Multiple Use Cold Weather Clothing

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
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2,488
Location
Mojave Desert, Nevada
We all like to backpack as light as possible but we all know colder weather means heavier gear - period.

Well I've come up with a system that I've tested and found works quite well while still being light. It consists of down insulation paired with other garments. The down garments work day and night.

TRAVEL/HUNT-> GTX camo parka and pants, lined in very light fleece. Base layer of polar or mid-weight polyester W/ zip T-neck top.

CAMP/HUNT STAND-> down vest &/or light down jacket under GTX parka and over acrylic sweater & base layer. Down pants W/full side zip legs.
This bag, winter mattress and down garments will take me to -10 F. in my tent.

SLEEP SYSTEM-> Western Mountaineering factory overstuffed Megalite (has larger girth, thus "Mega") Polyester base layer, Down vest or jacket, down pants as needed. Light fleece balaclava
REI FLASH All Season Insulated (R 5.3) air mattress

TENT-> Tarptent Moment DW solo tent W/partial "solid" interior and optional Crossing pole if I expect heavy snow.

If it will be bitter cold I can wear the down pants under my Cabela's GTX camo pants, the down vest and down jacket under my LL Bean GTX camo parka. For that kind of cold I need my SOREL felt pac boots WITH my 3 mm neoprene divers VBL socks (Vapor Barrier Liner) to keep sweat out of the felt liners. Wet liners are cold liners. I wear thin poly sock liners under the 3 mm VBL socks and change them out every night for clean, dry liners and heavy wool "sleep socks".
**Both the VBL socks (inside-out to dry) and the felt liners go in the foot of my size Long -20 F. down bag for warm feet in the morning.

READ: "ALLEN & MIKE'S REALLY COOL BACKCOUNTRY SKI BOOK" because this is the"Bible" of winter camping. Only 1/3 of the book is about skiing/snowshoeing. The rest is all you need for winter camping.

Eric B.
 

WItoOR6637

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Dec 26, 2020
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51
Location
WI
What are you wearing on your hands? Not so much for the camping portion, just being out in the elements for long periods during cold weather.
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
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Location
Mojave Desert, Nevada
"Wlto",
I wear Gore-Tex ski gloves with removable fleece liners. I carry medium and thick liners and change them out for different uses, like medium liners when moving and heavy liners when on a deer stand. But in addition I wear thin polyester glove liners under the fleece liners so I can operate my camera or scope.

For sub zero temps I carry OR brand GTX mitten shells to wear over the heavy fleece glove liners. Makes a big difference.

I also have Dachstein boiled wool mitten liners made in Austria. World famous for warmth. I've been warm with them and mitten shells at -40 F.!

Arctic temperatures require you to cover your entire face and with wind that means ski/snowmobile goggles and a lower face covering like a balaclava.
 

GW Hunter

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May 2, 2015
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386
Location
Orangevale, Ca
Check out Eddie Bauer gear for your base layers. Even outer layers depending on the type of hunting you are doing. Extremely light expedition quality gear that costs half the price of Sitka or Kuiu. Especially when they have their 50% sales which is basically every December. You can pick up some nice stuff for cheap.
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
Messages
2,488
Location
Mojave Desert, Nevada
GW Hunter is absolutely correct. My EB First Ascent light down jacket, vest and -30 F. PEAK XV down expedition parka are all from EB at 1/2 price. Excellent quality.
And January or February is a good tome to look for EB sales on First Ascent down garments. First Ascent is EB's top line, guide designed and tested.

Luckily I got my -20 down sleeping bag from LL Bean on a one day double sale for $230. down from $420.

Eric B.
 

jimss

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Mar 30, 2013
Messages
139
Some great ideas and suggestions here. I didn't notice any rain gear mentioned? If you are hunting in snow it's nice to stay dry! Kuiu or Sitka raingear don't weigh much, cut wind, are breathable, and keep you dry! I also don't hunt in snow without white camo to break up the human profile. I know....I'm adding more to your list...……..but it may be worth it!
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
Messages
2,488
Location
Mojave Desert, Nevada
The Canadian Army found that wearing white camo pants and regular woodland camo field jacket works best in snowy woods and walking along tree lines in snow.
 
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