Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gear Baby

Gesh there is a lot of gear to keep warm and carry in my pockets. On top of all the layers, one starts lookin' pretty prego! So what do I wear? I start with an Ibex wool bra, I/O bio glory zip or contact 2 top, depending on temps, followed by my RBH design vest, Montbell Nomad softshell, and then as temps drop I put on the Montbell thermawrap, which I also refer to as my honey, and when temps really drop I add my Mountain Hardware puffy jacket. I also carry one more jacket used for wind or wetness, and thats the top. Bottom gear starts with Pearl Izumi 3/4 bike shorts and either the I/O Bio 3/4 contact tights or full contct 2 tights, covered by Swix nordic pants which are over 10years old and I have finally wore holes in the seat.

In my pockets: spare headlamp which is the Princeton Tec Fuel, a set of spare batteries which include 8AA and 4AAA, tp, wetwipes, firestarter, matches, tool, aquaphor, chain lube, contacts, toothpaste, toothbrush, 4 packs of handwarmer, camera, and music player. The there is my pack which contains a 200 oz bladder, my Princeton Tec Apex Extreme, a pic to comb my hair, some barretts and eleastics, as well as a list of phone numbers, ID and cash-o-lah. In my pants pocket I carry a small knife, duct tape, and lighters.

This is also how I sleep outside. Fully dressed, with all the layers, water pack, boots on, all the gear in my pockets. My hands get really cold, really fast so I like to be able to just get up, stuff -n-go! This way I can start moving ASAP and get the heat generating.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


So here is my foot wear setup. I start with one of the 3 base layers, either the super thin Bridgedale liner, a thin Icebreaker sock or sometimes the thicker Smartwool sock, then I use a RBH design vapor barrier, this prevents my insulating sock, which is the Wigwam El-Pine sock, from getting wet. My boots are RU outside Tundra boots which they no longer make-boooo! They have been seamed sealed several times and got a fresh coat just before we left. The replaceable liner, which I did replace this yr, in the boot insulates as well as reflects heat back to the foot. I use the PolarWrap Toasty Feet insole, made to regulate the temperature of the foot, made with aerogel, which is comfortable to me. My feet did get cold just a couple times, probably lack of circulation, but I got off and ran and they warmed right up. I also put hand warmers on my shines which are held there by my socks and around my knees which are held there by my OR gaitors and pants. Due to the colder temps last year, I do believe I did some damage to my toes, cuz it was 3 months before I could flick my shoes off with my toes. I didn't experience that this year with the warmer temps.

Last year I used the thicker Smartwool sock b/c it was much colder goin' to Nome. This yr I used the thin Bridgedale sock to McGrath and the Icebreaker sock goin' to Nome. I did get some rubbin' on the inside of my heel which caused blisters, not shure if it was the holes in the Icebreaker sock, the new vapor barrier sock or the new boot liner, could have been a combination. I also use Aquaphor ointment on my feet, face, hands and a$$. It's one thing that covers it all.

I did step in some overflow and it was approx and hour before it soaked thru to my foot, by which time we were in a safety cabin drying out. Had that cabin not been there, I would have had to stop, make a fire to dry my boots and change my socks. I carry and extra liner sock and wigwam sock for emergency. I also have screws drilled into the bottom of my shoes for traction on the ice.
Frozen overflow leaving Ophir on the way to Iditarod. Now while this setup may work for me, it is highly recommended YOU figure out and TEST what works for you! Til next time!