Da-yum, this is one of the best threads I've ever seen.  Very enlightening.  The issue for a lot of us is simply that we have only spent very limited times out in this stuff; so there is a world of difference from say a week out there, and spending several weeks in it.  This is a key point that needs to be emphasized.  To truly sustain a unit in this kind of environment, you need additional resources that may not be organic/readily available to every unit.  Things such as rear-area warming tents, stoves, etc. look to be essential equipment to be able to stay out there for extended periods.  And you need a realistic SOP that allows guys to rotate back to the rear and get dry/warm/rested.    

I'm glad this thread has been resurrected.  It is indeed fascinating to see cross-polinization of ideas from several countries.  And I have to laugh because I have more in common with soldiers/Marines from around the world than I do with most of my countryman.  

Some additional thoughts.   I think there needs to be some kind of balance between creature comforts and the tactical necessity.  In this realm, creature comforts that grunts scoffed at the REMF's for, become necessities for survival.   With that being said, I also think it takes a hard man to operate in this environment.  Much like Ranger school; not for the weak or faint of heart.  

I like wool myself.  I think maybe Cotton was being thought of awhile back?  I use wool socks year-round, different thicknesses. 

I also use gtx sock liners, but that's usually in hot/wet conditions.  I have used them in cold/wet, but been able to change out quick enough to avoid any problems.

I prefer a non-gtx boot because again mostly hot/wet, but sometimes cold/wet as well.  But I've found they dry out much faster then gtx boots.  Looking at something like Neos overboots to work in conjunction with them.      

So yeah interesting to compare my usual SOP with extreme cold conditions.       

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

And here's something interesting,  in talking to some other folks.  Depending on your unit SOP of course, but, there are other guys who run a 55L artic warfare pack, with the 110L pack in the sled!  Which just makes a lot of sense on a practical level.  So we are designing two different artic warfare packs now, one at 100L, and another at 55L.  They will both have d-rings on the belt for pulling sleds.  So yeah I am tracking more with Artic1's preference at the start of this thread.   

So yeah this goes back to the artic warfare pack ensemble you see in Nordic countries, with at least two different packs and various side/top pouches.  You can configure to the various phases of the mission as required.  

Tools in the tool kit.  

On another note, is there a temperature point where you guys prefer one base layer over another?  I go back and forth between lycra/polyester tights and top, and the PCU looser-fitting nylon stuff.  Any preference for really cold, moving vs static, wet/dry?  Most of my winter is wet,  at 30 deg F, with dips into the teens.  So either works for me, although I prefer a tighter fitting lycra for movement.

I hadn't thought about using PCU level 2 stuff as a night base layer, switching out with L1 for day use.  But that makes a lot of sense.  Gonna plus up there.  

As an interesting side note, I spent 4 years in Alaska (Elmendorf AFB) as a kid.  My Dad helped build the DEW line up there.  Anyways, the old timers up there swore by "Marvel Mystery Oil" to lube their firearms in sub-zero conditions.  Don't know what the heck that stuff was or even if it's still around.  It was like a very light machinery oil.   

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

SNDT1319 posted:

Marvel Mystery Oil is very much still available.  I am using it to keep an engine on a stand from locking up while I’m deployed. Go to almost auto parts store and you find it.  

According to the company's 2015 safety data sheet Marvel Mystery Oil is composed of:

Amazing thread.  

Just a civcivil, but for hunting season this year...

I used RAAB VBL socks (vapor barrier liner) for the first time this year (wore a silk sock liner next to skin,  then the VBL, and finally a Darn Tough sock overtop.  I REALLY liked how the VBL kept my Darn Tough socks dry, and I wore them for 3 days straight without a hint of odor.  

The only negative to the VBL socks is the one seam could cause hotspots for long 10+ mile rucks... I was walking less than 5 miles a day and had  no issues.

 

For a  base layer I've taken the advice of some Antarctic explorers (Andy Kirkpatrick) and used Brynje of Norway long underwear. It is a mesh design, but really does move moisture away from the body, and "traps" hot air in the holes next to the skin.

For winter backpacking I've also started using arm warmers (like the kind road cyclists wear). I run really hot when moving, and have found arm warmers to be perfect for providing just enough warmth when starting out, but extremely easy to take off when your core temp starts heating up.

 

 

TJackson,

1.  What gaiters did you use?  Did you have any durability issues?

2.  What cold weather clothing system did the Estonians use?  In my limited research on what Scandinavian armies use I still see a lot of use of their regular combat uniform and combat smocks/jackets and much less use of synthetic uniforms like our issue lvl 4 and lvl 5 layers.  

Also, I have used the Brynje base layer top to great effect.  It combines well with a lightweight woolpower 200 layer in temps below freezing or a lightweight merino top (patagonia, kuiu, smartwool, etc.) in warmer temps 30-40 degrees.  I find much less moisture build up when wearing the brynje top, especially when active.  I also find much less need to change base layers to dry them as the mesh layer retains very little moisture.  

Other than them looking funny is there any reason that mesh style base layers aren’t more popular CONUS?  They seem very popular else where.

 I’m intrigued but Brynje is expensive relative to how often I would use them.  It seems like they are the inverse of the waffle pattern the US Army is fond of.  

A Soldier without bullets is just a tourist!

SNDT1319 posted:

Other than them looking funny is there any reason that mesh style base layers aren’t more popular CONUS?  They seem very popular else where.

 I’m intrigued but Brynje is expensive relative to how often I would use them.  It seems like they are the inverse of the waffle pattern the US Army is fond of.  

They are very versatile but can look...odd. But they work, highly popular with the 27eme BIM (French Mountain Infantry Brigade).

If you put on a relatively tight layer on the top, you get the waffle pattern...just more pronounced. It is warmer but obviously can hold some more moisture.


 

Joined: 03 OCT 2006        Meatspace Coordinates: The Smoke

The Brynje layers are great. They are one of the best things I brought back from Norway last year.  They look weird for sure .... but they work. 

"If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism."         - Thomas Sowell

"A Republic, if you can keep it" - Ben Franklin

 

LOCATION: ....

JOINED:  Feb 2012

     

That's weird, but interesting.  I am not above wearing fish-net stockings, if they keep me warm and dry; I'm good with it.  

On socks n seams, I have had issues with ragg wool in the past, but I now wear them inside out with zero issues.  I don't know if VB socks are reversible like that?  Also try Mennen Power Speed Stick, as an anti-chafing wax.  Same shit as Body Glide, 1/4 the price.  Tri guys put that shit everywhere, including their feet.    

But on the lycra thing, I guess that's more of a sports technique, where you jam for several hours, but then hit the showers and the pub.   Been watching the Biathlon World Cup and just noticing what they race in.  Very similar to what I run and ruck in during winter.   That's what I'm trying to separate here; what you wear for short duration training, and what you wear for sustained field ops.   

Yeah this is a pretty epic thread.   

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I know we have had the antiperspirant talk regarding foot care before and just as an update, a friend has recommended 'antihydral' which is a different formula than an aluminum based antiperspirant that almost works almost too well. It comes in a cream and to apply once a week then you should be okay a couple of days later and lasts for about a week tops.

Science behind it: same active ingredient in UTI medicine you swallow but instead of the formaldehyde being used for antibacterial purposes for your bladder it is a different chemical reaction that plugs your sweat glands

So yeah... its formaldehyde I guess in the end instead of the aluminum based ones but supposedly does a better job on hands and feet. And if its safe enough to swallow to treat an infection then occasional use on my feet shouldn't be a large risk.

Will report back in a couple weeks with an update but at this point I don't think I will get away from changing socks to stay dry completely but if this cream is a lot easier to apply once and good to go for a week then it may make keeping a dry foot that much easier.

sub posted:

This looks like a source for a Norwegian wool fishnet https://www.varustelekaDOTcom/en/product/aclima-woolnet-crew-neck-shirt/60366 

Once again, Lightfighter has been detrimental to my wallet - I bought a set and I'll buy another set.  It took about two weeks for the package to arrive and it was packaged in a heavy paper bag instead of a box.  The motto "Be a man among men" on the bag.  

They are very soft as merino wool will be.  The netting is very small about 3mm on a side.  The knees, shoulders, sides and crotch are padded.  Very warm and I can remove a layer of clothing.  Much more comfortable than Wiggy's net underwear.  Made by Aklima.  

They are a deep green color and well sized.  If you order them follow the sizing guide on the website.  You may want to get them a size larger.  I did and I am glad I did.

Aclima WoolNet Crew Neck Shirt

 

 

 

 

....

Sincerely,

 

Trajan Aurelius

 

 

When violence is the local language, be fluent.

 

"He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae/Second Part of the Second Part/Question 158", c. 1274

TJACKSON ran the opfor for this little mini-EX we did this weekend in the cold. Only question I have is: Why were fires so smoky?! When I took over and stayed up all night on fire watch, I got better wood and made a better fire and dried all wood with the fire before burning it and got it down to fairly smoky. Worst case before this was almost uninhabitable, though, totally smoked out. 

What did I miss about cold wx wood fire making? 

A few things I photographed of perhaps interest. Sorry, just my mobile so many bad, missing. 

Setting up 2 von-ruck shelters for the troops. Though we were dropped off, set and ran those shelters with just what would be available from our backs. Shelter halves, poles (tree branches and tape when the poles snapped), E-tools for fire pits and so on, Sven saws and forest axe for wood collecting. We /could/ do this as forward Light folks, justs first time 92% of the team had done them so a training instead.  

When these (briefly but a couple times) fell down they REALLY were cold. Made me wish I had brought my LEWS and a smaller thing like a candle heater to try for comparison. Open vs closed. Would be worth it. 

Oh, several folks including me brought spare foam pads, to sit and kneel on while on watch, doing work, etc. That helped a lot also. Not just at night, but any time, try to keep insulated from the ground. The ground is very big, and very cold. 

Warming Tent, also served as HQ.

This is several people in silhouette, sorry the photo is meh. Got up at 0500 last morning, 14°F. Kicked off for this assault at 0615, 5°F. "Warmed" by the time of the photo, post assault, but COLD. My Sordins decided that under 20°F and they don't play anymore. Thermal gave under 2 hours of battery, normally 8-10 hours. Dry guns (separate complaint!) really do not work in the cold, luckily I brought the mini-spray of Ballistol and it sprayed even in the deathly cold, so that was good. 

 

OT-ish, but two of us waiting for vehicle exfil wearing DG3s. 

I tried layering gloves. Worked well when they were on to keep warm, have some better dexterity, but then sometimes I still had to take them off and that wasn't so useful as I expected. Did the Canadian gloves mostly. They worked great. 

 

Good planning, for campsite, rotating people, and brining remotely the right gear means I was never cold. Just  inconvenienced by the cold, many things took longer to do. 

 

And if we can nominate Karma titles, TJackson said while waiting for something administrative but taking forever in the cold, so he was getting quite uncomfortable "This is reminding me of the Army, and I do not like it." 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

 Did the Canadian gloves mostly. They worked great. 

What are those?  In the Canadian army we ridiculed slack and idle soldiers standing around with hands in pockets as "wearing American gloves"  

Joined sometime in 2008.                  Live in Canada.        

libertarian45 posted:
shoobe01 posted:

 Did the Canadian gloves mostly. They worked great. 

What are those?  In the Canadian army we ridiculed slack and idle soldiers standing around with hands in pockets as "wearing American gloves"  

Not the first time I have heard that (or replace American with other nationalities, branches...) 

This thread has a photo and ID'd the gloves for me so I could buy new-er ones, which are those I wore to the field this weekend. Snow shovel gloves are the ones I repaired and always have at least one pine needle deep inside. 

https://www.lightfighter.net/t...nadian-forces-gloves

"Canadian Armed Forces Gore-Tex Gloves" is best name I have, but I have two pair now so what do I care  

Leather glove, ODG fabric cuff, tightenable strap, insulated and gore-tex apparently. Easy on, easy off, never fall off, essentially waterproof, work down to around 0°F without any other help as long as you aren't too static and keep circulation up (e.g. dog pulling her lead will make me cold wearing them, have to switch hands). 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

TJACKSON ran the opfor for this little mini-EX we did this weekend in the cold.

 

 

I have to ask. What's the reason for wondering the woods? 

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide." - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

 

Joined: 12/24/04    LOCATION : Moments away from BFG and DD

So camping. Got it. 

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide." - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

 

Joined: 12/24/04    LOCATION : Moments away from BFG and DD

shoobe01 posted:
libertarian45 posted:
shoobe01 posted:

 Did the Canadian gloves mostly. They worked great. 

What are those?  In the Canadian army we ridiculed slack and idle soldiers standing around with hands in pockets as "wearing American gloves"  

Not the first time I have heard that (or replace American with other nationalities, branches...) 

This thread has a photo and ID'd the gloves for me so I could buy new-er ones, which are those I wore to the field this weekend. Snow shovel gloves are the ones I repaired and always have at least one pine needle deep inside. 

https://www.lightfighter.net/t...nadian-forces-gloves

"Canadian Armed Forces Gore-Tex Gloves" is best name I have, but I have two pair now so what do I care  

Leather glove, ODG fabric cuff, tightenable strap, insulated and gore-tex apparently. Easy on, easy off, never fall off, essentially waterproof, work down to around 0°F without any other help as long as you aren't too static and keep circulation up (e.g. dog pulling her lead will make me cold wearing them, have to switch hands). 

Ahh those.  I don't know what happened to mine.  So many gloves in our inventory...

Joined sometime in 2008.                  Live in Canada.        

libertarian45 posted:
shoobe01 posted:
 

Ahh those.  I don't know what happened to mine.  So many gloves in our inventory...

That does not surprise me. But makes me wonder what are the good gloves that you really held onto. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

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