|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on March 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM|
One of the most common misconceptions about my area of Alaska is that I need heavy arctic kit to keep warm. At times I use some heavyweight cold weather kit but generally the temp falls no colder then 20 below 0 in my area, though I have been out in 30 below. My go 2 hand protection against the cold is a simple OLD SCHOOL OD Green wool liner inserts. I say old school because it seems the ones made after 2000 are made much thinner and are complete garbage when compared to their predecessors that were in service since WWII. Even before I arrived in Alaska 10 years ago I used these inserts to keep out the cold in the winter.
There's many reasons for this continuation of hand kit. IT SIMPLY WORKS. Its all a combination of price-value-durability-and stowage capacity, as in how many i can carry with me.
I prefer these simple wool liners because I can carry far more sets of these then I could with one huge modern bulky set of 5 finger gloves. Also I recommend layering in all aspects of winter/cold weather tasking so why would gloves be any exception to that rule? Wool liners are totally easy to repair, relatively heat resistance for use around heat and flames, when one gets wet you can rotate them out for a dry set to either dry the wet ones or to store away to dry later. Have you ever tied to dry out on of those thick sets of gloves that are a kin to a glove from a Astronaut suit? At home its hard but by campfire its nearly impossible unless you have an endless schedule (wich you will not when the hammer drops) and its extremely difficult w/o damaging the glove. Yeah its takes 18 forevers and if its dry by camp fire you have a probably risk of melting the modern materials its made off. Wool leaves a wiggle room with its high heat resistance and they dry SUPER fast.. Stuffing them in your smock can even dry these gloves relative rapidly.
One this day the temp wasa modest 30 Below 0. A double set of these gloves were appropriate when I was moving and working. It was one set of finger-less liners with a full fingered version under that. Note: I was moving all day long. Static protection would bee mush more robust.
One this day I was building a snow cave. The temps were similar as above but I suspect a bit warmer. The hand protection was identical. One finger-less liner over a full finger liner. DO NOT MISTAKE STATIC PROTECTION AND WORKING PROTECTION FOR YOUR HANDS. You will PAY.
When working or moving these gloves generally keep my hands warm with just a layer of finger and finger-less gloves. Even getting a nice coat of ice on the outside. As long as Im moving my hands are warm. Remember other factors will play into your extremities remaining warm regardlless of a static situation or moving. Every thing from diet, smoking cigarettes, to humidity and fatigue. There is NO silver bullet to suit everyone. Try for yourself!
Storing these gloves...
The Glock 19 is for scale. What you see here is 3 sets of these gloves rolled up. These are full fingered and uncut. They are relatively equal the mass of one glove from a set of modern Astronaut size winter gloves. So for the mass of one modern Astronaut size glove you get 3 sets of liners. Maybe even 4... x2 you get 6 sets of liners for the mass of one set of banana fingered modern gloves. Guess what? You just created options!
Layering and combinations...
At times I just want to keep one set of finger-less gloves on when its cold. Usually this is when i use hiking sticks in crazy terrain and its pretty cold but I don't want the burden of putting my hands into a full set because i like my finger tips free and able to be used easily. I carry a set of trigger finger wool mittens with me that just go over my finger-less gloves and form a warm cocoon. I can simply fling them off if i need to use my hands fast and I still have a a layer on my hands for some basic protection. I can also wear full fingered gloves w/o issues. These wool wittens are an amazing piece of kit and cost pennies. Ive had this set for 10 years. Stowage of the mittens is little difference in mass as the fingered liners. Gets some wool and see what will work for you and your tasks..
These gloves here are the modern liners with tiny rubber dots on them for gripping. While these looks identical to the normal version, its been my experiences that these are half as thick as the normal sets. Thus I have found them to be much colder to use. Whats more is when you cut off the fingers they turn into a rats nest of unraveling wool yarn that just never ever stops coming undone. As a whole they generally are more comfortable putting them on as a bottom layer but I try to avoid these gloves when I can. They are at the bottom of the pouch when I reach for a new set of wool gloves regardless of superior grip ability.
This is a picture of the old school gloves with the gingers removed. They just tend to curl back a slight bit and Ive never had any unraveling issues in all my years.
These gloves have a light fleece liner. I have found them to be generally very warm for summer use, but I have been known to use them quite often in the summer for their leather protection against thorns and devils-club. Wool simply will not offer that protection. They also offer a camouflage option to go along with their protective nature. They were originally full fingered but they were sent to the sheers and i hand sewed the ends to keep the liners and outer layers aligned and stable. I really love these gloves. They can be found quite easy on the surplus market. I have been using these since 2014. They make excellent work gloves as well and have been used extensively during shelter construction. They are built well and from sound materials. I highly recommend these gloves. I generally have these with me regardless of the task at hand.
The Heavy Weights..
These are true arctic weight mittens. Designed for simply keeping your hands warm when static. They have limited dexterity or utilitarian use. They are mostly a stand alone item that hangs around ones neck with a cord. If you hands get super cold you just shoved them strait into the mitten. They are ridiculously warm. being made of canvas, leather and wool felt they are made to last.. When I first arrive in AK the temperature was much colder in my area when winter would come but now not so much so they get little use. There have been a few times Ive ysed these on the move. Mostly when the moving was slow and it was just that cold. They were used in combinations with wool inserts at various levels. Experiment for yourself..
The inside liner is made of the same material as a US poncho liner or US filed jacket. Its a simple nylon and poly-fill liner. Its super warm however once wet its useless and loses all insulation capabilities. They are made for dry cold environments so anytime is cold enough to use these the chances of getting them soaked are slim, but not nonexistent. The liners simply snap in and are removed easy for laundering.
So in closing the real point of this post is the wool inserts. I been using them for YEARS and I highly recommend their use. One again its not 'putting all your eggs in one basket' and utilizing the best use of space and making options for yourself. Several sets of these wool gloves will serve someone far better then one or two sets of banana finger gloves. Well, at least its worked well for me over the decades. These gloves can be had for 2-5$ on line. You get a lot of warm for your buck...
Categories: Kit Posts