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  1. #1
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    Default Cold weather gear hacks.

    I'm sitting here ruminating before our weekly hike about weather changes, gear and generally rethinking some of my cold weather gear. We hike year-round in the PNW and this time of year is dark, wet, and cold. We shift our hikes to low elevation (not yet...still not enough snow for avalanche hazard) and the devices we own for snow/ice travel get taken out and reevaluated.

    Hands are the topic of the week here. I use latex disposable gloves on the way up the mountain and in the rain. My wife, whose hands are always cold, has stuck with fleece, which she wears even when they are wet. Neither of these are great solutions. My hands are fine when I'm climbing and exerting, cold on the way down the mountain. They are great for dexterity but I get the wrinkled dishwasher's hands during every hike. They are cheap...... and they really do work great at keeping my hands the RIGHT temp during heavy exertion.

    I've read of Andrew Surka's writeup on the Showa 262 and took the plunge and ordered a pair last night. I had a moment of weakness and bought a new REI pack, some trash compactor bag liners and some socks. A real splurge for me.

    Anyway.....I'd be interested to hear what others are using for their hands. I have the rest of my kit worked out to my general satisfaction but my hands are something that I've always felt the need to tweak my approach.

    https://andrewskurka.com/review-show...et-conditions/

  2. #2
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I've been wanting to try the sealskinz gloves. Have you ever seen these?

    Every review I've seen about their socks were positive.
    Last edited by JNI64; 11-20-2020 at 12:41.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I've been wanting to try the sealskinz gloves. Have you ever seen these?

    Every review I've seen about their socks were positive.
    I've seen them in the local REI I think, but never jumped.

  4. #4

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    waterproof down mitts were my solution. i got them at rei a long time ago. i got the next larger size than i normally use.
    for hiking i like the windpstopper fleese medium weight gloves.
    that windstopper stuff is great.

    sitting around at night is when it gets tough on my legs especially my thighs.. i finally invested in those thin synthetic down pants n jacket as an under and sleeping wear.

  5. #5

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    Wool mittens and waterproof mitten shells have always worked for me down to sub zero temps. Then if it gets really cold, handwarmer packets.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6
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    Amazon delivered them up yesterday, Mother Nature delivered on the conditions and I put them to the test this morning. They are not exactly a stylistic statement but they worked wonderfully both under exertion and on the way down the mountain. Rain on the bottom, snow on the top and the hands were comfortable the entire way.

    I'm not sure how they will hold up but they will get plenty of use this winter so I'll give an update after I have a few dozen days with them under my belt.

  7. #7

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    What was it you used?

  8. #8
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Interesting, do you plan on using liner gloves with the showa 262's ? $20 shoot order two and have a back up pair in case the liner gets wet you could trade out while the other pair drys ,kinda like socks.

  9. #9
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    Mittens are generally warmer. Try a waterproof shell mitten with light fleece gloves inside.

  10. #10
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    Last year for some snowshoeing and skiing in Vermont i went with a rei gortex mittens and the zpacks wool gloves (opossum fur) underneath. Temps were around 0 ambient with big winds for 3 days of snowshoeing and camping out 2 of those nights.
    And the morning I went out to ski it was -2 without the wind.
    And I was just fine.

  11. #11

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    usually much easier to stay warm at 0 degrees than it is at 33 degrees. At 33 you are miserable and wet and cold. At 0 everything stays dry more or less.
    Dont think any weather is more miserable than wet rainy windy 33-35 degrees.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    Mittens are generally warmer. Try a waterproof shell mitten with light fleece gloves inside.
    +1. Not stylish but works. Hand warmers when it’s really cold
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  13. #13
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    There are always a couple of bread bags (Bagtex) in my pack or pocket for emergency use in that shoulder area of cold rain/wet snow. They work for a few hours at least, on hands or feet. Maceration is a concern. Base layer on the hands is a pair of liner gloves I got from Campmor decades ago.

    I'm not using disposable latex gloves during this COVID crisis. They're in short supply and I figure I'll leave them for people who depend on them at work.

  14. #14

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    Hardly know where to begin, since I do short trips year-round across a huge variety of conditions(may hit 11 states this year, in spite of a relatively low number of nights on the trail).
    Much like the rest of me, my hands seem to need far less insulation than most, and "don't get cold"...until they do.
    Unlike the rest of me, when that tipping point is finally reached, they become unusable, and are very hard to get warm again.
    My "system" is based on that, and would not be suitable for most people, temp-wise.
    I typically use Mechanix Fastfit gloves until it gets below 40F in the daytime, then silkweight Windstopper gloves for hiking, and 100wt fleece ones in camp. Those get me down to the teens, which is usually as low as it gets anywhere I'm hiking.
    For rougher use that requires a more durable glove, I use an old version of Marmot's Gravity, a softshell with thin fleece lining.
    If any of the above isn't quite enough, I have a pair of Powerdry liners that'll fit under any of them, and MLD eVent rain mitts that'll fit over them(though I rarely think to bring them in cold weather).
    Those all work well for me, as long as there's no high winds, and my hands don't get wet from gathering water or something, which is where trouble starts.

    My newly acquired solution for when my hands finally get cold is the 300wt liner from OR's Meteor mittens. I borrowed my friend's to warm up after letting my hands get numb in the teens with 40mph wind. They were great, so I got my own.
    The shell is another option, but will probably be limited(due to bulk and weight) to rare and intentional excursions into conditions that combine very low temps and very high winds where they can actually be worn most of the time. I caught them at a low price, and really bought them for the liners, goofy as that may seem.

    For rain, in temps above 40 or so, I just wear the Fastfit gloves, and let them be wet, or no gloves at all. Below that, if it's really coming down, I use the MLD eVent mitts. I had those for years before even bothering to get them out and seal the seams, which I regret, especially after experiencing torrential rain a couple of times since. Now I wonder how I lived without them!

  15. #15
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    usually much easier to stay warm at 0 degrees than it is at 33 degrees. At 33 you are miserable and wet and cold. At 0 everything stays dry more or less.
    Dont think any weather is more miserable than wet rainy windy 33-35 degrees.
    Not if you figure in high winds at 0 degrees and you're out in it all day exposed, yeah that cold everything freeze drys. But if you're not prepared for these conditions you make it either.

    33 degree cold rain is the worst thing to deal with. And if you get stuck in it for awhile you better have the right stuff. As we all know everything wets through eventually these gloves look like they would be water proof for along time.
    It would be nice if the liner was removable for drying.(sweat)
    Last edited by JNI64; 11-24-2020 at 12:16.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Interesting, do you plan on using liner gloves with the showa 262's ? $20 shoot order two and have a back up pair in case the liner gets wet you could trade out while the other pair drys ,kinda like socks.
    At this point in our life about 95% of our hiking is our weekly early morning day hikes so my wet gear gets plenty of time to dry in front of the fireplace. We save our longer hikes for good weather. I guess I'm getting old.

    If I were going to do an extended hike in our winter conditions I'd definitely take that approach. I'd carry a few pair of liners that I could rotate. I'd store the wet ones close to my body to dry them with body heat. Wool takes forever to dry so I'd probably try to find light weight fleece liners because I find fleece dries much easier than wool to a level where it is effectively warm, even when damp.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    Mittens are generally warmer. Try a waterproof shell mitten with light fleece gloves inside.
    Yea...these Showa 262 gloves don't have great dexterity either. You don't pick up a huge advantage because they are gloves. But our winter conditions are rarely cold like you get back east. Our snow is the famed Cascade Crud which is a mixture of ice, snow, slush and slop due to our temperature swings back and forth across the freeze point. For really cold conditions I'd definitely favor an over-mitten with a fleece liner. I even have a set.....somewhere in the gear closet but they never get used in our cold rainy wet conditions. Even our cold days, where we stay in the snow, rarely do we see really cold temps so it is a matter of picking the right tool for the right job.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Hardly know where to begin, since I do short trips year-round across a huge variety of conditions(may hit 11 states this year, in spite of a relatively low number of nights on the trail).
    Much like the rest of me, my hands seem to need far less insulation than most, and "don't get cold"...until they do.
    Unlike the rest of me, when that tipping point is finally reached, they become unusable, and are very hard to get warm again.
    My "system" is based on that, and would not be suitable for most people, temp-wise.
    I typically use Mechanix Fastfit gloves until it gets below 40F in the daytime, then silkweight Windstopper gloves for hiking, and 100wt fleece ones in camp. Those get me down to the teens, which is usually as low as it gets anywhere I'm hiking.
    For rougher use that requires a more durable glove, I use an old version of Marmot's Gravity, a softshell with thin fleece lining.
    If any of the above isn't quite enough, I have a pair of Powerdry liners that'll fit under any of them, and MLD eVent rain mitts that'll fit over them(though I rarely think to bring them in cold weather).
    Those all work well for me, as long as there's no high winds, and my hands don't get wet from gathering water or something, which is where trouble starts.

    My newly acquired solution for when my hands finally get cold is the 300wt liner from OR's Meteor mittens. I borrowed my friend's to warm up after letting my hands get numb in the teens with 40mph wind. They were great, so I got my own.
    The shell is another option, but will probably be limited(due to bulk and weight) to rare and intentional excursions into conditions that combine very low temps and very high winds where they can actually be worn most of the time. I caught them at a low price, and really bought them for the liners, goofy as that may seem.

    For rain, in temps above 40 or so, I just wear the Fastfit gloves, and let them be wet, or no gloves at all. Below that, if it's really coming down, I use the MLD eVent mitts. I had those for years before even bothering to get them out and seal the seams, which I regret, especially after experiencing torrential rain a couple of times since. Now I wonder how I lived without them!
    Sounds like you have done your experimentation. My wife hikes in the same conditions and she has decidedly different takes on my preferences so YMMV. I can do without gloves even in the cold rain when I'm working hard. Not so much once we turn the corner and come back down the mountain. So I'm mainly pursuing a better solution for when I'm not exerting hard enough to keep my hands warm without a glove and I'm hiking in mixed cold rain/snow/ice.

  19. #19
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    I have very sensitive hands and once they got cold they never seem to warm up again.
    Usuall I'm carrying two or three sets of different gloves
    - one "Mechanics"-type workgloves which are sensitive enough to do most camp chores
    - one set of knitted gloves handmade from sheep + dog wool, for normal hiking
    - one set of waterproof insulated rubber gloves esp. for camp breakup

    The rubber gloves are my latest addition, but so far have the disadvantage that the lining gets wet from body moisture.
    I have to try the disposable latex glove trick mentioned above.

  20. #20
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    What kind of dog wool? (Breed)? My dog sheds enough i could weave entire wardrobe .

    Why doesn't a company incorporate beaver fur?
    Or is that the turtle fur brand?
    Last edited by JNI64; 11-24-2020 at 17:57.

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