Dressing for winter in the boreal forest

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forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
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:
Neither have I, but wearing everything else underneath a night in a snow cave should be surviviable. I have sat for 4 hours in an OP wearing the old M59 parka at -45 C; cold but survivable, and enclosed shelter should be better.

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?
Either in a heated shelter, or hung up "next" to the fire, not directly above it.

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.
For the warmer temps something like the G1000 over merino wool is ok. In really nasty thaw conditions I've wore just wool long johns and the outher whites. Not the best of wear, but far nicer than getting the wool pants wet either from the outside from melting snow or from the inside from sweat (the temp was +2 C, we were skiing only in the sense of "moving forward with skis on, on top of snow", I think I had a 10 cm thick cake of snow on the bottom of my skis).
 
Hi there Stuart,

Many thanks for your comprehensive guide. It's come at a very good time for me!

Your comments would be welcome: I have a good set of the Buffalo Pile system clothing (Special 6 Mountain Shirt, Mountain Jacket, Special 6 Trousers, the Gilet, mitts and over-mitts, along with a couple of the older pile sleeping bags). It's given me good service to date and I've used the clothing in some cold temperatures but not down to -30C and less. Do you have any knowledge or experience of the use of the Buffalo gear, along with appropriate merino base layers, etc. etc. at these sort of temperatures? I'd like to be able to use what I have, or a variation thereon, without raiding the piggy bank for a whole new set of gear. The Mountain Shirt is designed to replace a base layer so I guess I could still use that over my merino base layer with a more capacious woolen fleece between it and the outer Mountain Jacket?

BTW I don't plan to use the Buffalo pile bags; they've already proved themselves inadequate in the Canadian Rockies back in October 2008 so I now have a Rab Summit 1100 bag which was great this October in the Rockies. (The pile bags are approaching 30 years old so their performance is perhaps understandable!)

Good luck with your trip. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
 

bikething

Full Member
May 31, 2005
2,568
3
50
West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
Stuart,
Please excuse my ignorance. You mention you use Mid-weight long-sleeved Merino wool underwear and ¾ length wool leggings. Are these 100% wool or is it a wool / polyester mixture and if so how do they perform / compare against each other?.

My apologies for not knowing if you can not get 100% as I have never been able to find them. Any pointers in the right direction if they do?.

Thank you for your very informative and interesting post.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,840
912
Bedfordshire
Where have you been looking that you can't find 100% merino? :confused:
100% merion is available from all these sources, just for starters.

Devold
Janus
Both via the Norwegian Store in Keswick
http://www.norwegianstore.com/index.html
(mail order by phone)

ChocloateFish
http://www.chocolatefishmerino.co.uk/taranaki/leggings.html

Icebreaker
http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_bodyfit200_leggings.html

Rammite from Australia

Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/pro...elayer-bottoms?slc=en_US&sct=US&p=37701-0-155

Smartwool

Of course, if you are only able to go by what you find in the local camping shops, that might make it harder to locate. Once upon a time Craghopper did some merino base layer stuff, they had those in the local store, but I don't think that Craghopper offer it any more. No great loss, I haven't been impressed with the cut, but mail order is a fine way to go. Personally I would make the Norwegian Store the first port of call, with ChocolateFish as number 2.
 
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LM J

Nomad
Nov 26, 2008
273
0
Cumbria
I've pretty much settled on my system for the Woodsmoke expedition in the North Woods of Maine, January/February. It'll be my first time fully immersed in this type of environment so I'll can only about my body and from my mistakes.


Head and Hands:

Merino Possum Beanie
Merino Tuara
Wool British Army Headover in reserve

Everest mitts (like the old, warmer Dachsteins I am told ) with loaned Empire Canvas “Chopper” Shells
Possum Merino Gloves or Army Gore-Tex Gloves. I'll probably carry both for what the Possums weigh.


Torso:

Base Layers: 2 Woolpower Crewneck 200s
Mid Layer: Woolpower Zip Turtleneck 400
British Army Jumper – another option is my Woolrich Railroad Vest?
Swanndri Jacket
Windproof: Loaned Empire Canvas Anorak. I have a good Ventile smock but am not going to pass on the fur ruff.

Alpkit Filo Jacket? I'm not 100% on whether I'm going to splash the cash on this yet. Another option is a G1 Swedish M90 Parka at £22.


Legs:

Base Layer: Woolpower Long Johns 200
Mid Layer: Woolpower Long Johns 400
Fjallraven Forester Trousers
Windproof: SASS Combat Trousers


Waterproofs:

Army Gore-Tex Jacket
Army Gore-Tex Trousers


Feet:

6 pairs of socks (2 pairs each of Woolpower 200, 400 and 600 g/m2)
2 pairs each of Wool Felt Liners and Insoles to go inside a pair of loaned Artic Steger Mukluks


Cheers all,

Lee
 
Where have you been looking that you can't find 100% merino? :confused:
100% merion is available from all these sources, just for starters.

Devold
Janus
Both via the Norwegian Store in Keswick
http://www.norwegianstore.com/index.html
(mail order by phone)

ChocloateFish
http://www.chocolatefishmerino.co.uk/taranaki/leggings.html

Icebreaker
http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_bodyfit200_leggings.html

Rammite from Australia

Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/pro...elayer-bottoms?slc=en_US&sct=US&p=37701-0-155

Smartwool

Of course, if you are only able to go by what you find in the local camping shops, that might make it harder to locate. Once upon a time Craghopper did some merino base layer stuff, they had those in the local store, but I don't think that Craghopper offer it any more. No great loss, I haven't been impressed with the cut, but mail order is a fine way to go. Personally I would make the Norwegian Store the first port of call, with ChocolateFish as number 2.
Chris,
thank you for the link's. Really like the Norwgian Store stock not just the base layers, reminds me of Hansi Hinterseer :).


As I said, excuse my ignorance, I have only ever been able to source mixed fibers (I admit, I do not spend that much time on the internet) but the good thing about this site is that someone will allways be able to assist and help you on yourway. Personal recommendation cannot be beaten, I appreciate your help.


Like wise, thanks Stuart for posting such good avice
Thanks
 
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bikething

Full Member
May 31, 2005
2,568
3
50
West Devon, Edge of Dartymoor!
Bikething said:
for those of you asking for more information on the Jerven multimate, the specifications are in the 2008 Jerven catalogue, which is available from Jerven as a downloadable PDF:

https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.no/accounts/434197/File/16873.pdf

prehapes if contacted directly they might still sell them to the public
I've sent an email through their site... lets see what happens ;)
Got a reply from Jerven :

Jerven said:
We have closed down the production of the Multimate. New model with
removeable lining will be in sale during spring, 2010.

Jerven
 

Monk

Forager
Jun 20, 2004
196
7
outandabout
Stuart,

great informative post and thanks for making this material so clear. I saw pics of British soldiers Falklands war era with their smocks tied in at the bottom as you describe...I always thought it was to cut off the chilly drafts!! Good tip on putting items inside to avoid loss.
 

oetzi

Settler
Apr 25, 2005
813
2
60
below Frankenstein castle
I really liked the concept of the Jerven Bag.

For what we call winter here, I had made myself a similar system some years ago.
I consits of my Poncho and a so called "poncho liner", 900gr, bought at a military surplus store for € 10.00.
The latter is basically a quilted blanked, nylon on the outside with some polyester hollowfibre and I have added a slot for the head.
Exped.ch make a lightweight liner to fit their poncho, called "Bivy-bag liner".
A claimed 830-1300gr depending on which of their ponchos one chooses.
http://www.exped.de/exped/web/exped_homepage.nsf/b43HomePageE?openframeset
Warm, ugly and versatile, its better than any extra fleece to carry for additional warmth:

 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
44
**********************
Stuart,

Excellent, informative and well presented post ... is there an English translation!! :) goodjob
Thanks Woody, not just for your approval but also for taking the time to drive down here in 04 to help kit me out for my first winter foray into the boreal forests, without which I may not have enjoyed the experience enough to have kept going back!