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Thread: Dressing for winter in the boreal forest

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    I no longer carry one, but only because it’s been replaced by the multifunction wonder that is the Jerven Fjellduken, produced by those clever Norwegians. I throw it on as giant jacket, or just a blanket when taking a rest stop and use it to protect my sleeping bag from hoarfrost when in snow shelters, were I often configure it as a sleeping bag type garment with arms when cooking or organising kit, I also have the peace of mind that should an ice storm blow in and I cant make it back to camp, I can climb inside and sit it out.





    I use the Multimate model, which allows me to remove the insulating liner and use the outer as a standalone tarp.



    Unfortunately they are very expensive, and the ‘multimate’ model that I use (with the removable liner) no longer appears to be available to the public, though it’s still in service with some units of the Norwegian and Danish military.

    I wrote a review for BCUK a few years ago, the articles area of BCUK is down but the review is also reproduced on the Jerven website and in their catalogue: https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.no/page/7366/
    Having looked at the website I must say that the "mounatain camo" version looks amazingly suited to the environment it is intended. One of if not the best location-specific patterns there is other than an all white snow suit in a whiteout??

    Santa, I simply must have one of those "hunter" models please!

    Thanks for bringing these to our attention.

    Cheers
    Klenchblaize

    It was evening all afternoon.
    It was snowing
    And it was going to snow.
    The blackbird sat
    In the cedar-limbs.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klenchblaize View Post
    Having looked at the website I must say that the "mounatain camo" version looks amazingly suited to the environment it is intended. One of if not the best location-specific patterns there is other than an all white snow suit in a whiteout??
    It sure is.. One of the guys we went to Norway with had one... against the snow it looked quite bright and garish, but put it against a moss covered rock and it dissapears

    Getting back on topic, a couple of people have mentioned the Swedish M90 kit.. I bought the jacket and trousers a while ago, sized correctly according to the Swedish system of Height and Weight (or at least the weight I was back then ).. While the trousers are a perfect fit, the jacket is huuuuuggggeee!! ... it goes down to my knees and I could probably fit in there twice!!... is that normal? most of the photos I've seen of them show them looking more like a large Parka, rather than a quilted tent like mine does
    ...are you sure I only need 1 ?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikething View Post
    Getting back on topic, a couple of people have mentioned the Swedish M90 kit.. I bought the jacket and trousers a while ago, sized correctly according to the Swedish system of Height and Weight (or at least the weight I was back then ).. While the trousers are a perfect fit, the jacket is huuuuuggggeee!! ... it goes down to my knees and I could probably fit in there twice!!... is that normal? most of the photos I've seen of them show them looking more like a large Parka, rather than a quilted tent like mine does
    Are you talking about the insulated parka, not the splinter cammo uniform jacket? If so it is long, mine goes down to about a handswidth above my knee.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    the Woodsmoke ‘Northern wilderness’ expedition with the Conovers (which I understand has a cancelation place available)
    Stuart, many, many thanks for the tip off! That cancellation place is now mine!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestwalker View Post
    Are you talking about the insulated parka, not the splinter cammo uniform jacket? If so it is long, mine goes down to about a handswidth above my knee.
    The plain green insulated one (with the un-insulated hood that rolls into the collar) - I'll try and get a picture later..

    The trousers are a cracking bit of kit though... much more robust than the british bivvy-suit ones.
    ...are you sure I only need 1 ?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikething View Post
    The plain green insulated one (with the un-insulated hood that rolls into the collar) - I'll try and get a picture later..
    There are two generations of this parka. The first few years it had a proper, insulated hood (a bit overlarge by most peoples standards, since it had to fit over a helmet; but it also fits nicely over a fur hat...) but it then lost this and only has a thin fabric hood. Better for keeping soldiers on stag aware of their surrounding, but worse for the true function of the parka (it is nick-named the "coma-coat", i.e. the one you wear when you are no longer interested in interacting with your surroundings). I have one of each, the later model is the one I use when hunting moose -- a very static pursuit -- while use the older one when out and about in the bush.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestwalker View Post
    Which why I like it; if I have it I "can" survive a night out much betten than otherwise, and if it is -50 C, windy, a new moon, heavy cloud cover, and 10 PM being able to just wrap up in my clothes is valuable. Which is why I'm interested in the Fjellduken, and thinking about bodging up a version of the model Stuart has; not quite as good a garment as the m90 parka, but more versatile.



    The trick (IMNSHO) is to strip down the rest; skiing in wool pants -- and in wet snow I'd be even more carefull to keep a cotton layer on the outside than usual -- my thinnest wool undershirt and a cotton smock (in good weather I've even done the semi-nudist version; just make sure not to become sunburned). No mittens, no hat, no scarf, open neck, etc. That is tolerable just as long as one quickly gets into the parka+hat+mittens as soon as one stops. Yes, the cotton pants will be soaked fairly soon, but they are a layer that one can remove when needed, and dry next to the fire when given a chance. The wool pants are still nice and dry, which is of much greater importance.
    Yes the m90 is great. Slept in it some nights in the cold and it's amazing how well it performs. Although I have not slept in it below -10. The -50 you mention is amazing

    Stripping down is a good tip, but depends on which company you have

    Never had the experience, but I saw pictures of a group who stripped to their underpants while skiing...

    Drying wet cotton next to the fire in freezing temperatures is a trick I'm not very good at. Surely not if it's snowing. What is your preferred way of drying clothes next to an open fire?

    I would like to mention polycotton pants, they dry faster, are thinner and useable in a bigger range of temperatures (in combination with longjohns). They pack small and are easy to have as an extra pair. I'm a big fan of wool pants, but for a lot of activity the polycotton is better if temperatures are above something like -8. Ofcourse everyone knows them, but they were not yet mentioned in this thread as far as I remember.

  8. #38
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    What do you use for eye protection, folks? Goggles of some sort or another?

  9. #39
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    for those of you asking for more information on the Jerven multimate, the specifications are in the 2008 Jerven catalogue, which is available from Jerven as a downloadable PDF:

    https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.n...File/16873.pdf

    prehapes if contacted directly they might still sell them to the public
    Success is not measured by what you have, but by what you can do without.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LM J View Post
    What do you use for eye protection, folks? Goggles of some sort or another?
    That is not needed much in the forest. The only time I really missed not having them was when we once got to play with the Swedish military rescue helicopter people. Standing there with your arms out when they land in front of you is in the snow means you have to close your eyes or wear goggles.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnix View Post
    Yes the m90 is great. Slept in it some nights in the cold and it's amazing how well it performs. Although I have not slept in it below -10. The -50 you mention is amazing
    Neither have I, but wearing everything else underneath a night in a snow cave should be surviviable. I have sat for 4 hours in an OP wearing the old M59 parka at -45 C; cold but survivable, and enclosed shelter should be better.

    Drying wet cotton next to the fire in freezing temperatures is a trick I'm not very good at. Surely not if it's snowing. What is your preferred way of drying clothes next to an open fire?
    Either in a heated shelter, or hung up "next" to the fire, not directly above it.

    I would like to mention polycotton pants, they dry faster, are thinner and useable in a bigger range of temperatures (in combination with longjohns). They pack small and are easy to have as an extra pair. I'm a big fan of wool pants, but for a lot of activity the polycotton is better if temperatures are above something like -8. Ofcourse everyone knows them, but they were not yet mentioned in this thread as far as I remember.
    For the warmer temps something like the G1000 over merino wool is ok. In really nasty thaw conditions I've wore just wool long johns and the outher whites. Not the best of wear, but far nicer than getting the wool pants wet either from the outside from melting snow or from the inside from sweat (the temp was +2 C, we were skiing only in the sense of "moving forward with skis on, on top of snow", I think I had a 10 cm thick cake of snow on the bottom of my skis).

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestwalker View Post
    Either in a heated shelter, or hung up "next" to the fire, not directly above it.
    Perhaps I should build a bigger fire.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnix View Post
    Perhaps I should build a bigger fire.
    When it is cold you either have a heated shelter or use radiant heat. Largish fire, hang next to it (check with your bare hand to avoid scorching your clothes)

  14. #44
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    Hi there Stuart,

    Many thanks for your comprehensive guide. It's come at a very good time for me!

    Your comments would be welcome: I have a good set of the Buffalo Pile system clothing (Special 6 Mountain Shirt, Mountain Jacket, Special 6 Trousers, the Gilet, mitts and over-mitts, along with a couple of the older pile sleeping bags). It's given me good service to date and I've used the clothing in some cold temperatures but not down to -30C and less. Do you have any knowledge or experience of the use of the Buffalo gear, along with appropriate merino base layers, etc. etc. at these sort of temperatures? I'd like to be able to use what I have, or a variation thereon, without raiding the piggy bank for a whole new set of gear. The Mountain Shirt is designed to replace a base layer so I guess I could still use that over my merino base layer with a more capacious woolen fleece between it and the outer Mountain Jacket?

    BTW I don't plan to use the Buffalo pile bags; they've already proved themselves inadequate in the Canadian Rockies back in October 2008 so I now have a Rab Summit 1100 bag which was great this October in the Rockies. (The pile bags are approaching 30 years old so their performance is perhaps understandable!)

    Good luck with your trip. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    for those of you asking for more information on the Jerven multimate, the specifications are in the 2008 Jerven catalogue, which is available from Jerven as a downloadable PDF:

    https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.n...File/16873.pdf

    prehapes if contacted directly they might still sell them to the public
    I've sent an email through their site... lets see what happens
    ...are you sure I only need 1 ?

  16. #46
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    Stuart,
    Please excuse my ignorance. You mention you use Mid-weight long-sleeved Merino wool underwear and ¾ length wool leggings. Are these 100% wool or is it a wool / polyester mixture and if so how do they perform / compare against each other?.

    My apologies for not knowing if you can not get 100% as I have never been able to find them. Any pointers in the right direction if they do?.

    Thank you for your very informative and interesting post.
    Freelander

  17. #47

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    Where have you been looking that you can't find 100% merino?
    100% merion is available from all these sources, just for starters.

    Devold
    Janus
    Both via the Norwegian Store in Keswick
    http://www.norwegianstore.com/index.html
    (mail order by phone)

    ChocloateFish
    http://www.chocolatefishmerino.co.uk.../leggings.html

    Icebreaker
    http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebr..._leggings.html

    Rammite from Australia

    Patagonia
    http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/prod...&p=37701-0-155

    Smartwool

    Of course, if you are only able to go by what you find in the local camping shops, that might make it harder to locate. Once upon a time Craghopper did some merino base layer stuff, they had those in the local store, but I don't think that Craghopper offer it any more. No great loss, I haven't been impressed with the cut, but mail order is a fine way to go. Personally I would make the Norwegian Store the first port of call, with ChocolateFish as number 2.
    Last edited by C_Claycomb; 19-12-2009 at 10:10.
    Chris

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    You can spend time, and you can spend money. Sometimes you can end up spending both, but you will never get anywhere without committing to spending at least one or the other....Sometimes money is cheaper than time.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Claycomb View Post
    Devold
    Janus
    Both via the Norwegian Store in Keswick
    http://www.norwegianstore.com/index.html
    (mail order by phone)
    I was looking at their site the other day but there's no prices. Their jumpers look toasty!

  19. #49
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    I've pretty much settled on my system for the Woodsmoke expedition in the North Woods of Maine, January/February. It'll be my first time fully immersed in this type of environment so I'll can only about my body and from my mistakes.


    Head and Hands:

    Merino Possum Beanie
    Merino Tuara
    Wool British Army Headover in reserve

    Everest mitts (like the old, warmer Dachsteins I am told ) with loaned Empire Canvas “Chopper” Shells
    Possum Merino Gloves or Army Gore-Tex Gloves. I'll probably carry both for what the Possums weigh.


    Torso:

    Base Layers: 2 Woolpower Crewneck 200s
    Mid Layer: Woolpower Zip Turtleneck 400
    British Army Jumper – another option is my Woolrich Railroad Vest?
    Swanndri Jacket
    Windproof: Loaned Empire Canvas Anorak. I have a good Ventile smock but am not going to pass on the fur ruff.

    Alpkit Filo Jacket? I'm not 100% on whether I'm going to splash the cash on this yet. Another option is a G1 Swedish M90 Parka at £22.


    Legs:

    Base Layer: Woolpower Long Johns 200
    Mid Layer: Woolpower Long Johns 400
    Fjallraven Forester Trousers
    Windproof: SASS Combat Trousers


    Waterproofs:

    Army Gore-Tex Jacket
    Army Gore-Tex Trousers


    Feet:

    6 pairs of socks (2 pairs each of Woolpower 200, 400 and 600 g/m2)
    2 pairs each of Wool Felt Liners and Insoles to go inside a pair of loaned Artic Steger Mukluks


    Cheers all,

    Lee

  20. #50
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    What a cracking post. Thanks to Stuart and Forestwalker for all the good advice.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Claycomb View Post
    Where have you been looking that you can't find 100% merino?
    100% merion is available from all these sources, just for starters.

    Devold
    Janus
    Both via the Norwegian Store in Keswick
    http://www.norwegianstore.com/index.html
    (mail order by phone)

    ChocloateFish
    http://www.chocolatefishmerino.co.uk.../leggings.html

    Icebreaker
    http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebr..._leggings.html

    Rammite from Australia

    Patagonia
    http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/prod...&p=37701-0-155

    Smartwool

    Of course, if you are only able to go by what you find in the local camping shops, that might make it harder to locate. Once upon a time Craghopper did some merino base layer stuff, they had those in the local store, but I don't think that Craghopper offer it any more. No great loss, I haven't been impressed with the cut, but mail order is a fine way to go. Personally I would make the Norwegian Store the first port of call, with ChocolateFish as number 2.
    Chris,
    thank you for the link's. Really like the Norwgian Store stock not just the base layers, reminds me of Hansi Hinterseer .


    As I said, excuse my ignorance, I have only ever been able to source mixed fibers (I admit, I do not spend that much time on the internet) but the good thing about this site is that someone will allways be able to assist and help you on yourway. Personal recommendation cannot be beaten, I appreciate your help.


    Like wise, thanks Stuart for posting such good avice
    Thanks
    Last edited by Freelander; 19-12-2009 at 16:51. Reason: extra line added
    Freelander

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikething
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    for those of you asking for more information on the Jerven multimate, the specifications are in the 2008 Jerven catalogue, which is available from Jerven as a downloadable PDF:

    https://jerven-com.secure.flexiweb.n...File/16873.pdf

    prehapes if contacted directly they might still sell them to the public
    I've sent an email through their site... lets see what happens
    Got a reply from Jerven :

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerven
    We have closed down the production of the Multimate. New model with
    removeable lining will be in sale during spring, 2010.

    Jerven
    ...are you sure I only need 1 ?

  23. #53
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    Don't forget about silk base layers though. I love mine.
    Things like the light weight silk balaclavas are excellent too. Often when it's not too cold but you need 'something' it's ideal on it's own. It makes a great underlayer beneath a wool hat too though

    http://www.patra.com/products-Silk-P...k-Vest_PNT.htm

    cheers,
    Toddy
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  24. #54
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    Looks more like a large lichen covered rock, watch out a reindeer does not eat that while you sleep.
    Dont die in the Bundu.

  25. #55
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    Stuart,

    great informative post and thanks for making this material so clear. I saw pics of British soldiers Falklands war era with their smocks tied in at the bottom as you describe...I always thought it was to cut off the chilly drafts!! Good tip on putting items inside to avoid loss.

  26. #56
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    Stuart,

    Excellent, informative and well presented post ... is there an English translation!!

    PM sent re your Boots enquiry

    Woody

  27. #57
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    I really liked the concept of the Jerven Bag.

    For what we call winter here, I had made myself a similar system some years ago.
    I consits of my Poncho and a so called "poncho liner", 900gr, bought at a military surplus store for € 10.00.
    The latter is basically a quilted blanked, nylon on the outside with some polyester hollowfibre and I have added a slot for the head.
    Exped.ch make a lightweight liner to fit their poncho, called "Bivy-bag liner".
    A claimed 830-1300gr depending on which of their ponchos one chooses.
    http://www.exped.de/exped/web/exped_...E?openframeset
    Warm, ugly and versatile, its better than any extra fleece to carry for additional warmth:

    -----------------------------------------------------

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Stuart,

    Excellent, informative and well presented post ... is there an English translation!!
    Thanks Woody, not just for your approval but also for taking the time to drive down here in 04 to help kit me out for my first winter foray into the boreal forests, without which I may not have enjoyed the experience enough to have kept going back!
    Success is not measured by what you have, but by what you can do without.

  29. #59
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    From the photos, you all seem to have forgotten the obligatory Winter Beard!

    The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as civilisation, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.

    Tacitus. The Agricola

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    From the photos, you all seem to have forgotten the obligatory Winter Beard!]
    A beard is for life.... not just for Winter
    ...are you sure I only need 1 ?

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