- Jan 20, 2020 at 10:50 am #3628017
So, i just got back from a crazy insane weekend backpacking trip in Catskills NY. Friday evening and night temps hit 0.. if not below.. and Saturday a ferocious winter storm blew thru the mountains with winds upward of 50+ mph, whiteout conditions and dumping a good 8 inches of snow and ice on us.. i will be writing up a trip report shortly with some pictures amd posting.. however.. just curious what gloves everyone wears for these conditions, around camp.. not so much while hiking.
I had a pair of smartwool merino liners that i pretty much kept on the entire length of the trip.. I also used, over those, my Zpacks fleece mittens and over those to keep dry i used Zpacks over mittens. (Not the Vertice ones they sell now). It appears they do not sell the fleece mittens or the over mittens any more.. i did buy them a few years ago. Anyway . I also had a pair of down mittens with me. So, in general, my hands were ok. While active, they were warm and i was able to keep them dry.. though with the mittens, everything is so much harder to do.. while sitting around camp, my fingers did get cold unless i used the liners, the mittens and the down mittens..
My set up worked, though hard to do simple things around camp wearing mittens and over mittens or down mittens.. what does everyone else bring and use in these type of conditions?Jan 20, 2020 at 10:58 am #3628018
just a few pictures from the trip..Jan 20, 2020 at 1:13 pm #3628034Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am not sure my Sierra Nevada winter snow camping gets as cold as your trip, but here goes for gloves around camp. Sounds like you had the right set up. Overmittens are the key.
My basic set up is PossumWool gloves with BPL overmittens. The latter are not longer available. I think they are made out of eVent with a layer of synthetic insulation. When I first get up, I light up my stuff in my vestibule, sometimes when I am still in my bag, in order to fill a 16 oz Nalgene with boiling water. I carry the Nalgene in big outer pocket of my puffy to my snow kitchen so I can warm up my hands if they get cold while cooking. (Zpaks and other vendors sell the PossumWool gloves. Possums were introduced into New Zealand and a threat to native NZ species. So the possum wool comes from the campaign to get rid of them.)
I aim to have all knots on my shelter and deadmen tied at home but sometimes I bring along and switch to fingerless rag wool (sometimes over a a thin liner) if I have do do stove mainteance or repair a strap on my snow shoes. I have a pair stretch poly gloves for wearing while I am moving during the day. If the PossumWool gloves get wet, they go into the inside pocket of my puffy or inside mesh pocket of my mid layer fleece, and I put on the stretch poly gloves.
And finally, there is an old Sierra Club aphorism: if your hands (or feet) are cold, put on a hat.Jan 20, 2020 at 5:49 pm #3628062
Your glove setup looks fine in itself. My suggestion would be to wear nitrile gloves next to skin as vapor barrier. They make a big difference in my opinion. You can use the basic painters/medical exam gloves or look for thicker ones…Jan 20, 2020 at 5:57 pm #3628063
I had a pair of possum down gloves from zpacks.. first time i wore them out, they got a huge hole in the palm or thumb area.. pretty much rendered them useless.. i also have the socks… meh’ they are just ok. They seem to stretch out and became quitters after 1 or 2 uses. ( quitters meaning they lost there tightness around calves, they just stretched out and drop down).
What would those rubber nitrile gloves do other then vapor barrier? I feel like my hands would just sweat in them and drip sweat down my sleeve and freeze it? I could try it out and see one time..Jan 20, 2020 at 6:12 pm #3628065Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I’m not sure if it would be warm enough, but what about a liner glove like Polartec Powerstretch, then a warm mitt on top, either a 200wt fleece mitt or perhaps something warmer like the Ragged Mountain Tuckermitt, and then a shell glove on top, like the Borah eVent Mitts or the MLD eVent mitts?Jan 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm #3628066
At some point I picked up the need for hand and feed vapor barriers in cold conditions. Nitrile gloves on my hands and oven roast bags on my feet. They work for me. I’m able to “comfortably” strip down to liner gloves and nitrile gloves to do different tasks around camp that require more dexterity. I’m even able to strip down to the nitrile gloves for short periods of time. Just returned from an overnighter in Western mass with morning temps below zero F and I only had to resort to mittens once to rewarm my hands after they got very cold wearing just the nitriles for a few minutes. The rest of the time I just used minimally insulated gloves.
Never experienced sweat from my hands running down my forearm…Jan 21, 2020 at 3:51 am #3628099Edward John MBPL Member
Sounds like you had what you needed. I don’t usually suffer from cold hands but when I do I suffer greatly, what works for me sometimes is the inclusion of wristlets made from old worn out socks or LW fingerless mitts over the LW liners.
My go to glove for cold weather is a trigger finger or 3 finger glove from OR with overmittens if needed. I own OR Altimates but they are usually too warm when used with the liners so I have used them as an outer mitten with the gloves mentioned a couple of times, it doesn’t get all that cold in Oz but I have used the above combinations in New York winters in the Adirondacks at around -30C. My deep cold experience is limited but fingerless mitts can help in many environments if you need to use your fingers short term to tie knots etcJan 21, 2020 at 4:41 am #3628100David PBPL Member
my setup is similar
while active- OR or Serius thin fleece glove liners with Zpacks vertice or MLD Event overmitts
at camp – if i know it will be 0 or below I bring a second pair of thicker OR fleece gloves (I keep stored during the day) , Enlightened Equipment stronghold mittens , plus the overmitts. Manual dexterity is very limited with the mittens on, I am often taking them off to do simple tasks (set the tent, cook, etc..) One trick I’ve learned through work(I build houses all year), bc skiing and camping is instead of putting mittens/gloves on the ground I shove them up under my bulky coat but on top of my base layer near my belly so they stay warm while I do tasks. Then they’re nice n toasty when I put back on making warm up a lot faster. It’s surprising how fast they freeze up in sub zero temps if left out.
I recently acquired a pair of RBH designs vapor therm mittens but haven’t taken a trip with them yet. Going to test in the yard first as it will be -17F this week nighttime low temps.
we got the same weather pattern here in Maine from the west this time, 12” of fresh pow and pretty windy! Must have been an intense journey !Jan 21, 2020 at 2:15 pm #3628159Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Warmest gloves-> Cabela’s GTX with removable fleece or pile liners (pile is thicker)
Warmest mittens-> OR GTRX mitten shells with Dachstein boiled wool liners
I will not take gloves winter camping unless they can accommodate fleece or pile liners. I always carry an extra set of liners and thin poly liners as well.Jan 22, 2020 at 3:54 am #3628246Greg PehrsonBPL Member
@gregpehrsonLocale: playa del caballo blanco
I also was on an overnight in Western MA (Berkshires) this past weekend. I liked iago’s glove setup–it looked like you were using the thicker variety of nitrile gloves, iago? I was surprised that he could use a touchscreen through those nitrile gloves (I had brought a point and shoot camera with big buttons to use with winter handwear). I was trying out the RBH ultralight mitts that were co-branded with Backpacking Light from years ago that I just got, but I found that while my hands were toasty warm in them, any time I pulled them off when I needed the dexterity of my liner gloves for camp chores, my liner gloves were extremely damp and quite uncomfortable to use at zero degrees. I know those mitts are beloved here, so if anyone has tips or suggestions for using them more effectively, I’m all ears.
Previously, I’ve used the thin medical exam gloves next-to-skin as a VBL, with liner gloves over them and then thick mitts over the top. I’ve been quite pleased with this system, with the added benefit of never having to expose a damp layer to the cold when I need dexterity. I’ll likely try out the Stephenson’s Warmlite VBL gloves for better next-to-skin feel than nitrile, as I’ve used the Warmlite VBL socks for several years with great success.Jan 22, 2020 at 2:22 pm #3628318
Nitrile gloves: From the standpoint of durability, I have had good luck with Nitrile gloves from Costco. Their fit is great for around the house projects but for winter activities I wondered whether I needed to get a bigger size. What I was wearing this past weekend is 9 mil gloves from Harbor Freight. I have been happy with their durability and larger fit for my hands for winter use.Jan 22, 2020 at 4:51 pm #3628337
+1 or 2 on the nitrile gloves. There is a very tough one available at Home Depot, Lowes, Menard? made by Venom. (CRS syndrome) :(Jan 22, 2020 at 6:41 pm #3628351Russ BogardusBPL Member
@bogardusLocale: Colorado Springs
I ski (Vail, Copper, Winter Park) and winter camp between 9,000 and 12,000 feet in the Colorado high country. Like Eric I use a set of double gloves to keep my hands warm – sometimes setting on a long chair lift in extremely windy and col condition. Double OR or Patagonia gloves work for me. But they are not cheap. $100+.
RussJan 22, 2020 at 8:16 pm #3628359
Size up on the nitriles and add something like a thermasilk liner. This would do for tasks requiring good touch and dexterity. The nitriles have excellent touch for a glove and they are really tough. Wear them inside some warm mitten like a Vaude, Dachstein or Possum fur. Experiment to see what’s warm enough but not too warm/heavy. Get a mitten shell like the MLD event or Zpacks Vertice. Make sure the nitrile and liner combo isn’t too tight. Tight = cold. This will take you from 0 to 60 as the song(s) go; versatility for whatever the situation. And no if there’s a one item solution I haven’t found it. Those big OR mittens are the bomb though! I’ve got a pair but it just never seems to be cold enough. Then again I’m no longer spending the winter at !1,800.Jan 23, 2020 at 4:44 am #3628382John S.BPL Member
Skurka likes the stowa gloves. Check his website.Jan 23, 2020 at 10:49 am #3628407
@ John: Thanks for that reference to the Showa gloves: Here’s the link if anyone wants to follow up and it’s not verboten to link over to Skurka’s site Showa gloves
The “winter” lined ones might be just what the doctor ordered for things like cool weather /cold water pack-rafting, kayaking, or canoeing if the cuff doesn’t ship too much water; but I’d like to see someone button a shirt wearing them.
Otherwise reading the article seems to kind of make the point: You can stay warm or you can have reasonable digital dexterity; but not both.…..unless…
The venom gloves weigh 15 grams a pair and cost @ $10.00 for 100 pair. I use them for weeding and rooting and planting: digging in the dirt type situations where I would rather avoid getting major amounts of dirt packed under my nails and also have to take a scotch pad to my hands to get clean. Also stuff like painting/staining caulking … especially using great stuff type foam spray. That stuff is a real mess! They are in no way as fragile as medical exam gloves. And you can operate a mobile phone touch screen wearing them.Jan 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm #3628429John S.BPL Member
Goofed up that spelling..showa not stowaJan 26, 2020 at 5:09 pm #3628858Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
For cold and wet I have used closed cell neoprene gloves (seam sealed) for duck hunting and shoulder season sea kayaking and once for backpacking in late fall with cold rain. They work.Feb 25, 2020 at 8:29 am #3633133Adam GBPL Member
Black Diamond Mercury Mitts. I have mild Raynaud’s, and I found gloves simply don’t keep your fingers warm enough. Your index finger has its own little slot for things requiring a bit of dexterity, but I just shove my fingers entirely in the mitt part because my index finger tends to get cold otherwise. With some practice, I can do most tasks with them on. I tend to carry a bit of heavier gear to accommodate doing things with mitts which is totally worth it. If I need to do something with dexterity, I simply pop them off and do it with my bare hand as quickly as possible. Then I immediately put them back on.Feb 25, 2020 at 3:05 pm #3633180Tipi WalterBPL Member
I take two gloves for every winter trip—a pair of decently thick fleece gloves and a pair of Mt Hardwear Nilas down mittens. My buddy Patman turned me on to the Nilas—
And in a pinch they work as down booties in camp—
Last year for the first time I started carrying Hot Hands heating packets on all my winter trips and they do wonders on a cold morning for packing up—and last a good 10 hours. I break one open about 6am and pack up and place one pouch in each glove or mitten to keep my hands warm when packing and on the move.
On a long winter trip I might carry up to 6 Hot Hand packages and are used only on the coldest mornings. They are initially heavy but once cold each pouch can be ripped open and the contents dropped into a fire ring and the paper pouches burned. Voila—no more weight.
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