prey on your mind. Yes, it will.
Try Saskatchewan and North Dakota for the past 65 of your last 73 winters.
Look at the position and effect of the Arctic Jet Stream over western Canada.
The interior, not the coast.
You learn the prayers for a chinook wind.

I really like the way that outdoor winter clothing has changed over the years.
I'm far better dressed for it now than I have been for decades.
I can go barefoot in my boots! Damn socks rub off, anyway.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Good point with the socks!

I personally like long socks that go to just under the knees, with a nice tight elastic top area. The outer socks, wool, go over that..

But yes, in certain conditions the outer socks can move towards the toes.

I wear heavily insulated rubber boits when I fish wintertime in the Lofotens. Survival suit attached tightly over them.
After the short walk from the house to the dock, an hour fishing, socks are pushed down on the front half of the foot.

Very irritating. Nothing can be done.

The insulating layer has a rough surface, pulls off the woolen socks.
 
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SGL70

Full Member
Dec 1, 2014
613
121
Luleå, Sweden
There is a big difference between somebody living in Luleå and someone from Malmo, or even Britain for that matter as well.

I've heard wise words and arrant nonsense spoken by people from all sorts of places. Not always in the order that you would expect either.

Well, everyone is allowed their opinion no matter where the live. Living in Lulea (47 full, as previously defined, winters. I missed one, living in Gothenburg) doesn't make me an expert in any way, but my hobbies (hiking, fishing, hunting etc) and previous occupation (Army) improves my game a bit.

Everybody comes with a pedigree of some sort, even the super experienced.

Greger
 
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vestlenning

Settler
Feb 12, 2015
721
76
Western Norway
One more person I would think could be if interest to you is Lars Monsen.
He is a Norvegian (same) that is a true expert on the arctic.
He does courses too.

Lars Monsen has experienced some cold nights: He has crossed (walking/dog-sled) Canada (east/west) and Alaska, and he spent a year outdoors north of the Arctic Circle in Norway/Sweden/Finland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_Monsen

 
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vestlenning

Settler
Feb 12, 2015
721
76
Western Norway
Not all....but a lot of the ones that I personally met were just as much novices in the Arctic as I was when I first found myself deployed to the Arctic with the army.. Simply because they didn't originate from those areas in Northern Norway themselves....kinda like people in Florida visiting Alaska in winter.

Thank you for stating the obvious.
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
582
UK
So, a super experienced Britton making fun of super experienced Scandinavians...ah, well...ironic...

It’s a slippery slope, if we are not careful we could get all manner of Scandavians and other nationalities popping up on a UK Bushcrafting forum offering expert advice as to how we Brits should live our lives! ;)

Meanwhile, at the risk of taking the OP bit too literally, back in the day the best bit of “artic” kit was a Yorkie bar;)


I’ll get my coat - the forecast is dry but with a slight possibility of frost overnight in case anyone has any recommendations they need to share. :)
 
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vestlenning

Settler
Feb 12, 2015
721
76
Western Norway
It’s a slippery slope, if we are not careful we could get all manner of Scandavians and other nationalities popping up on a UK Bushcrafting forum offering expert advice as to how we Brits should live our lives! ;)

Scandinavians telling you to be careful when outdoors in low temperatures are extremely annoying but toughen up, it will happen again ...
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Greg, out of interest, how did you sleep wintertime?

My unit, if in basecamp, we had Tent 12, 2 tents for a platoon of 49 guys + extra guys.
A group ( 8+1) we used 2 man Fjallraven tents.
One 'strids par' ( fighter pair) per tent.
If deep snow, we did not use the tent but made a horizontal two man 'cave'. Narrow and low entrance, a ledge on each side. Roof vaulted, extra support with skis. Ski poles through roof, to indicate location and provide air holes.
If less snow and in forest, we tried to find a pine tree with low branches and did a cave there.
If in a hurry we did a vertical one man 'snow grave', if more time, with a side ledge, if no time ( storm) just a short trench and us on the bottom.
No comfort there.

I hated the winters.
 
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SGL70

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Dec 1, 2014
613
121
Luleå, Sweden
@Janne Almost always in tents 12/20 as the operating unit was a reduced platoon (tropp)...but every year we had a week in snow caves (snöka) that always was a nightmare to dig as we always seemed to find super compact snow. Fair accomodations when done, really

Civilian tents was unheard of, except for you Ranger boys :)

Winter has a sterile kind of beauty. Cold, clear and beautiful.
 
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Greg

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Jul 16, 2006
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Pembrokeshire
Greg, out of interest, how did you sleep wintertime?

My unit, if in basecamp, we had Tent 12, 2 tents for a platoon of 49 guys + extra guys.
A group ( 8+1) we used 2 man Fjallraven tents.
One 'strids par' ( fighter pair) per tent.
If deep snow, we did not use the tent but made a horizontal two man 'cave'. Narrow and low entrance, a ledge on each side. Roof vaulted, extra support with skis. Ski poles through roof, to indicate location and provide air holes.
If less snow and in forest, we tried to find a pine tree with low branches and did a cave there.
If in a hurry we did a vertical one man 'snow grave', if more time, with a side ledge, if no time ( storm) just a short trench and us on the bottom.
No comfort there.

I hated the winters.
For the 4wk training faze of the exercise we mainly used 5-man ridge pole canvas tents (4 man tent group, 2 per section) ... But also 4-man tents which had a lower profile (very much like a normal civilian dome tent. Personally I didnt like them because they accumulated a lot of condensation because they had a built in ground sheet) .. We did a fair amount in snowholes.. snow graves (which werent the nicest) ... And brushwood bivis.. Then when we deployed North for the main 6wk FTX we primarily used 9x9 tents (My team of 4 had two tents which we linked together) but if on patrol we'd carry a 5-man tent in a pulk per 4-man team.
I actually really enjoyed my winter deployments to Norway.. My 5 winter deployments were the best times I had during my 12yrs in the army
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Snow holes - are they the horisontal with a ledge ( or without)?

I know it sounds crazy, but the horisontally dug shelters are quite nice. I recall the temp inside was just a few minus, very pleasant.
The graves, ( vertical dug) with ir without a ledge, are not fun. Those we did only in emergency.

I hope the OP has a chance to practice on those sniw shelters.

My favourite was and is the pine shelter. Love the sound in the tree.
 

SGL70

Full Member
Dec 1, 2014
613
121
Luleå, Sweden
Ahahaha..I see now that I answered a question aimed at Greg....not Greger....well, that's embarrasing. Sorry, folks...I'll try to pay more attention
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
In our alpine, you stay well away from the trees, even to take a dump.
We get tree holes with the usual snowfalls, 10-30' deep at the trunk.
Don't imagine that you can just waltz around beyond a tree to wizz off the breakfast coffee.

The snow is very unstable on the buried branches.
You step on that, cave in and all the rest of the surrounding snow avalanches into the hole on top of you.
Absolutley silent and you are gone. Maybe your sled goes down the hole on top of you as well.
Only 5 deaths last winter that way.

With the usual valley winds, I get 6' drifts as high as the fence, in my back yard.
Probably enough room for a snow cave for 2 people. Packed so you can walk on it.