Chris on October 7th, 2009

Keeping warm feet when on glacial ice or even snow can be a problem.  Even boots that have a thick outsole will still eventually conduct heat into the ice.  This problem is further compounded when wearing crampons.  The steel really sucks the heat out of your feet. I usually choose to wear light and fast […]

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Chris on October 5th, 2009

My hands are a really important body part.  My hands enable me to do all the things necessary to keep myself alive and well in the mountains; handling ski poles, ice tools, dressing myself, cooking, feeding myself. . . I am very serious about keeping my hands warm and happy.  I’ve gone my whole life […]

Continue reading about Gloves and Mittens – keeping your hands warm

It has been well established that layering is a superior approach for dressing for outdoor pursuits.  However, the traditional layering method of base, insulation, and shell often does not meet my needs. I have spent a lot of time in the cold working out this method for layering, that allows for changing weather conditions, and […]

Continue reading about Layering – A Versatile Approach for Extreme Cold Weather

Chris on September 30th, 2009

Comparing sleeping bags can be pretty difficult.  Manufacturers quote a variety of numbers and measurements and prices vary dramatically.  It can be hard to sort through it all and make a good decision. I’ll talk about a few important quantifiable considerations, and leave the qualitative decisions to you. Fit is a qualitative factor that should […]

Continue reading about Sleeping bag comparison: –20F down bags

Chris on September 28th, 2009

Sleeping pad manufacturers have been quoting R-values for their pads lately.  This is a major step up from quoting nothing for a warmth spec.  However, until there is a similar system for rating sleeping bags, and then a system for comparing sleep systems, there will still be a lot of trial and error in choosing […]

Continue reading about Sleeping pads – warmth vs weight

Chris on September 26th, 2009

Wind layers are a vital piece in my layering system.  In cold weather, rain isn’t a concern, but wind can cause rapid heat loss.  Preventing this with a very light breathable layer is critical.  I wear my wind layer right over the top of my base layer.  That way as I add insulation, I don’t […]

Continue reading about Marmot Driclime vest – gear review

Chris on September 25th, 2009

Choosing baselayers has become a tricky process with the increasing availability of high quality wool and an increasing range of synthetics.  Both choices have pros and cons.  Here is what I’ve found personally. Synthetic Synthetic baselayers are incredibly efficient at moisture transport.  They don’t absorb the moisture which means they dry rapidly, although, they can […]

Continue reading about Battle of the Baselayers – synthetic vs wool