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What I wear when I'm going to freeze my butt O-F-F

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I am not talking about when it is above freezing, or just a few degrees below. In Celsius, I am referring to around -20. At that stage,only two things will get you wet, your own sweat, and immersing yourself in water. The snow is dry as salt in the Sahara, the air is drier than a convection oven, and there is absolutely no reason for waterproof clothing.

That's right, I said it. No reason.

You see, at that temperature, if you put on anything, including gore-tex, Triple-Point or other Waterproof "Breathable" materials, or the classic pvc, Nylon or rubber footwear, you are actually worsening your condition.

As an example, if I was to wear four layers of woold socks, under a pair of moosehide moccasins (braintanned so that it remained breathable), along with two pairs of woold trousers, under perhaps a canvas bib, I would be more than comfortable from the waist down. On my upper extremities, two pairs of hand-cover (pair of wool gloves inside my big moosehide mittens), two hats (one snug and woolen, the other large and made of fur), I should be very warm. Include four layers of wool shirts/tunics/pullovers, made of light, but durable wool, I am truly set. The final piece would be a canvas parka shell, to cut the wind down.

This is what I often wear when it is in the temperatures where red squirrels run for cover, and hares don't come out for weeks. I am not warm in this clothing. Which is the point. You want to be cool, so that there is very little increase in sweat.

Layering is a pretty well-known subject, but we seem to forget what sort of fabric those layers should be. Research your region's most extreme of temperatures and weather. Then study, and experiment with variations in clothing. It works well, as I cannot tell you what you must wear. Do what feels comfortable.

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Tender Foot
As of the last 15 years - being on the N Coast of Oregon - I have not had to deal with sub-freezing temperatures, hardly at all.
I did just recently score a pretty nice Military n3b parka - seems good for Cold, but maybe less so for the R A I N I have going on presently .. heh!

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In the wetter conditions, the waterproof stuff really wins me over.

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Green Horn
Ive been wearing nothing but wool socks (smart wool, etc) on a daily basis for probably 8 years now. However im new to wool clothing. I bought my first set of Minus 33 last winter. They are expensive (at least in my book), but I like them so far and will probably buy more at some point.

Also for the money ive been.buying the rocky brand (as in rocky boots) from walmart and have been very impressed. For about $35 for the mid weight set its a real deal.

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New Member
Big fan of the wool socks also. Been using them for work for the past 6 years, regardless of the season. Feet seem to stay a lot drier/breath better (it's also nice that they stay warm even when my boots get soaked.)

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