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Posted: 10/19/2011 10:13:33 AM EDT
It is obvious that the vast majority of equipment and tactical gear on the market is geared towards use in warmer climates. Everything is made available in an array of camo patterns and styles that are great in their own right, but this leads to my current dilemma and question.

(Deep breath) My problem is the bitter-cold weather and the accompanying white crap that invades my semi-northern climate for 3-5 months out of the year; the fact that when SHTF it is just as likely to happen outside of the ideal warm-weather months and if it hangs around long enough the cold will come either way, and the fact that all of my tactical gear (woodland and woodland digital) is completely useless in a camouflage aspect once the white stuff comes and in order for it to have any use, it must be covered in warm and air-tight outer wear in an applicable camo pattern, that by virtue makes it un-tactical and virtually eliminates ease of access.

My questions for the collective are: What have those of you in the same or similar climate done to prepare yourselves for operating in the cold and snow? Is there someone who markets affordable and applicable gear for the cold and snowy climate?

Thanks in advance for any help you can bring to me.
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 10:18:21 AM EDT
overwhites, appropriate warming layers, and your temperate area gear.

So they only thing you should really need is overwhites.
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 11:08:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mntclimber:
overwhites, appropriate warming layers, and your temperate area gear.

So they only thing you should really need is overwhites.


Yep, and depending on your local area, maybe just the overwhite pants...

Link Posted: 10/19/2011 12:45:56 PM EDT
It's never all white outside. Wearing (in my case) OD gear over german snow camo over ecws goretex will work fine
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 12:52:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 2:26:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 2:36:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/19/2011 2:37:02 PM EDT by cetane]

Originally Posted By Aimless:
I haven't tried it but I bet either the Army's Universal Camo-the gray digital crap, or the Air Force's grey digital tigerstipe would be okay winter camo. Sure it's not flay white like regular winter camo but I think it might be a better overall mix for moving across dirty snow, through trees and snow broken by open ground. The pure white stuff seems like it's more for high mountain areas or very deep snow areas where there are vast expanses of unbroken snow.

There is commercial winter camouflage for hunting.

In some spy novel I read they used white tyvex clothing like painters use

tyvex is supposed to keep liquid out and let vapor through, so it will breath for you. Super cheap and ultra light with no weight at all.
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 2:56:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/19/2011 3:00:30 PM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 5:19:36 PM EDT
The black/white military extreme cold boots are as good as I've found for your feet. These cold weather areas are always cursed by the evergreen. It's hard to be both light and dark at the same time. Lay down, your fine, stand up and not so good. It's like that right now, it's sand brown dead crops and weeds but the dark woods and evergreens make it tough.
Link Posted: 10/19/2011 9:17:03 PM EDT
If you have to do something outside when it's freezing cold, dress in warm clothes and cut a hole in a white sheet and put it over your head.
Link Posted: 10/20/2011 2:03:45 AM EDT
- Quick drying clothes in layers. Don't wear too much, stay mobile. A warmer jacket quickly accessible for when you stop.
- Extra spacious boots with quality socks. Newspaper stuck into boots is good for wicking moisture, change often.
- Quality gloves (I've found plain wool gloves covered with aviator gloves to work quite well. Mittens when it gets really cold)
- Water resistant overwhites.
- Appropriately coloured camouflage material on gear. Gauze strips work on weapon and load bearing gear. Don't wrap yourself and your weapon in tons of camo net.
- Thermos bottles instead of hydration bladders.
- Stove that works in the cold.
- Drinks as much as in the warmer months, eat and rest more.
- Skis.

Link Posted: 10/20/2011 2:44:47 AM EDT
Maybe covralls with slots to access gear under them. And - in forest it's better to wear autumn-colored shirt (and chest-placed gear, of course) with white pants. As for open places, you need coverall.
Link Posted: 10/20/2011 4:07:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By marko16:
The black/white military extreme cold boots are as good as I've found for your feet. These cold weather areas are always cursed by the evergreen. It's hard to be both light and dark at the same time. Lay down, your fine, stand up and not so good. It's like that right now, it's sand brown dead crops and weeds but the dark woods and evergreens make it tough.


That is why you only wear the overwhite pants...Add the green/brown top, and stand up. Guess what you look like and blend in with.

Link Posted: 10/20/2011 5:08:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By wesmerc:
It's never all white outside. Wearing (in my case) OD gear over german snow camo over ecws goretex will work fine


This





Link Posted: 10/20/2011 7:21:16 AM EDT
As said it's not all white up here.

Take part of your gear, a big bucket and a big jug of clorox. It'll tone it right down, leaving the pattern in light browns, grays and whites.
Link Posted: 10/20/2011 5:39:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By billpete:
Originally Posted By mntclimber:
overwhites, appropriate warming layers, and your temperate area gear.

So they only thing you should really need is overwhites.


Yep, and depending on your local area, maybe just the overwhite pants...



Quoted for truth. A camo top and white pants is the key in snowy woodlands. Nothing sticks out more then white passing in front of a dark area like a tree trunk.

A good underlayer like polypropylene, another layer that has loft like fleece or wool, and a waterproof outer shell will do it. Just make sure you can vent yourself. Wet from sweat is just as miserable as wet from water. It's a matter of adjusting exertion and temperature to a point where you don't sweat.
Link Posted: 10/20/2011 9:04:33 PM EDT
Thank you all for your insight and suggestions. I feel that I was greatly over estimating the need for pure-white coverage and under thinking the actual environment that I would be blending with. The bleaching of an existing camo pattern has crossed my mind, but I accidentally speckled a pair of khakis with bleach once, and within ten washes the spots were now holes. I'm a little hesitant to bleach new camo gear, if it may degrade the integrity or the fabric. Still thinking maybe a diluted bleaching of some of the old urban camo would work well, or just some German snow camo trousers, but I've got some ideas and some things to try out now.

Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/21/2011 3:37:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Raven4031:
Thank you all for your insight and suggestions. I feel that I was greatly over estimating the need for pure-white coverage and under thinking the actual environment that I would be blending with. The bleaching of an existing camo pattern has crossed my mind, but I accidentally speckled a pair of khakis with bleach once, and within ten washes the spots were now holes. I'm a little hesitant to bleach new camo gear, if it may degrade the integrity or the fabric. Still thinking maybe a diluted bleaching of some of the old urban camo would work well, or just some German snow camo trousers, but I've got some ideas and some things to try out now.

Thank you.


Rit makes a color remover that may be milder than bleach but I have never used it...?
Link Posted: 10/21/2011 3:53:03 AM EDT
or just try Krylon, to give it a 'misting'
Link Posted: 10/21/2011 9:05:21 AM EDT
Don't bleach gear.

If the military snow camo pants you find aren't a synthetic or synthetic blend (to dry faster) I'd just get the cheapest pair of white, properly oversized drawstring type pants you can find and rattle can them with a few spots of OD or Tan or Coyote Brown, whatever is prevalent in your area.

And if your rifle is black......paint that thing.
Link Posted: 10/21/2011 3:50:55 PM EDT
I live in NW Wyoming. We've already had 7 inches of snow on the ground, and in another two weeks or so, we'll have anywhere from 6 inches to 4 feet on the ground at any given time between now and next June. I live in sagebrush desert country. It's never ALL white, as was pointed out. I wear tan and foliage/olive/Ranger green (or some variant thereof), in my normal clothes for day-to-day. At the range, or out hunting, in the same patterns, I can disappear at 200M easily.

Don't worry about specialized snow camouflage. Especially in a heavily forested area. Just wear the normal patterns you would/do wear and you'll be plenty fine.
Link Posted: 10/22/2011 7:01:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/22/2011 7:02:07 PM EDT by Walk-Softly]
GLOVES

Only marcci mentioned gloves so far. That's the one thing you best figure out first, if you want to handle firearms in the cold. Warm jackets, boots and camo are good, but frostbitten fingers will make you combat-ineffective immediately.

Every winter season there are good ARF topics on gloves. I'd look into that.

On camo, I've found an overwhite top and OD gortex bottoms are very effective concealment - both on the ground and when upright. Masking tape makes for okay field expedient camo for weapons, equipment and packs, but it does dry out easily after a few days in low humidity. A lot of the brown hunting camo is very effective in the northern Midwest from November to mid-March, but cowpuncher is right - earthtones make you disappear at any real distance.
Link Posted: 11/22/2011 2:16:18 PM EDT
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