Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply traveling in harsh, cold conditions, it’s important to consider food, hydration, proper cold-weather gear, and ways to prevent any cold-related injuries or illnesses. Surprisingly, one of the areas that most people don’t think to prepare for is making sure your weather gear stays warm and doesn’t freeze. Most of the articles online revolve around keeping camera gear warm, but there are dozens of other items that need to remain warm in order to function (especially if you’re carrying a weapon).
The Importance Of Layers
Wearing multiple layers is extremely important when preparing for the cold weather. But, did you know you could use layers for other reasons than just keeping yourself warm? Here are some important things for you to consider when layering for yourself and the equipment you will be carrying.
- Multiple Layers: it is important to make sure to wear layers when traveling in the cold. This way, certain items can be stored close to your core (which has a warmer temperature), or in the interior pockets. Items like cameras or cell phones are smart to keep near the body. You can also wrap your gear in layers, the same way you dress. Not only will this keep some of the cold away, but it adds extra protection from drops.
- Avoid Water: next, it’s important to make sure you stay dry. While some dampness may be unavoidable, there are preventative measures to put in place. Consider a rain jacket or water-repellent outer layer to prevent moisture from getting to your equipment.
- Materials: in terms of inner layers, avoid 100% cotton if the weather is going to be damp. Cotton gets wet and stays wet. Instead, look for other materials such as synthetics or wool to avoid feeling miserable all day.
Protecting Gear In the Cold
The biggest threat to gear in the cold will be condensation. This is especially true for items that are being moved in and out of heated rooms and exposed to the harsh outdoors. In cold weather, freezing temperatures cause condensation when there are rapid changes of temperature (or going from extreme hot to cold).This could destroy a camera, wreak havoc on electronics, or even cause the inner mechanisms of a gun to freeze or break.
For technical gear, make sure to store items in a plastic bag. For guns, some experts actually recommend leaving the weapon outdoors to avoid condensation. When items are in a bag, the condensation form on the outside of the bag instead of inside the gear. Items stored inside of a jacket are also less likely to interact with condensation. In addition to bags, it’s also important to include a pack towel if there is moisture.
Warming Gear That Gets Cold
A quick way to warm gear is with extra hand warmers, which can be used to heat up batteries or other small devices. Adding some warmth and bringing spare batteries can mean the difference in operational effectiveness or complete failure.
In addition to packing towels as mentioned before, a rain cover built for gear could be used to properly cover equipment.
Final Things to Consider
In the end, it’s also vital to find the best gear available to keep yourself and your gear warm and ready for use. Again, start by creating base layers, adding insulated layers with a vest or jacket, and then covering everything with a shell or wind proofing/water-resistant layer.
Depending on the conditions, a hat, headlamp, heavy socks, and waterproof boots may be necessary to avoid your own discomfort or frostbite. Finally, make sure to pack waterproof, tactical gloves so you can actually use your gear when the time is right.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.