Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

March 1, 2009

This news just in 12+ inches of snow.  I couldn’t be happier.  This means at least another two or three weeks of skiing.  I love the snow.  I hate the snowplow, more below.  It can’t snow too much in my mind.  If I woke up tomorrow morning and there was four feet of snow on the ground I would be overjoyed.  I’m not afraid of being snowed in for what a day, a week or a month.  We’d be fine.

special_560x389Are you prepared for the electricity to go out?  Ready to live without lights, heat or a stove for a while?  Got flashlights, batteries and lanterns?  Warm clothing?  Have some fresh water stored or a way to melt snow? A way to stay warm when the heat goes out?  Sand, shovel and jumper cables in the car?  Have candles?  How about way way to open and heat your canned food without electricity?  Got activities to keep you busy – books, games, hobbies or battery radio? Wood, propane & C0leman fuel?   Maybe some booze or beers tucked away?

And look at this list not a single firearm, bullet or high capacity firearm needed.  Spend your money where you want.  Please don’t take this as a dig against firearms.  I love my guns and I think everyone should own a few and daily carry too, but a gun should be just one of the many tools in your toolbox.

Anyways, if you aren’t familiar with snowplows this is what happens, when the snowplows plow the street they leave a big, big pile of snow at the end of the driveway.  And if you aren’t familair with shoveling snow, snow is frozen water, water weighs a lot, shoveling water is heavy, heavy work.  So what happens is you shovel your driveway and just when you finish the plow comes buy again leaves an enormous berm of snow at the end of your drivway.  Everytime the plow comes by it basically plows you in.  So the system is shovel out and get plowed in.  Shovel out and get plowed in.

Advertisements

Sealskinz

January 23, 2009

I love these things.  oversockpkg1If you spend any amount of time outside you need to get yourself a pair of SealskinzSealskinz are some sort of hightech sock.  They’re rugged and keep your feet dry through the worst of weather.  With a pair of Sealskinz any pair of boots, sneakers or shoes become waterproof.  Anytime that I go skiing a put a pair of these on and my non-waterproof boots are made waterproof.  No doubt they are expensive, but what’s the cost of wet, cold feet?  I think that they are about 15 bucks a pair.  I seem to remember I got three for thirty.  The same company also makes gloves and other products. legintank I did use the gloves one day when I used a wetsaw to cut tile outside during the winter.  The gloves did a very admirable job.  After six or seven hours of cutting tiles the gloves did eventually soak through, but even then they kept me fairly warm.  If you hunt, ski, hike, fish, mountain bike or camp you should check out Sealskinz.  And besides working well, they are made in the USA!!

And YOU need to get outside everyday…

q111I like this picture because you can see the crap that some little creature has been cleaning out of the hollow of this tree.  Seems like it would be a good place for a snare if one was in a desperate survival situation.

was5Just an old chimney where a homestead once was.  Now the snow covers the ancient footprints.

One of the best days of the year!!

December 20, 2008

We got our first significant snowfall.  I went out skiing before the snow stopped falling.  One of my ski buddies, Running Bear, called me last night around 6 and said, “pick you up at 8?”

If you live in an area that gets snow and you haven’t tried cross country skiing (Nordic skiing) then something must be wrong with you.  What’s your malfunction, boy!?! You can get a full set up, boots, poles skis and bindings for probably around 150 bucks.  I beat the hell out of mine and they still last ten years.  For the type of snows we get around here skis beat the heck out of snowshoes.  The big advantage of skis is the glide, plus you get to ski down hills.  I can’t think of a more efficient human powered mode of travel in the snow then Nordic skis.  On a good year I can ski over 100 days.  That’s pretty good.  So this year, although I’m not working as much as I’d like, now that we have snow I’ll be skiing a ton and getting in fighting shape.

Mmmm snow.  Beautiful, delicious, delectable snow.  There’s that list running around, 100 skills every man person should know.  Nordic skiing should be on that list.  If you live in the North and don’t know how, make it your New Year’s resolution. It’s easy on the knees too.

Ski at night!

Ski at night!

Tough to see, but here are some beautiful white pine trees covered in snowy vanilla frosting.  This was the height of the storm.  We were getting an inch or more an hour, 23 degrees and the winds were 20mph+.  It was fun.The first ski is one of my favorite days of the entire year. Nordic skiing is the best exercise I can think of.  You swing your arms and skate your legs.  I used to winter camp and ski.  That’s tough carrying a 50 pound pack on skis.  Once you start leaning a little to one side the pack will pull you right over.  Who cares, when you fall you land in THE SNOW!!  Haha.  It’s fun!

Ski at night!!

Ski at night!

My ski buddy Running Bear with Green Eyed Dog in the background. You can see Green Eyed Dog’s eyes glowing and his white vest to the side of Running Bear’s left leg.  If you ski a lot the position Running Bear is in is a common position.  You stick your poles into your armpits and lean on your poles to catch a break.

We’re powder poachers and I’m proud of it.  Where we went last night there is new “management” and the new “management” implemented new rules and regulations.  What is it with some people?  You give them a little power (flashlight, keys and radio) and all of a sudden they think that they are Master of the Universe.  One of the new rules is that they don’t like us there at night.  SCREW THEM!!

Those are MY WOODSMINE! I don’t care what the name on the deed says.  I’ve been there thousands of times, literally thousands, through all the seasons and all kinds of weather over a period of 30+ years.  Think about that, thousands of times means once, twice or three times a week for 20 years.  Then some new folks come in and try to tell me when I can and can’t go there and what I can and can’t do.  It’s plain rude.  Those woods are my temple.  Really,  that’s the way I look at it.  And the “management” thinks they can keep me from my woody church because they have some official labeling on their trucks and patches on their shoulders.  SCREW THEM!! I’m pretty confident saying that no one in this area currently alive knows these woods better than me.  Sure, maybe 300 years ago the settlers and local Indian tribes may have, but not now.

snow6

Ski at night!

So how do we get around the new “management’s” lack of hospitality? We park across the street from the woods, run across the street and bushwhack through the woods to the trails.  This is not advised for others to do at night in heavy wind driven snows unless you are intimately knowledgeable of the terrain.   Then we ski till we get near the top of the mountain.  At that point it’s too rocky and steep so we remove our skis and hike the rest of the way using one ski in each hand as a walking stick.  Once we get to the top we put our skis back on and then the fun begins, ski to the bottom.  Why snowshoe when you don’t get the benefit of the skate and glide?  Don’t fight gravity.  Use it.

Ski at night!

Ski at night!

If you engage in aerobic activities in the winter you know that you need to dress appropriately.  You have to dress for how hot you may get when your heart is doing 150 beats a minute.  I was overdressed.  Although it was 23 degrees out I had my jacket totally unzipped and I was still sweating.  You have to be careful not to sweat too much.  You also want to wear underwear that wicks your sweat away from your body.  No cotton, because “Cotton is death.” Got polypro and Goretex?

Abraham’s rule of the day: You can’t complain about the snow or cold if you stay inside.   Keep your sitting inside on the couch watching TV mouth shut.  Just get outside.

Long underwear

November 11, 2008

Just finished doing my exercises.  I do between 9-12 sets of 30 pull ups and 30 dips.  On other days I do work with barbells.  If I do some kind of strength training 3-4 days a week, that’s good.  I walk, bike ride or ski everyday.    Mens sarna in corporo sarno.

My walks in the woods don’t come without some pitfalls.  I just pulled a tick off of myself.  It wasn’t bitten in for the requisite 24 hours so I should be safe from any tick carried disease.  Gotta keep an eye on it though.

Ok, then long underwear.

You gotta have long underwear.  When I used to work in a hydroponic greenhouse I used to wear what I called “Greenhouse Armor.”  When you do greenhouse (casa verde) work you need to start early in the morning because by 2, 3, or 4 in the afternoon it’s too hot to work inside the house.    So how to dress.  As the day went on you’d strip down to a t-shirt and jeans.  I’d start the day with a t-shirt, long underwear, t-shirt, long underwear and probably one or two sweatshirts and a heavy flannel shirt jack.  In the mornings, at 5:30 am, it could be 20 degrees outside and you are constantly going in and out of the greenhouse (70 degrees or warmer) so you need to be able to constantly adjust your clothes/underwear/comfort factor.

You know that you have to understand how to dress in layers, right?

As I was taking pictures for this post I realized that “Insulation” was a better title than “long underwear.”

Traditional-long-underwear-top1

Traditional-long-underwear-top1

This is the long underwear that everyone is probably familiar with.  These are 100% cotton and have the waffle texture to them.  This stuff is ok if there is no chance of getting wet or sweating.  There is an old saying that bears repeating, “cotton is death.”  And it is.  If you wear cotton and it gets wet you can die.  Wet cotton loses its insulative properties and will wick the heat right out of your body.

Traditional-long-underwear-bottom

Traditional-long-underwear-bottom

This is the 100% cotton bottoms that go with the traditional top.  Not bad, but remember “cotton is death.”  It’s fine to wear in a greenhouse or to the office or to go shopping, but if you sweat or cotton long underwear gets wet, you have a problem.

union-suit

union-suit

This is the traditional union suit that served folks well for so many years.  It’ll keep you warm, but once again being 100% cotton you can’t let it get wet.  The benefit is that it is very warm.  I don’t like it because it isn’t easy to adjust in case you get heated up.

Trapdoor

Trapdoor

This is the best part of the union suit.  When you gotta go you don’t have to take the whole thing off.  You just have to be as nimble as a Russian gymnast.  I’m not a big fan of the union suit.

light-poly-pro

light-poly-pro

This is the stuff I love.  It’s made from poly-propylene.  This stuff keeps you warm and wicks moisture away from your skin where it is free to evaporate and keep you from getting wet.  The downside is some people say it holds body odor.  Personally, I haven’t found that to be the case.  The other thing I like about this style is that it has a small zipper in the front so it makes it easy to adjust your core temperature by zipping it up into a turtleneck or down.

light-poly-pro-bottoms2

light-poly-pro-bottoms2

These are the polypro bottoms that go with the top.  This stuff is great.  It wicks the moisture from your body and keeps you warm.

thumb-hole

thumb-hole

Another reason I like these polypro tops is because they have a thumb-hole.  See that little hole with the blue thread at the top and bottom?  Watch this……….

thumb-hole-in-use

thumb-hole-in-use

You see that?  Now when I stick my arm through other layers of clothing the underwear doesn’t get pulled up to my elbows.  It’s also nice as a second layer over your palm and a first layer over your wrist.  If you are playing in the snow, it keeps the snow from going down into your gloves or up your forearm.

heavy-polartec-top

heavy-polartec-top

The polypro tops come in different thicknesses.  I’m not sure if you can make it out, but this one is much thicker than the one I posted above.  This top is 100 weight polartec.  I use this for ice-fishing and down hill skiing.  Once again, it has that nice zipper and the thumbholes.

polartec-top

polartec-top

This is where I started thinking to myself, maybe this is a post more about insulation then long underwear.  Anyways, this is a soft Polartec top.  No pockets, but it fits loose, has that zipper I like and keeps you warm even in the event it gets wet.  You want your inner layers to be made of material that wicks moisture away from your skin.  The brand of this orange top is Columbia.  I think I paid $30 for it.  It was kind of pricey, but it’ll keep me warm for years.  Orange in the woods isn’t as bright as you may think.  Orange is a naturally occurring color in nature.  You don’t see too many pure black things in the woods.

polartec-crew-neck

polartec-crew-neck

This is basically a Polartec sweatshirt.  It has pockets.  I got it from Campmor.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have paid more than $15 for it.  Wicks moisture and keep you warm even if it gets wet.

fancy-wind-proof-top

fancy-wind-proof-top

This is a fancy, wind proof top made from polyester and nylon.  The main thing here is that it stops the wind from penetrating your body.  Wind will suck the heat right out of you.  This particular top isn’t very insulative, but it stops the wind dead.  I got it from the very expensive store that’s a cooperative.  I don’t buy anything there unless it is on the clearance rack.  I paid $30 for this, marked down from $150!!!  I can’t imagine anyone paying $150 for it, but it was worth the dirty thirty.  This time of year I’d wear a poly pro top, this windbreaker and then my Filson canvas jacket and I’m good to go.

polartec-zip-top

polartec-zip-top

This is a polar tec zip top that I also got from Campmor.  It’s heavier than the poly pro long underwear.  It’s more like an intermediate layer, not right against your skin, but between the inner layer and your outer wear.  I like being able to zip it into a turtle neck or zip it down to cool off.   The pockets are pass through pockets so I can pass the hip belt from a pack right through it if I wanted to.  It also has a cord to tighten down the waist to keep stuff from blowing in and heat from blowing out.  You should be able to get something like this for between $20-$25.  It’s well worth it.

wool-sweater

wool-sweater

This is a plain old wool sweater.  I love wool.  it keeps you warm even when wet.   Wool sweaters come in all kinds of shapes, colors and sizes.  I have a bunch of wool sweaters.  Good ones will last a very long time.  I’d like to buy some wool long underwear, but at $50+ for each piece it’s way too expensive for my wallet.

thinsulate-lined-jeans

thinsulate-lined-jeans

These are Thinsulate lined jeans.  The Thinsulate is great.  These jeans will keep me warm no matter what.  Almost.  The downside is that jeans are made out of cotton so if they get wet they don’t keep you warm.  They keep you cold.  Thinsulate though keeps you warm even if wet.  I’ll only wear these if it’s very cold and dry or if it’s wet I’ll wear them under Gore-Tex.

Anorak

Anorak

This is an anorak from LL Bean, that I got on sale because it was an irregular.   If I’m engaging in some high activity pursuit that I’ll be sweating doing then this is a great piece to wear.  Throw on a polypro top, this anorak and my jacket and I’m good to go.  The other nice thing with the anorak is that it has an adjustable hood so I can wear a hood inside of a hood if I want to and the pockets are pass through pockets which is good for a hep belt from a backpack.

down-sweater

down-sweater

This is a down sweater.  I got this from Campmor too.  It’s Campor’s own brand.  There is no need to pay for the “Northface” brand.  I got this sweater for probably $50 and it works great.  Down is good.  The downside of down is that it doesn’t keep you warm when wet so you either wear it under Goretex or only in dry conditions.

My walking pics of the day-

deer-track

deer-track

More deer tracks.  What’s there to say?  Just get out there and start walking your woods.

cranberry2

cranberry2

This is wild cranberry.  They grow low in marshy, boggy areas.  You can spot them by their low growing habit and teeny, tiny leaves.  Here’s another picture-

cranberry4

cranberry4

You can see a few cranberries in this one picture.  Cranberry is good stuff.  Cranberries are high in vitamin C and are good for your urinary tract.  They stay good even when buried under the winter snows and can be dried and crushed to powder.  They also make a great addition when you cook grains, cereals, baked goods or roasted meats and poultry.