Saturday, February 09, 2013

All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid...

One of the downsides of being heartless is that an entirely convection-powered circulatory system isn't very good at keeping me warm in the winter.

As a consequence, I shop for my winter underthings among apparel manufacturers better known for equipping people who are about to assault the north face of the Eiger. But actual climbing generates body heat, so my new favorite buzzword is "Expedition Weight", described thusly:
Expedition weight is ideal for stationary activities in the coldest temperatures.
Okay. If it will keep normal people from turning into corpsicles while sitting around in Camp III on Everest, then it's up to helping me feel only mildly chilly on the porch at Roseholme Cottage at 33°F.




Ritchie said...

"Stationary activities." More of an overview than a description, really.

Tam said...


I promise I will wear my galoshes. ;)

Bubblehead Les. said...

Now just throw on the Winter Camo Wookie Suit and you'll be ready when the Jack-Booted Thugs send in the SWAT Team to get all those EVIL Assault Top-Break 38 S+W Revolvers you have stashed in your Armory!

Excuse me, I need to change the Channel on the Transmission that's feeding through my Tin-Foil Hat....

Joseph said...

Marvelous, now I want to watch Red Dawn and The Eiger Sanction.

Noah D said...

I'm with y'all, it's a Cold War spy novel-on-CD weekend for me.

And color me uncouth and ill-bred, the more I watch Red Dawn, the better it gets. And not in the 'Yee-haw!' way, either. Though that's still fun.

og said...

I have my worst problems with my feet. I can keep the rest of me warm, but my feet get cold. And I have good boots! Before next season, I intend to get a set of Artic Shield overboots. You get where you're going, and put them on over your boots.

Steve Skubinna said...

A few years ago I wanted a new tent. Turns out Cabela's was marketing them as summer weight and winter weight, the latter being pricier. I really liked one of the heavier weight tents, but balked at the price tag. Not to worry, said the clerk, they're on sale this week.

"Do you mean to say that..." I asked?

"Yes." he replied. "Now is the discount of our winter tent."

Ba-dum-tish! Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Able said...

'Expedition weight'? For me (even in wishy-washy only mildly chilly Cumbria) the search term is 'Arctic/Antartic'.

Current favourite for sitting is a little Buffalo combo of a Special 6 shirt, Mountain Jacket and 'Originally developed for the British Antarctic Survey' Parka - Ah, Toastie! The fact that I look (more?) like the Dunlop man/Mr Blobby, can't bend my arms and get heat stroke from standing up is irrelevant I tell you!

Jennifer said...

Dude! I need some of that. I'm sitting here in the living room on my house wearing a turtle neck and a cashmere scarf. It's 45 degrees outside

Able said...


Have you tried Baffin Boots?

I have a pair of their 'wellies; and rather than being cold my feet tend to end up medium rare.

Tam said...

Wickers Comfortrel Expedition Weight Base Layer: It has the exotherm seal of approval!

Tam said...

(As a bonus, the Wickers long underwear make awesome wintertime pyjamas if you don't have the heat turned up in the house...)

og said...

Able: I have worn varying kinds of wellies and pac boots, I think my issue is my feet sweat and the moment I sit still (I usually have to walk a couple miles to a hunting spot) they start to freeze. I have also thought about using my hot boots to get where I'm going, and then change over to the big boots when I'm ready to sit.

Buzz said...

What Navigator said, minus the caps.

Wool is the best sock for riding, summer or winter, wet or dry.
I have a multi-layer merino/polypro upper that is too hot for much above 25. My most forgiving, yet surprisingly warm at bitter temps, upper is pure silk.

og said...

(When I'm walking I tend to do so without my coat or any other outerwear and put that on when I get to the tree; that has always worked well for me, to keep the outerwear from getting soaked with sweat)

Gewehr98 said...

That really sucks when the best WiFi signal at Roseholme Cottage is out there on the front porch. Gotta appreciate your tenacity in bundling up to make wintertime blog posts from there, though. :-)

Tam said...


Actually, if it's snowing and not windy, I love sitting on the porch and watching it fall. Like sitting out there when it rains, too, as long as the wind's not blowing.

Gewehr98 said...

I know what you mean. When I take 100lb Snow Dawg out on such days, he often refuses to go back inside. If there's no wind, I'll oblige for a while, and not because it's 100% his idea.

We both get yelled at for coming inside covered in the white stuff. I expect him to say "Oops!" in the same tone of voice as mine some day. In the meantime, the hardwood floors clean up real nice...

Anonymous said...

When in the Army way back then we were told to layer up to keep warm, shed layers when it get too warm. Never worked for me. I was in an Armor unit so we didn't walk or move that much. Finally managed to get some nice thermal underwear. Made me the warmest man out there. I feel for you. My feet get cold at the first killing frost and don't warm up until around May. Good luck. ATB-DAVE S.

Ambulance Driver said...

It's the ideal apparel for shooting Russkies and shouting "WOLVERINES!"

Old NFO said...

Feet and hands here... Bout froze BOTH of them off standing in line this morning... Long undies worked well though!



Bram said...

I was in a cold weather infantry battalion. Learned the following the hard way:

1. Toasty warm in unsustainable (you sweat then freeze). Shoot for tolerably cool.

2. No cotton, any, anywhere. Never.

3. Three types of layers. Wicking layer (silk or Polypropylene), insulating layer (Wool or fleece), shell (gortex). All those materials will allow moisture to leave while keeping heat.

4. If you get cold, add to the insulation layer, if warm, remove it. This goes for hands, feet and head too.

5. Your feet will will sweat in those mouse boots until you have some ferocious fungus growing.

Brigid said...

Are you saying my cammo snuggee I got for Christmas from some relative soon to be excluded from the will may not survive K2?

The "Ham" radio is posted. :-)

staghounds said...

LAUGH at the cold with DAMART!

paulinmordor said...

Steger Mukluks keep my feet toasty warm even in -30 F.
I love to sit out at night and watch the stars here in Mordor or up in the Arrowhead of Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

Forget the gear if you're smart,
True warmth is an inner art.
Turn up ol' Hank and listen hard,
To melt that cold, cold heart.

mariner said...

I guess lefties don't need to worry about the cold, ever.

Anonymous said...

I find that that DuPont Thermastat stuff Cabella's sells is warmer than my LL Bean expedition weight stuff without the bulk. I run hot though.

global village idiot said...

You're right - Chewbacca didn't need ANY extra layering on Hoth!

Shame on you

Steger mukluks - they're the absolute best and worth every penny. Like Nutella, Winchesters, USGS Quad maps and Aladdin thermos bottles. Also silk. Sportsmans Guide has good silk thermals at very reasonable prices.

Lastly, the trick I used for winter was to wear normal-weight boots (never once wore the Mickey Mouse boots even when issued them in Korea) but wear wool socks over women's knee-highs.

Women's knee highs wick perspiration away and keep the feet dry/friction-free. Plus several pairs were cheap (meant I could spend more money on booze) and weighed nothing in the pack.

In summer, the same thing on a road march eliminates the possibility of blisters.

I don't know what you're coat looks like, but the best to keep the body warm are those type with a belt around where the kidneys are or just below. Helps block drafts going up the back and chilling the blood passing through the kidneys. Any coat with a pleat or gusset somewhere in the back will be warmer than an equivalent-weight one without - bunching up an oversized coat by the use of a belt has the same effect. I've NEVER understood women's fashion which exposes the lower back when in any position but standing perfectly straight.

And the reason you see so many people in downtown Chicago wearing leather coats isn't just because they're Matrix fanboiz. The only thing that blocks wind better than leather is a house. You still need insulation under the coat, though.


Darrell said...

The Turfer Katahdin fleece pullover is so dang warm I can't bear to wear it indoors. Amazon has them for men and women.

Tam said...

This is one of the downsides of sharing your inner musings with the world.

People, I appreciate your concern, I really do, but I just turned 45 years old: I can assure you that at some point in those four and a half decades, I figured out how to dress myself when it's cold outside. ;)

Anonymous said...

No Tam, this is the upside of a blog -a place really- that attracts so many of a loosely organized alliance with similar concerns and interests.

Your posts are the stimulus, but the comments are for everyone...I enjoy and appreciate both, as I'm sure so many silent others do.

Tam said...

Fair enough. :)

I'm just cranky... well, crankier the mornings. :D

Steve Skubinna said...

Are you always this cranky when cold? You should have some hot cocoa - I'll drive over with a Thermos.

AuricTech said...

I'm just cranky... well, crankier the mornings.

Unlike my car's battery, which is less cranky on cold mornings. ;-)

Kristophr said...

We are hopelessly men.

We don't even think about commiseration. The concept never enters our little heads.

We just mindlessly go into "This is how you fix this" mode.

Anonymous said...

We keep our house cold, so fleece-lined jeans have become a winter standard for me. They make a huge difference compared with plain denim.

When it's really cold out, the best thing I've found are insulated coveralls. Eliminating the waist gap/overlap makes a huge difference. Mine are too warm for the morning dog walk unless it's well below zero.

Scott J said...

45 huh? And the past few months I've been a regular visitor I figured you were younger than me by 5-10 years.

So what .45 you buying to celebrate?

I want an ESR gun as my celebratory .45 (maybe a .45-70 too if the budget allows).

But this year I must stay focused on the .44. A fact the wife was lecturing me about as I mused about buying a .40 as a reason to use all this range pickup .40 brass I have.

Anonymous said...

What's amazing to me is that in the year of our Internet 2013, there still exist people who don't know how to turn off their caps lock.

But this, Tam:
One of the downsides of being heartless is that an entirely convection-powered circulatory system isn't very good at keeping me warm in the winter.

is pure gold. I need to find a way to work that into a conversation somehow (I promise to fully footnote the credit to you). Though it'll be hard to do here in Texas, as it's practically summer now, being February and all.


Anonymous said...

Tam, your wishlist at one point turned me on to merino wool and I will be forever grateful. Minus 33 now being my brand of choice for sizing and no other reason. Smartwool makes a great product as well.

Rob Reed said...

Tam said "...I just turned 45 years old: I can assure you that at some point in those four and a half decades, I figured out how to dress myself..."

I turned 45 this year as well. I gotta say, these Gerinamals work really well for me. Just remember, don't mix Zebra with Lion or Tiger with Elephant.

Rob (Trebor)

Somewhere in there is a joke about "tactical Geranimals" and 511 clothing.

Anonymous said...

Heck, I live in Virginia and I dawn my undersilks in October and don't give them up until May. I'm thinking of upgrading, (or adding)merino wool undies. Cashmere is not a luxury, it is a necessary textile in maintaining body heat. Silk lined angora bedsocks are also a necessity.

Anonymous said...

My first wife had a normal temperature of 96.8. She was miserable in the summers of the Mohave desert, but it was nice for her in the winter.

Gestation period for our children was 10 months.

People are different. I recommend an electric blanket, as well as heated gloves and booties.

Able said...

"I figured out how to dress myself when it's cold outside"

Apolgies. I can only speak for myself (and the consesus here is I shouldn't even be allowed to do that on most subjects) but rather than advise you it was taken as yet another chance to show that I had finally figured out how to do that too (notice I didn't say well).

If I was so crass (and brave enough) to offer suggestions I'd have told you to get a yellow:

Whilst not particularly either fashionable or flattering they are warm and you can have so much fun going shopping if you include a clear visor and a home made 'Biohazard Response' label on the back! (never any queues for some reason)

sobriant74 said...

I just think hot.... ;)

NotClauswitz said...

Your new friend is a HOOT, but sorry when the GeoCities is flashing it's tl;dr.
How does one travel-light with Expd. Wght? Silkies ride-up, don't like that but seldom need 'em.

Phssthpok said...

One of the things I'll never miss about my last job (heavy industrial fabrication in an open air shop) was not knowing what my assignment would be on any given day. As a machine operator the activity level could vary from dragging 1/8" thick steel 'side-sheets' for boxcars off a stack and slinging it around through a series of cuts on a 16' shear (all at 'quick step pace') to simply standing at a hydraulic punch making thousands of 1/4" thick

It's not so bad in the summer when you are already wearing the minimum allowed, but in the winter it becomes a guessing game in the locker room as you are deciding just how many layers to put on that day. Default was to over layer and peel on-site if needed as it was quicker than heading back to the locker room to grab more layers. However on the REALLY cold day (subfreezing) my base layer was an old pair of wool trap-door long-johns and even that would have to come off if I was 'quick stepping' the side-sheets. that required a trip to the locker room as i was most decidedly NOT going to strip down to skin on the floor to remove them.

Anonymous said...

Raynaud's syndrome?