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DF guide to cold weather working
Wear latex gloves (with some hand cream to keep hands moisturised) under normal gloves if in very wet and cold weather - raid the conservators store if you can't find any in the shops, asking nicely first of all of course. You might end up with soft hands but hey, you can prove your personhood in the pub with a few hot toddies at the end of the day.
Kevin - what I was getting at is how waterproof is that gear? Most ski gear is useless in wet snow, for instance, since it isn't actually waterproof and is intended for use in 'dry' snow at a low enough temperature, which sounds like what you've been working in. Except in limited localities we've not had that over here, we've mostly just been getting wet (from not particularly cold snow) and cold that way. It's been frozen solid on my site all day today but people have still managed to get at least slightly damp just doing stuff like drawing

Anyone who can wear latex gloves all day in cold weather must have the circulation of the young non-smoker - think I'll give that one a miss thanks, Mad! Keep gloves as loose as possible (within reason) when it's cold, tight gloves restrict circulation which is already struggling (you're blood's thicker). Dose of J******'s Baby Lotion after work and avoiding soap and hot water while at work (which totally trashes your skin, cold water removes far less skin-oils) has worked fine for the last several decades thanks
Agreed Dino - sorry, should have said get a size bigger if possible. But the old army (and homeless/down and out) trick is always to concentrate on keeping the vitals around the stomach and intestines warm. You lose blood flow to the extremities if you do not have enough warmth in those vital areas. Wrap anything around the waist if you do feel an extra chill - that will release blood flow for the extremities. Hmm beginning to sound like Viz's Top Tips. "When cold, wrap yourself in the carcass of a horse or, if in an urban environment, half a dozen urban foxes or 20 squirrels. Helps you to keep warm and reduce urban pests'.
I was talking to Maggie about this, and she said to me we sound like Jakies.... then I remembered - newspaper around our middles 2 or three socks... and a plastic bag to keep you waterproof plus a bin bag under your jersey and above your shirt and definately a Union Suit Smile or tights... I had lovely blue tights! NOT stockings! never make that mistake again!

so er... yes... as WEasel says the old army (and homeless/down and out) trick is always to concentrate on keeping the vitals around the stomach and intestines warm. and a good warm hat! Gloves I wear a thin pair beneath another pair.. Keep it covered! In the warm cabin, get yer kit off (not completely of course) before you go out... get it back on! Don't be a hero... if you are cold ... get WARM! I remember MAggie and I were working on a site up in the cairngorms... so cold you can't think... and that.. is dangerous! You work slow, you don't think... ! So look out for each other!

To cheer you up... here is Maggie on a mountain trying to record a building!

We were so cold that we would repeat the same measurements to each other for about 5 minutes. Cold is dangerous.
Dinosaur - my overtrousers (what I call ski-pants) are made from lined waxed beaver cotton and are waterproof. They have various drawstrings, velcro strappings to ensure a close fit. Likewise the coat is Gore-tex...but you are right. The winter is not really the 'wet' season in Norway as it is so cold the snow rarely gets to be wet.

During the wettest season (the summer) most Norwegian archaeologists use Aalesund or Helly Hanson heavy duty waterproofs (the kind held up with braces that they advertise deep-sea fishermen wearing). I don't know how much these would cost in the UK, but I am of course very lucky in that Norwegian employers are generous with regards to PPE. I attach a link to a Norwegian waterproof web-page if you are interested in seeing the different types available...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
i'm sat at home in my Trifunk long johns and HellyHansen fleece, both of which come from Malmo Museer; i had a cracking pair of boots from Riksantikvarieambatet, lamb-fleece lined waterproofed; and i have both a snorkel coat and (matching) rubber trousers and knee-length light waterproof jacket also from Malmo. I might just wear the hat with drop-down ear flaps should i pop out in the 'arctic conditions' - hah, my a... as old man Royle would say
The Swedish employers i have worked for were both extremely good with summer and winter kit; this included gloves, boots, trousers, socks, t-shirts in addition to the above
When i worked in France 20yrs ago, the kit wasn't as extensive, but i remember returnig to the UK and starting work for one of the majors and the crappy old road boots made out of cardboard which completely tore your feet before disintegrating in the first bout of bad weather was an eye-opening moment
but as is being pointed out on other threads, issues such as unionisation have a significant impact on what an employee gets or does not get...
Your Courage Your Cheerfulness Your Resolution
Will Bring US Victory
Thanks for the link, Kevin

Main problem I've been having here is persuading people, once they've overheated hacking at the top 4 inches of the frozen landscape in 15 layers of clothes, is to put them all back on before getting chilled. Otherwise core-temperature hasn't been an issue, just hands and feet. Answer with feet seems to be to have 2 pairs of boots and leave one cooking on the cabin heater and keep swapping with a bit of toe-massage in between. Shame the guys doing the here's-a-plan-of-what-could-be-seen-on-Friday didn't finish, looks like some more snow-clearance and hacking off ice in the run-up to Xmas, report needs to be on someone's desk 9am 3/1/11....ho hum.....good thing I've measured where to go looking

.....ashamed to say I've actually quite enjoyed being out on site the last few weeks, but maybe that's cos the accom is a lot better than my flat (the heating works for a start!) if only I can defrost the lock on the back of the 4WD and get to the cameras and level....
Ok, -9c on site today, have invested in some freezer boots for after Xmas - almost guarantees heatwave....will report back if they work, easily accessible and a quick internet trawel suggests fully compliant PPE ones from ?45 [mine rather more, but reputedly comfy down to -28c]

Am absolutely amazed that my crew are (fairly) happily going out of the toasty cabin and attempting the ever-decreasing range of feasible tasks I've been devising for them (digging's out, even the fully insane end of the crew have abandoned that before breaking all the tools), maybe I've been a touch too scathing in the past about the modern breed of diggers.....need to do something about the improvised fashion though..... :face-approve:
Ok, after some testing, the freezer boots are awesome! CoolCool

Ones I've got are Cofra Freezer Boots, sadly not much change from ?100 from ARCO (inc. VAT) but there are plenty of brands out there, many a lot cheaper (ARCO's own ones are half the price). Just been out playing in sub-zero winter wasteland for the last hour and am absolutely frozen except my feet which are positively toasty. Really, really grippy treads (they're designed for use on frost-covered concrete after all) which are cunningly designed to shed snow - this works really well, didn't pick any up at all! Also, treads go up over toe so you don't get that gruesomely cold lump of ice accumulating around your pinkies like you do with normal work boots. :face-approve::face-approve:

They've got that all-important CE mark, toecaps (200J/1.5 ton) and anti-penetration soles (composite and APT, not nasty cold steel, but geophysisists note, they still have steel zips), all the usual anti oil, anti heat etc etc. Oh, and they're dead comfy (although will be glad when I've broken in the uppers, they're eating my shins walking up and down stairs). Smile

Only downside is the zips (although with above-average wide velcro covers), so won't last too long once the landscape melts in around May and I'll need to remember to stay out of water more than 3" deep..... Sad

And am supporting the Albanian boot-making industry...... :face-approve:

David - sorry, just found my gas, electric and car insurance bills mixed in with the Xmas cards, so you'll have to wait till next year.....
Top review... definitely on my wish list.
The look pretty damn comfy too! around 67 quid including P and P


Cheapest especially if you team up and buy more than one...

Price: ?46.36 inc vat - this item is eligible for FREE Delivery on orders over ?75 inc VAT

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