Yes, It is cold here. This past week we have had the coldest temperatures that we have experienced yet. It has gotten down to -62 a few times. It may have been colder than that overnight, but when you wake up in the morning and are getting ready to go to work and the needle on the thermometer is pointing below -60 all you think is “Brrrr.” Well, Sunday it was that cold and there was no way the truck was going to start given that extreme cold, so we decided to go for a walk. Jocelyn wanted to take some pictures and I needed to walk up to town anyway.
Getting ready to go out in these conditions is a workout in itself. First you need to make sure that if you recently showered you are completely dry. The last thing you want is any excess moisture that could freeze to you. Next comes the first layer, some people wear them, some don’t, but thermal base layers are a good idea when it is this cold. Next comes the “Normal clothes” so put on your jeans, shirt, sweatshirt or fleece and whatever else you might be wearing. Don’t forget to wear good socks. Natural wool heavy socks are the best. Jocelyn wears a pair of “regular” cotton socks and then one or two pairs of the wool socks over top. Next comes the bibs or snowpants. These are essential, as they are what keeps the wind off of your legs and are a lifesaver out there. After your snow pants you have to put the good boots on. We both have Rangers. (Jocelyn doesn’t like hers, I loves mine.) When you lace up your boots, you want to make them secure but not too tight. Pulling them too tight makes the insulation almost worthless (this is why Jocelyn doesn’t like hers, there is not enough room to put her pant legs inside of the boots). Next comes the coat. Not your typical winter coat that people from Pennsylvania are used too. Jocelyn wears a 650 down coat and I wear a Carhartt Arctic insulated coat. After the coat, you have to make sure you dress the rest of the way fairly quickly cause indoors you will very soon overheat. After the coat you put up your hood from your sweatshirt or put on you liner beanie, then you will put on your neck gaiter or scarf (or both in Jocelyn’s case) then your hat. Hopefully you have a good fur lined hat cause let’s face it, mother nature knows what she’s doing when it comes to furs that animals have here (Jocelyn doesn’t wear anything inside of her hat as she says hers is more than warm enough to handle this cold). Then make sure you have your skin on your neck covered everywhere, and if you wear glasses, this is your last chance to take them off, and you really should. Next you pull in your hats, gaiter, hood and whatever else to make your head good and warm. Next you put on your liner gloves (necessary) then your heavy gloves or mittens, and if your gloves do not have a long cuff, either have a friend help you pull your coat cuffs over them or make sure you have a pair of wristlets. Jocelyn discovered how these can be a lifesaver when she is taking pictures. Once you are all bundled up, don’t wait around, get outside. If you let yourself get too warm, it is more shocking to your system when you do go out in the cold, plus if you start sweating this will cause you to get cold quicker outside.
The other tricks are to not leave your boots, coat or bibs close to an heat source, making them too warm will make you start sweating which will cause you to get very cold very quickly outside.
This is the process to get ready to go to work, to go play, to go do anything outside if you will be out for more than 5 minutes or so. You really do have to be careful here, but if you take the proper precautions, and make sure you are always prepared you can enjoy life in the arctic and find out how beautiful and amazing this place is.
And here Jocelyn is with all her gear on other than the gaiter cause that's just way too warm indoors.
Up next.... pics from our crazy walk in the VERY frozen North.