Sep 16, 2005, 7:54 AM
Post #1 of 10
WIth the winter on its way in the Northeast, I'm wondering what people have used as gear to keep warm when they jump. I also snowboard so i've got some of the first layer stuff. Just wondering what will give me the best protection against the cold but not have me walkin around like a starfish & make it difficult to pull ! & steer & land etc...
I assume a face mask is required as well as gloves.
P.S. I do plan on making a trip down to FL, perhaps Deland :) but will need to make at least 1 or 2 jumps up here.
(This post was edited by hongkongluna on Sep 16, 2005, 7:56 AM)
The key to jumping in the cold is defeating the wind. The way that I do is: Base layer of Hot Chili's ski long johns Fleece layer of either Hot Chili's or Maker fleece. Gore Tex running suit over that. Full face helmet (Z-1 for me) Winter weight Neuman gloves with ski glove liners. Smart Wool or Fox River socks.
Dressing for winter jumping isn't a major thing. Avoid over-dressing. Here's what I do when jumping in Wisconsin in the winter.
Body - Avoid bulk and over-dressing. I've had good results with cotton Long Johns, then jeans and a long-sleeve, heavyweight t-shirt or sweatshirt, then the jumpsuit. - I also have some miltary-issue polypro undies that are nice without being bulky, too.
Feet - Extra pair of socks and sneakers. (same sneakers I wear in the summer - ) Maybe an extra pair of socks to change into when your feet get wet walking back to the packing shed.
Hands - I like the gloves made by Ironclad, and sometimes I can find a pair of real thin cotton liners to go underneath. Make sure you can feel the handle at pull time.
Head - I wear a Z-1 fullface, I like being able to open it up easy due to fogging/frosting hazards. But I know plenty of folks that wear open-face helemts and have nice rosey cheeks when they land. (Speaking of rosey cheeks - I've even seen a few folks jump nekkid in the winter, here, too - Hearty souls, they are!)
You don't need to spend big bucks on hi-tech clothing to enjoy winter jumping. But if you have the coin, I hear Under Armor is kickass.
But I know plenty of folks that wear open-face helemts and have nice rosey cheeks when they land. (Speaking of rosey cheeks - I've even seen a few folks jump nekkid in the winter, here, too - Hearty souls, they are!)
You don't need to spend big bucks on hi-tech clothing to enjoy winter jumping.
Beware of cotton in the winter. Once it's nice & sweaty, it loses any insulation value. Think heat in the airplane cabin followed by a chilly freefall and you'll get the idea.
Over many years of winter whitewater kayaking, polypro has proven itself to me as a far superior alternative to cotton for insulation and moisture wicking. Just hope you're never in an aircraft fire with all of that polypro on...
EMS makes some pretty nice polypro thermal underwear that's a good value compared to the pricey stuff (Patagonia, etc.). The midweight version works well for me. Whatever you get, make sure it's long enough to tuck the top into the bottoms pretty far, or you'll end up with a cold back. Another nice feature of the EMS sleeves is a thumbhole on each arm, which means covered wrists that can tuck under your gloves. Golf wind shirts are an inexpensive wind-blocker for the upper body, but not too bulky and they usually allow moisture to escape.
Check out cold-wx motocross gloves too, they offer pretty good coverage, dexterity, & grip. I found some in a local cycle shop that have been great so far.
A neck gaiter is also key. I use a polypro one that tucks into my jumpsuit on the bottom and my helmet up top. I got it from US Cavalry years ago for riding around in armored vehicles in the winter, and it's held up great.
Ditto on the SmartWool socks, they're sweet. You might want to consider what you'll be landing in when picking out shoes. Running shoes typically don't do too well keeping you warm in slushy puddles.
When it's near zero (F) on the ground and you're considering doing another jump, you're probably set for winter gear. If you're saying "Screw this!", you might want to rethink your winter gear choices. Winter jumping can be really nice with the right gear - the density altitude effects sure kick ass!
IMHO the most important thing - is the gloves, the thin windstopper gloves over thin woollen works just perfect for me (at -15°C on the ground). Next thing is the foggy promblem the visor of your fullface helmet can get total foggy and make you blind (try to put the soft inside material over your nose - it can catch extra moisture), the googles less affected by fog. Other clothes...with jumpsuit can be various as it was mentioned above thermal layers from polypropylene works just fine.