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Thread: Everything you need to know about staying warm and save in the winter.

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    Default Everything you need to know about staying warm and save in the winter.

    I was talking to a lady that go snowmobiling and she said her family are always cold. We talked for sometime about what they can do to keep warm. I mention food, and the proper way to dress, the importance of not sweating and how to keep from sweating.

    What would you tell a person that wants to learn how to stay warm and save?

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    A medium security prison....you know, like our rich and famous and of course our corrupt politicians go to when they are caught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I was talking to a lady that go snowmobiling and she said her family are always cold. We talked for sometime about what they can do to keep warm. I mention food, and the proper way to dress, the importance of not sweating and how to keep from sweating.

    What would you tell a person that wants to learn how to stay warm and save?
    I think you mean warm and "safe".....right? It's all about layering with clothes that wick away moisture from the skin. Wool is always good and anything polyester. Of course stay away from cotton....

    As far as safety goes.........well........don't go alone and be prepared to have to stay out overnight.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I think you mean warm and "safe".....right? It's all about layering with clothes that wick away moisture from the skin. Wool is always good and anything polyester. Of course stay away from cotton....

    As far as safety goes.........well........don't go alone and be prepared to have to stay out overnight.


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    Layering is the most important, to avoid getting damp, even your gloves can be layered. If you start to get cold add layers, when you start to get warm loose layers. You have to learn to predict your activity and dress accordingly. You know if you are going to have to dig your machine out of a hole, loose the heavy cloths. I used to run a lot, while in training, I learned I would be chilled at the start of the run, but by the end I was comfortable, not all wet and chilled by being over dressed. Make sure the cloths you take off are kept dry, when you need them you want dry cloths to put on, Wind proof outter clothing is important,(most windproof is water proof, but not all), in case you have to spend the night out you can bundle up in all your cloths, and put the outer layer on and do better than wet cloths. I also like to take the shake type warmers, they are an iron oxide material, shake and put in your shirt pocket over your heart, also can be put in a kidney belt. They make them for gloves and boots also. Have gear for the whole team that is going out into the woods. Do not rely on someone else to have your emergency gear. I always wear a vest that has most of the essential needs, it never leaves me in the woods. Have fun

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    Most people I know that complain about being cold WILL NOT spend the money on good clothing. If you can't get over that hurdle, it is a hopeless conversation. I find all my base layers and some vests at Value Village. Unfortunately, for boots, bibs, coats and gloves you are going to have to spend some coin.

    My riding clothes for trail riding at -30F are very different from those I wear active riding at 20F. My super cold clothes are bunny boots ($75) with good socks $10), merino wool long johns ($50), U.S. military ECWCS prima loft pants (ebay)($75) and a pair of uninsulated bibs ($300..but you can get much cheaper). For the top end I wear a merino wool shirt ($50), a 200 wt fleece coat ($50), a down vest ($50), topped with a ECWCS primaloft coat ($75). For my head I wear a fleece balaclava ($20), no-fog mask,($35) and helmet.($150) Scott goggles.($40) For gloves ($30), anything fairly insulated will work in cold temps if you have a good windshield and hot grips. I pack a pair of local made beaver mitts ($100) for when my hands get cold. As it warms up, layers start coming off.

    $1100 of crap on my body when it's -30F. Now multiply that times a family of 5. The only thing I won't compromise on is my bibs. I pay good money for made in USA bibs (outaware.com) because nothing pisses me off more than bad bibs. Otherwise I will patch the rest together with pretty inexpensive stuff.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Everything you need to know about staying warm and save in the winter.

    I finally tried bunny boots last winter and now I am outfitting the entire family. No idea why I went all these years without them.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    layers with wicking properties are the best. i carry two sets of gloves and 3-4 Balaclava to change out of when they get damp. Aint nothing better then dry gloves and head gear. When we stop, i open the couling and put my helmet on top of engine. Keeps it nice and warm.....
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    Having a wind-chill chart and understanding it is important.



    Depending on the speed one is traveling and how well their machine protects them from the wind, the wind-chill will drop the temp another 20-30 degrees over ambient temperature. So you need to dress for the wind-chill, not the ambient temperature. Clothing that is sufficient for 10-20 above just doesn't cut it at 10-20 below. If someone is getting cold, they simply aren't wearing appropriate clothing for the conditions.

    It's important to remember that there are ways to heat yourself up when you start feeling cold. Drinking a warm drink or soup will warm up your core. A hand warmer, the old fashioned liquid fuel one will burn all day on filling of fuel and keeping one close to your chest will do a surprising job of keeping you warm.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Windchill is based on exposed skin. A good windblocking layer and it's a non-issue. I base this on years of experience. I am far colder at -30F standing still than I am wizzing along at 45mph at 0F. (which equals -30F windchill)... as long as I don't have any exposed skin.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Great question on how to stay warm. I go layer after layer after layer when I'm riding home from Cantwell to the lodge 65 miles. Then, I tuck in behind the extra large windshield (which is a great thing to have) and ride like the wind. I normally just wear a beaver hat and beaver gloves, and my head or hands haven't got cold, even at -40. Can't express enough how quality gear is key, or lower end stuff, but extra layers of it. Make sure you have a good balaclava, and when it's colder than -20, I put a scarf around my neck to keep the wind off of me there. I know the bunny boots are great, but I have gone to Baffin boots rated for -140. You can not stay warm in boots rated at -60, no matter what they say. See the windchill chart to see why. I like the Baffin's over the bunny's just because they are more light weight and comfortable, but my son has gone to wearing the bunny boots that Doug gave him every day, all day.... I think they are actually becoming part of his feet!

    Now, when I'm riding the trapline, or off trail riding and such, I'll lose at least an entire layer, but keep the extra layer in my pack. It's a whole different kind of ride, and sweating is a serious issue. If you start to sweat while working on getting a machine unstuck, you need to stop and wait until you quit sweating or lose a layer until you get loose. You will pay dearly for that later in the ride, and it's nearly impossible to warm up once you sweat even a little.

    Of course, Doug is right on. I found that around $1000 is the minimum you need, per person, to ride comfortably. Of course, if your only going to ride late March and April, or only short trips in the Anchorage/Wasilla area, you might get by with less, but I wouldn't do it.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimw View Post
    layers with wicking properties are the best. i carry two sets of gloves and 3-4 Balaclava to change out of when they get damp. Aint nothing better then dry gloves and head gear. When we stop, i open the couling and put my helmet on top of engine. Keeps it nice and warm.....
    Ahhh, open the cowling... I remember when it was that simple.... 2 straps and 4 clips later and I can maybe cram a set of goggles in there or a glove. No way is the helmet gonna fit now days and it is a major production to line everything back up to get going again.

    I agree with Doug regarding wind chill. Tape is handy if you can't get a good seal around goggles or your neck. A layer of duck tape will keep your cheeks or eyebrows from getting frost bitten. Last year on the January Frozen Forum ride to Alpine Creek lodge I believe that one group ended up turning back due to frost bite from a gap in their clothing. It sure doesn't take long to set in either!

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Yep, that was one tough ride.. seems it was -35 when we left Cantwell. He only had a small hole in his helmut that was allowing air in. About a pin hole and it's gonna sting. My rule of thumb is that if the skin is stinging, it's still okay, but you better stop. As soon as you quit feeling the sting, you have frost bite, and you need to stop and warm it up. Frost bit my nose and cheeks last year, cause I wasn't paying close enough attention, reached up to my nose, and it felt like I was touching something other than my skin... They were like bad sunburns and healed up in a week or so.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    My bad LuJohn, Im still riding my 2000 rmk 700 old iron. with a one piece couling, gotta agree on the high windshield, my old iron will keep me and my hands mostly covered and out of the wind.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The Bearcat front piece pops right off easy. We used it often on that cold weekend
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimw View Post
    My bad LuJohn, Im still riding my 2000 rmk 700 old iron. with a one piece couling, gotta agree on the high windshield, my old iron will keep me and my hands mostly covered and out of the wind.
    2000... "old iron". LOL. My iron must be ancient!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I was talking to a lady that go snowmobiling and she said her family are always cold. We talked for sometime about what they can do to keep warm. I mention food, and the proper way to dress, the importance of not sweating and how to keep from sweating.

    What would you tell a person that wants to learn how to stay warm and save?
    Rule number one. Cotton kills. Leave the blue jeans and flannel shirts at home. Wear synthetic layers with a breathable top layer to block the wind. Silk and wool are acceptable but cotton is a no-no. Sweating shouldn't be more than a temporary issue and with proper clothes it isn't a problem. You'll dry out easily. If you're planning to go out riding and you're athletic you may be tempted to wear clothes that keep you warm as long as you're exerting yourself. You need to have clothes that will do the job if your machine breaks, leaving you stranded, or if you get hurt. That's when you'll find out what cold is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I was talking to a lady that go snowmobiling and she said her family are always cold. We talked for sometime about what they can do to keep warm. I mention food, and the proper way to dress, the importance of not sweating and how to keep from sweating.

    What would you tell a person that wants to learn how to stay warm and save?
    Stay home and read a book.

    Going outside in the morning is a calculated risk. If people aren't capable of determining why they are cold, should they be outside endangering the people who will eventually have to come rescue them? I know it sounds cold (pun intended), but really...
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    I agree about the Baffins.....holy smokes what ahh boot! They claim they use em for south pole expeditions. The removable liners appear to be thicker than any other top o the line boot like the sorel expeditions or the cabelas "Jeff King" boots.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Gawd, you guys make me wonder how I ever managed to survive on my "snow-go" going cross country in southwest Alaska at -20 with my Sorel packs, wool socks, snow pants, beaver hat and down coat. Total cost was about $50. Guess I was just young and dumb. Maybe lucky. I still travel that way. I guess I am a dead man walking.

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