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Thread: Winter Gear

  1. #1
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    Default Winter Gear

    Hello everyone,
    I just moved up to Fairbanks from Oregon, and I am trying to get ready for the winter up here.
    So I wanted to ask people with experience what winter gear I should be looking for i.e. where
    should I get a winter jacket, what is the best winter jacket for the Fairbanks area, what winter
    boots should I get etc.... I am looking for everything one needs to be warm outside during the
    winter, so for those of you who answer, assume that I have nothing what so ever, an let me know
    from the ground up what I need. Oh, and I also plan on spending quite a bit of time outside, so
    up to 10 hours outside, I assume that will also make a difference in what winter gear Im looking for.
    Thank you for you help!!

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Winter Gear

    What do you plan to do outside? In general dressing in layers lets you adjust for different activities but I would layer differently depending on the planned activity. For example, staying warm actively snowshoeing would be different than sitting on a bucket ice fishing.

    As a south central AK guy I don't have much input regarding clothing for the interior. When I head north in the winter I just take and wear everything I have. LOL. One thing that has been pretty good to me is bunny boots. I had some seriously cold feet my first remote winter excursion and while out there I noticed that the other guys I came across with a ton more experience than I were wearing bunny boots. Message received!!

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    LuJon has a good point. The activity you are doing will play a big part of what you need to wear. If you activitly skiing or snowshoeing you'll considerably less than if you are ice-fishing. If you can afford it, check out Appocalypse Designs here in Fairbanks. Their gear is about as nice as it gets. Spendy though.

    For a cheaper option the Cabelas Trans-Alaska Anorak makes a great outer layer. You'll want a couple of mid layers to depending on the temps as well. Cabelas sells a cheaper down jacket that would work well both as a layer or for just wearing around town. Find a local fur sewer or learn how to make yourself a decent beaver hat. You'll also want an assortment of fleece balaclavas and neck gaiters. As far as bottoms go, I am usually comfortable wearing a pair of insulated carharts or in warmer temps I have an old pair of unlined snow pants that I like. Bunny boots make a decent winter boot, but a pair of mukluks are also a nice option. If you do get mukluks as your primary winter footwear, a pair of Neos overboots will be needed to provide some more warmth and keep any water out. I don't buy nice gloves because I just end up ruining them or loosing them too quickly. I like a pair of AIH workgloves with a liner glove inside. I have a pair of over sized beaver mitts that I can fit into while wearing these gloves and these will keep me warm as I want.

    So that's about it in a nut shell. I can provide better advice if you ask more specific questions and provide some more detail on what you'll be doing outdoors here in the winter. Hope that helps.

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    Thanks for all the input. To clarify, I plan on doing wildlife photography (so lots of sitting and waiting once I am at the location that I plan on taking pictures at). I had thought about mukluks as boots, because when my grandfather homesteaded in central Alaska, he mentioned that he had maid himself a pair, and that his feet were never cold. I also already have a badger fur hat. Will that work as well? And in terms of balaclavas, any suggestions on what to look for?

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    Go take a trip to Apocalypse Design in Fairbanks and see what they have and recommend. They make some great stuff and I have never been cold in any of it.

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    BigRays and Prospecter have good selections as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    Go take a trip to Apocalypse Design in Fairbanks and see what they have and recommend. They make some great stuff and I have never been cold in any of it.
    They have some amazingly warm stuff but I have to say that for heavy overmitts I do prefer the ones from Midnight Mushing.

    There's tremendous variation in what works for various people. Bunny boots do okay by me but I know a bunch of other mushers who can't stay warm in them, and heaven knows it's sure nice not to have to worry as much about overflow. I also have a pair of Stegers and while they're actually the warmest footwear I've got they aren't waterproof, and overflow is so common here in the interior and you run on rivers enough that that's a major concern (also, the soles are thick, but they're soft enough that stomping a snow hook can hurt a bit). So, NEOS overboots are the ticket. The big question with mukluks is how you line them.

    I've got a Canada Goose Heli-Arctic parka for very cold weather and have no complaints other than the usual ones about zippers being a nuisance. I've also got the Cabela's Trans-Alaska anorak and while I wasn't expecting much from it it's warmer than I thought it would be. On the other hand the shell fabric is a little flimsy.

    If you're like the rest of us you'll probably end up trying a bunch of stuff and find that some works for you and some doesn't.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    They have some amazingly warm stuff but I have to say that for heavy overmitts I do prefer the ones from Midnight Mushing.
    Thanks! I had never heard of Midnight Mushing or their products, looks like some good stuff.

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    Thanks for all the input, I think that I have a really good place to start now.

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    I dont live in alaska, but when I go up there during the winter, I were either a sitka fanatic jacket or a the inferno jacket, They are the warmest coats I have ever seen, but they are not cheap, close to $500 for each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkoosikas View Post
    Thanks for all the input, I think that I have a really good place to start now.
    Here's what you have to look forward to in a couple months My front porch, downtown Fairbanks.....

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