Earlier this week I found an interesting infographic showing what clothing Lars Monsen and Hardald Tunheim recommends to stay warm and without frostbite at -40 celsius (-40 F). I don't know anything about Harald Tunheim, but Lars Monsen is probably the most well known outdoors person in Norway. If I bring my stove on a trip people will often comment "that is so Lars Monsen". He's super experienced after being an outdoors person all his life, and after completing several challenging expeditions, like crossing Canada with dogsled. He's made several TV shows and written books about his expeditons and about gear and techniques.
Here's the infographic with a translation to english below:
How to dress for extreme cold These are some clothing tips from harald Thunheim and Lars Monsen, both dog sled drivers. They have both experienced extreme cold and know how to dress to avoid frostbite.
Wool beanie with opening for face (my comment: balaclava?).
(Harald Thunheim prefers a fur cap with sides that can be connected below the chin with velcro. He also uses goggles and a face mask if there is a lot wind).
Neck The neck is covered with wool. Upper body
Wool sweater with neck, vest or down jacket.
Two wool shirts, short and long sleeve.
Windproof jacket made out of a strong fabric, and with a solid hood. Should be long so that it covers the buttocks.
Outer layer: Sealskin mitts that covers much of the lower arm (windproof).
Inner layer: Wool mitts.
Legs Two wool long underwear bottoms. Outdoor pant or fleece pant, preferably with reinforced knees.
Thick, insulated field trousers.
Thick wool socks, two pairs.
Shoes made from pure wool.
Use shoes that are a couple of sizes too large. Insert thicker and better isolated insoles as the cold comes from below. Don't shower every day
Lars Monsen thinks that a layer of dirt protects against the cold, so don't shower as often.
This clothing setup is of course mostly geared towards dog sled drivers and people staying mostly stationary in camp, as well as people who don't like deodorant. Any heavy physical activity would probably make a person hot and sweaty, needing to shed some layers, but then again : -40 C is pretty cold.
Staying comfortable and dry when moving in -7 C
I went for a walk today in the forest close to where I live and I learned something, I always do when I am out. The temperature was -7 celsius (20F) with some light snow falling and no wind.
When I left I was wearing synthetic socks with wool socks on the outside, hikings boots, high gaiters, Woolpower long underwear bottoms, Lundhags pants (cotton/poly blend), synthetic baselayer from Stormberg, Patagonia R1 hoody, Polar Buff, beanie, Marmot Driclime windshirt, fleece gloves and MLD rain mitts. I started out a little chilly and then I felt my back getting warm, so I removed the windshirt. After a while my ears got chilled so I put on the hood/balaclava of my R1. This shedding of layers and putting them on again continued the whole trip, with the goal being to not get sweaty.
Now you might say that getting sweaty isn't a big deal, and in summer it isn't, well except for potentially scaring friends and wildlife with your body odor, but it is in winter. Imagine you're working hard, walking on snow with your snowshoes on. You've felt your baselayer getting wet from perspiration, but you've not stopped to take care of it because you're a lazy or you don't want to make your friends wait. After a while you decide to stop to eat something and snap some photos, but you're stilling wearing what you wore while moving, not adding any insulation. Now you're not moving anymore so your body isn't producing warmth like before. Since you're still somewhat warm you're still sweating some and the sweat is evaporating from your skin, taking warmth with it. After a while it stops evaporating, but your baselayer is still wet and water transports heat 25 times more efficiently than air, hard facts that you definitely don't like in that situation. So, you really want to be observant and shed layers when needed to reduce sweating, and you want to put on some insulation as soon as you stop. I knew all of this beforehand of course, but I haven't been this focused on it before, mostly hiking in warmer conditions. In winter it is essential to be mindful of this.
On a quest to learn skills needed to be comfortable and safe in the outdoors, and to figure out how I function when hiking long trips alone.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."