Dressing for winter in the boreal forest

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C_Claycomb

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Mod
Oct 6, 2003
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Bedfordshire
Whats the sizing on these swedish army snow smocks like? i'm guessing they're BIG sized for going over all your kit?
thanks for the link btw ;)

Just ordered one. Was told that they were sized BIG, so as to go over whatever else you have on. Will let you know when it gets here.
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Just ordered one. Was told that they were sized BIG, so as to go over whatever else you have on. Will let you know when it gets here.

That is my take as well (mine is a size 50, which is perhaps one size larger than I'd try on in a suit jacket; I'm 175 cm and 85 kg). The idea is to go over everything but your parka, with some level of ease. Mine is actually the button front one, but with the "double flap" button system one can pretty much ignore any buttons one does not want to use. By being loose any snow that is in contact with it will not get warm enought to melt (as easilly).

One hint; roll upp the hood when not in use, this keeps the snow out of it until you need it (the hoods are great for collecting any snow that falls down from branches you touch). Personally I ignore the waist drawcord under at least 95% of all conditions. The crotch strap ("hidden" up the back normally) is usefull in high wind, if you are crawling backwards (e.g. while digging a snow shelter or when hunting or playing soldiers), or if you just jumped out of an aircraft. And for looking silly when it has come loose.
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
One more thing; I like the full lenght wool long johns, since the wool-on-wool friction will help keep my socks from sliding down. I saw some from a finnish manufacturer that made the lower leg bit thinner and more "elastic" in order to make them say in place better
 

gunnix

New Member
Mar 5, 2006
434
2
Belgium
Good advice Stuart, thanks for the article.

Those mukluks look like nice footwear.

That fjellduken looks very handy, how much does it weigh?

Besides that my winterclothing looks very much alike. It's very good in the forest. One thing I like is to have camp in the forests and go on daytrip in the mountains (above treeline), there the swedish army wool trousers are ok as long as the wind isn't blowing too much, but it's wisest to have a wind pants of tight woven cotton with you (if you go up in the mountains).

I also use an M90 varmejacka or just an extra sweater in the pause. The varmejacka is on the heavy side.

Other then that I find that winter can be quite unpredictable these days, in Sweden/Norway the temperature can still get around zero in January, February and March. Making the pure cotton clothing less reliable, as they are too hard to dry once wet.

Skiing in the sun between -7 and 0 I think the swedish army wool trousers get way too hot (without longjohns under them). But then again, you can just open the fly for ventilation :D
 

bikething

Full Member
May 31, 2005
2,568
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50
West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
Is anyone else thinking "Mrs Tiggywinkle" here? :D

 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I also use an M90 varmejacka or just an extra sweater in the pause. The varmejacka is on the heavy side.

Which why I like it; if I have it I "can" survive a night out much betten than otherwise, and if it is -50 C, windy, a new moon, heavy cloud cover, and 10 PM being able to just wrap up in my clothes is valuable. Which is why I'm interested in the Fjellduken, and thinking about bodging up a version of the model Stuart has; not quite as good a garment as the m90 parka, but more versatile.

Skiing in the sun between -7 and 0 I think the swedish army wool trousers get way too hot (without longjohns under them). But then again, you can just open the fly for ventilation :D

The trick (IMNSHO) is to strip down the rest; skiing in wool pants -- and in wet snow I'd be even more carefull to keep a cotton layer on the outside than usual -- my thinnest wool undershirt and a cotton smock (in good weather I've even done the semi-nudist version; just make sure not to become sunburned). No mittens, no hat, no scarf, open neck, etc. That is tolerable just as long as one quickly gets into the parka+hat+mittens as soon as one stops. Yes, the cotton pants will be soaked fairly soon, but they are a layer that one can remove when needed, and dry next to the fire when given a chance. The wool pants are still nice and dry, which is of much greater importance.
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,586
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Greensand Ridge
I no longer carry one, but only because it’s been replaced by the multifunction wonder that is the Jerven Fjellduken, produced by those clever Norwegians. I throw it on as giant jacket, or just a blanket when taking a rest stop and use it to protect my sleeping bag from hoarfrost when in snow shelters, were I often configure it as a sleeping bag type garment with arms when cooking or organising kit, I also have the peace of mind that should an ice storm blow in and I cant make it back to camp, I can climb inside and sit it out.





I use the Multimate model, which allows me to remove the insulating liner and use the outer as a standalone tarp.



Unfortunately they are very expensive, and the ‘multimate’ model that I use (with the removable liner) no longer appears to be available to the public, though it’s still in service with some units of the Norwegian and Danish military.

I wrote a review for BCUK a few years ago, the articles area of BCUK is down but the review is also reproduced on the Jerven website and in their catalogue: https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.no/page/7366/

Having looked at the website I must say that the "mounatain camo" version looks amazingly suited to the environment it is intended. One of if not the best location-specific patterns there is other than an all white snow suit in a whiteout??

Santa, I simply must have one of those "hunter" models please! :christmas2:

Thanks for bringing these to our attention.

Cheers
 

bikething

Full Member
May 31, 2005
2,568
3
50
West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
Having looked at the website I must say that the "mounatain camo" version looks amazingly suited to the environment it is intended. One of if not the best location-specific patterns there is other than an all white snow suit in a whiteout??
It sure is.. One of the guys we went to Norway with had one... against the snow it looked quite bright and garish, but put it against a moss covered rock and it dissapears :D

Getting back on topic, a couple of people have mentioned the Swedish M90 kit.. I bought the jacket and trousers a while ago, sized correctly according to the Swedish system of Height and Weight (or at least the weight I was back then :eek:).. While the trousers are a perfect fit, the jacket is huuuuuggggeee!! ... it goes down to my knees and I could probably fit in there twice!!... is that normal? most of the photos I've seen of them show them looking more like a large Parka, rather than a quilted tent like mine does :rolleyes:
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Getting back on topic, a couple of people have mentioned the Swedish M90 kit.. I bought the jacket and trousers a while ago, sized correctly according to the Swedish system of Height and Weight (or at least the weight I was back then :eek:).. While the trousers are a perfect fit, the jacket is huuuuuggggeee!! ... it goes down to my knees and I could probably fit in there twice!!... is that normal? most of the photos I've seen of them show them looking more like a large Parka, rather than a quilted tent like mine does :rolleyes:

Are you talking about the insulated parka, not the splinter cammo uniform jacket? If so it is long, mine goes down to about a handswidth above my knee.
 

bikething

Full Member
May 31, 2005
2,568
3
50
West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
Are you talking about the insulated parka, not the splinter cammo uniform jacket? If so it is long, mine goes down to about a handswidth above my knee.
The plain green insulated one (with the un-insulated hood that rolls into the collar) - I'll try and get a picture later..

The trousers are a cracking bit of kit though... much more robust than the british bivvy-suit ones.
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
The plain green insulated one (with the un-insulated hood that rolls into the collar) - I'll try and get a picture later..

There are two generations of this parka. The first few years it had a proper, insulated hood (a bit overlarge by most peoples standards, since it had to fit over a helmet; but it also fits nicely over a fur hat...) but it then lost this and only has a thin fabric hood. Better for keeping soldiers on stag aware of their surrounding, but worse for the true function of the parka (it is nick-named the "coma-coat", i.e. the one you wear when you are no longer interested in interacting with your surroundings). I have one of each, the later model is the one I use when hunting moose -- a very static pursuit -- while use the older one when out and about in the bush.
 

gunnix

New Member
Mar 5, 2006
434
2
Belgium
Which why I like it; if I have it I "can" survive a night out much betten than otherwise, and if it is -50 C, windy, a new moon, heavy cloud cover, and 10 PM being able to just wrap up in my clothes is valuable. Which is why I'm interested in the Fjellduken, and thinking about bodging up a version of the model Stuart has; not quite as good a garment as the m90 parka, but more versatile.



The trick (IMNSHO) is to strip down the rest; skiing in wool pants -- and in wet snow I'd be even more carefull to keep a cotton layer on the outside than usual -- my thinnest wool undershirt and a cotton smock (in good weather I've even done the semi-nudist version; just make sure not to become sunburned). No mittens, no hat, no scarf, open neck, etc. That is tolerable just as long as one quickly gets into the parka+hat+mittens as soon as one stops. Yes, the cotton pants will be soaked fairly soon, but they are a layer that one can remove when needed, and dry next to the fire when given a chance. The wool pants are still nice and dry, which is of much greater importance.

Yes the m90 is great. Slept in it some nights in the cold and it's amazing how well it performs. Although I have not slept in it below -10. The -50 you mention is amazing :eek:

Stripping down is a good tip, but depends on which company you have :)

Never had the experience, but I saw pictures of a group who stripped to their underpants while skiing...:lmao:

Drying wet cotton next to the fire in freezing temperatures is a trick I'm not very good at. Surely not if it's snowing. What is your preferred way of drying clothes next to an open fire?

I would like to mention polycotton pants, they dry faster, are thinner and useable in a bigger range of temperatures (in combination with longjohns). They pack small and are easy to have as an extra pair. I'm a big fan of wool pants, but for a lot of activity the polycotton is better if temperatures are above something like -8. Ofcourse everyone knows them, but they were not yet mentioned in this thread as far as I remember.
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
What do you use for eye protection, folks? Goggles of some sort or another?

That is not needed much in the forest. The only time I really missed not having them was when we once got to play with the Swedish military rescue helicopter people. Standing there with your arms out when they land in front of you is in the snow means you have to close your eyes or wear goggles.
 

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