Sunday, February 10, 2008

Holy crap winter

It was the toughest weekend ever at scout camp. The recorded low temp was -17(F) with wind speeds somewhere up to 35 mph with gusts a few more, depending on your location. According to the National Weather Service, this was -51 windchill. That's damn cold. Two weekends ago it was -19 with 10-15 mph winds. This weekend just took the cake.

I knew it was going to be bad when I had to wear my mitts (REI ridgecrest) while we were hiking out to our campsite. I never have had to do that. Also, I was wearing my rain coat on the way out to the site. Again, I have never had to do that except when it has been snowing.

Almost as soon as I we got to camp I swapped the rain coat out for my down coat (older TNF Nupste) and I was fine; I was moving, doing things for the group, etc. I was not too warm (or cold!) when we were walking around.

I was cold two times - first, when I was sitting on my feet dealing with the stoves and supper; second, I had a cold spot underneath my middle back. I rolled around and it went away for a while. I could not figure it out. Anywho, I think my gear performed well. I did not reach a failing point for anything. This was a good and tough test for other clothes. It makes me wonder how much warmer expedition-grade parkas and down pants a la Feathered Friends, along with expedition-grade boots and mitts are. One can only imagine.

Gear note - I did not need, nor could I wear, my thin fleece hat. I'm going to leave it home next time. XL socks also were a big hit. I'm going with L liner socks and XL wool socks next weekend.

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