Jacket choice?

RushReider

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Sep 22, 2021
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St.Louis
I’m new to this spot in a unit, haven’t gone through a class yet but I’ll be going to one in November and I’m expecting it to be really cold. I really like the Viktos brand but I can’t decide which jacket I’d be better off with. The spot I’m going will have me outside anywhere from 2 hours to 30 hours. Basically it’s a soft shell and layer option or hard shell Sherpa fleece lined option. I think.

Or
 

ma smith

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    I really like softshell for the range, since often you're under a roof and in more or less benign conditions.
     

    PDXGS

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    Wet or Dry conditions? Do you have a decent hardshell?
    I avoid combo designs because they really limit your ability to adapt to changing conditions. So, of the two above, the Combonova seems more versatile (IF you have a decent hardshell to wear over it ...... I've never had any of the Viktos products but the folks I know who have them, like them. Also, have a look a KUIU, Beyond, Sitka Gear and the GI Issue ECWS parkas and pants over a decent thermal/soft shell layer.
     
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    Fred @ Bison Tactical

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    Also, not sure what you mean by spot - but if your static for 30 hours in really cold you are going to need something with a lot of loft and insulation. If on the other hand its really cold (also what is "really cold" to you?), but your moving a lot, you may need something a lot more breathable.

    For example, I spent a bunch of time up north central US where it was regularly -30 F during winter. In those conditions if your were static you needed big parkas with lots of insulation and puffy boots. However I now spend a lot of time in the mountains of Colorado where it rarely gets that cold. Maybe we get average coldest temp slightly below zero F. However I am moving a lot more out here (say back country skiing) and I produce WAY more heat, so I am out with a light sweater/jacket and backup gear for when we stop (I add layers when we pause).
     
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    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    Wet or Dry conditions? Do you have a decent hardshell?
    I avoid combo designs because they really limit your ability to adapt to changing conditions. So, of the two above, the Combonova seems more versatile (IF you have a decent hardshell to wear over it ...... I've never had any of the Viktos products but the folks I know who have them, like them. Also, have a look a KUIU, Beyond, Sitka Gear and the GI Issue ECWS parkas and pants over a decent thermal/soft shell layer
    Wet or Dry conditions? Do you have a decent hardshell?
    I avoid combo designs because they really limit your ability to adapt to changing conditions. So, of the two above, the Combonova seems more versatile (IF you have a decent hardshell to wear over it ...... I've never had any of the Viktos products but the folks I know who have them, like them. Also, have a look a KUIU, Beyond, Sitka Gear and the GI Issue ECWS parkas and pants over a decent thermal/soft shell layer.
    Sorry, so I’ll be in St. Louis region and most of the time I’ll be wearing a combat top or winter combat top. Mostly worried for when the weather conditions call for more than that, say freezing and wet or even snow. I won’t be moving much once I get to my spot. Something I can do some stalking classes in November in the Chicago area.
     

    roostercogburn98

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    Cotton kills in cold weather. You want well defined layers for cold cold. A lightweight/silk weight for next to your skin, a medium weight and heavy weight to alternate over that and a solid water resistant/ wind resistant outer shell preferably with zero cotton on it at all. It will collect water and get heavy/feeeze. The fur ruff parkas are nice if it is extremely windy and or you need your hood to extend past your face. Same goes for top and bottom.
    If you are warm standing still, you are wrong. Once you start moving, you will sweat and that will feeeze. Never wear your cold gear inside for the same reason as above. Sleep completely naked in your sleeping bag when out in the cold.
    Invest in some nice layered gloves as well such as Outdoor Research unless you have a set already. They will come in handy. If you have to skimp, make sure you have some good overmittens or trigger finger mittens with strings to wear over your shoulders and a good medium set for just wearing. A set of aviator gloves work well for anti contact gloves unless you have a set of anti contact gloves issued. Absolutely do not tough bare metal in below freezing temps, you will find out what contact frostbite is real quick. Same goes for spilled gas products. They will freeze your hands fast

    Not sure what your experience with cold environments are but remember this
    C- keep it CLEAN
    O- avoid OVERHEATING
    L- LOOSE AND IN LAYERS
    D- keep it DRY
     

    powdahound76

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    Wool underlayers are nice.
    I also wear a wool midlayer on the top for insulation

    I wear softshell. for moving and active stuff.
    I carry a parka (I use a big down parka, with a windstopper layer).

    I use Manzella Windstopper gloves and an overmitt. Cheaper than OR. 😁

    I have cold feet. I rub them with antiperspirant prior to socks going on, as they sweat and make them cold. Use this on all hinting trips and cold days outside for long days.
    trick from an old Hide guy @kraigWY 😁

    I use a close cell camping mat for prone shooting in cold weather too.
    keeps my dinger from freezing. 🤣
     

    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    Also, not sure what you mean by spot - but if your static for 30 hours in really cold you are going to need something with a lot of loft and insulation. If on the other hand its really cold (also what is "really cold" to you?), but your moving a lot, you may need something a lot more breathable.

    For example, I spent a bunch of time up north central US where it was regularly -30 F during winter. In those conditions if your were static you needed big parkas with lots of insulation and puffy boots. However I now spend a lot of time in tmountains of Colorado where it rarely gets that cold. Maybe we get average coldest temp slightly below zero F. However I am moving a lot more out here (say back country skiing) and I produce WAY more heat, so I am out with a light sweater/jacket and backup gear for when we stop (I add layers when we pause).
    Wet or Dry conditions? Do you have a decent hardshell?
    I avoid combo designs because they really limit your ability to adapt to changing conditions. So, of the two above, the Combonova seems more versatile (IF you have a decent hardshell to wear over it ...... I've never had any of the Viktos products but the folks I know who have them, like them. Also, have a look a KUIU, Beyond, Sitka Gear and the GI Issue ECWS parkas and pants over a decent thermal/soft shell layer.
    Got me looking at eswscs l6 now, you think I could get away with using that for rain gear and layering under it in winter for winter gear?
    Multicam FR Extreme Wet/Cold Jacket & Pants Set FR ECWCS L6 (Non Military Issue) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN8JK0M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_61RRPM8F32BJ7K96HSAX
     

    Terry Cross

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    Just for giggles look into some of the UFPro stuff.
    They are legit. The fit and quality are the best I have seen. May not be a good choice if you only need once a year, etc. but if using a lot, they hold up exceptionally well.


    and


    ./
     

    stefan73

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    I just use my old issued stuff that CIF didn't take back. ECWCS is a layered system and lets you adjust for climate conditions and work load. Not as cool as some of this gucci stuff but effective.
     

    powdahound76

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    That stuff looks badass Mr Cross!!!

    also, look at Wild Things. Have used their packs and bags, not clothes, and the quality of their stuff was top end.

    MC is tough.
    Otherwise, the Forloh stuff seems pretty darn good and is US made. 😁
     
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    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    I’m new to this spot in a unit, haven’t gone through a class yet but I’ll be going to one in November and I’m expecting it to be really cold. I really like the Viktos brand but I can’t decide which jacket I’d be better off with. The spot I’m going will have me outside anywhere from 2 hours to 30 hours. Basically it’s a soft shell and layer option or hard shell Sherpa fleece lined option. I think.

    Or
    What exactly are you doing while in this class? It has bearing on the type of advice that should be given.
     

    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    What exactly are you doing while in this class? It has bearing on the type of advice that should be given.
    Mostly just shooting but there will be a day of stalking. Most of what I’ll be doing at work is surrounding houses on barricaded subjects which have been as short as an hour and as long as 36 hours. I’m in the Saint Louis region so cold and wet typically. The only thing they issue is a pair of bdu pants and a combat top so I’m kinda looking for multipurpose setups that I can adjust accordingly for. From information I’ve gotten so far I feel like a good direction is a soft shell jacket, a insulating jacket for 2nd layer when needed and a goretex jacket/pant for hard rains or snow. But again this is just from reading not experience. I’m used to spending these call outs behind armor with a carhart on under my kit so…
     

    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    Just for giggles look into some of the UFPro stuff.
    They are legit. The fit and quality are the best I have seen. May not be a good choice if you only need once a year, etc. but if using a lot, they hold up exceptionally well.


    and


    ./
    Nice, definitely not affordable 😂 but nice.
     

    Terry Cross

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    Nice, definitely not affordable 😂 but nice.
    I agree they aren't cheap but I can attest to them lasting. I look at this stuff as a 10yr purchase where most fatigues/clothes are toast in 2 or 3 of hard use. I have 4 pair of their pants that have been used a ton over 4 yrs and they look damned good with zero fade when compared to new ones.

    ./
     
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    PDXGS

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    Several years ago I took an apparel development team to Norway to have a chat with their FSK/special forces folks about their cold weather gear choices.
    They use a merino net baselayer from Aklima under all of their winter gear. It's amazing stuff if you can live with the likely homophobic commentary.
     

    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    Several years ago I took an apparel development team to Norway to have a chat with their FSK/special forces folks about their cold weather gear choices.
    They use a merino net baselayer from Aklima under all of their winter gear. It's amazing stuff if you can live with the likely homophobic commentary.
    Well those are… differnt 😂. What squad don’t know can’t make fun of though lol
     

    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    Mostly just shooting but there will be a day of stalking. Most of what I’ll be doing at work is surrounding houses on barricaded subjects which have been as short as an hour and as long as 36 hours. I’m in the Saint Louis region so cold and wet typically. The only thing they issue is a pair of bdu pants and a combat top so I’m kinda looking for multipurpose setups that I can adjust accordingly for. From information I’ve gotten so far I feel like a good direction is a soft shell jacket, a insulating jacket for 2nd layer when needed and a goretex jacket/pant for hard rains or snow. But again this is just from reading not experience. I’m used to spending these call outs behind armor with a carhart on under my kit so…
    St. Louis is cold? hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Good one!

    Sorry, I’m from North Dakota and Minnesota. Record low air temp in Minnesota is -60F at a town called Tower in 1996. Add some wind chill to that if you want. There are vids of people pounding in nails outside with a BANANA.

    I’ve been outside in ND during a blizzard, -40F, with wind chills at -92F (old wind chill chart, and yeah, the weather service changed the chart some time ago).

    So, as has been said, sweat is the killer here. I can’t speak, at all, to military/police stuff. I can just talk about surviving in the cold.

    You don’t need super fancy stuff, it’s all about no cotton, using layers, being able to remove layers easily, and ventilation. AND REMOVE LAYERS BEFORE YOU SWEAT.

    For example, if it’s ND/MN cold (no rain at these temps, obv) you should have:
    • Big goretex insulated parka with insulated hood. Pit zips, in your case, are mandatory.
    • Big goretex insulated bibs. In your case, ideally with side zips that go all the way up your leg so you can change out of them and ventilate. Zips allow some cold in, but in your case you need flexibility. Bibs minimize the warmth chuffing outta your core area when you move. A one piece outfit (“snowmobile suit”) is the warmest thing evar, but holy shit do those get hot quick and they’re hard to get off.
    • Lightweight balaclava. Don’t get a heavy one unless you are lying down in a tent and not moving. You’ll thank me later.
    • Warm hat, like a rabbit-fur bomber hat. Bring a lightweight one too for when moving. I like windproof-ish hats, either hard-faced or Outdoor Research Windpro soft shell but NOT goretex windstopper, which feels like it would saturate your head with sweat. Your hood is the ultimate windstopper.
    • One pair of thick-ish socks. BUT DO NOT PACK YOUR FEET TIGHTLY INTO YOUR BOOTS, you will lose your toes if you cannot get somewhere warm. You want a loose-ish fit. It you need to hike, then tighten to the minimum amount. You want blood in your feet. Antiperspirant on your feet is an interesting idea…I don’t have sweaty feet so I have never looked into that. If trying, try BEFORE the class as you may find your feet get itchy or something.
    • Many feet/hand warmer packets
    • Baffin boots, the tall-ass ones that are all nylon on top with buckles (snow-machine type). Snow in boots is very, very bad. Sorel moved production offshore and their rubber bottoms crack.
    • Edit: oh yeah, test the interface between your boots and bib’s/pant’s bottoms, as I’ve found out, unfortunately, that sometimes the pant leg is too long and stuffing it into the boot makes the pant leg rub on your shin. Ouch! I prefer pant leg going into boot so snow can’t force its way in. However, if in REALLY deep snow I’ve put the pant over the boot and cinched down the pant leg bottom around my ankle. Mountaineers use gaiters.
    • Mittens, and wear liner gloves when having to touch metal. DO NOT TOUCH METAL WITH BARE-ANYTHING. It sucks the life out of you so fast.
    • Ski goggles if windy. Eyes water and eye sockets get cold.
    • Synthetic sweater, with pit-zips and neck zips. Absolutely no turtlenecks. No way to ventilate with those.
    • Warm long underwear for torso and bottom. Make sure you have a zip t-neck sort of arrangement so you can ventilate. For legs, consider multiple layers of lightweight long underwear vs one thick item. Easier to fine-tune.
    • Stuff to blow your nose. Noses often run at low temps. You don’t want to get your glove liners wet. Learn the “farmer-blow” (i.e. blowing nose without tissue by plugging one nostril and sharply exhaling out nose. Aiming is important! Lol)
    • Add a sitting pad so if you have to sit on the ground or god forbid, a metal-something, you will be warm.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff bere, but you get the idea. If it’s wet and mild 33F to oh, 50F, then you’ll need an UNINSULATED goretex-type hard shell with hood (that goes over a helmet, perhaps), UNINSULATED goretex-type bibs or perhaps pants, both with full-length side zips, lighter-weight versions of above underlayers, no balaclava, a rain hat, gloves are probably fine vs mittens, pit zips everywhere except on base layer.

    A SUPER IMPORTANT note about comfort, cold, and exercising
    You want to feel a bit cold and uncomfortable before exercise. You DO NOT want to feel comfortable and cozy because then you’re gonna sweat like a greasy fucking pig once moving. This is the hardest skill to master; I still fuck this up occasionally.

    So if you know you’re going it sit, dress for sitting. If you know you’re gonna have to run, ditch clothing in your pack.

    The killer would be in wartime and you don’t know what’s next. That would suck.

    If you really have to run etc, you’ll need something to stash the warmer stuff, obviously.

    BIG NOTE: try your gear a whole bunch of times before the class in near-identical conditions. Trust me.

    Edit: be wary of breathing on your optics. If below freezing, a film of ice will form (thicker and harder as it gets colder) and then you’re fucked. Breathe DOWN out of your nose (not out of your mouth). Optics includes your eyeglasses.

    Clearing this problem effectively in field conditions is an area I don’t know a lot about. For example, after wiping out skiing, goggles often have snow in them. Usually I have to just go inside to get them clean. Frozen tears in the inner lens of sunglasses, etc, are a bitch. With scope fog, I look at it forlornly for a while, hoping it’ll clear by itself. If it doesn’t, I’ll wipe it with something soft (here’s one place where cotton would be nice).

    If you’re going inside to warm up, leave your rifle+scope/binos/etc outside or condensation will form on the lenses, making your life unpleasant (esp. if not dry when going back out). At the end of the day, bring stuff with optics inside after you’ve placed them in their respective soft/hard cases. The case will slow the warming and may limit condensation. May.

    I’ve read that some people leave their rifles etc outside all of the time when it’s really cold. Not sure what armies do with ammo in these conditions.

    Also, down is lighter than synthetic and warmer per weight and is useless when wet (busting a myth here, wet synthetics are useless too). But unlike synthetics, down is a total pain to DRY OUT.

    If you have a metal rifle, anywhere you might have to touch it put some padding to insulate your hands and cheeks.
     
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    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    St. Louis is cold? hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Good one!

    Sorry, I’m from North Dakota and Minnesota. Record low air temp in Minnesota is -60F at a town called Tower in 1996. Add some wind chill to that if you want. There are vids of people pounding in nails outside with a BANANA.

    I’ve been outside in ND during a blizzard, -40F, with wind chills at -92F (old wind chill chart, and yeah, the weather service changed the chart some time ago).

    So, as has been said, sweat is the killer here. I can’t speak, at all, to military/police stuff. I can just talk about surviving in the cold.

    You don’t need super fancy stuff, it’s all about no cotton, using layers, being able to remove layers easily, and ventilation. AND REMOVE LAYERS BEFORE YOU SWEAT.

    For example, if it’s ND/MN cold (no rain at these temps, obv) you should have:
    • Big goretex insulated parka with insulated hood. Pit zips, in your case, are mandatory.
    • Big goretex insulated bibs. In your case, ideally with side zips that go all the way up your leg so you can change out of them and ventilate. Zips allow some cold in, but in your case you need flexibility. Bibs minimize the warmth chuffing outta your core area when you move. A one piece outfit (“snowmobile suit”) is the warmest thing evar, but holy shit do those get hot quick and they’re hard to get off.
    • Lightweight balaclava. Don’t get a heavy one unless you are laying in a tent and not moving. You’ll thank me later.
    • Warm hat. Bring a lightweight one too for when moving. I like windproof-ish hats, either hard-faced or Outdoor Research Windpro soft shell but NOT goretex windstopper, which feels like it would saturate your head with sweat. Your hood is the ultimate windstopper.
    • One pair of thick-ish socks. BUT DO NOT PACK YOUR FEET TIGHTLY INTO YOUR BOOTS, you will lose your toes if you cannot get somewhere warm. You want a loose-ish fit. It you need to hike, then tighten to the minimum amount. You want blood in your feet. Antiperspirant on your feet is an interesting idea…I don’t have sweaty feet so I have never looked into that. If trying, try BEFORE the class as you may find your feet get itchy or something.
    • Many feet/hand warmer packets
    • Baffin boots, the tall-ass ones that are all nylon on top with buckles (snow-machine type). Snow in boots is very, very bad. Sorel moved production offshore and their rubber bottoms crack.
    • Mittens, and wear liner gloves when having to touch metal. DO NOT TOUCH METAL WITH BARE-ANYTHING. It sucks the life out of you so fast.
    • Ski goggles if windy. Eyes water and eye sockets get cold.
    • Synthetic sweater, with pit-zips. Absolutely no turtlenecks. No way to ventilate with those.
    • Warm long underwear for torso and bottom. Make sure you have a zip t-neck sort of arrangement so you can ventilate.
    • Stuff to blow your nose. Nose often run at low temps. You don’t want to get your glove liners wet.
    • Add a sitting pad so if you have to sit on the ground or god forbid, a metal-something, you will be warm.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff bere, but you get the idea. If it’s wet and mild 33F to oh, 50F, then you’ll need a goretex-type hard shell with hood (that goes over a helmet, perhaps), goretex-type bibs or perhaps pants with full-length side zips, lighter-weight versions of above underlayers, no balaclava, a rain hat, gloves are probably fine vs mittens, pit zips everywhere except on base layer.

    A note about comfort, cold, and exercising
    You want to feel a bit cold and uncomfortabe before exercise. You DO NOT want to feel comfortable and cozy because you’re gonna sweat like a greasy fucking pig once moving. So if you know you’re going it sit, dress for sitting. If you know you’re gonna have to run, ditch clothing in your pack.

    The killer would be in wartime and you don’t know what’s next. That would suck.

    If you really have to run etc, you’ll need something to stash the warmer stuff, obviously.

    BIG NOTE: try your gear a whole bunch of times before the class in near-identical conditions. Trust me.

    Edit: be wary of breathing on your optics. If below freezing, a film of ice will form (thicker and harder as it gets colder) and then you’re fucked. Clearing this problem is an area I don’t know a lot about.

    Also, down is lighter than synthetic and warmer per weight but is useless when wet.
    Hell of a guide there? Thanks on the information, much appreciated. Also yes STL is very cold for a Florida boy.
     
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    PDXGS

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    Yeah, that fishnet....worn by the guys, and girls, who make a sport of harassing the Russians along their northern border in deepest, coldest winter. They carry two sets of these base layers - the rest, at least as of 4 years ago, was Arcterxy synthetic mid layers, an optional soft shell layer and then a hard shell layer....that was it. When they needed to swap underwear, they'd find a water source or melt some snow, dunk their kit, wash it and then plunge it into a snowbank where it would freeze dry....then they'd shake off the ice, pack it up and carry on.
    Seriously tough MF'rs
     

    carbonbased

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    Yeah, that fishnet....worn by the guys, and girls, who make a sport of harassing the Russians along their northern border in deepest, coldest winter. They carry two sets of these base layers - the rest, at least as of 4 years ago, was Arcterxy synthetic mid layers, an optional soft shell layer and then a hard shell layer....that was it. When they needed to swap underwear, they'd find a water source or melt some snow, dunk their kit, wash it and then plunge it into a snowbank where it would freeze dry....then they'd shake off the ice, pack it up and carry on.
    Seriously tough MF'rs
    My balls have half-retracted just thinking of putting on -20F underwear.

    No, make that completely retracted.
     

    PDXGS

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    My balls have half-retracted just thinking of putting on -20F underwear.

    No, make that completely retracted.
    Yeah, we were there in mid January....it was so cold that the visiting British (Royal Marines if I recall correctly) were forbidden by their command to train....so the Norwegians brought them cakes, tea and dresses- so that they could enjoy their time confined to barracks until the temp rose.
     

    carbonbased

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    Yeah, we were there in mid January....it was so cold that the visiting British (Royal Marines if I recall correctly) were forbidden by their command to train....so the Norwegians brought them cakes, tea and dresses- so that they could enjoy their time confined to barracks until the temp rose.
    Yeah, most people don’t understand how to live and prepare for survival (blizzards, flat tires, out of gas, etc) in environments that are actively trying to kill you when you’re doing things as simple as driving to the grocery store.
     
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    carbonbased

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    Implement a vest into your gear.... Allow your arms to snuggle into your weapon. Mittens for shooting or doing small item task. Defog treat your glasses, bino's and optics.

    At times too much clothing is worse than not enough clothing.
    Good point. Vests are particularly awesome for exercising in 20-35F, for me anyway. I’ve used simple windproof-ish nylon zip vests plus long sleeve zip-t underneath for xc skiing. On the bottom, xc skiing tights (not windproof).

    If xc skiing, DO remember underwear with a windproof front crotch panel. Sounds unnecessary, but try to pee when the tip of your dick is so cold the hole can’t open! Exquisite torture, and not the good kind! Jesus!
     
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    carbonbased

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    Here’s a pic from a 1960’s era (1966?) ND blizzard. Those are telephone poles!

    72003959-379C-4C68-BE8F-DFDA7679230C.jpeg

    E7B4A6C1-A08B-41EC-B965-5A2B0B757E8F.jpeg


    edit: https://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Worst-blizzard-in-state-history-happened-in-1966-475786173.html

    “The worst snow event in North Dakota history occurred March 2nd, 3rd and 4th of 1966. During that epic blizzard, 20-30 inches of snow fell across the state. When combined with winds up to 70-miles-per-hour, gusting at time to 100-miles-per-hour, drifts were 30-40 feet high in some locations. This iconic photograph was taken during that storm. It shows Department of Transportation employee, Bill Koch, standing next to the top of a set of power lines. Visibility in the open country and farm yards was reduced to zero for 11 straight hours during the storm. 74,500 head of cattle perished during the three day blizzard.”
     
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    A&8's

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    for a good hug the kind that mom used to give you know the ones that could keep you warm n safe on the coldest dampest nights
    1632423543416.png

    nothing says love quite like a good jacket .. mm so warm lol
     
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    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
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    St.Louis
    I love winter. However, the older I get, the less my body likes winter.

    My winter:

    Base:
    https://www.duluthtrading.com/mens-...ayers#start=8&cgid=mens-underwear-base-layers

    Mid:
    https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/sarma-wool-fleece-jacket/59078

    Outer:
    https://www.kuiu.com/products/kutana-gale-force-set?variant=40618506879134


    My "Mid" is what I wear 80% of the time as my "outer", in the winter. But, it doubles as a mid under the gale force jacket when it gets cold.
    I like that outer setup. Definitely can’t afford it though.
     

    carbonbased

    peasant hunter
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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    I like that outer setup. Definitely can’t afford it though.
    Look at Fleet Farm (or similar) in the hunting section. You don’t need top end stuff. I have top end stuff (that’s old), but for St. Louis you’ll be fine with regular hunting gear.

    Just like with mountain bikes, the average quality of hunting clothing has continually gone up through the years.
     
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    A&8's

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  • Just like with mountain bikes, the average quality of hunting clothing has continually gone up through the years.

    Yep. My last pair of hunting clothes was purchased in '92-ish. Skyline reversible winter/fall camo. The bottoms (bibs) and winter jacket was something like $375 back then. Old heavy as hell, def not waterproof. It was a hard pill to swallow spending over a grand for the Kuiu Gale Force pair (super light, waterproof at every stich and zipper). I figured, since my last set lasted me nearly 30 years, this will probably be the last set I buy. Plus, being in a better spot financially now vs at 22yrs old, helps a lot, too.
     
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    Hobo Hilton

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    Good point. Vests are particularly awesome for exercising in 20-35F, for me anyway. I’ve used simple windproof-ish nylon zip vests plus long sleeve zip-t underneath for xc skiing. On the bottom, xc skiing tights (not windproof).

    If xc skiing, DO remember underwear with a windproof front crotch panel. Sounds unnecessary, but try to pee when the tip of your dick is so cold the hole can’t open! Exquisite torture, and not the good kind! Jesus!
    Couple of things. We tied a string around our dick so we could find it under all those clothes and pull it out. Bad to have pissed on Carharts around the other guys.... I am a retired welder. I have had on so many clothes I could not bear hug a 24" pipe to make a weld. Having on a vest let me snuggle up to the pipe so I did not have to long arm the welding rod....
     
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    roostercogburn98

    Crawling America, one mall at a time
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    Nov 3, 2010
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    Couple of things. We tied a string around our dick so we could find it under all those clothes and pull it out. Bad to have pissed on Carharts around the other guys.... I am a retired welder. I have had on so many clothes I could not bear hug a 24" pipe to make a weld. Having on a vest let me snuggle up to the pipe so I did not have to long arm the welding rod....
    Pee smell helps keep bears away I heard
     

    stefan73

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  • Mar 6, 2006
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    Mostly just shooting but there will be a day of stalking. Most of what I’ll be doing at work is surrounding houses on barricaded subjects which have been as short as an hour and as long as 36 hours. I’m in the Saint Louis region so cold and wet typically. The only thing they issue is a pair of bdu pants and a combat top so I’m kinda looking for multipurpose setups that I can adjust accordingly for. From information I’ve gotten so far I feel like a good direction is a soft shell jacket, a insulating jacket for 2nd layer when needed and a goretex jacket/pant for hard rains or snow. But again this is just from reading not experience. I’m used to spending these call outs behind armor with a carhart on under my kit so…
    Once goretex gets wet and it will get wet, it takes a long time to dry. I still have my old goretex BDU top that sucked when the water would make it through.
     

    Jefe's Dope

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  • Dec 20, 2017
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    I’m new to this spot in a unit, haven’t gone through a class yet but I’ll be going to one in November and I’m expecting it to be really cold. I really like the Viktos brand but I can’t decide which jacket I’d be better off with. The spot I’m going will have me outside anywhere from 2 hours to 30 hours. Basically it’s a soft shell and layer option or hard shell Sherpa fleece lined option. I think.

    Or
    If those were the jackets I was using is cold weather, I'd layer w/ a merino base layer and then a high quality 800+ down sweater. It'll be thin enough to fit under the jacket but the high fill will keep you warm. And it'll be easy to remove and pack away when you heat up.

     

    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    Once goretex gets wet and it will get wet, it takes a long time to dry. I still have my old goretex BDU top that sucked when the water would make it through.
    Yes, anything made of nylon/poly/manmade fiber that is soaked in water will stay wet for some time, even if laid out in the sun. But a down jacket, if soaked, takes A LOT longer to dry in the same conditions.

    Just wash and dry a down sleeping bag. Takes forever to dry, even using tennis balls in the dryer to break up the wet down clumps.
     
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    Aftermath

    LET'S GO BRANDON!!
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  • May 14, 2013
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    I spent over a decade in the Alaska Bush and over a decade working outside in ND.
    I can vouch for using antiperspirant on your feet. I get the cheapest I can find and do make sure it is antiperspirant as opposed to deodorant.
    I prefer the spray on kind for ease of application without getting it all over my fingers but use whatever, just be sure to get the stuff between your toes and all over the soles of your feet. You will want to use a lotion once you are off your feet because the skin will most assuredly dry out.
    I also use a spray in powder for all of my boots and am a HUGE fan of the PEET boot dryer. I have, and use, several at the same time. One is set up just for gloves. I swap out boots every day, when possible, so there is always at least one set of boots on the dryer.
    Use a thin pair of liner socks in addition to heavier for insulation (unless you are using the mickey mouse boots or some of the others designed to be used without socks at all). I like thin merino wool socks. The thin layer helps to wick away any moisture as well as provide another layer of dead air for insulating.
    As mentioned above, if you are going to be just standing around, get some high loft stuff. Look at the stuff made with foam rubber insulation. There are several brands. I found those to be at least as warm as down and much easier to get dry after.
    Above all, peel off BEFORE you get warm enough to sweat. And put it back on once you feel the first chill.
    Spare gear might save your life, if not make for a more tolerable shift.
     

    RushReider

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    Sep 22, 2021
    16
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    St.Louis
    Okay thoughts on adding this to the kit? Pricey however 3/4 of the time at work I need to wear a blue or black jacket while the other 25% of the time I’ll need camo… so something like this i feel is justifiable. I question the durability and would wear a soft shell over top if the weather calls for it.
     

    FisherT&C

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  • Jan 1, 2020
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    Have an excellent base layer. They're some awesome methods of textiling in merino wool. Take a look at Duckworth, pricey but legit.
     

    powdahound76

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    Sep 7, 2011
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    That Kifaru is nice.
    very warm. Abrasion panels are sweet.

    Not waterproof by any means.

    Top end company and I am a fan of their gear.

    If you like the parka, but want a little more of the abrasion resistant on say, the front for long prone periods, just call and ask. Let them know your story and I bet they help.
    Their multicam Woobie is a good cover for warmth too.😁
     

    RushReider

    Private
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    Sep 22, 2021
    16
    5
    St.Louis
    That Kifaru is nice.
    very warm. Abrasion panels are sweet.

    Not waterproof by any means.

    Top end company and I am a fan of their gear.

    If you like the parka, but want a little more of the abrasion resistant on say, the front for long prone periods, just call and ask. Let them know your story and I bet they help.
    Their multicam Woobie is a good cover for warmth too.😁
    Damn that be very ideal if they could ad more codura.
     
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    RushReider

    Private
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    Sep 22, 2021
    16
    5
    St.Louis
    That Kifaru is nice.
    very warm. Abrasion panels are sweet.

    Not waterproof by any means.

    Top end company and I am a fan of their gear.

    If you like the parka, but want a little more of the abrasion resistant on say, the front for long prone periods, just call and ask. Let them know your story and I bet they help.
    Their multicam Woobie is a good cover for warmth too.😁
    That woobie! Forget a parka I want to snuggle up with that thing lol
     

    ma smith

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  • Sep 29, 2020
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    Notwithstanding the specifics of your gear, start making a spreadhseet...alot of the devil is in the details... I know the OP asked about a jacket, but you really need to consider the whole system, and see where the jacket fits in and budget accordingly. eg here is a typical layering system for cold weather when you have active and passive activity components

    hardshell $300
    softshell 250
    vest 150
    puffy insulation 150-200
    zip neck grid fleece 120
    underlayer merino 60
    merino brief 40
    merino tight 60
    merino sock 40 (2pr x $20)
    shooting gloves 40
    insulation gloves 80

    thats $1,200+ and nothing is terribly expensive by itself
     
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    stefan73

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  • Mar 6, 2006
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    Yes, anything made of nylon/poly/manmade fiber that is soaked in water will stay wet for some time, even if laid out in the sun. But a down jacket, if soaked, takes A LOT longer to dry in the same conditions.

    Just wash and dry a down sleeping bag. Takes forever to dry, even using tennis balls in the dryer to break up the wet down clumps.
    Synthetic does have a good place especially when wet.

    I will still say that I really liked my ECWCS stuff. Not the lightest and smallest by any means but functional.
     

    Aftermath

    LET'S GO BRANDON!!
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  • May 14, 2013
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    Notwithstanding the specifics of your gear, start making a spreadhseet...alot of the devil is in the details... I know the OP asked about a jacket, but you really need to consider the whole system, and see where the jacket fits in and budget accordingly. eg here is a typical layering system for cold weather when you have active and passive activity components

    hardshell $300
    softshell 250
    vest 150
    puffy insulation 150-200
    zip neck grid fleece 120
    underlayer merino 60
    merino brief 40
    merino tight 60
    merino sock 40, 2pr
    shooting gloves 40
    insulation gloves 80

    thats $1,200+ and nothing is terribly expensive by itself
    $1200/(10 toes+10 fingers)=$60 per appendage.
     

    carbonbased

    peasant hunter
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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    Damn that be very ideal if they could ad more codura.
    So, here’s a super quick specific guide, something I might wear. I’m assuming you’ll be in 30-60F? Rain, maaaaybe snow? You don’t need an insulated outer layer because it’ll get too hot when moving, and if you take it off you then might be too cold.

    Again, this is quick and I’m just using Kuiu because I’m in a hurry. Use any company you like, I don’t own any Kuiu, but it has a good rep. Don’t have time to link up everything. Use Fleet Farm hunting gear to save money, but focus on the same attributes.

    • Outer shell jacket and pants: must be durable, you’re not hiking so it so it doesn’t need to be super light: Yukon Rain Gear Set Unknown: how silent does this stuff need to be? Some hunting gear is specifically made to be quiet, bow hunting stuff especially. You want to go cheap? Like obscenely cheap? Like people-will-laugh-but-it-will-work? Frogg Toggs and throw them away if ruined (45F-60F). Do not buy “rain slicker” stuff unless you just stand in the rain, as you’ll explode in a puff of smoke if you start running.
    • Heavy-weight top: fleece, wool, or something like the Kuiu KENAI 3DEFX+ JACKET but with tougher elbows. Maybe like the Guide DCS? Has to have a full zip and pit zips, for under shell for standing around. Probably good if it is wind resistant if you use it for an outer layer, which means it should have abrasion resistant wear points. Must go up the neck for warmth. Maybe with a hood.
    • Mid-weight long sleeve zip-t. Can be used only under shell when windy and cold but you have to be active (note: in this specific case, shell does not mean Frogg Toggs). Or, use under shell and heavy-weight sweater (Frogg Toggs ok).
    • Another backup heavy-weight top layer just in case
    • Light-weight top base layer, long or short sleeve, depends on how cold a person you are. I might just skip this, myself.
    • Consider a fleece vest, especially if very active
    • Two or three bottom long underwear, lighter weight, and add or subtract as needed
    • Tough synthetic pants, maybe VERY lightly insulated. If not raining, might be able to get away with these+long underwear and leave rain pants in pack. Good to have lots of storage pockets. Integrated knee pads. Wind resistant as a pair of flannel-lined Carhartt pants are (not windproof, as they’ll be too hot). Basically synthetic version of flannel-lined Carhartt pants, only with cargo pockets.
    • Insulated hunting boots and medium weight socks (like elk hunting boots, not pack-boots like Sorels)
    • Warm hat
    • Lighter weight hat (Outdoor Research Windpro)
    • Rain hat, like OR Seattle Sombrero
    • Gloves, with the option to expose trigger fingers
    • Backpack
    • Seating pad, you can stand on this too. Your feet typically get cold because of the ground, not air temp.
    • Thermos
    • Chemical hand/feet warmers, mainly for the hands in the temps I listed above.
    • If you know you’ll be standing/sitting for hours at 30-40°F, bring a big parka and stash it when you need to run. otherwise rely on that extra heavy-weight layer I mention above.
    Edit: if you’re going to be in mud, well, good luck. I am not an expert on dealing with the that. Maybe talk to some Vietnam vets lol.
     
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