Arctic1's big winter gear thread

I have always stuck a water bottle inside of my big puffy jacket to keep it from freezing. I haven't had a Nalgene bottle leak on me yet but I have worried about it before. The bottles aren't really cold like you would think since you are filling them with warm water to begin with and then adding a little snow each time you drink to keep them topped off. If I chug water down I toss the empty in my bag after I refill it with snow. It usually doesn't melt much in the pack but I can dump warm water over the snow when I fill it to save stove time and thaw the rest in the insulated sleeve on my pack.

My water bottle that rides externally is in an insulated sleeve. I am a fan of the OR bottle holders although they don't come standard in tactical colors for you guys who need to worry about that.
We definitely keep a fire guard up. Most of the other Battalions up here have burned down at least one tent this winter- our Arctic 10-Man tents haven't changed since the 70's, and burn down in less than a minute from start to finish. Fire guard is the best time in the day to eat chow and do hygiene.

As far as the water thing, there are three TTP's I see up here. First, two quart canteen slung under your jacket around your neck. Not my cup of tea, and you can't get to it. Second best is the arctic canteen - metal canteen that you heat over a fire. Works good until it freezes, then you need to wait until the next bivouac to thaw it. I like having a proper thermos with any warm beverage the best though- strapped on the outside of an assault pack.
In our M05 LBV´s, we have a pocket for a hydration bladder on the inside, with the idea of the body warmth keeping the bladder from freezing.. Then again, the designers did not consider the fact that troops wearing M05 LBV´s, also use bodyarmor.

Like everyone else, we also don´t have a magic trick to keep our water from freezing.. Hanging the canteen with a string around one´s neck (or just stuffing it under your BA), is widely taught. Personally, i use a CB thermobak and i also have an insulation sleeve for my source bladders (with the bladders not having any insulation) But the insulation is not a long term solution.

One thing that helps with uninsulated hydration tubes is blowing the excess water from the tube back into the bladder after you stop drinking it and also somehow stuffing the end of the hydration tube under your clothes to keep the valve mechanism from freezing.

About the fireguard, there seems to be two schools about how to use a fireguard. Some think that he is only to keep the fire going and to keep the tent from burning down. Others think that a fireguard is actually on sentry duty and only goes inside the tent when adding wood into the stove. The rest of the time he´s outside the tent. I usually order both.
quote:
Originally posted by GoFaster775:
No fucking way am I doing that.

1) snag hazard. I'm not getting hung up with anything around my neck that isn't break free at a point.
2) opening and closing your outer layer everytime you drink sucks, and discourages soldiers from taking on water in the cold.
3)if it freezes and you need to thaw it, putting a block of ice on your core is not going to keep you warm and toasty.
4)should it leak, your entire base layer is soaked, and in Canada kinda cold, that means fucked.
5)should there be any condensation or steam from warm beverages, it's really just ice floating around in the air waiting to freeZe.

I guess if you aren't in a military setting and have kit ready to go, it's no biggie
This is of course just my opinion, and how I do things, ymmv.

If you have the opportunity to use warm water, and fill a proper thermos, and stove discipline in your biv site, water is incredibly easy to come by on winter ops.

One thing I don't recall seeing in here is the use of your stove watch. Not sure how you guys roll, but we greasy Canadians leave one man awake (sometimes 2) in the tents to man the stove and lantern and keep the place heated and shit.

In my experience, if you just sit there and watch a flame and try not to go to sleep, you're fucked. If you establish a tent routine, to keep busy over the night they can do all this shit;

Dry out socks and base layers, gloves, mukluck socks
Get a decent pot of water on the go for morning routines
Refill the stove (outside the tent holy FUCK)
Make breakfast and coffee, and stuff like that.

It's a lot of work at night, but it's great waking up in a warm well lit tent with warm boots coffee breakfast and some warm water to wash with and shave if they make you. Almost makes being an arctic hobo with a gun worthwhile.


1) Not really a snag hazard, as the string/sock is underneath the clothing
2) This practice ensures more frequent drinking pauses, as they always have unfrozen water, compared to having the water bottle in a canteen pouch
3) Having the canteen around Your neck should prevent it from freezing
4) We have had way more Camlebaks leak than water bottles. But yes it is a risk, albeit worth it to ensure drinkable water
5) Don't really see that being an issue, as the water bottles/canteens are sealed up

I don't like the technique, as I find it too bulky, but it does work. Even for military applications. I carry my water bottle upside down in my pouch, filled with warm water before we set off. Water freezes pretty fast in -30*C weather. I have been thinking about getting an insulated sleeve for my bottle, but haven't found a decent product.

Water is incredibly easy to come by during winter, if you have time and opportunity to melt snow. Not always the case, though. You might spend hours on a mission before going to the bivouac site and having the possibility to melt more snow. That is why we put clean snow in the canteens after every time we drink, to fill it up. Try to always have a bit of water in the canteen, as it helps to melt the snow.

We have and utilize proper stove watch routines, which includes filling up all thermoses and canteens with warm water by morning. Water filled on the Thermos in the morning is usually saved for meals. We have each man up, taking shifts manning the stove, melting snow, and other tasks like you stated. When melting snow on the stove, never empty the pot completely when adding water to rations or filling water bottles/thermoses. Melting snow goes a lot faster when there is some warm water in the pot. Use a lid; water boils faster, less steam to form condensation inside the tent.

I think I touched on it in one of my posts, but heated bivouacs are not always used; Depends on notice-to-move time constraints, position relative to enemy forces, enemy recce likelyhood etc. Heating a tent is a big thermal give-away when facing an enemy with that capacity. When units are closer to the rear, far from enemy forward positions and with a low likelyhood of enemy ISR, we use bigger tents with proper stoves, like stated earlier.

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

The footgear info in the OP was great! I *hate* cold feet. I would really like to get a pair of those overboots, but I couldn't find them anywhere in North America. (At least according to Bing and Google.) And this was the only place I found that carried them:

Norwegian Military fotposer

The price is decent, but I can't read Norwegian to effectively place an order (assuming they would ship overseas).

Karl

 -------------------------------------

"You should respect his position if for no other reason than he has the power to send loyalists like Chris and JCustis to crush your little rebellion if you get caught seditiously half stepping. " - basicload

Just one of the Shepherd's sheepdogs. Joshua 24:15 Matthew 10:28

Fair enough,

I was also taught to hang it around my neck as well, but it gives me the jeebies, and we have had a guys canteen lid separate from the canteen when the took a bound and landed on something. It sucked to be him until we could get back into the biv.

Maybe our thermos is just better, but mine never freezes in an outer parka pocket. I guess there's just enough ambient heat to keep it liquid. If it was a regular canteen, might be different. As I said, ymmv.

We aren't always in a heated biv either. Comfort items are always the first shit packed up when you get a notice to move.

---------------
"Roger Wilco Over and Out"

 

Joined: 5 Sep 06  Location: Canadian LO Desk..

Yea, back in the dark days before the war. We seldom actualy trained at Drum, but when it's -50F in April, or it goes from +40 to -25F during movement in Dec you adapt. Never were issued Artic canteens, seldom used snow shoes tactcaly, and skis, please.

Artic1,

Do you have the measurements on the Knappetelt? I was working another project awhile ago and copying the measurements of this looks like a better way to do this.

We used to be issued ECOTAT tents. They were smaal one man tents or you could zip two togeather to make a medium two man tent. They were fairly packable, and if you had a candle lantern you could heat them in a few minutes till you could be warm enough to do foot checks, change, ect. I think my section was about the only one in the division which ever used them, and even then it was only in extreme weather. We didn't have a 10 man artic, and often the platoons only had one 10 man Artic for a whole platoon. Even then they seldom went to the field because we didnt have a way to move them.

Winter is coming....bump.

 

I am looking into overboots.  I know NEOS was mentioned as a good brand but I was hoping somebody could school me on desirable/undesirable features so I could be an educated consumer.

___________________
He would have went on livin, but he made one fatal slip, when he tried to match the Ranger with the big iron on his hip.

Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better

Yup. Winter is coming. Snow outside today.

@Arctic1: Am I the redbearded guy going to the US you mentioned a bit earlier in this thread?

 

I, m considering doing av rewiev of my winterequipment. Do you mind me using this thread for this?

 

While you're reading this, your enemy is training.

Geronimo,

 

I put this together for something else about current material solutions in the US quiver:

 

 

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

 

  1. USMC Improved Balaclava, 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.

 

WB FS Balaclava, 83243

NSN Assigned:

M, 8415-01-525-1330; 

L, 8415-01-525-1333

 

http://military.outdoorresearc...wb-fs-balaclava.html

 

  1. Enhanced Extreme Cold Weather Mittens, 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

 

  1. Enhanced Trigger Finger Mittens

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

 

  1. Improved Snow Camo Uniform, NSN assigned

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:

 

USMC, PARKA, Snow Camouflage         

Nomen       NSN                    Cost

Parka, SR   8415-01-555-0389         127.58

Parka, MR  8415-01-555-0395        127.58

Parka, ML  8415-01-555-0414         127.58

Parka, LR   8415-01-555-0420         127.58

Parka, LL    8415-01-555-0426         127.58

Parka, XLR  8415-01-555-0444        127.58 

Trouser, SR  8415-01-555-0447       127.58

Trouser, MR  8415-01-555-0450     127.58

Trouser, ML  8415-01-555-0453     127.58 

Trouser, LR    8415-01-555-0467     127.58

Trouser, LL  8415-01-555-0471       127.58

Trouser, XLR  8415-01-555-0486    127.58

Pack Covers   8465-01-560-8100    21.75

 

 

 

  1. Assault Snow Shoes,

SNOWSHOE, ASSAULT MSR

NSN: 8465-01-558-9958

 

Repair parts:

Item         NSN          Part Number (Cascade Industries)

Binding Assembly, Left 8465-01-558-6863           469030

Binding Assembly, Right 8465-01-558-6896          469029

Binding Strap, 12 inch    8465-01-558-7678           469704

Clevis Pin Kit          8465-01-558-7688          469731

Heel Strap, 24 inch          8465-01-558-6807          469139

Repair Kit, Snowshoe     8465-01-558-6823          69071

Tails, 8 inch           8465-01-558-7780          369054

Tails, 4 inch (optional)* 8465-01-558-7367          369055

 

*The Assault Snowshoe comes with a 8 inch tail. The supplier makes a 4 inch tail for the Assault Snowshoe which is not a component of theAssault Snowshoe.

 

  1. Ongoing program for new ski’s.

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

 

Current USMC Contracting Actions:

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

 

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

 

Canadian Forces Ski System:

Hummocks Binding, made in Canada

NSN: 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

 

Originally Posted by Storm:

Yup. Winter is coming. Snow outside today.

@Arctic1: Am I the redbearded guy going to the US you mentioned a bit earlier in this thread?

 

I, m considering doing av rewiev of my winterequipment. Do you mind me using this thread for this?

 

Sorry I didn't catch this earlier!

By all means my friend, use this thread for your review!

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

I have not been on military exercises in the cold and do not have to deal with any armour but do carry an AIAE for shooting in the mountains and ice climbing (yeah theyre fun together) in the Rockies most weekends from -25 to 0°C so hopefully can offer some applicable advice as its high output activity then sitting in place for periods.

In addition to all the other points made above my main advice below is to have a good wicking layer.
Change socks during the day and change layers as much as you can to match activity, ifyou are stuck using what you have then use it as best you can!
Re Pens: I used a fisher space pen on an audit in Saskatchewan last year at -42 and worked awesome for all three days.

Details:
Whether its going to be a cold or warm day my base layer will always be a set of Nike 'sphere' garments under a HellyHansen heavyweight one or icebreaker wool layer depending on the temps outside. (This was the same setup I used in a previous life in the oilfield as well).  I find wool just does not wick good enough for me and I will still get clammy skin on the stops whereas with a good wicking layer I can stay comfortable in the transition from high activity to rest.
  I also wear a set of bike socks under heavy smartwool socks but they get changed during the day at least once no matter the temp.
  The wicking layer is especially important for me on days where I am in and out of my pack as no matter what I will be wet under the straps and on my back. Being able to dry off with with a garment doing the work rather than having to generate heat to evaporate it allows me to stay comfortable. And comfortable means happy.

My main insulation layer is a light primary jacket the atom Lt and generally always have it on and use a second insulated shell or just a shell as needed. (The atom will be alot more evenly spread  insulation than armour worn under your parka as the arms and neck are insulated too. Not sure but you would almost need to cut the atom off from the pits down and would have something roughly comparable) I always have two goretex tops and a pant set as the weather can change so quick in the mountains. 
  I find I need significantly less insulation with the proper base layer and a good shell setup than I ever did in nomex/woven layers I think mainly due to the wind not being able to screw with the insulating 'air bubble' you have created with your gear. That being said, I will be changing my layers out every stop to regulate my heat. Either with the shell on first after I stop with zips open or put on the insulated shell if the temp dips. 
  This combo has been comfortable in -20C but i will add another wool long john or sweater (no pants) for colder.

I realize you may not have the capacity to be constantly finger fucking your clothing every stop but after trying a bunch of different systems over the years it is the only one that keeps me consistently dry and warm to concentrate on climbing/skiing/shooting/photography when I'm not stopped.

Boots are really the only compromise I make and that is because they need to be able to climb vertical ice. Warmth is managed through my sock choices and sizing boots large enough to fit two pairs of wool socks. If you have the chance to use the overboots I would think that would be a better way to go though as you are not squeezing your feet and cutting down circulation which will make them colder.

Arctic1,

 

How do you keep MBITR batteries from getting too cold? Is it just something you need to plan for by bringing more batteries or are there other ways to keep them warm.

 

Do you think it feasible to have some sort of belly pouch that would be under your outer garments and run a wire adapter to the radio on your kit?

 

I have heard some guys suggest wrapping the battery in hand warmers, but that doesn't sound like a very good method.

64/100

We used to use Claymore bags slung over base layer, below whatever was breaking wind, keeping the snow at bay, consistent with level of activity.  Radio operators often would wear two, crossed (bags to either side).  This works with canteens/water bottles, radio batteries, IV fluids, etc.

 

This worked in Norway, northern Maine, and Colorado.

 

Of course this was back in the fringed legging days of the early 1980s.  Still works though, controlling for rucks, armor, etc.

Originally Posted by _S2_:

Arctic1,

 

How do you keep MBITR batteries from getting too cold? Is it just something you need to plan for by bringing more batteries or are there other ways to keep them warm.

 

Do you think it feasible to have some sort of belly pouch that would be under your outer garments and run a wire adapter to the radio on your kit?

 

I have heard some guys suggest wrapping the battery in hand warmers, but that doesn't sound like a very good method.

To be honest, comms batteries has never really been an issue with regards to battery life. We use a radio called LFR, from Kongsberg Aerospace and Defence:

 

http://www.kongsberg.com/~/med...0rev_h2reduced_.ashx

 

It has a battery life of approx 25 hours, and I found that to be true during both summer and winter. We have a finite amount of batteries per squad/platoon, and replace or recharge them as neccessary during resupply.

 

The batteries are a very high quality lithum type.

 

No experience with an MBITR, so cannot comment on battery life in general or in the cold.

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

It seems like this thread is worth coming back to time and time again

 

The hexamine stove, is it something that you have been issued or is it something you bought yourself? I'm thinking that since this is a big winter gear thread, are you not carrying any other stove that's better suited for winter warfare?

 

I usually carry one small Etanol-stove (Trangia mini) with cock ware in the summer (works in winter to with patience and prayers...) and a Kerosene-stove (Primus multi fuel) during the winters.

 

-----------------

The only good thing about being a ground pounder in the airforce is that the higher ups don't know what I'm supposed to do, nor what I'm allowed to do. - a reflection made by me

Arctic 1,

Thank you for the very informative thread.  I read here a lot but rarely post, but had to reply to this one.

Being from a warm climate (Alabama), I love the cold and snow. Which is one of the many reasons I married my wife. It gives me a reason to go to Norway a couple of times a year. I was so impressed I actually showed this thread to her (she's a former Kaptien in Norwegian Army) and she is now homesick. Thank you. She was stationed in Seteremoen (spelling?) and misses all the snow. A few weeks ago, we got about six inches of snow here in D.C., but I is all gone now. We were able to get the skis out a couple of times for a little exercise before it melted though. Luckily we will be in Norway in a week and a half, and she will get to see home.

 

Thanks again, great post.  

P= plenty

but do carry an AIAE for shooting in the mountains and ice climbing (yeah theyre fun together) in the Rockies most weekends from -25 to 0°C

 

I want to party with that guy... Being a camelback guy primarily, and having some recent issues with bladders and hoses freezing despite the usual precautions (blow all water out of the hose after use, use insulated tubes and bladders, keep the tube agsinst base layer etc...) I've decided to try taping or rubber banding hand warmers to the valve. Short of spiking the bladder with vodka or going to the traditional bottle inside the coat pocket, it's about my last idea unless someone has something else to try. This is for recreational hiking and climbing in the Rockies, not arctic training, but the fundamentals should be the same. I'm starting to think that camelbacks re simply impractical in weather below single digits...

 

I am not a fan of bladders ever, since in my opinion, it is a matter of if not when it is going to fail, and hydration is important.  Trying to use one in the winter is just a lot of extra work and a really bad idea, but that is my opinion, and that is having used them in the winter prior to abandoning them all together.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear

"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston

Originally Posted by Huck:

but do carry an AIAE for shooting in the mountains and ice climbing (yeah theyre fun together) in the Rockies most weekends from -25 to 0°C

 

I want to party with that guy... Being a camelback guy primarily, and having some recent issues with bladders and hoses freezing despite the usual precautions (blow all water out of the hose after use, use insulated tubes and bladders, keep the tube agsinst base layer etc...) I've decided to try taping or rubber banding hand warmers to the valve. Short of spiking the bladder with vodka or going to the traditional bottle inside the coat pocket, it's about my last idea unless someone has something else to try. This is for recreational hiking and climbing in the Rockies, not arctic training, but the fundamentals should be the same. I'm starting to think that camelbacks re simply impractical in weather below single digits...

 

Huck...I have found two things that work well during my time in Alaska.  I use wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.  Note store them upside down.  If the water starts to freeze, it will freeze at the top, and you will be able to drink from it when you turn it right side up.  Second, my medics I know took sections of warming blankets they have, and left them in their aid bags.  They left the bags outside in temperatures below -35.  IV bags stayed usable for over 8 hours.  I assume the same would work for your bladder.  Finally, I always carry a small stove just in case...went camping with Boy Scouts a couple weekends ago with an ambient temperature of -48 in an unheated snow shelter.  Even the Scouts lit their stove to make something warm to drink when they crawled out of the shelter.

Joined:  March 12, 2011    Location:  The Last Frontier...Alaska

Originally Posted by jk3498:
Originally Posted by Huck:
but do carry an AIAE for shooting in the mountains and ice climbing (yeah theyre fun together) in the Rockies most weekends from -25 to 0°C

I want to party with that guy...

Huck...I have found two things that work well during my time in Alaska.  I use wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.  Note store them upside down.


Yeah it is fun when we do get out but right now the avy hazard is too much to climb safe with all this crazy weather though but last month was in Bozeman on the ice at least sans gun.

As to the camelback I have never even bothered to try it in the winter. The nalgenes sound like a not bad idea if weight is an issue but I just carry two thermoses, one water one hot treat like coffee or tea to get my lips and teeth back to regular operating temperature on cold days. Seems like my lips and tongue revert to slow motion when they get too cold and it sounds like I've lost about 50IQ points as I try to garble out some slurred words.

In addition to not sounding like a goof there is the psychological boost you get from some warmth after extended cold periods. Its not as good as fully unfreezing but I find some hot liquid can sure help my mood even after as little as a single day of bad weather. I use a regular 'thermos' brand and if you don't start drinking right away it will keep hot 10hrs, the more drinking and air you let in though kills the time it can keep something hot though.

I have to concur that wide-mouth Nalgenes stored upside down as per jk3498 are the answer for larger volumes in sufficiently cold temperatures. If you start the day with them full of near-boiling water and pack them well inside your bag (preferably wrapped in extra clothing or a sleeping bag), they'll still be liquid at the end of a fairly long -40 day. No, it won't taste great, but it beats trying to carve ice out of your water bottle!

 

Also, as z1_bam said, piping hot liquids are a huge morale boost - For serious days out in the cold, I prefer one thermos each of tea (sweetened) and soup stock (salty). But carrying three or more total liters of liquid in thermoses gets really bulky, so I typically carry a mix of thermoses and Nalgene bottles.

 

I expect bladders (without hoses) to progress in the next couple of years, and they will become superior to solid Nalgenes for volume carriage even in the cold. That will be nice, since they take up so much less space when empty. And I'd like to be proven wrong, but I don't see bladders with hoses ever being viable in serious cold. Maybe if you're wearing the whole rig inside your insulating layers, and keep the drinking tube inside, too - But that's an invitation to disaster, in my opinion.

 

It should be noted that at some point, it is more efficient to carry a white gas stove and pot to melt snow than it is to carry additional water.

Bit of a relevant Hijack....

 

overwhites. What is everyone using?

 

i just have the CF issued whites, sprayed with some od/brn paint for use in boreal woodland or coniferous areas. I bought a second set in pure white for arctic use.

 

slowly the new digital winter cadpat whites are going to issue, but they are the same basic design.

 

my smock is turbo long ( I got the largest size possible), and modified by shortening the sleeves. I plan on adding pass through thigh slits on the pants to access my combat pant thigh pockets.

 

ive seen the vertx, garm, and velocity offerings online, any thoughts? Any ideas for mods to standard issued kit?

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-We are the sheepdogs, bad people looking out for the good people by killing worse people
-Don't get PTSD, Give PTSD. Make the taliban wake up screaming in the night because he fears Canadians are coming to Kill him.

-Location - Canada - Joined - 2006MAR19

No info on bindings, I'm pretty out of the loop since I became a Leo. 

 

The cadpat whites are the same basic design with grey digital bits.there is a few pics of them here 

 

http://www.strikehold.net/2012...rcise-arctic-ram-12/

 

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-We are the sheepdogs, bad people looking out for the good people by killing worse people
-Don't get PTSD, Give PTSD. Make the taliban wake up screaming in the night because he fears Canadians are coming to Kill him.

-Location - Canada - Joined - 2006MAR19

I am a civvy snot but I spend a lot of time in the woods.  Those MSR snowshoes are pretty nice, I have a similar pair that I like a lot.  So much better than the old magnesium kit.

 

I am having a hard time finding US overwhites comercially, does anyone have a source at all?  I have some Russian whites but I'm not a big fan.

Regional Field Operations Manager, Team Rubicon R5(MI, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN).

cortney.beard@teamrubiconusa.org

Ottawa County Search and Rescue SARTECH III

 

The issue ones are VERY basic and hard to find. SOCOM was working on a contract to purchase a new try and pattern. I've also been working it as part of another project. From that I've found several claims by various venders they have provided various low rate production items to SOF units.

The only one availible in stock is from Velocity Systems in Yeti:
http://www.velsyst.com/store/221/0/Concealment.html
I purchased a top and it's quite nice. I found a issue top on EBay, where they also have Marine Snow MARPAT over whites in limited sizes. I plan on getting one for referance, just waiting on my size. Hate to blow $120 in eBay for surpluse.
Originally Posted by bigc:

I am a civvy snot but I spend a lot of time in the woods.  Those MSR snowshoes are pretty nice, I have a similar pair that I like a lot.  So much better than the old magnesium kit.

 

I am having a hard time finding US overwhites comercially, does anyone have a source at all?  I have some Russian whites but I'm not a big fan.

Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet sometimes has them pretty cheap.

 

mercUSA

Joined: 12/26/02        

location:Retired 11B in southern AZ

Alright, despite my early denial, winter has come to my neck of the woods.

 

Most of the discussion here has been relevant to military or people who are moving around alot in the cold.  As an LE sniper my needs are significantly different.  Our average call out has me walking less than a city block and then laying static until it is over.  Doing this in sub zero temps is tough(hell just laying on the ground gets cold in 40deg weather).  I have found that testing my gear treestand hunting in real cold weather is a decent way to test my gear and log some hours out in the cold.  Here is how I set up for static jobs in real cold weather.

 

Base layer: I am cheap and GI polartec silks and grid fleece are $10 for a top or bottom at the local surplus store.  These work pretty well for bottoms.  On top I prefer a UA cold gear mock under an Arc Naga hoodie

 

Mid layer:

On the bottom I wear a really heavy set of polartec fleece sweatpants on under a set of Gen III LVL5 softshell pants.  This gives me good insulation with some wind/water resistance. On top I wear a polyester material hooded sweatshirt I got at Gander Mountain.  The face of it is slick which helps it move freely when layered under other garments.  On top of the hoodie I wear a Cabelas wool sweater with windproof lining.  On top I wear a Wild Things low loft jacket.  This combo works well for me in that it does not restrict my movement at all and locks out the wind.  Most of the insulation is crush proof so that it retains its loft when I throw a PC over it.  When it is sub freezing I can move in this without sweating as long as I go slow(most call outs dont have me moving much more than a block)

 

Outer Layer:

I carry the rest of my layers in a pack and put them on at my FFP.

 

Bottoms: Wild Things high loft pants.  These are really warm and pack up pretty small

 

Top: USGI LVL7 parka.  The gray, hit with some brown and green krylon works pretty well in my AO in the winter and I got it off Ebay for $25 because the zipper on one of the pockets is jacked up

 

Extras: Poncho Liner.  I use this as a ground cloth to insulate me from the ground.  Laying on frozen ground just saps the heat out of you and you really need something under you(I usually fold it length wise. Hill People Gear mountain Serape.  This stays in my pack year round because it is so versatile.  It has saved me in the summer when it gets cool/wet and you were not dressed for cold weather. In actual cold weather it is great warn as a greatcoat.  I also really love being able to use it as a half bag and insulate my feet/lower legs while I a laying out.

 

Hands: I have gone through a lot of gloves trying to find the perfect combo.  This is really hard because I had a cold injury to my hands as a kid and they simply stop working in the cold now. The problem with really warm gloves is that you always end up taking them off to do stuff and you hands end up colder than if you used a lighter glove.  Light gloves are great for dexterity but fail if you are in real cold for any amount of time.

I really like the OR Firemark gloves as they have great dexterity and enough protection for short durations in cold weather.  I had been using them with some GI arctic mittens.  This worked OK but the mittens were very cumbersome and I had to take them off to be ready to fire.  I just got a pair of OR Swoop Mitts and wore them deer hunting this week.  These things are the shit.  They are warmer than the GI mitts and the trigger finger cut allows you to do alot more without taking them off.  My index finger did get cold eventually if I left it in the finger hole but the gloves are sized so that I can keep them in the mitten area where they stayed warm and quickly shift it over as needed.  If I have a task that requires even more dexterity the mitt folds back and you can stick your whole hand out while pushing the glove up on your wrist.  These things are $$$ but worth every penny.  If you qualify for pro pricing it takes alot of the sting out.  Having used them I would pay the full $300 if I had to.  I am generally cheap, but spend your money on your hands and feet and you will be pretty happy.

 

Head: I wear a thick ass Carhartt stocking hat that is a Coyote color.  This thing is warm.  For my face I use a ECW mask that I got at the surplus store it has alot more value than the $4 I paid for it.  The dust mask type mouth cover is nice because you dont get moisture on your face and still cover your mouth/nose.  The white color also helps with concealment.  My other layers also have several hoods which builds up a nice warm space around my neck.  As a last resort I put my hoods up but try to avoid it because of how they can get in the way.

 

Feet:

This is the last area that I still have not perfected.  I have been relying on chemical warmers but I really would like to be able to make it without them.  Liner socks under my thick wool ones make a huge difference.  I am considering getting some Mickey Mouse boots since walking is not a huge concern and I can get them in white.

 

Overwhites: I am currently using normal Nyco overwhites but am looking at finding something more compact so that they dont take up so much pack space and I could leave them in my pack year round in case white were to come in handy for a hide.  I like my Multicam Wraith set so I am considering getting the white ones.

 

___________________
He would have went on livin, but he made one fatal slip, when he tried to match the Ranger with the big iron on his hip.

Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better

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