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Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center







Winter Clothes For Preparedness Survival

Winter clothes could be considered very important for survival preparedness to have in hard times if living in seasonal areas that cold weather is a normal thing.  It should be classified up there with food and water storage. You can freeze to death faster than you can starve to death. It is a normal to have Arctic conditions exist when the wind is blowing and the temperature drops below 20 degrees F. There are only seven states in the US that do not experience Arctic weather. If there is no gas or propane to use that we are so accustom in using because of  leaks or broken lines, we need to be prepared for these times. Having wood and wood  stoves is also is something to consider. 

So what preparation for winter clothes do you need for you and your family in those cold survival times?  For winter clothes there are winter gloves, winter hats, winter coats, winter jackets, winter boots, long johns, and winter pants. Many of these winter clothes you might already have so you will be one step ahead here.  Your clothing must allow your body moisture to escape from your body otherwise your own moister could cause you to freeze to death.  So water proofing your winter clothes isn't a good idea being that it will cause the moister to stay in.  What is better to do is to layer your winter clothes with the proper clothing materials which will allow your perspiration to escape or if you know anything about foam clothing you could consider having some made or make it yourself. It is very breathable and works great in those sub zero temperatures.  If more sources on this are found it will be posted here. To keep warm you should consider having different layers of winter clothing on.

Long Johns:

The layer closes to your body should be able to wick moisture away form your skin and trap a layer of warm air next to your skin during activities.  Long johns or long underwear works well for this made of polyester, silk or polypropylene.  Modern synthetics are nonabsorbent and will do the job  Avoid cotton being that it will absorb your moister and trap it.

Winter Jackets

The middle layer of winter clothes provides insulation and affords you the most versatility as your activity intensifies or temps fluctuate. These winter jackets can be make of microfleece, wool, or "Polartec".  Acrylic sweater, heavy wool jackets or button up shirts also work well for this.  Keeping wind protection and capturing heated air space for warmth is what you want to consider.

Winter Coats

The outer layer is focused less on warmth and more on staying dry. It is the outer layer that protects insulating layers from wind & water - the 2 prime culprits in convective and conductive heat loss. Gore-Tex is something to consider that works well in allowing for venting of internal heat and and is still water and windproof.  Nylon and Teflon coats offer good protection but have slightly less venting ability. PVC or plastic coated rain jacket will not breathe, nor will a nylon jacket repel rain for long periods of time if having to be out in wet and cold weather.  Leather coats can keep you warm and breath well for a outer layer winter coat.

Winter Pants

Being dressed for warmth at our chest area will all know is important and do it but if you are only wearing cotton jeans, you will be very cold still.  Cotton is just a bad insulator and doesn't hardly block the wind at all.  Amazingly  you have more surface area on your lower body than you do your upper body.  So your upper body has to do more work in trying to keep your legs warm, but if your body can't maintain it, it will constrict your blood vessels to your legs trying to keep you core warm, so ultimately you get cold. Gore-Tex, Teflon, or nylon shell pants are great bottom layers for winter pants. With the lower body though, venting isnít as much of a priority as it is around the core of the body.

Winter Hats

Having a good winter hat on we all know is crucial in not losing a lot of our heat through our heads. Wool caps, fleece hats or a balaclava work great for this.  Baseball caps do not provide adequate insulation and shouldn't be considered.  Keeping your neck warm is also crucial and is usually neglected.  You will find keeping your neck warm with a fleece scarf, neck gaiter or balaclava, which looks somewhat like a ski mask, will make a big difference in keeping the heat in.

Winter Gloves

Its been said that if you have your general body core warm that your hands and feet will easily stay warm being that your blood circulation will flow through out your body.  Sometime mittens can be more effective than gloves being that you need airspace around your fingers to keep them warm.  Gloves can be layered also to help this.  Start with a lightweight poly or silk glove liner, then an intermediate glove (wool, windstopper) if you need it and finally an outer glove.  If having to do detail work as with working with gun paraphernalia than mittens and the advise above should be considered.

Winter Boots

Having winter boots to fit you properly is important in keeping your feet warm or shoes if you have no winter boots.  You need to be able have them large enough room inside to let you wiggle your toes and trap heat. If your shoes or winter boots are too small for these layers, you'll compress the insulation making it less effective and your toes will be jammed together, so they'll get cold. High insulated boots work well because they cover your ankles and calves.  Keeping your feet warm also comes in layers like the rest of your body. First, put on a very light long sock made of either polyester or silk. Second, goes on a heavier sock that will cover your calves for the middle layer. Avoid cotton socks as they will trap the moister in which will cause your feet to get cold. Wool or wool blends for the middle layer will keep your feet warm and dry. Then of course the winter boots is next. Avoid the snug fit of most leather hiking boots which can limit the circulation of blood in the foot.  The cloth stitching in leather boots can also wick moisture into the shoe. Nothing is worse than wet feet in the cold winter.


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