Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Gear

Emmi @ My Life On Horses started this winter gear tag.

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Well, for those who haven't suspected, its time for me to come out of the closet: I am a gear whore.

But in my defense, I am an outdoors professional (Nat'l Ski Patrol; and my career as a biologist), so some of my gear sluttiness is merited and enabled through my profession. And basically becomes a bigger problem by the year.

As a result, I have a distinct feeling no one's list of winter barn attire will hurt their bank accounts as much as mine has through the years. In my defense though, I use a lot of this gear for multiple outdoors pursuits in the cold months.

It is VERY rare that I pay full price for anything. I am THE QUEEN of shopping for cheap, quality gear. Seriously. (Though for all gear below I've linked wherever I can straight to the manufacturer's website where the full price is listed.)

The rundown on what I wear: I have an arsenal of baselayers, softlayers, and hardlayers. I start with appropriate baselayers for the level of cold. From there I double them with softlayers. If its snowing or raining I add a hardlayer. I will take my baselayer leggings and double them into my breeches BEFORE I put my breeches on. This way I have some pretty kickass warm breeches. (Though I'm considering some of those fleecy, wind-proof breeches from Kerrits for some point.)

Without further ado, my winter gear accoutrements for the barn (note: not all of these items are worn all together, this is just my quiver of gear that I layer to best manage whatever weather is thrown at me):

Baselayers (all synthetic or wool. death to cotton.)
Soft-layers (items that are worn over baselayers that are not waterproof)
Hard-layers (waterproof layers worn over softlayers to protect them and provide waterproofing)
  • Marmot Spire (my retired - aka now for horse pursuits - hardshell)
  • Gore-Tex rain pant - old and from LLBean
Various other accoutrements:
I live in a location that has a reliably cold weather. I've built my arsenal over years and years. And, one of the most important things I can share with you (and something I will harp on and on and on about to folks looking to get gear), quality gear will last years and years and years. More than 70% of the gear on my list I've had for >4 years. I use a large majority of this gear for all my winter outdoors pursuits.

If you have any inquiries about what would be good for such-and-such outdoors activity - winter or non - feel free to hit me up and ask what I've had good/bad experiences with. I've done lots of research and personal experiments with a LOT of gear through the years and may be able to guide you in the right direction and help you find something at a good price. Seriously, ask. I'm more than happy to help!

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