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 […]

First Ascent Nail Driver Soft Shell Pants

I am 6’4″ and 220 lbs. I have to buy tall clothing. There aren’t many vendors that sell quality outdoor gear in truly tall sizes. First Ascent is one vendor that makes tall clothing true to size. I received First Ascent’s Nail Driver Soft Shell Pants as a present from my wife. These are great […]

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 […]

The Claim: You Lose Most of Your Body Heat Through Your Head

As reported in the Sunday PARADE magazine, this old saw comes from experiments done in the 1950s in which soldiers were sent into subzero temps wearing survival suits—and no hats. Shockingly, they lost a lot of heat through their heads!

Dr. Daniel I. Sessler, an anesthesiologist and expert on hypothermia at the University of Louisville […]