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Lapland logistics - John C. Kirk

Jan. 26th, 2014

12:32 am - Lapland logistics

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From:pozorvlak
Date:February 3rd, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
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While shuripentu has spent a lot more time in really cold climates than me - I've been to the Arctic Circle, but only in summer - I'd like to expand on what she says above and disagree with it to some extent. Layers have a couple of things going for them:

1. They trap air between them, which itself provides insulation. All else being equal, two layers weighing W/2 will be warmer than one layer weighing W.
2. They allow for relatively precise adjustment of your temperature.

However, adjusting a complex layering system for big swings in temperature may well require adding or removing several layers at once, which takes time and faff and requires somewhere to store lots of layers that aren't in use.

Hence, large numbers of thin layers are good for activities like hillwalking, where your heat output is roughly constant and stopping to add or remove a layer isn't usually a big deal, or polar travel where getting the temperature right is critical (too cold and you get hypothermia; too hot and you sweat and the sweat freezes and you get hypothermia). For activities like winter climbing, which are very stop-start (either you're climbing and working hard, or belaying and not moving much), it's better to use a relatively small number (1-3) of thin layers, plus a Big Thick Jacket for when you stop. If you're going to be going in and out of buildings a lot, that's probably a better model to aim for - removing half-a-dozen layers every time you go inside gets old fast, particularly if buildings tend to be overheated.

On the other hand, your skiing jacket may not be warm enough for this to be a viable option - it's designed to be worn while skiing, which burns a lot of calories. If so, you'll need more layers. I'd aim for baselayer + one or two midlayers + Big Thick Jacket (plus gloves, hat etc), but pack a couple of extra layers and use them if that's too cold.
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From:Mike Prior-Jones
Date:February 3rd, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
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I would strongly recommend that you buy yourself an insulated boiler suit. These are practical, warm one-piece garments that can be rapidly zipped on and off, which sounds ideal for your application. Perhaps not the most stylish thing to wear on the street though!

We used to have these at BAS: http://www.dickiesstore.co.uk/dickies-workwear/dickies-and-redhawk-overalls/dickies-deluxe-overalls/WD2360R

I would echo Sam's points about buffs and gloves. I like Marigold Industrial KT2 gloves as a thin liner, and they're cheap enough to be disposable.
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From:pozorvlak
Date:February 3rd, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
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That would also keep your legs warm when needed!
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From:johnckirk
Date:February 4th, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
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Thanks (to you and everyone else) - this is all very useful information. My only concern about a boiler suit is that I haven't had much luck with 1-piece outfits. Compared to the average person my height, my legs are quite long and my torso is quite short. So, whenever I wear my cycling bib tights, I have to keep yanking them up because the torso is too long. I also bought a wetsuit recently, and the ankles are around my calves while the crotch is a bit lower than it should be (i.e. torso too long and legs too short). The only thing that fits properly is my onesie, because that's not supposed to be form fitting (the "crotch" is somewhere around knee level).
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From:shuripentu
Date:February 3rd, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I've ever worn more than 4 torso layers (5 if you include my vest), and I've been out in -30C; down to about -20C I usually go with a fairly normal (or at least I think it's fairly normal) t-shirt + jumper + standard department store issue winter coat. I certainly wasn't thinking of as many as half a dozen layers when I suggested layering! Perhaps I should have explicitly mentioned layering socks, trousers, and gloves – people tend to remember to insulate their torsos but forget that the rest of their body needs just as much attention.

The weather in Rovaniemi is looking pretty mild at the moment anyway – warm enough there for me to be out in a t-shirt under the right circumstances. ;)
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