Anatomy of a forester, Day 10

And the answer to the location of yesterday’s fishing smack quiz is ….. Provincetown MA.  Loads of points to Bodger Mark, the only one to work this out – how did he do it?  Has he been there?  Recognized the boat?  Did a search (I did, dint work for me). Princetown is a really cool place (well it is well up in the Northern hemisphere).  Extraordinary clothings: SAMSUNG CSCIf I’d used this shot it would have been easy:


Good ducks though – they’re not mallards? Ed.

No, I mean this one:

SAMSUNG CSCBut then, today, I realised the blummin clue is in the question:

SAMSUNG CSC“*town,MA”  Gives you the sub-continent, the state, and somewhere by the sea ending in town.  Good work , MArk.

But I digress.  Today’s topic is not “You are what you eat. (see Anatomy of a forester Day … erm … 9). Oh yes” But “You are what you wear, or you’re dead.”  My dear wife Jane tells me she encouraged her charges to think “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”  I think this is an excellent maxim.  Let me take you through my Winter wear.  Well it is Anatomy of a Forester!

But first, our climate.  Temperate, for which read “unpredictable”.  Winter can be quite cold for a temperate clime, borrowing horrid East winds and driving snow from our Scandinavian neighbours, or barmy with the Gulf Stream (or Beck, as we would say) washing the whole of the United Kingdom (see James Joyce, Ulysses: Ch. 1 ‘–All Ireland is washed by the gulfstream, Stephen said as he let honey trickle over a slice of the loaf.’ [Don’t get me on about honey.]) So one day in Winter it’s 12 above centigrade (50F) then next morning 2 below (28F). We don’t really go much below 6 (21F) very often, and sometimes it only dips below 0C (32F as you know) a handful of times in Winter (like last year).  But you are aware that the Thames once froze 11 inches thick.

So, the secret is to have a well-stocked armoury of clothing against the weather.  In Summer it’s easy, it’s dry under my tarp so T-shisrt are just about OK, but shorts just don’t work – all the shavings creep into that space between the boots/clogs and socks and are very uncomfortable.

But Winter, hum, tricky.  As above, the weather varies.  The UK Met Office, gives amazingly accurate weather predictions – they should do; they have some really powerful computers to model chaos systems.  However, in the micro-system where I work, with no sunshine from December to February, I have to manage variences.  So here’s how I do it.

People ask, “Are you here; all year round/just at weekends/all the time.”  I say, “All year round, I keep warm in Winter by working hard.”  That’s not all the story, remember” No bad weather, just crappy clothing”?

Start with a hat, the second lat thing I put on:

SAMSUNG CSCThis is the best, most comforting thing I wear:

SAMSUNG CSCEx-army, those boys need proper clothing (Although, it’s desert clothing now).  I’ve heard it described as a tank commander’s hat – well mebbe, but it is certainly good for the head and ears.  It has several configurations:

SAMSUNG CSCCool, all flaps on top.

SAMSUNG CSCWarm, ear-flaps down and options to get a bit extra over your temples.SAMSUNG CSCAll down and locked on, that East wind holds no threats to my hat security!

Then, if your hands are frozen to numbness you can’t work, so wear a pair of these:

SAMSUNG CSCYes, there is a tiny hole hidden under the right thumb.  They help me not get white finger when using the chainsaw, keep the wet from logs away from my hands, and are just generally a good thing when it’s very cold.  I have about 6 pairs in variopus colours.

The next most important hing in cold weather is long Johns:

SAMSUNG CSCThe trouble is, once you pull them on of a morning, you don’t want to take ’em off until bedtime (we have an electric blanket (Too much information – Ed.)

They’re designed in JApan, where I read the Winter is pretty horrid too:


You’ll have to squint – they’re from UNI CLO

Then a long-sleeved vest: SAMSUNG CSCYup, Heat-tech too.

My upper body covers are very important.  I think this is just a comfort thing, but I s’pose we have to keep our core warm.  Add a shirt:

SAMSUNG CSCZip it up a bit when it’s cold:

SAMSUNG CSCIf it’s really cold … zip it up to the top:

SAMSUNG CSCThen, if you’re sure it’s not going to get suddenly warmer (i.e. if you got icilcles on your beard on your morning bike ride, wear this:

SAMSUNG CSCYeah, thought so, can’t read it – try this one:

SAMSUNG CSCOK, it says “Extreme Cold Weather, Olive” , it works.  Towelling interior, cosy. But don’t even try using a chainsaw – you will die of heat exhaustion (unless you live in Wisconsin, mebbe).

More for the legs:

SAMSUNG CSCThe padding for the knees is useful when stoking the fore, and unfortunately can’t be relied upon to stop axes.  Also more insulation around those important mid-leg joints (knees).

I think we can now safely don out boilersuit:

SAMSUNG CSCHaving previously donned some stout socks:


Wool’s best I find.

If I’m not in working mode, but standing around chatting. I’ll wear my LL Bean shirt ($10 from an charity/thrift store/shop):

SAMSUNG CSCThen, the first defence against those vile East winds:

SAMSUNG CSCEx-army (21st century) jerkin,  or if I’m chatting:

SAMSUNG CSCWWII leather jerkin with woolen lining and solid back, hand-turned buttons (I did it).

Oh yes, if it’s near freezing I wear this (under the boiler suit):


And I can still move about and work – amazing, eh?

Footwear is still a work in progress, but at present, clogs preferred (even if they pull your socks down) (Huh well they only cost £5, what do you expect? – Ed.)


2 thoughts on “Anatomy of a forester, Day 10

  1. Shorts can work with shavings and saw dust,, two pieces of cloth triangular in shape two srips of velgro put these over your boots and around your ankles, nothing goes in your boots.
    You get brown legs and more vitemin D

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