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LongWayToFall

Minimum operating temperatures

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I have jumped in winter when the air temps on the ground have been in the range of 15 F. At altitude the thermometer was reading down in the -30 F range. Even in summer Higher altitude jumps are sub zero especially if you ever do a HALO jump.
Get good supple leather gloves( like NIKE Batting gloves or Square One carries some similar) with good poly liners.. that is my biggest problem keeping my hands capable of grabbing the stuff I need to grab like the Hackey.. the cutaway pillow and the reserve handle. My hands just want to lock up when they get cold. Be sure you practice touching and feeling all your handles. You can also get those neoprene face protectors to keep the face and nose from getting frostbite.

Its not the most comfortable way to jump but it can be done.. just be sure to practice all your EP with all the extra bulkiness of clothing and gloves etc.

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The North Pole at 4,000 meters, in April, it's about -50C. I've made 6 of those. At 10,000 meters anywhere in the world, where the military jumps all the time, it's even colder than that. That said, we do not let our gear get really cold before we jump. Nothing works when frozen solid...nothing but an ice cube, that is.

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Yes, rubber does getter stiffer and more brittle as it gets colder.
Velcro also gets stickier as it gets colder.
Plastic stiffeners also get stiffer and more likely to crack as they chill.
However, all those material degradations pale in comparison with the reduction in tactile sensitivity and muscle strength because humans chill far faster than parachutes. Few humans are willing to jump - on a regular basis - where temperatures are low enough to significantly affect parachute reliability.

Military HAHO and HALO personnel are the only humans who jump in "minus something ridiculous" temperatures at 25,000' on a regular basis, but no one ever called them genteel or sensitive or easy-going or politically correct. Furthermore, the dangers they face from communists (oops! communists are no longer our enemies) er, .... mujahadeen are far greater than any freefall risk.

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Jumping in the cold sux. I can handle a few winter jumps here in NorCal to stay current, but it probably is still above 0 F at altitude here in NorCal, which is about all I'm willing to handle.



my limit for 3500 ft hop n pops is -12C (10F) on the ground - but that is out of a U206 with no door...

rm

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Hello, i was curious if anybody knew what the coldest temperatures you can jump in are. obviously this would depend on humidity, but mabey you can give me some sort of idea.
Thanks!
Micah



I think a bigger problem than ambient temperature would be the humidity IN your gear. How would you like your canopy to flash-freeze into a lump way "up there"? Or your cutaway cables freeze in the housings?

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>I think a bigger problem than ambient temperature would be the
>humidity IN your gear.

Wasn't much of a problem on the 300-way other than helmets. Exit temps were as cold as -34F. About the only freezing problems we had were faceplates, so we switched to goggles.

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