Winter is coming....

BoomBitch222

Active Member
Location
Roseville
Has anyone used heated gloves for winter work? If so, which ones? I dont have a lot of body fat keeping me warm in the cold and my fingers get painfully cold pretty quick when temps drop. I can layer up for ground work but Ive been told Ill probably be doing a lot of climbing through winter as our workload becomes predominately climbing the oaks and elms for pruning
 

Sgfinco

Active Member
Location
Madison
Never had heated gloves but I like the memphis ninja ice for winter. Two layers of gloves and some cheap hand warmers makes a huge difference. Get good thin layers and keep moving while you're climbing. Don't wait in one spot for a rigging line to get untied, etc. You'll be alright just takes some trial and error.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Has anyone used heated gloves for winter work? If so, which ones? I dont have a lot of body fat keeping me warm in the cold and my fingers get painfully cold pretty quick when temps drop. I can layer up for ground work but Ive been told Ill probably be doing a lot of climbing through winter as our workload becomes predominately climbing the oaks and elms for pruning
Michigan is terrible for winter weather

Florida is in the future at least 4-5 months a year
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
I’ll second Sgfinco- two layers of gloves help, but don’t get them too tight, or they’ll actually make your hands colder by restricting circulation. My wife enlightened me concerning the heating differences between men and women. A man’s body heats evenly through core and limbs, making him less susceptible to frostbite, but more susceptible to hypothermia. A woman’s body focuses its heat in the core, making her more likely to get frostbite, but less likely to become hypothermic. This is why men complain about icy appendages touching them in bed. Relax, guys, it just means she’ll outlive you in a blizzard.

Knowing this difference helps when planning to combat cold weather. You will indeed want to take extra care to insulate your feet, hands, and face. As mentioned, keep moving. Even if you have to stay in one spot- swing around, bounce, do bicycles, etc.

One trick that will help with overall warmth as well as hand warmth is insulating your wrists- no, really! Our blood flows close to the surface there, so heating or cooling there quickly affects our body temperature. Try this: on a day that’s too warm to keep a jacket on while working but too cold to keep it off when resting, wrap your wrists with buffs or the like without a jacket on. It’s worked for me for years.

I was told that people were turned onto this by watching kangaroos, who lick their wrists when they’re hot. Now, feel free to fact check that as I haven’t, and we all hear those fantastic nature stories that get debunked.

One last thing- diet and hydration. There are foods that help your body generate heat, like coconut oil, peppers, and others that I don’t have my wife next to me to help me remember. Hydration helps all around, and specifically with circulation. We hate drinking water in the cold, but it really does help. Avoid too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks, as they flush water from your system. Avoid too many adult beverages in the evening for the same reason.

It’s still so encouraging to follow your story. Please keep us updated on your journey!
 

BoomBitch222

Active Member
Location
Roseville
I’ll second Sgfinco- two layers of gloves help, but don’t get them too tight, or they’ll actually make your hands colder by restricting circulation. My wife enlightened me concerning the heating differences between men and women. A man’s body heats evenly through core and limbs, making him less susceptible to frostbite, but more susceptible to hypothermia. A woman’s body focuses its heat in the core, making her more likely to get frostbite, but less likely to become hypothermic. This is why men complain about icy appendages touching them in bed. Relax, guys, it just means she’ll outlive you in a blizzard.

Knowing this difference helps when planning to combat cold weather. You will indeed want to take extra care to insulate your feet, hands, and face. As mentioned, keep moving. Even if you have to stay in one spot- swing around, bounce, do bicycles, etc.

One trick that will help with overall warmth as well as hand warmth is insulating your wrists- no, really! Our blood flows close to the surface there, so heating or cooling there quickly affects our body temperature. Try this: on a day that’s too warm to keep a jacket on while working but too cold to keep it off when resting, wrap your wrists with buffs or the like without a jacket on. It’s worked for me for years.

I was told that people were turned onto this by watching kangaroos, who lick their wrists when they’re hot. Now, feel free to fact check that as I haven’t, and we all hear those fantastic nature stories that get debunked.

One last thing- diet and hydration. There are foods that help your body generate heat, like coconut oil, peppers, and others that I don’t have my wife next to me to help me remember. Hydration helps all around, and specifically with circulation. We hate drinking water in the cold, but it really does help. Avoid too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks, as they flush water from your system. Avoid too many adult beverages in the evening for the same reason.

It’s still so encouraging to follow your story. Please keep us updated on your journey!
Will do and thank you :)
 

Benjo75

Well-Known Member
Location
Malvern
When it gets cold here and I have to run the heater my feet sweat in minutes then they'll freeze all day. I always take a couple extra pair of socks and change throughout the day. I also keep a bottle of baby powder in every vehicle. Helps dry out socks and gloves. My hands and feet are the first to sweat and the first to get cold. Nothing else on me really gets cold. Well my ears do but muffs fix that. Hand warmers, saw exhaust, I even keep a can of sterno in the trucks. Sometimes my hands just need a minute or two of warmth then I'm good.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
The biggest issue about winter warmth is staying dry. Vent sweat and keep insulation dry

There is a lot already shared on Treebuzz and the net about ‘vapor Barriers’. They work!

I’ve used loose surgical gloves as liners when my hands are going to be in water
 

Njdelaney

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit
One of my favorite sayings is "The heat is in the tools". It's always true. On a more practical note, avoid having double pairs of socks or boots that fit super tight because it actually works against you, impairing circulation and not providing a small amount of air as insulation.
 
Tom great info. Maybe let me add some stuff? Cold wet cotton is the enemy. If you have moolah to spend - I think can't beat Patagonia Capilene undies - medium weight on the bottom and medium weight or expedition weight on the top for really cold days, and I mean really cold/ windy. If not then whatever synthetic undies you can get - Helly Hansen etc. Synthetics tend to get smelly after a while so plan on washing 'em lots. Some folks wear silk undies (yeah I know) if you have allergies to wool and don't like synthetics smelling up. Next layer - wool is good or more synthetic layers. And top layer goretex (I can hear the ripping/ shredding) or some of the work jackets from arb suppliers. A synthetic helmet liner and neck buff. Then come the hands. It is a medical fact that as you get older, you will have less and less peripheral criculation in hands and feet. You just get colder faster. Sucks it does Yoda would say. What they kinda don't tell you is that if you spend a couple of hours with your hands above your head you will eventually come down with a case of the 'screaming barfies' as your lower your hands & arms (end of a job or topping out an iceclimb) get bloodflow/ circulation back. You'll know when you do - grown women and men cry like babies. Partial solution is hand warmers as mentioned, glove changes the minute your gloves get wet aloft - a nice dry pair will do wonders, as will windmilling your arms every once in a while to get circulation back. What Tom has said above about feet and boots is very true. Crampons dunno - any I have would rip a tree to shreds but I might use the ice creepers type stuff for puttin' on your shoes when walking. And tools - we may try and wrap metal handles with closed cell rubber - but not cork bicycle tape stuff - it builds ice and gets slippery (closed cell doesn't absorb water as much). Get your gloves away from handling bare metal if you can. For prunner pole work, I've started using Richard Mumfords hand ascender thingy for pruner rope pulling when it's cold. And boot dryers at home are de rigeur in winter as is more than one pair of boots (I try and have two or three on cycle thru the winter week).
A suggestion maybe - have a look at Freeworkers website in Germany - and look at the materials they use in Europe for work clothing/ alpine climbing kinda stuff. I find the European brands of a lot of stuff (you can get Pfanner over here) to be really really good gear - tree gear, backcountry skiing or ice climbing.
Last thing - iced up prussiks and ropes can give you a really fast ride down if you're not careful - I've written elsewhere about using a munter or at the least a ring and biner below my climbing gear (usually on my leg loop) to try and strip ice and slush from the rope I'm descending. The extra excitement of hitting an iced up section of rope on the way down is something I don't want to re-live (long stories). Rainy climbing does not equal slushy or real dead of winter climbing with spindrift blasting at you.
Stay warm.
Cheers
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Isometrics are a solution to cold hands n feet

pick a number, I go for Ten
Make a fist or scrunch your toes. Hold for a count of five or so. Release and relax for the same count. Continue until warmth returns.

I’ve never done Ten reps Even when winter camping in sub zero cold
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
One other thing I like is my one-piece, polartec microfleeced, sleeveless thermal underwear. It was discontinued by mountain hardwear, but there are similar ones on the net.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Last year I splurged on merino wool socks and smart wool socks after going my whole life with plain cotton athletic socks. Total game changer, I highly recommend spending the 60$ or whatever to get a few pairs.
I’ll second that, I love my smart wool socks! And under armor or it’s equivalent is a huge help, I wear one layer of Rocky brand under armor pants under my climbing pants and then two sweatshirts over my tshirt and I’m good to about 5-10 degrees F, as long as it’s not windy.

As for gloves, I just wear thin goatskin gloves if I’m working hard, or a pair of these giant, ugly, orange Atlas insulated vinyl gloves if I’m working in the snow or wet.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
I got a couple pairs of Pfanner Base layer bottoms a couple years ago when TreeStuff had them on clearance for a ridiculously low price and have one pair in my northern gear stash in Pennsylvania. They are the bomb, best under layer I have ever had. I have my other pair here in the south but I never need them here, it never gets that cold for that long. Also X2 on the merino wool socks. I wear mine 365 even here in the south. I need to get some more as a few pair are wearing out. A trip to Atlanta and REI is in the near future.
 
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