My main objective has always been stay warm - wearing layers, big coats, heavy gloves, etc. But then this happened:
|Part of our 40 acre farm|
We did all of this over the month of November. Not our coldest month, but still dropping down into the 20s. I admit that most of my winter outdoor life has involved walking or short ski jaunts. I have never really "worked" in the cold.
Once you do - you will find out how important it is to have thin layers, ease of movement, and pockets. You would never imagine that you'd want to take your coat off on a 20 degree day, but when you are working hard, it happens! Alot!
Fortunately, I have had the chance to try out two new products while working hard on the land.
We spent Thanksgiving at the land, burning down a huge pile of debris - 25 years worth of debris. The fire lasted into the next morning. We had to stay and tend the fire. The temperatures dropped down to 23F. We basically camped outside.....all night long. My son complained about cold feet but that was it. He actually had to repeatedly remove the jacket while we were hauling boards to the fire because he was too hot. But as the fire burned down to center embers, the rest of us felt every bit of that 23F. Do not attempt to stay out all night without wool socks, quality boots, a tent, and blankets/sleeping bags! - we will not make that mistake again.
|Looks can be deceiving. This pit was over 12 feet deep below the surface and 30 feet wide! I only took photos in the beginning because after that I was too busy working!|
|Starting the fire with a flare.|
We have accomplished a lot in the last month. Not only did we burn down 2 barns worth of old wood and heaven knows how many branches, but we rebuild the lake dock and were able to plant 77 trees before the snow started falling.
We were always racing against the sun (which goes down by 5pm here!) and didn't finish all the detail work (like untying the trees and covering the stems with rodent protection) before the snow came. So we had to work in the snow to finish.
Walking in snow is hard work. I have snowpants and boots - all the usual stuff. None of that works well when your property is 1/2 a mile across and the snow is a foot deep. Snowpants are bulky. They store a lot of heat while you're walking....and they are horrible when you need to use the bathroom.
So I started looking into better options. I put snowshoes on my Christmas list and ditched the snowpants for a thin legging layer under jeans plus Armadillo LT gaiters over my boots.
Gaiters keep snow out of your boots and off of your pants, but they don't slow you down. There is no bunching in the crotch, no added heat, and no drama when you need to use the restroom.
My husband has gaiters because he's a bird hunter. This was my first experience with them. I've got to say they were quite freeing. Easy to use, they work as intended, and they are also lightweight.
Lightweight - thin layers - are becoming my best friends.
Once we get the farm up and running, we'll be installing a hunting shack near the lake. This type of gear is perfect for hunting. It's perfect for skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and yes - working in the snow.
Wish me luck as I wrap up our pasture contracts, locate bee equipment, and start ordering trees for the orchard. Winter is a time of winding up to explode with activity in the spring. We are going to be busy!
I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. This blog does contain affiliate links/ads at no cost to the reader.