Cold weather dress questions

Discussion in 'Safety - General Safety Issues' started by John Sandford, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. John Sandford

    John Sandford Frequent Poster

    There is a quilted pullover hood that I believe is made by Refrigiwear. The neckpiece slips over your head and over you shirt's collar. What I like about it is that it allows you to turn your head 180 degrees without any loss of view...that's important when you're watching a load line or any other activity around the construction site.

    Your cold weather info is great! Not that you would ever find alcohol on a job site or a worker showing up with it in his system or on his person, but alcohol can be the number one cause for serious frostbite. The same with coffee. They can truly accelerate tissue damage.

    Forget the old story of the St. Bernard's cask of brandy saving lost climbers (mountain, not tower). It's a fable that grows with years. Alcohol and caffeine will accelerate hypothermia, plus there is more caffeine in brandy than most beverages, including coffee.
  2. Bob Cantwell

    Bob Cantwell Industry Observer Staff Member

    Thanks for all of the information Carey. It sounds like you've spent a day or two in cold weather. We've been working in the UP and it is cooooold!!! Too cold for me anyway. I've heard this expression, but never gave it too much thought until now: "Welcome to the Upper Penninsular of Michigan where you'll find nine months of winter followed by three months of bad sledding." Its been mostly in the teens, but today we're supposed to have a heat wave in the mid thirties, with NO WIND CHILL!
    Warm regards,
  3. ray bodey

    ray bodey Guest

    Finding gloves was mentioned but not explored. I'd greatly appreciate some specific brands or types that are working for both dexterity and warmth. The constant wind doesn't make life easy either.
  4. Chas  Wagner

    Chas Wagner Industry Observer

    I see I'm a bit late in this posting, but I imagine they are read all year round by new viewers. Another avenue for great cold weather clothing is "hunting" clothes. I recently spent 3 months in NY from about Jan 5th on. We saw numerous days 15+ degrees below the 0 mark and spent a lot of time exposed to it while setting up tarp tents and heaters for the work area.

    Hunting outfitters make great under clothes and gloves that offer good movement and agility. Don?t forget the Carhardt brand, you'll find they have more than coveralls once you get up north. Also, buy your clothes in the climate where you intend to work. Pricing, quality and selection will be much better.

    You can be warm and nimble, just take the time to look into what?s available.
  5. Bob Cantwell

    Bob Cantwell Industry Observer Staff Member

    We're probably going to be doing some work in some pretty cold climates in Michigan and other states. Our normal cold temps are in NC, TN and VA so normal cold weather gear is minimal. If you can provide me with any info and tips our crews will greatly appreciate it.
  6. Carey Bandler

    Carey Bandler Friend of the Community

    Dress in multiple thin layers of clothing that let moisture escape but trap warm air close to your skin. This approach keeps you warmer than using a single thick layer of clothing. Proper layering includes a moisture-wicking fabric next to your skin that moves sweat and other moisture away from your body. That should be followed by a warmth-trapping layer. The final step is an outer layer that repels rain/snow and blocks wind.

    Climbing involves a lot of reaching overhead, so you want clothing that isn't going to ride up on your arms or waist. Keeping your torso covered can be accomplished by wearing bibs and/or a longer, parka-length jacket. Some jackets, such as The North Face Mountain Jacket are designed with extra-long sleeves to keep your arms covered as you reach up. Look for waterproof/breathable pants, and select outerwear made of abrasion-resistant materials, such as pants with knee patches and jackets with elbow and shoulder reinforcements. And go for waterproof/breathable fabrics. These allow your body vapor to escape as you work hard, and prevent snow and rain from getting in. I have always used Ice Climbing gear versus Cahartts when not doing dirt work.

    Finding gloves that will keep your hands dry (or at least warm) and allow you dexterity for working is essential. Without them, getting a carabiner off your harness and onto a nose bag can be an exercise in frustration! Ideal gloves for climbing have textured palms and fingers for traction on tools. They also have "keeper cords" that secure around your wrists to prevent losing them mid-climb if you remove them. Many have padded backings that protect your hands from bashing against the tower, and rugged fabrics that can withstand the abrasion dished out by galvanized surfaces.
  7. quinten bradley

    quinten bradley Friend of the Community

    Carhartt coveralls and KINCO brand gloves they have the rubber coating for grip and are insulated works great. Under
    Armor stocking hats and Carhartt long underwear.
    -Quinten in Illinois (-30 below wind chill)
  8. Murray Aberdeen

    Murray Aberdeen Friend of the Community

    First of all,I would like to introduce myself. My name is Murray Aberdeen, I have been climbing since 1969 and continue to climb even now.
    Cold weather climbing is challenging but can be managed within limits. High winds are more of a problem for me than just low temperatures. Most of the previous suggestions are spot on as far as dressing in layers and loose fitting clothing. Personally, I use a cotton T shirt first followed by a long sleeve, cotton shirt. Over that I will put on a hooded sweat shirt followed by a goose down insulated vest (this is very important). My outer layer is a pair of insulated, full body coveralls. I find the coveralls contain the body heat and keep the wind off my back.
    As far as gloves go, I use a pair of goose down skiing mitts inside a pair of leather gauntlet mitts. They should be big enough on your hands so as not to restrict blood flow. I always keep a spare pair of leather gloves, preferably soft tanned deer hide, tucked inside of my coveralls for any work that requires some sort of dexterity. For work in weather that is not so cold, I will use a pair of lined leather gauntlet gloves. The problem I have is trying to keep your feet warm. Once you are at your working location, it is very difficult to keep your feet warm enough. I do use big, winter boots with felt liners that work well enough for temperatures as low as - 20 or 30 but any colder and my feet still start to freeze. Recently, I've heard of battery powered socks but I have never tried them.It is very important to pull the liners out at the end of each day to dry them out.
    I'm a big fan of goose down insulation, it will keep you warmer.
    I hope this helps.
  9. greg robertson

    greg robertson Friend of the Community

    Ive been doing a site in Nome,Alaska this week. It takes forever to get dressed ( its also a perfect laxative...once everything is on,damn).i have always taken my cues from mountaineers.its expensive as hell but a Patagonia base layer of silk top and bottom,a midweight North Face capilene over it top and bottom. a bib fleece overall that comes up to my chest.two Mountain Hardwear long-sleeve capilene shirts.fleece leggings that have suspenders and come up to my rib-cage. a 12 year old North Face Fleece jacket and a 700 fill down North Face Parka.I should be sponsored by now. I have lady toes so I wear wool socks and La Sportiva semi-ridged ice climbing boots with the inner boot (two boots in one)and North Face Denali gloves with the insert for hand warmers plus Mountain Hardwear mittens inside my jacket for fleece hat over a Patagonia balaclava.A Mapp Gas torch for smokes because Bic lighters wont work below zero. A guy on my crew has a Nomex parka which is required for working on the North Slope of Alaska.That will set you back 600 but it IS the shizznit. I would say dont wear cotton-they call it "death cloth" for a reason but thats just an Alaska thing I think. Working in Juneau,Sitka,or Ketchikan in the rain is another wardrobe and Im too damn tired right now and I still have sweeps to re-label. I remember one day in Houston,Texas it was 113 degrees...sigh.

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