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#1 jerwin

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

I have 2 areas that I struggle to keep warm, and wanted to see what others do. :coldday:

First, my hands I bounce between different things. I typically need one hand to loosen the focuser screws and remove and replace EP caps. I've tried a few things here. I've tried some thin glove liners. Problem there is after 1 or 2 sessions they have several threads that have been pulled by the screws and I feel like it's going to keep getting worse until I end up snagging the glove complete on the focuser.

I've tried the cheap one size fits all gloves. They work pretty decent. I'll put one on my right hand and a better glove(s) on my left, and maybe stuff a hand warmer in the palm and back of he hand.

I've also tried going gloveless on the right hand and just have 2 hand warmers in the pocket to squeeze once the ep's are swapped. As it gets colder and colder this isn't working as well as it did in the mid 30's.

I've also tried tripping up on gloves when watching the last meteor shower, but my hands never felt real warm there either. I had one size fits all, with some fleece gloves inside a flip up mitten, with 2 hand warmers in each mitten tip. My hands were much colder than if I was just wearing some normal snow gloves.



Second area I'm struggling with is my cheeks. If I'm shoveling the driveway I don't typically wear anything on my face, but for some reason at 10 at night in the winter, sitting still looking in my scope, my cheeks alone are driving me inside. Someone at my astronomy club mentioned balaclava and I read something similar on a CN Report. Just wondered what others went with there.


The rest of me is fine, wool socks with toe warmers in good boots. A few layers of lower body clothing, long underwear, 1 or 2 sweat pants, and jeans. A few layers of upper body clothing, coats hoods etc. A good hat or 2.

Just the cheeks and keeping a single hand warm enough but still able to work my fingers are the 2 areas I could use some assistance.

Thanks
Jim

#2 wky46

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

jerwin- Have you ever tried battery powered heated gloves? As far as the face I keep a hair dryer at the ready. And since I do about all my viewing seated, my other cheeks sit on a heated cushion (non battery)I got at WalMart for less than $10

#3 Fuzzyguy

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

I use a balaclava for my face. Works well for me. As for my hands, I wear glove liners with hand warmers in the palms. I haven't had a problem yet snagging them on the EP screws. I don't tighten them down past slightly snug as most of my EPs have an indent so even if the screw gets a little loose, they won't fall out.

I tend to slow down a lot in cold weather. Once I find an object, I'll stay with it for quite a while. Sometimes an hour, but usually 30 minutes or so. I'm looking for detail in globs and nebula and to see how many stars I can count in clusters. While I'm doing this, hands in pockets and my hands stay pretty warm.

I may only look at two or three objects when it's really cold and I don't stay out as long, but the views in the winter can be worth the trouble.

Another thing is, I don't do much impromptu viewing with my scope in the winter. I need get my mind ready, form a plan and get fully outfitted.

Lastly, make sure you're fully hydrated. It helps with circulation which helps keep you warm.

All that said, I don't go out under a certain temperature or if the wind is blowing much. Just too cold period! This is a hobby for me and I like to be comfortable

#4 jerwin

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

My quick observing session tonight was not planned at all. It's been raining and or cloudy for a week and a half and when I saw how clear it was tonight I took the dob outside so it could cool off. Went out later and quickly turned gave up. Quarter moon out tonight so I don't feel like I'm missing much, but it got me thinking I need to make some changes to my winter gear.

I got some new ES 82 degree eyepieces and a new powermate in the last few weeks so part of my plan was simply to try them out on a clear night, which I was able to do. Might just be some quick short sessions until spring.

I'll probably pick up a balaclava and maybe look into some heated gloves

Thanks
Jim

#5 lamplight

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

I'm surprised with the hand warmers you're still cold??! What temps are we talking about? Are you really thin? My wife just cant stand the cold long at all... Don't get me wrong I certainly don't like it.. Justverymotivated..

Is your trunk warm? Head? They eating an hour before going out? No alcohol?

Sounds like you're definitely at the external heat stage. There are heated motorcycle gloves: the brand of jacket liner is "first gear". I haven't tried them yet but I do have the jacket liner. Haven't needed it yet.


My fingers are the first to go, then toes.. but i can make a few hours...plus ill take some brief insidebreaks and get hot tea..It happens much quicker if, like you say I'm exposing them fiddling with eyepieces or camera settings..

Good luck

#6 panhard

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

Someone at my astronomy club mentioned balaclava and I read something similar on a CN Report.

I use one, it is recycled from my daughters racing days.

#7 NeilMac

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

Well a Sewed my self a hoodie :)
http://i1249.photobu...04048_FirstS...

I took 2 towels and sewed them together and made an extended hood that covers the EP. Keeps my head warm, blocks the wind and fits over my coat, so nice extra insulation.

-22 right now but since its clouded over as usual I dont need to test the cold :)

#8 jerwin

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:14 AM

Looks like you should be selling some droids to Owen Lars on Tatooine. :jedi:

#9 lamplight

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:45 AM

Was thinking the same thinglol

#10 NeuWerld

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:46 AM

I use a pair of sniper gloves I got from my buddy in the army, but they can be found at almost any military surplus store/website (http://www.galaxyarm...m/item-4395.asp for example). They're great, nice and warm and I have full mobility of my fingers when I need them. For my face I use a neoprene face mask. The mask keeps me warm when snowboarding so it works amazingly well when stationary (http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B000LW1TRU is a similar item).

#11 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

As noted in my sig..I HATE the COLD... and use heated motorcycle clothing in the winter...
Although I never found a need to cover my face my hands are a different story...

I use a pair of Gerbrings Glove LINERS...one size too small so they fit very tight... these things have the heating elements on the back of the hand and fingers as well as heating elements in between each individual finger and thumb...

I wear them UNDER a standard pair of mittens with the fold back flap that exposes the fingers.. I can type at the computer quite easily as well as swap out eyepieces etc without removing either the mittens or the glove liners...

The glove liners plug into my Jacket liner sleeves
and my heated socks plug into the jacket liners waist band...

Keeps me quite comfortable in temps down to close to zero (F)

Bob G

#12 CJK

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

+1 for Gerbing's gear!

-- Chris

#13 kenrenard

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

I have an old pair of army gloves that are wool. My dad gave me them 20 years ago they are tight and you can focus with them. I am sure you can still get something like it at a surplus store. As long as my head is warm I seem to do fine. A pair of insulated overalls is a good trick to help your legs and trunk area.

#14 Agatha

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:31 AM

NeilMac,

And you are invisible in that cloak too!!! :grin:

Best, Linda B.

#15 NeilMac

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:30 AM

LOL, thanks!
I love it, great indoors as well :)

#16 lamplight

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

I'm going to checkout the gerbings as hand protection I might be need in g as it gets coo old. OTOH I have the first gear liner which works good for my bike and runs off power tank for scope. I don't think they have liners just gloves so that sounds good. I'll see if the plugs can work together. And/or going to try chemical warmers too. I have some nice fleece lined fingerless gloves with the flip down mitten top. I can do everything but change eyepieces without the glove s coming off (eyepiece caps actually)..

Recently been using a tablet/sky safari, and picked up a Bluetooth mouse as one more reason not to have to take the gloves off :)

Redden lay since

#17 phitchcock

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

I agree, I do not like the cold, but earlier darkness and the clear winter night sky, makes it worth some shivering. I'm curious if any of you folks ever leave any part of your equipment outside for convenience either covered, protected or whatever?

#18 Allan...

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

MY dob remains in the garage all winter; so very little time is needed to cool down to outside temp (garage isn't heated); keep my eyepieces INside the house though. Works well for me. Clare :)

#19 Achernar

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 09:41 PM

Polypropylene glove liners work wonders, and covering your head in multiple layers will help a lot. I wear a blacklavka, or ski mask when the nights are very cold. A winter hat or two over that, and then a hood from an army jacket keeps my head warm. Also, I use a one piece coverall to seal the places when cold seeps in. The hand warmers will still be good to have, but the polyproylene glove liners will at least keep your skin and freezing cold metal away from each other.

Taras

#20 Kildar13x

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:13 PM

I use mittens that I clip onto my jackets. I am able to just slip my hands in and out of them as needed. While my hands aren't covered when they are out it takes only a minute or two too warm them back up in my mittens. Good quality wool mittens are great I also ice climb as another hobby and when I'm just hanging around I always use mittens. I also have Mylar lined gloves from the north face that work great too. For my face I just wear a mad bomber hat, I haven't ever had a problem with my cheeks. But I do own a good balaclava that I use for ice climbing that works really good got it from EMS. Hope this helps

#21 nploop102

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

Went out in the cold last night for a little bit and layers definitely helped but only for a little bit. Sitting around looking at stars doesn't get me moving enough to keep me warm. I'm thinking I'm going to use my space heater next time just to warm up my butt.

#22 SteveTheSwede

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:27 PM

I have 2 areas that I struggle to keep warm, and wanted to see what others do. :coldday:

First, my hands I bounce between different things. I typically need one hand to loosen the focuser screws and remove and replace EP caps. I've tried a few things here. I've tried some thin glove liners. Problem there is after 1 or 2 sessions they have several threads that have been pulled by the screws and I feel like it's going to keep getting worse until I end up snagging the glove complete on the focuser.


For the hands I'd say try to get some charcoal hand warmers (sometimes called "swedish hand warmers"). They don't get super-hot but they stay warm for over 5 hours. Basically it's just a charcoal stick burning in a special case. They beat battery powered contraptions for simplicity and reliability in my experience.

Unfortunately I have no idea where to get them in the US. They are commonly available in Sweden (hence the name I suppose) but that won't help you much.

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#23 Kfrank

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

Went out in the cold last night for a little bit and layers definitely helped but only for a little bit. Sitting around looking at stars doesn't get me moving enough to keep me warm. I'm thinking I'm going to use my space heater next time just to warm up my butt.


Contrary to popular opinion, layers really don't benefit at all when dealing with cold weather. Staying warm in the cold is all about insulation - which means creating an insulating blanket of dead air around the body. The thicker the insulating layer, the colder the temps you can stand. Down has always been the gold standard for cold weather insulation (assuming dry conditions) but there are modern substitutes that approach the efficiency of down. You can't beat a good down expedition parka for keeping warm in frigid conditions. Since you are basically sitting still when observing, you must dress to allow for that. Good thick, fluffy, lightweight insulation to create that all important dead air space is the key. The garment should also be moisture permeable to allow body moisture to escape.

Layering is a useful technique when dressing for a variety of activity levels, for instance, when actively hiking or skiing alternated with periods of sitting or standing. The notion is to adjust the amount of insulation to accommodate the activity level. If all you're doing is sitting, as at a telescope, a single thick, fluffy garment such as an expedition parks or a good snowmobile suit is just the ticket.

#24 jerwin

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

So I was out last night with temperatures hovering around 25 and felt pretty toasty from 7pm to 1:30am. Figured I share my various layers.

Starting from the bottom I had some heat holder socks (which are pretty awesome, found them at Walgreen's) with a foot warmer on the toe and arch of each foot, inside my Sorel winter boots. (If I was buying these again I'd probably buy 1/2 to 1 size larger so I could maybe double up the socks. Just isn't enough room for 2. Feet never felt cold once

Lower body was long underwear, with some sweatpants, followed by my normal jeans and some larger sweatpants on the top. Lower body never felt cold once.

Upper body was a t-shirt, followed by a zip up jacket, with a hoody over that, another jacket, and a winter coat that is about a size or two too big (from before I lost some weight). I was about to donate this coat to charity but I think I'll hang onto it now. Upper body, never felt cold once.

Hands I had the one size fits all gloves on both hands with a had warmer in each palm. My left hand I also had a fleece glove over it, but bounced the right hand between the scope and my pocket. Surprisingly my hands ever got cold. I've done this technique before and felt like my hands were cold all night so I'm not sure what was different other than less wind.

On my head I had a fleece chinook balaclava, with a stocking hat on top and my hoody hood covering the back of me. One downside here was I'd have to pull the balaclava down when viewing or it my breathing would fog up the ep. Whenever I'd talk to someone else I'd typically pull it back up over my face. Face got slightly cold because of this. If I was able to leave it covered fully I think I would have been fine.

One thing I'd probably do next time is wear an extra long tshirt that I could tuck into my pants a little better. During setup and tear down a few times my mid section was exposed, but that was just a quick shot of cold night air reminding me about the one area I missed.

No idea how this would hold up in the wind or temperatures closer to 0 but I was impressed how warm I ended the night. The balaclava was the only thing I bought special, everything else I've accumulated over the years.

Jim

#25 Tony Flanders

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

So I was out last night with temperatures hovering around 25


25F and light or no wind is ideal. Cold enough so snow doesn't start to melt, but warm enough to stay absolutely toasty assuming that you have reasonable clothing.






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