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Author Topic: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« on: March 04, 2009, 10:51:40 AM »
Thie results of this post is going to seem quite self evident to many of you, but not to me.

Okay, as many of you know, I live in the nice part of California. Snow is something you drive to (for an hour or three), play in for a few hours, and drive home from. So while I am highly aquainted with gear for beaches and deserts, I am really lacking in gear for snow and cold (umm. Snowboots and really warm coat, umm. ski pass... ummm...). 

What I am looking for is clothing and gear for operating outdoors and living around snow and ice for a fantasy setting.  It is "wintery" for much of the year, so this is not just a seasonal addition.  The setting has a tech level roughtly equal to that of the 1400s to 1600s. I want an emphasis on the historical, but modern analogs are okay. My simple list so far

Cloaks, variety of styles
Hats
Cold Weather clothing.
Scarves (in Clan Colors) are important
Boots,
Boots with studs,
Boots with clip on studs, usually as part of the design.
Gloves
Gloves with spikes

Skis (general, specialty)
Snow Shoes
Skates
Sleds, personal, fun, small. Saucer/ shields
Harnesses for Mooses (well they are my beasts of burden) or Dogs (for sleds)

Cord (thin rope)
Cords with hook

Ice Axe
Ice saws
Shovel, folding usually)

Walking Staffs, which are really tall and and have flags on them.  They have a hook as well. (Flag might have clan colors on them)

Glass Enclosed Lantern

So I need clarifications on any of these, details that I am blissfully glossing over, any additions that I have missed, and so on. 

I am also wondering what people did for handwarmers in the 1400-1600s
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 11:02:19 AM by MoonHunter »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 11:12:12 AM »
Handwarmers?  Do you mean the chemical packs that generate heat? 
I live in Canada (my front yard looks more like the rebel positions on Hoth then anything else - we have more then a meter of snow down, and it is hard enough to walk on.) and I've used a handwarmer once in my life.  I would think that they simply would not have any equivilent, barring magic. 

Gloves or more likely mittens are probably all that would be used. Leather outsides with a wool on the inside.  Socks!!! Wool socks!

Clip on studs are a nice idea, but I'd bet older tech would lean towards permenant affairs. Same comment towards folding shovels.  Any moving parts are a &^%$@ when you are in real snow/ice for long periods of time. Things that move tend not too unless you have a fire nearby. I own a pair of clip on studs for boots - at least allegedly - the bloody things have disappared somewhere.  Much better to have them built in..

Why the flag on the staff?

My experiances with winter camping in the scouts was that you did not want to carry anything you did not absolutely have to, so gimmicky stuff usually was not worth the trouble.  You need to keep warm, so heavy clothes, source of fire (Tinderbox or a fire-drill with tinder)

Suggested reading: Two against the North/Lost in the barrens by Farley Mowet (really, most of his stuff is a good read - he absolutely loved the north).

+Dogsleds
+Snow Knife - for cutting snow blocks for building shelters.

Moose (singular and plural) - I think there might be a reason why they never were domesticated in North America, but I think the scandinavians had luck with Elk there.  The things are about as friendly as a bull and will charge dump-trucks.

Will add more as I think of it.
   
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2009, 11:31:51 AM »
Moose or some such animal
I saw it on yahoo news, where the Moose works on the farm most of the year (free food and such).  Then towards rutting season, he just waunders away.  He comes back some time after rutting season.

If domestication happens, it would require gelding most of the males, like they do with other herd critters/

There are some other links, most notably
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostroma_Moose_Farm

So as long as it was a Moose-like creature and certain things were done, a culture could do it. 

It would be more like Reindeer, which it -or an analog-, would be more suitable.

Hand Warmer
I have vague recolections of a hand warmer with a small tinder fire inside a metal ball being used as a hand warmer in a fantasy novel.  Have no idea if there is a historical precedent for it or just some authors bright idea.

Flag
Flag on the staff comes from something I have seen cross country hikers carry.  I woud assume  the flag is there for improved visability.  (In our case it would also be used for identification of people at a distance.)  I would assume a similar arrangement would be used in snow country.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 11:41:53 AM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 03:12:57 PM »
Tennessee has it's share of nasty weather, so my list of gear for cold weather:

multiple layers of clothing, a heavy coat over a woolen tunic over a linen undertunic, or whatever passes for the style of clothing.

Socks socks socks socks.

My father spent about two years in Central Siberia (Koglym) and he learned if you can keep your feet, your sack, and your head dry, you do pretty good for staying warm.

Heavy water repellant boots.
socks

A local phenomenon, which has no explanation and still baffles me. There is no reason that a needed supply make any sense.

If the weatherman up here says snow in for forcast i kid you not there is a run on milk and white bread at the grocery store. We were concerned our first winter here, so when he said snow we went to get a few supplies, mostly canned food, a few jugs of bottled water (electric water pump at the house) and some cans of that flammable camping fire in a can stuff. We go to get a loaf of bread and walmart is almost completely sold out.

It's nuts, and it makes no sense, but it happens all the time.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 06:22:36 PM »
Yes, socks indeed.  I'm generally good in the cold until my feet get cold. Then I take my ball and go home...


   
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Offline Dragonlordmax

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 10:53:11 PM »
I can't imagine that you're thinking any colder than this:



You might want to check part 11, too.

Assuming that you're interested in something that cold, anyway.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 06:49:15 AM by Dragonlordmax »
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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 11:17:52 PM »
Hand Warmer
I have vague recolections of a hand warmer with a small tinder fire inside a metal ball being used as a hand warmer in a fantasy novel.  Have no idea if there is a historical precedent for it or just some authors bright idea.

It would need to be wrapped inside of some sort of insulating cloth, to protect against burns. And even then, I don't think it'd be as effective as just bundling up, and keeping a smoldering coal in a tinder box to start new fires with.

I don't have any real suggestions for gear and whatnot, but you might do some googling for the settlement of the American midwest. The weather in the 'Great American Desert' was abyssimal when settlers first came through. Few were ready for it, but people survived, and it'd be worthwhile to find out what they did exactly.

The main thing I can think of is that in a harsh environment, you're not guaranteed a stable food-source as in other areas. So you end up stocking and storing for the future whenever you have a windfall. Each family will have a basement storeroom packed to the brim with foodstuffs and essential supplies.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 10:33:57 AM »
And this is why I also posted the response on www.rpg.net
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=441300

The List so far:

Cloaks, variety of styles
Waterproof cloaks / gear. The only thing worse than being cold or wet is being cold AND wet
Hats
Hats with earflaps
Scarves (in Clan Colors) are important
**Balaclava

Cold Weather clothing.
*Parka
*Sweaters
*Vests
Thick warm underwear - dress in layers!

Thick wool socks - doubled in very cold weather
Boots,
Boots with studs,
Snow Boots (big footed)
Boots with clip on studs, usually as part of the design.
Crampons for climbing - these are ancient! Apparently Hannibal's men used crampons to cross the Alps

Gloves
Gloves with spikes
Wool or lined leather mittens, usually worn over gloves!

Think Wool and/ Fur in all the above

Snow Brush (for removing snow from clothes)

Snow goggles to prevent snow blindness

Thermos like arrangement
Foodbars
Jerk pouch

Skis (general, specialty)
Cross country skis or "hunter's skis" for going more than a hundred yards or so. Cross country skis are long and narrow, good for speed. Hunter's skis are short and wide, more stable can walk instead of skiing, and they don't leave much of a track. Most people don't use ski poles because they use their hands to hold hunting weapons.
Snow Shoes
Skates
Sleds, personal
Sleds, fun,
Sleds, Large
Sleds Carriage
Harnesses (for my Reindeer like beasts of burden) or Dogs (for sleds).

Cord (thin rope)
Cords with hook

Ice Axe
Snow Saw
Ice saws
Shovel, folding usually or just small
Hatchet
Knife

Fire starting capability, dry tinder storage.
Tinder, flint, and steel.
Ice fishing rigs

Sleeping Furs
Tents

Walking Staffs, which are really tall and and have flags on them. They have a hook as well. (Flag might have clan colors on them)

Glass Enclosed Lantern

Oil and/ or wax for waterproofing - particularly boots
Winches
Sand and Rough Salt
Goggles
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Offline slartibartfast

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2009, 05:50:39 AM »
A couple more things to consider is that cold weather tends to be dry weather, many people have problems with dry cracking skin (chapped and bleeding lips, bloody noses, cracked and bleeding skin on hands)  Another useful item to add to the list might be a supply of animal fat for application to dry, chapped areas.

Also, "snow blindness" is a very real danger.  I knew one older woman who got trapped in a blizzard and permanently lost her sight.  On a clear day, the dazzling sun reflected off white snow can be overwhelming to the eyes.  Some northern natives developed a neat set of glasses made from bone to help protect from snowblindness as well as ease the strain of looking out a dazzling white expanse of snow.  They have tiny, flat horizontal slats and look like miniature blinds stuck in the "open" position.  (See the eskimo movie "The Fast Runner" for an example)

Jack London's stories, if you are familiar with them, give some excellent ideas and details on the trials and tribulations of living in the cold northern regions.  In addition to Call of the Wild, and White Fang, he wrote a number of short stories set within a very cold, northern climate.
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Offline Cheka Man

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2009, 09:17:40 PM »
She must have lost her sight after the blizzard was over. Poor her.  :(

Offline Dozus

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2009, 11:17:07 PM »
Here's a pic of slartibartfast's aforementioned Inuit goggles for reference:

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Offline slartibartfast

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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2009, 05:44:59 AM »
She must have lost her sight after the blizzard was over. Poor her.  :(

That's pretty much what happened; despite that, she retained her sense of humor.  She's the one person I know who has had a bona-fide "Y2k crisis"; she had bought cemetery plots and tombstones for her and her husband, and when she bought hers, they etched in her birthdate, and since she was still alive they left the death date as 19__; to be filled in when she passed on.  However, she surprisingly survived into the 2000s; leaving with her a bit of a dilema.
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Re: Help People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 09:57:44 PM »
Thank you slartibartfast, I had not included any "chap ointment" or "skin creme" which makes perfect sense.

If my Long Winter culture did not have glass (and glasses), I would so include those in my inventory.  Oh wait, I have some tribals in the farther north.. Cool, I can.

Ointments (I have a ton of these, as these people live in a pharmacutical cornucopia, as many of the "native plants" have psychoactive chemicals and other odd properties.)

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