Current Issue Arctic Gear ?

Hey Guys,

 

  Watching the Arctic Video jump, http://www.lightfighter.net/to...rctic-airborne-video   I saw some new gear and some old gear.

 

  Looks like the arctic boots are the same as well as ski's but the snow shoes are new.  Anybody have links to the new gear?

 

  I am well versed on the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System, this thread is about the gear.

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Original Post

WW-

When I was in AK cold stuff included:

 

ECWCS system

Arctic mittens

Trigger finger mittens (hell, those get issued to students here in GA)

white VB boots

overwhites

wool balaclava

sleep system

 

We had the skis and old style snowshoes. However, 501st at Ft Rich had the MSR shoes like you see in the video. It's been a bit for me so I am sure I'm forgetting some things or there is more that current arctic Lightfighter's can mention.

 

mercUSA

Joined: 12/26/02        

location:Retired 11B in southern AZ

Uncle Sams Retail Outlet has limited sizes of the white mickey mouse boots right now. I think today is the last day of a free shipping offer.

For those that don't know, USRO is some sort of official retailer of US surplus. The prices are very low.

leot

Joined 9/16/04   Northern Colorado

Originally Posted by mercUSA:

WW-

When I was in AK cold stuff included:

 

ECWCS system

Arctic mittens

Trigger finger mittens (hell, those get issued to students here in GA)

white VB boots

overwhites

wool balaclava

sleep system

 

We had the skis and old style snowshoes. However, 501st at Ft Rich had the MSR shoes like you see in the video. It's been a bit for me so I am sure I'm forgetting some things or there is more that current arctic Lightfighter's can mention.

 

mercUSA

Ditto.

 

Light Infantry had the "Ahkio" group which was the sled with heavy canvas cover, contained the Yukon Stove, 5 gallon gas can, tripod for the gas can, 10 man tent, MRE's and any other shit you wanted to drag.  Woodland camo days...

 

White Rocket skis and magnesium snow shoes. Ahhh the memories...who else here is in the -50 Below Club? USAF Cool School (Arctic Survival School)

"Without training they lack knowlege, without knowlege they lack discipline , without discipline they lack victory"

 

“Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can, and then quit.”

 

Joined: October 2, 2007

Balaclava is fleece by OR now

 

Everyone should get the MSR's now from the unit.

 

No longer Yukon stove, something newer and evidently not as good

__________________________
"...maybe we spend more time concerned about the final resting place of whatever bullet we happen to have loaded in our magazines Right Fucking Now..." Pat Rogers

 

Joined: 12/2/05 1:21 AM                     Fairbanks, AK

I originally posted just individual equipment since that was what Willie was asking about. Ahkio, 10 man tent and all is nice when you are on downtime in a admin setting.

 

MPCOA- when I left in mid-03 we started getting the new stoves and out company TOC burned down due to one. I held onto my arctic stove as long as I could before leaving. I never heard if the fan for it actually worked in getting heat circulated around as advertised. I don't miss -60deg at all.

 

mercUSA

Joined: 12/26/02        

location:Retired 11B in southern AZ

I loved my cold weather training!  I went to the Camp Ripley School of Cool up in Minnesota during Desert Storm... For some reason a lot of Light Infantry got left out of the invite for that Desert Storm ('90-'91).

 

I mistakenly came to Utah and proclaimed that I "knew" how to ski.  In reality, I knew how to cross country & run small hills.  TOTALLY unprepared for Mountain Skiing & back country skiing!

 

I guess that's why certain folks come to Utah for winter/mountain training now!

 

We had the Fish tail parkas & quilted smoking jacket liners as well as WOOL shirts & pants then.  White Mickey Boots were the same, we made fun of them BUT damn if they don't work!

 

  I own a set of the Magnesium snowshoes and even wear them.  I updated the bindings from that nylon strap MESS and have one point/strap locks on them with REAL crampons on the bottom.  Get lots of comments on the trails about "Old Skool" & such.  I explain that they are magnesium & start kick ass fires and also get old skool MTV via satellite too...

 

  How do the new snowshoes perform?  Likes - dislikes?

 

  The akhio sled.  I don't miss that.  The ski patrollers have something similar, but, with bamboo handles on the front & back for a person front & back to steer & brake.

 

  Just wondering what else has changed or has remained the same.

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Locals have had several discussions about updating some to the kit items, but its stuck in larger issues about how its funded and supported. I did a short survey for them and came up with some of the following newer items:

 

Evolution of Winter Warfare Equipment has been led by the USMC for the last decade:

1.Improved Balaclava, NSN Assigned
2.Enhanced Extreme Cold Weather Mittens, NSN assigned
3.Improved Snow Camo Uniform, NSN assigned
4.Assault Snow Shoes, NSN assigned
5.Ongoing program for new ski’s.

 

They went with the MSR snow shoes all around last year:

SNOWSHOE, ASSAULT MSR, NSN: 8465-01-558-9958

 

 

USMC procured the Outdoor Research WB FS Balaclava without the screen over the mouth. NSN model appears to be in Coyote, while the commercial version is black with the mouth screen in place. The USMC version did not appair to have the mouth screen.

 

WB FS Balaclava, 83243

M, 8415-01-525-1330

L, 8415-01-525-1333

 

Enhanced Extreme Cold Weather Mittens

 

Mitten Enhancements two base versions one for SOCOM  & one for the USMC. Same Vendor/Same Design w/ NSN’s Assigned Manufactured by Outdoor Research

 

Firebrand Mitts,  Coyote 71871

 

Extreme Cold Weather Mitten / Firebrand Mitt (USSOCOM)

S,  8415-01-558-5603

M, 8415-01-558-5605

L, 8415-01-558-5597

XL, 8415-01-558-5572

XXL, 8415-01-558-5600

 

Extreme Cold Weather Mitten / Firebrand Mitt (USMC)

S, 8415-01-555-4165

M, 8415-01-555-4174

L, 8415-01-555-4183

XL, 8415-01-555-4188

 

http://military.outdoorresearc...firebrand-mitts.html

 

Mitten Enhancements base version for USSOCOM,

 

NSN Assigned

 

Swoop Mitt Shells,

 

Multicam Swoop Mitt Shells, 71671

 

(USSOCOM)

S,  8415-01-592-7306

M, 8415-01-592-7308

L, 8415-01-592-9034

XL, 8415-01-592-9037

XXL, 8415-01-592-9040

 

http://military.outdoorresearc...t-shells-non-fr.html

 

The USMC currently has an Improved Snow Camouflage uniform available through Natick by NSN, which was first issued to the USMC in Dec, 2006.

 

USMC Snow Camo NSN info:

PARKA, Snow Camouflage  

 Nomen            NSN              Cost

 Parka, SR,   8415-01-555-0389         

 Parka, MR, 8415-01-555-0395         

 Parka, ML,  8415-01-555-0414         

 Parka, LR,  8415-01-555-0420         

 Parka, LL,  8415-01-555-0426         

 Parka, XLR, 8415-01-555-0444        

 Trouser, SR  8415-01-555-0447   

 Trouser, MR  8415-01-555-0450      

 Trouser, ML  8415-01-555-0453      

 Trouser, LR    8415-01-555-0467     

 Trouser, LL  8415-01-555-0471

 Trouser, XLR  8415-01-555-0486    

 Pack Covers   8465-01-560-8100      

 

I've seen in some of the images from AK of what appairs to be a newer overwhite then we have, but I can't find a refance for them. They look like they have a newer design and have pockets on the thigh. Might be something personal vs issued though.

 

Current  Over White Contracting Effort by SOCOM ongoing Market Survey.

 

83--Winter/snow Camouflage Pattern Solicitation Number:  H92258R13CJ02

 

84--Over white parka and pants, Solicitation Number:  H92258R13CJ03

 

SOCOM Over Whites design characteristics:

Parka

* Anorak style jacket large enough to fit over PCU Level 7/ high-loft jacket

* Half zip in the front center

* Large zippered pocket on the bottom front starting just below half zip, large enough to fit mittens

* Pass through pockets to access items in interior garment pockets or on body armor vest/load carriage

* Hood with drawstring which fits over helmet and PCU Level 7 hood

* Drawstring around the waist

•  Coverage to approximately 4 inches below waistline when high-loft jacket is worn

 

Pants

* Full side zippers

* Two-way zippers

* Front button closure

* Two interior horizontal suspender attachment points

* Waistband with drawstring closure

* Mechanism at the end of each leg which will keep pants from riding up, i.e. hook or elastic band to attach to boots

 

Ski Program and Limitations of Military Ski Programs :

Current USMC Contracting Actions:

 

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS MILITARY SKI SYSTEM, Solicitation Number:  M6785412I3020, M6785412I3021, M6785412I3022

USMC Ski System contracting actions held up due to lack of US based manufacturing. Most ski bindings and skis are made in Europe.

Other than the Canadian Forces ski program, most skis also require specific boots for use with the ski bindings.

 

Canadian Forces Ski System: (I have not been able to contact any one who has actualy used these so I have no ideal how good these are.)

Hummocks, made in Canada, 8465-20-003-3187

Salomon X-Adventure bindings,

Karhu ski’s, made in Finland

 

Ski system used at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center:

Karhu Skis, made in Finland

Targa G3 Ascent Binding

Black Diamond Climbing Skins

Garmont Excursion Ski March Boots

 

There are a couple of boot programs out to replace the VB boots and I think I just read that the Canadians are looking to replace their mulalucks with a newer boot also.

It's been interesting watching the wheel for extreme cold clothing and gear turning so glacially slow (no pun intended).

 

When you read Arctic1's gear updates for how the Scandinavians rig and mod their gear, and look how modern synthetics and lightweight materials have affected design it's obvious Uncle Sam generally pushes extreme cold design way back.

 

I didn't know the shorter MSR bear-paw style is replacing the older magnesium snow shoes.  The mittens are looking a whole lot nicer as well.

 

When I find gelled diesel fuel and weapon cleaning petroleum distillates, and water frozen in the morning (with temps at 0F and below) I always come back to "How do we keep individual drinking water and intravenous fluid from freezing?" without any really good answers.

 

Motor vehicles and pack animals (horses and dogs) throw in other planning considerations.

 

One of the battalions I served in did the Iditarod route on snowmobiles, and had a small fuel spill that cost us $38,000 in OSHA penalty.

 

The Canadians seem to have invested over a half million $US for a quiet electric SOF snowmobile prototype.

 

 

Any place you can snowmobile is cold -- sometimes ignorant cold.  

 

Sinister,

My general view from 20 years around the 10th MTN is that extreme cold weather end users are a minority and TTPs and material solutions for GPFs lag behind for many reasons that I can't type out on the road.

There is the ability to advance the ball as seen by the USMC and SOCOM actions, but no requirements being pushed forward.

A little off subject of gear, but anyway...

 

I am going to Ft Greely AK and was issued the full USMC cold weather clothing system (pretty much what's described above). 

 

If anyone wants info on how it performs in the cold, feel free to PM me.  I may not get back to you right away, but any info I can give I will.

---------------------------------------
 
Joined: 5/28/04     Location: DFW TX

 

"We're men, okay? That means a few things; we like to shit with the door open, we talk about pussy, we like to go on riverboat gambling trips, and we make our own beef jerky. That's what we do." Dale, Step Brothers

Originally Posted by Hooahmonster:

A little off subject of gear, but anyway...

 

I am going to Ft Greely AK and was issued the full USMC cold weather clothing system (pretty much what's described above). 

 

If anyone wants info on how it performs in the cold, feel free to PM me.  I may not get back to you right away, but any info I can give I will.

 

Instead of pm's, would you mind posting your thoughts about the system in this thread? I'm sure there folks other than myself that would like to hear what you have to say.

--------------------------------
The surest way to invite violence is to be unprepared to confront it.
 
It's what you buy, not what they sell.
Originally Posted by McYogi:

SIdetracking from cold weather gear for a moment - anybody got any good books on the subject to recommend?

Hmm.  The US Army has some great baseline books for historical perspectives: http://www.history.army.mil/books/agf/agf23.htm

 

There was a pamphlet that the US Army produced about the German experiences from the Russian front and cold weather that was pretty neat.

 

Improv: http://www.history.army.mil/bo...wii/milimprov/fm.htm

 

Then there are great books from the Korean War, but I cannot recall off the top of my head.

 

Next would be the Russian experiences in Afghanistan at altitude in the winter.

 

Arctic fighting is definitely LOW on the U.S. side of the house, as it seems the Northern Europeans LIVE it every winter so its second nature to them.  Also true of Northern Canucks, Alaskans & Rooskies.

 

A bit of a laugh: Would an Australian in the Arctic or Antarctic be called an Ozzski?

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Jp8 is good to -58
Have heaters on water buffs
Canteen that is metal,  so can heat. Fluids moving take longer to freeze. Can do the body trick. 

Biggest thing is that you will be fighting out of some sort of warming structure in the Arctic.

__________________________
"...maybe we spend more time concerned about the final resting place of whatever bullet we happen to have loaded in our magazines Right Fucking Now..." Pat Rogers

 

Joined: 12/2/05 1:21 AM                     Fairbanks, AK

Willie, those were great references.  Sad to read the wheels spin across the same track again and again.

Keeping fluids between the body and outer layers is a great concept but hard to actually do -- especially if you're going up and down yamas with a great big freaking winter rucksack.



Yea,  keeping water fluid and even melting some snow to keep topping up the bottle on the "body" while wearing combat load is not a pleasant experience but some times it is the only way to go.  Personally I try to keep water in a big "gulp" bottle in milde conditions and just have it placed in its normal pocket at the rig.  A wide opening assures that the bottle neck do's not freeze over that easily.
Originally Posted by Pinch:
Yea,  keeping water fluid and even melting some snow to keep topping up the bottle on the "body" while wearing combat load is not a pleasant experience but some times it is the only way to go.  Personally I try to keep water in a big "gulp" bottle in milde conditions and just have it placed in its normal pocket at the rig.  A wide opening assures that the bottle neck do's not freeze over that easily.

 

If you have the ability, store or hang the water upside down so the mouth of the canteen/bottle stays liquid longer.  Learned this in the Boy Scouts camping in NH, and some recent pictures from Fort Rich showed a similar practice, albeit with plain one quart canteens. 

.

In the 1st Gen ECWCS they had those huge internal pockets in the jackets. In the winter we wore or canteens inside of those pockets.

We also seldom had the arctic tents and had to do other things for shelter. My section would often connect two ECOTATs together and heat them with candles.

Instead of pm's, would you mind posting your thoughts about the system in this thread? I'm sure there folks other than myself that would like to hear what you have to say.

 

 

Will do. 

---------------------------------------
 
Joined: 5/28/04     Location: DFW TX

 

"We're men, okay? That means a few things; we like to shit with the door open, we talk about pussy, we like to go on riverboat gambling trips, and we make our own beef jerky. That's what we do." Dale, Step Brothers

Originally Posted by McYogi:

SIdetracking from cold weather gear for a moment - anybody got any good books on the subject to recommend?

Here is a link to the mandatory winter training every norwegian army soldier, NCO and Officer must go through. It is repeated every year, and most army units have one big winter warfare exercise each year, where the focus is conducting military ops in a cold weather environment.

 

http://rapidshare.com/share/DC...F6D0FED700542A8AD915

 

Apologize for the shoddy English in parts of it, these guys are trained in winter warfare, not linguistics.

It's not about surviving, it's about winning.

I know it's not issue gear, but I got a Hydro Flask 40oz bottle for Christmas. I asked for a steel Nalgene and got this thing. It's basically a Nalgene style thermos, and keeps hot drinks hot for a good while. I filled up this morning around ten, and the last sip I took was still Luke warm before cleaning it about fifteen minutes ago. 

 

Ive left it in the car a couple nights where it got well below zero, and the water inside was super cold but not frozen. I suspect (but haven't tested) that it'll keep water from freezing for prolonged periods, and weighs not much more than a standard steel Nalgene. 

Last winter I did some digging on various sources for overwhites. From the various sources it looks like some small US units have contracted for some small batches of uniforms from Source One in the Hyde Definition Snowdrift pattern, and Velocity Systems in Kryptec Yeti. The Source Ones have not been released commercialy, but the Velocity Systems have:

 

Overwhite Recce Top

 

They also have pants, gaiters and a longer Assaulter Top. I picked up the Recce to see their take. If I could figure out how to get more time I would assemble the Vertex version, the Drop Zone Tactical, GARM and the Domari Nolo also to do some comparisons of.

 

Yesterday I was out skiing with the daughter. Following up on our week of heavy snow, up to 73" in some areas and temps below zero the week prior it was in the 40s and raining. These temp swings are one of the issues we have at Drum and I'm sure in other areas. The swings above and below freezing tax our systems/uniforms. In the early days of OEF, winter 2001-2002 it was very common to find our guys down range had gone out on OPS in full gortex and poly pro. Due to uniform guidance and packing lists they did not have regular uniforms with them and would end up stripping off their gortex tops and their use poly as a top. The "book" way to wear the cold weather gear just wasn't working.

 

We had eventually reached a point that we often wore our light weight BDUs inside the system simply because we needed the flexibility.  Anyone have other thoughts on that mid layer when the temps make such large swings?

I started my infantry experience  working in the Norwegian infantry up north of the artic circle in year 2000.  Back then the majority of our gear was still the same as they used in the mid 70' and consisted primary of one field uniform (both summer an winter) that was made in cotton and one pair of thin leather boots with additional water resistant and insulated "pullover boots" used in wet and cold conditions.

During winter time we also used a thin White cotton camouflage uniform over the regular field uniform (this was not insulated).  This meant that the main methods to keep going during harsh artic winter periods was to layer up with wool in different thickness.  I would always have one "work pair"  that I used during marches or other physical activities that was "moist and dirty"  and one pair that I religiously kept dried and only used in static or emergency situations (blizzard,  going through the ice etc.).

Now days we have more equipment and better seasonal gear with more differences between summer and winter gear but still the philosophy is to use wool as the insulating layer.


This is a open source picture showing some regular Norwegian soldiers during a winter ex.
Notice the boots,  with in the corner the green pullover boots.  This is taken inside the standard tent type used in the Norwegian infantry since WW2.

Guessing from the gear that this picture is taken some time between 2005 - 2013.
Originally Posted by Desert01:

Last winter I did some digging on various sources for overwhites. From the various sources it looks like some small US units have contracted for some small batches of uniforms from Source One in the Hyde Definition Snowdrift pattern, and Velocity Systems in Kryptec Yeti. The Source Ones have not been released commercialy, but the Velocity Systems have:

 

Overwhite Recce Top

 

They also have pants, gaiters and a longer Assaulter Top. I picked up the Recce to see their take. If I could figure out how to get more time I would assemble the Vertex version, the Drop Zone Tactical, GARM and the Domari Nolo also to do some comparisons of.

 

Yesterday I was out skiing with the daughter. Following up on our week of heavy snow, up to 73" in some areas and temps below zero the week prior it was in the 40s and raining. These temp swings are one of the issues we have at Drum and I'm sure in other areas. The swings above and below freezing tax our systems/uniforms. In the early days of OEF, winter 2001-2002 it was very common to find our guys down range had gone out on OPS in full gortex and poly pro. Due to uniform guidance and packing lists they did not have regular uniforms with them and would end up stripping off their gortex tops and their use poly as a top. The "book" way to wear the cold weather gear just wasn't working.

 

We had eventually reached a point that we often wore our light weight BDUs inside the system simply because we needed the flexibility.  Anyone have other thoughts on that mid layer when the temps make such large swings?

There is no way around it other than to dress up or dress down accordingly.

 

I would have just used the outer layer and a t-shirt or nothing at all underneath. Don't know if that was possible under the circumstances you mention.

 

The mid-layer is meant for static or low-intensity activity.

 

In the long run it is better to be a bit cold prior to rucking, than to wear too much clothing.

It's not about surviving, it's about winning.

Comfortably cold is key and cotton is killer

__________________________
"...maybe we spend more time concerned about the final resting place of whatever bullet we happen to have loaded in our magazines Right Fucking Now..." Pat Rogers

 

Joined: 12/2/05 1:21 AM                     Fairbanks, AK

Originally Posted by MPCOA:
Comfortably cold is key and cotton is killer

I disagree.

 

I have used a cotton-based uniform for all winter activity during all of my years of service. For me, in my experience, it is superior to synthetics in all aspects except water retention capabilites. I also mostly used a cotton/poly t-shirt as my baseline, except for the past few years, and without issue.

 

I have never gotten frostbite, never suffered from hypothermia, and neither did my troops using the same outer layer.

 

I have also used both cotton and nylon overwhites, that offer a bit more protection from the elements.

 

As long as you have proper routines, know-how and priorites of work, so to speak, when operating in a cold environment you will be ok. I have seen loads of civilians suffer cold injuries, despite wearing the latest and greatest kit.

It's not about surviving, it's about winning.

Rob, I've found the boundary temperature days (dry cold swinging to rain/wet cold) makes the case for a silkweight polypro, cotton T-shirt, and the old school GI OD wool shirt.  This was one of the winter uniforms in the 2nd ID in Korea in the late 70s-mid-80s.

 

 

The BDU blouse (either the ripstop hot weather or standard BDU blouse) was OK.  The Vietnam-era button or zip sleep shirt kinda-sorta worked but could get awful hot during movement and didn't breathe particularly well.

 

Did anyone use the old Commando ("Wooly Pully") sweater?

 

 

Yeah, we had those in Germany in the mid 80's don't think I ever wore it. When i got here it as Gortex and expedition weight poly pro. That's what our guys wore into Afghanistan in the opening days of 2001. Because the "Blue Book" said you couldn't wear BDUs under your Gortex. Most old timers had light wieght polys, but no issue ones. That usually also translated to you couldn't  pack BDUs because that might lead you to wearing them.

I learned LT Wt BDUs were a needed part of the packing lust/uniform.

Great to see that new rifle. Will need to shoot you a pm Dave.
Arctic1,

Never had any cold weather injuries with any of my soldiers, but had a few close calls. The worst was in my story about leaving the Assembly Area at 40 some degrees in the rain. By the time we hit the objective the next morning it was -20 something with about 18" of snow. I personally had ice forming inside my Danners, and saw soldiers wearing all sorts of BAD boots. One kid had on a pair of the old leg boots for gods sakes.

The worst frost bite guys were the ones wearing or issued Chipawa mountain boots. They would pinch the feet and had a distinctive frost bite pattern on the sides of the balls of your feet. The docs called it Chippawa foot.

The other group was about a squad from C Co. Turns out the open area they were crossing was a lake and they broke through the ice. The BDE Commander directed the LT acting CO to continue mission when he advised he was going to warm them. (Said Commander went on to be GEN.)

We had assault packs for this infiltration attack, just a sleeping bag for every other man. Uniform was poly and Gortex. BDE Commander was spotted on sister companies OBJ in Micky mouse boots.
So getting ready for this winter. I have a set of GARM Overwhites, Vertx Overwhites, and Velocity Overwhites as well as the Army issue.

Still need to score a set of the USMC ones, and something in the Hyde Snowdrift (just don't want to buy the Sabers out of pocket). I also found a pack cover in Multicam Alpine, but have not found a suit in them. Would be interested in finding the  new "digital" CADPAT Overwhites I've seen referenced a few times.

Once I have everything back together I'll post some pic's. Really like the modern designs and materials, but buying this stuff out of pocket sucks.
Originally Posted by Sinister:
 

Did anyone use the old Commando ("Wooly Pully") sweater?

 

Yes, in spite of the wrath of the Sergeant Major.  Still do when it gets really cold.  The new stuff just didn't keep me warm.  I picked up a few through DRMO and handed them out to my Soldiers.  Sometimes gave one away in the field to a trooper who was just miserable cold for some reason.

 

The Army 5-button sweater is not 100% wool despite the label. It is a 50/50 cotton/wool.  You can feel the difference.  It never kept me as warm. It was OK in the office but was inadequate in the field.

 

One thing I saw a lot of was people wearing it right next to their skin or with just a t-shirt.  I wore a long sleeve t-shirt or an old OG107 shirt.  This allows moisture to pass  through the cotton to the sweater without soiling the sweater body oil and skin.  This really reduces the efficiency of the sweater.  A BDU shirt on top of the sweater kept me warm to about 35*F. With the M65 Field Jacket, EWCS Jacket or an oilcloth coat, I can stay pretty warm in the rain or cold down to about 20*F.  This is straight temperature or windchill.  100% cotton seems to work better than the poly-cotton mix of the OG17 shirt. 

 

If it got colder, I wore a wool shirt and net underwear  Since I had several wooly-pully's I installed an 8 inch zipper and cut a hole under the armpits to help ventilate the one I took to the field.  Be sure to sew the armpit holes, preferably with a button-hole stitch, before you cut it if you can.  A tailor can do this for you.  Unraveled sweaters cannot not be raveled.

 

The green Wooly-Pully is still 100% wool.  Most of the other colors are 80/20 wool/nylon.  They aren't quite as warm but sometime the uniform regulation require a certain color.  AFAIK, Brigade Quartermaster is still the best source for them.

 

FWIW, Filson's makes a wool sweater similar to the Commando Sweater and What Price Glory has original pattern commando sweaters.

 

"The Complete Walker", Colin Fletcher, 1971 and subsequent editions, has a pretty good tutorial on this.  Author Fletcher was Corporal Fletcher in 1944 and used this set up in Northwest Europe as an infantryman in the British Army. 

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

“Was it a bad day or was it a bad ten minutes that you milked all day?"

A LTC to a very pissed of Chief Warrant Officer in 2005 who then ripped his head off and rammed it down his throat sideways.  The LTC then agreed is was a bad day.

Originally Posted by Desert01:
Once I have everything back together I'll post some pic's. Really like the modern designs and materials, but buying this stuff out of pocket sucks.

The Polartec Alpha stuff is supposed to be great as a fleece replacement. I’ve been wantin’ a jacket since it came on the market a couple of seasons ago, but they don’t come cheap.

 


 

The fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt. – John le Carré



Had a bit of a delay in getting this written up, just about at a year now.  Still posting so it is written down for someone searching the thread in the future.

Here's a rundown on the Marine and civilian cold weather gear used in Alaska in January 2014.  First a little bit of a disclaimer.  While I was in Alaska, it really wasn't too cold - yes, you would expect it to be cold in January in Alaska, but most of the time it wasn't even as cold as the Eastern US.  There were a couple -20 to -50F with wind chill days, and those few days were when I used the full equipment set.

First, my layering scheme

Base:
I was issued the FROG silkweight bottoms and tops.  I only used these once at about 0 to -10F.  I was not exactly impressed by them and found the Smartwool Midweight top with Target C9 wool blend bottoms I had were more comfortable and warmer and visibly thicker.

Mid:
I was issued the FROG waffle bottom and top.  Both were good and warm pieces of gear, in the colder conditions I used the bottoms over the C9 base layer bottoms, but this was rare given the temperatures I saw.  The top was good, but I preferred using my TAD SAS sweater or Minus 33 Expedition weight wool zip up top.  Again, I found the tops I had to be warmer than the issued ones.  I didn't take along any heavier midweight type bottoms, so I only used the FROG ones.

I wasn't limited to issue items, so I really had the ability to find out what worked best for me and based on the temperatures I saw, I really preferred the wool items to the issue synthetics.  I probably would have liked to have a mid layer bottom, but wasn't going to put out the money at the time.  I also took along a Condor Alpha Fleece Jacket and issue Marine Fleece jacket, which didn't get used at all.

Outer:
Wild Things Happy Suit:  I have to say this is the warmest piece of gear I used; a little bulky, but it worked great down to -50F.  Blocked wind well, and was even waterproof in lighter snow (don't know if it would be in a heavy storm, I did have the Goretex APECS which was meant to be the weatherproof layer, which I didn't use at all).  In the coldest conditions, my layering was as I put above, but with the addition of the FROG waffle long underwear pants and I was good to go.  

In the "warmer" temperatures, I used pretty much just the jacket with layers as above and was fine.  Once the temperature broke the +20s though the Happy Suit jacket was way too warm and I went to a fleece jacket. 

Fleece jacket I used was a North Face windpro version of the Denali.  Great jacket for warmth.  In some ways I had a lot of doubt it was a wind resistant garment though.  I think in the future though I'd lean more toward a windshirt under a SPEAR fleece instead.  The SPEAR fleece, although close to the windpro Denali, is still warmer, and a windshirt would have blocked the heavier winds much better.

Footwear:
I was issued the Kodiak sock, but I didn't use them because they were (1) too big even after I tried shrinking them and (2) I couldn't fit them in any boots.  

The old school white Vapor Barrier/Bunny Boots were required wear at temperatures below 0F.  I have a significant issue with my feet getting cold since I got frostbite on them in the AF in the 80s, but I have to say I didn't ever experience cold feet or toes any time I wear wearing the VB Boots.  They are clunky to walk with and there was a lot of slipping in the ice, but my feet were warm.  

When I wasn't using the VB Boots I used a pair of Keen Revel insulated boots.  These were only 200g insulated and not very warm for me at temperatures below about +25F.  For general use though they were ok.  I used a SOLE Signature CD Thin Thinsulate insole in the boots which I think worked well, but again, under +25F my feet were cold no matter what.

Socks:  
Smartwool "Uniform" model all the way with all footwear.  I didn't wear any sort of liner sock and didn't have any problems with feet sweating (even with VB Boots).  This model was discontinued a few years ago, but is thick enough to give a good level of warmth, but not be too bulky.

I have seen that Vapor Barrier type socks are available and they may be something I check into if I go into cold conditions again.  I don't know though if they'd be any better than a Goretex sock in warmth, but it may be worth a try.

Gloves:
OR Firebrand Mittens and glove liners:   these were the issued items.  Only used when it was really cold, which again was a few times.  Hands were warm when worn with the issue liner and even without.  Typical mitten, not too much to say about them.

OR Stormcell Gloves: These were my go to gloves, even at colder temperatures.  Goretex to keep the hands dry and insulated.  Unlike my feet, my hands don't really get too cold and I was ok with these down to about 0F although I had to put hands in the pockets to warm except when manipulating stuff.

 

Edited to add 15JAN14 - Tactical Assault Gear has the Stormcell gloves on clearance for $30 right now.  Highly recommended.

One thing I'd like to do in the future is get a pair of the Stormcells a size or two up to fit a glove liner in (preferably wool).  Aside from increasing the warmth, the need for a contact glove was apparent at lower temperatures.   The bad thing is that OR has discontinued the Stormcell glove.  

Other Items:
Tru Spec 24/7 Pants: used the lightweight version the full time I was there with the C9 long underwear bottoms.  Even though they were lightweight versions of the pants, they did well in the cold with the base layer.  Great pants especially with the expanding waist which adjusted to different layers.  

Gaiters:  I was issued the OR Goretex long gaiters.  While in the snow I came to appreciate the need for gaiters.  Did what they were supposed to, but also I don't know if they were superior or worse than any other gaiter.  

If there's any specific questions, either post here or send me a dialog.

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Joined: 5/28/04     Location: DFW TX

 

"We're men, okay? That means a few things; we like to shit with the door open, we talk about pussy, we like to go on riverboat gambling trips, and we make our own beef jerky. That's what we do." Dale, Step Brothers

Slung same as in other weather since 2008. Viking tactics padded sling attached at barrel nut on a Larue rail and at the castle nut via a Tango Down PR4. I have found no reason to change. When skiiing or snow shoeing, you just cinch up the slack in the sling so that the carbine is close to your body... I run a 12.5" which helps somewhat. You can still get full range of motion with your trek poles with this configuration.

 

If running a sniper rifle, the M4 goes in the same spot and the sniper rifle stays in the drag bag and get lashed onto the pulk/sled, along with any other gear. Sleds are generally awesome.

 

As for protecting optics from snow... bikini's are ideal for hot chicks, but not optics.

I use:

Tangodown I/O cover on my T1.

The supplied covers on my PEQ15 

The day cover and a Wilcox Amber filter on my PVS-14*

Tenbrenex flipcaps on my S&B 3-12

ATS MC soft cover on my Leupold 12-40x 60mm spotter.

Butler creek flip ups on my Swarovski 10x42 bino's

The Leica LRF gets stowed in a chest pocket on a lanyard.

 

*I need to have Eggroll or Croz make me a QD Litelock environmental cover that would go over the PVS-14 when mounted. This would probably be the better solution for when blowing snow is happening.

 

NOT CURRENT ISSUE - but looks very robust.

I saw these recently:

Fimbulvetr Hikr Snowshoe

Going to have to get a set and give them a go.

Search 'em.  Pretty nifty.  Anyone else have experience with them?

I enjoy living near Backcountry.com

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Wild_Willie posted:

NOT CURRENT ISSUE - but looks very robust.

I saw these recently:

Fimbulvetr Hikr Snowshoe

Going to have to get a set and give them a go.

Search 'em.  Pretty nifty.  Anyone else have experience with them?

I enjoy living near Backcountry.com

I have only tried them on for a quick 5 minutes, but I have a bunch of friends who have them and use them a lot. They allow for a very normal gait/walk (?) compared to a lot of traditional snow shoes. They are kinda expensive, but I think they are worth trying out.

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