My clothing list:
Level 1 Arc'teryx Motus Crew long sleeve (not PCU, but similar to the level 1 long sleeve)
Level 2 Grid fleece - Sekri
Level 3 Insulating Fleece - Steps Inc.
Level 5 Softshell - Beyond Clothing
Level 5 Softshell Pants - ORC
Marino Wool Boxers - MEC
Combat Socks - Applied Orange
Running Shoes - ASIC
Work Gloves - Mechanix
Goretex Shells - Outdoor Research
|Running back to the frozen shores of "You do it" Beach.|
At this point I was comfortable submerging my entire clothing system so we put everything on and walked back into the lake. This time, it felt like someone was running hot irons up and down my legs. This time it was the cold that I remembered. We dunked ourselves, ran back to shore, and then ran about half a kilometre to warm up. It felt like my feet were in blocks of ice, and my legs were noticeably stiffer. No body shakes like in the spring though.
We got back to our start point, rolled in the sand, and then put on our weighted packs to start our ruck march. My feet were starting to feel ever so slightly better. For the most part though, I felt pretty comfortable. We got some weird looks as we ran through High Park leaving wet footprints behind us. I was just concentrating on trying to warm up my fingers. The Mechanix gloves provided little to no warmth when dry. When they were wet, they were actually drawing heat away from my fingers. The velcro straps, that was now wet and packed with sand, uselessly flapped around. I started to feel the crisp wind start to nip at my ears, so I put on my hood and felt better immediately.
At the 30 minute mark my softshell was mostly dry. My upper body was warm and comfortable which was surprising. My lower body was a different story. I realized at this point that I should have worn a pair of level 2 grid fleece pants under my softshell pants because my thighs were pretty chilly. The softshell pants themselves were still wet and were starting to freeze in some places around the cargo pockets and cuffs. My feet were chilly, but not horribly cold. My shoes and socks did a great job of moving the moisture away from my feet. I pulled my Goretex mitts and wool mitts from my ruck and took off the Mechanix gloves. The back of my hand and my fingers were bright red. Even after running, I was never able to warm up my hands, and I didn't want to end up with frost bite. It only took about 5 minutes for my hands to feel comfortable again. I was glad to have packed an extra pair.
|After the 30 minute mark.|
|After the 60 minute mark.|
I realize that with any good experiment, conducting it once is not enough, so I foresee this test happening again. So come back soon and leave me a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I'd love to hear about your experiences with your clothing systems and cold weather. And GRT visitors, please say hello with your class number!