Gear Review of Beyond Clothing’s Cold Play Soft Shell Jacket

Beyond Clothing. Beyond Clothing (previously known as Beyond Fleece) specializes in custom-made garments. Soft shell jackets bridge the gap between a hard shell and an insulation layer. Soft shells are much more breathable than hard shells, offer moderate wind and water resistance, and provide a thin layer of insulation. On the downside soft shells aren’t […]

Wool Clothing

Wool has long been the traditional favorite of outdoorsmen. Wool is a natural fiber composed primarily of keratin, a protein found also in hair, fingernails and animal hooves. Sheep serve as the primary source of wool for clothing. Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it is crimped, it has […]

Gloves and Mittens

Gloves provide a covering for individual fingers, but wearers do not derive much benefit from natural body heat. While gloves have separate coverings for four fingers and the thumb, mittens have one covering for all of the fingers and one for the all important opposable thumb. Mittens thus provide a pocket of warmth over the […]

Layering Decisions

When taking off for a hike during the winter one always has decisions to make. Do I start off wearing extra clothes knowing that in 10 minutes I will have to stop and shed layers? Or do I start off with fewer clothes knowing that, once hiking, I will warm up comfortably. In either case […]

Rob West’s Wool Sweater

I have gone on winter camping trips with Rob since January 2002. The picture below depicts Ian, Mark and Rob at a rest break during the hike into Puffer Pond. Ian is hydrating, which is good, Mark is looking pretty chipper, and we can see Rob, although he has his back turned to us, modeling […]

Keeping Your Head Warm

There is widespread misconception regarding heat loss through one’s head. You have probably heard one or more of these myths:

If your feet are cold, cover your head. You can lose up to 75% of your body heat through your head alone.

Although 13-16% of the blood volume is in the head at any given […]