Attire for freezing conditions!
I've just been out in -4 weather and I feel like my hands are about to shatter. What do people wear when out in extreme weather conditions? My body was warm, having four layers on but my toes were frozen and couldn't find any gloves to take out. Always thought it'd be difficult to manipulate the camera with gloves on. What tips are there for staying warm in freezing weather? Any specialist gloves/socks/boots I can buy?! Maybe this should be in an extreme sports forum not APUG!
For socks I love the IceBreaker virgin wool. They have various thicknesses and the thickest is really warm. From another company there are now battery powered boots available with heating as well.
For gloves I generally wear glove liners because they are thin enough to feel buttons and aperture and focus rings through them. When it is really cold I use the mittens with a top that flops down to reveal cutoff fingers but I still wear glove liners under that or else the bare fingers freeze in no time, especially with old all-metal equipment. Modern plastic equipment doesn't suck the heat out of you quite as fast. Heated battery powered gloves are also available but they are generally for snowmobile riders so they are very bulky.
If your camera has a battery then it helps to have two and swap them, one inside your jacket and one in the camera though like you I find my fingers usually last less time than my camera these days in Canada.
Best gloves I have found are specialist shooting / fishing ones. The're windbloc fleece, and have a fold-down bit to free thumb and forefinger for doing fiddly tasks without taking gloves off. Mine are made by Orvis but many shooting / fishing equipment makers have similar gloves and mitts.
Move to Miami. We had our coldest morning today 45F. But when traveling to colder climates I have some fleece gloves that allow for good feel of the camera (medium format and 4x5). I bought them in a ski shop and believe they might be intended to be used as liners. They also have thermal socks.
First off,to keep your feet warm, a thin sock of synthetic blend to wick moisture from the foot with a wool or blend oversock for insulation. The hands are a bit more difficult. I used to wear a metallic glove liner with a larger insulated over-mitt. This allows for the over-mitt to be removed and still have protection on the skin allowing for decent manual dexterity. Good quality shooting gloves may be purchased on-line from a sporting goods outlet. My daughter prefers a mitton with a fold back tip to expose the fingers when the need arrises. I use a medium weight sports glove coupled with wool mitton over for the really cold days.
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I've been looking at these, but haven't bought any yet: Sensory Gloves
The chemical warming packs help somewhat. They usually need to be exposed to air to work properly, so we take them out and shake them every once in a while. But, keeping these in the boots, gloves, pockets, etc. can be a lifesaver.
Also, make sure you are hydrated. Dehydration leads to your extremities being cold.
Sounds like you need to get mommy to dress you.
Quite a few years ago, I bought a small catalytic heater that could be carried in an inside pocket to help keep you warm. It burned Coleman fuel or white gas (for those who remember that) and it was good to warm my hands back up after having gloves off. It was always my fingers that got cold first, which made making manual camera settings very difficult.
Multiple layers is supposed to be the key to keeping warm in cold weather. Wool socks and insulated underwear are very good. I have heard that some men up north (hunters, etc.) have been known to wear women's fish-net tights with another pair of regular tights or pantyhose worn over those. Apparently the fish-net creates air pockets that helps maintain warmth.
This is really non-intuitive, but the best pair of gloves you can buy is a cold weather vest and a thick stocking cap. Down is great, but I sweat so one of the new fancy fiber filled works best for me. Right after that, good underwear, or more convenient, zip on insulated ski pants. Layers, so you can unzip a bit at a time to keep from sweating. It's all about your core temperature. Head, torso, armpits, groin are big radiators. Can't remember which order they're in, but hat and vest come to mind as 1st and 2nd,,, but just try it,,, you'll be amazed at how cold you can work bare handed in. Oh,,, and the bonus, warm and toasty toes;-)
Best place for the hand warmer? Not in the gloves,,, put it in a chest high vest pocket. I really like the ones that use the charcoal sticks,,, Dad always used the fluid ones.
Sailor supply store, (or if you can find some military surplus) have long, cut off finger wool gloves. Get huge mittens to wear as over shells until you need your fingers. The old military wool liners and mitten shell were great. The liners had an opening like your pants fly in the palm so you could get your fingers out as needed. Three fingered. And the outer liners had fur on the back of the hands for your nose. (quit laughing, it's important to be able to wipe your nose without exposing your hands).
One more,,, at the ski shop/ mountain supply place, get some silk hand panties (ok,,, my description) the silk gloves under everything. Very thin, but offer that last little bit of protection, plus they wick sweat away from your skin. When the winds howling, the temps down, it's almost the same as a bare hand, but protects just a little against frozen metal parts.
Here's the trick. Slightly overheat your body, which will then use your extremities to cool itself. We learned that in the 60's during cold weather training in Ski Patrol, there was even something on the Discovery(?) channel about a military study not long ago that really confirmed it.
[QUOTE=Dave in Kansas;1102520] I have heard that some men up north (hunters, etc.) have been known to wear women's fish-net tights with another pair of regular tights or pantyhose worn over those. Apparently the fish-net creates air pockets that helps maintain warmth. /QUOTE]
Even if the fish-net doesn't create warm air pockets, it certainly helps conversation...