The next fool who spouts off about global warming in my presence is going to get stripped and chained to the maple in my front yard for the world to see. And I sure as hell hope it's lard-ass Algorey.
It's 1930hrs and the damn thermometer's already reading 17 below, on its way to 30+ below and fifty-plus wind chills. Not that it's unusual for those kind of temps in Minnesota, but it's a bit early. Not that anything about weather has been 'normal' or 'average' this year. Below average winter last year- way longer than norm- and lower than average temps all summer. I think the AC was one once, twice at the most and then only due to humidity readings. This fall was colder than average every day.
Now, rather than over-saturate us with global warming shit, they're switching to climate changes. Like- DUH: climate changes every day.
I have a sleeping bag filled with six pounds of down that's really warm on cold nights- in a tent, anyway. Haven't tried it sleeping on the ground yet, hope I never have to- but the way things are looking in this country nowadays, I may get that opportunity. Also have a military cotton duck cover for it that, according to my illustrious Uncle, adds ten degrees more warmth to the bag. Hopefully he's right. (Nope, ain't trying it out tonight, thank you!)
Also, the tent is a four season tent that's had a bit of snow-cover for insulation upon occasion. Spent a honeymoon in '96 in the BWCA and the temps dropped to twenty below that year, too. But then, it was January 12th and we expected it. (I wonder...did that honeymoon on the frozen tundra have anything to do with the Big D? Hmmm..)
Sorels are some of the best cold weather footwear available. Didn't have them when we were kids, though. In those days we wore boots with overboots and lots of sox. Will Steger swears by the Mukluks his wife makes up in Ely- and they sure look warm, though utilising the same liners Sorels use. Some day when I'm feeling rich and the Sorels wear out...
Having a pair of 'choppers' with wool liners really keep the hands warm, too. But I prefer leather gloves with a nice fur lining. Usually it's rabbit, and warm. Not as warm as the choppers, but good enough and easy to work in compared to the mitts. If I'm doing work that doesn't require dexterity of fingers, or just skiing or walking around, the choppers get used cuz they're great for that.
A pair of long-jons under jeans or wool pants and a snow-suit over those, or a heavy insulated work cover-alls, and a person can spend a day on the ice and not get cold.
Down jackets are nice to look at, for sure, but not nice on the wallet. The only one I've ever owned is still in use after 30+ years, but it isn't my only jacket and I sure don't wear it on cold-cold days. Then I grab the parka- if I'm going to be fairly sedentary. Otherwise, the fiberfill cotton-twill shelled jacket fits the bill. I don't like 'coats' because they're so long, can't get into pant pockets easily and seem to get in the way more than anything. But I like my coat, too. Just for those reasons: it's long and covers the backside when parking on a log and keeps snow out of the pockets, as well as twigs and seeds.
To be perfectly honest, I rather like cold weather. Not the kind we're getting tonight, but temps in the above zero range. Not too cold to be outside, fairly easy to dress warmly for without becoming the Michelin Man. Sunny days on the ice fishing or wandering through the woods is kind of fun. The dog likes them, anyway.
Anyway, I have a plan for the really cold night I'm sure no manufacturer of firearms ever took into consideration. At least, not the modern new-fangled plastic ones.
One of my brother-in-laws (or is it 'brothers-in-law'? never could keep that grammatical shit straight) recently bought an XD45: nice, smooth and black with a steel upper and plastic lower. Of course, being the skeptic I am, I had to ask if he thought it'd survive being shot in below zero weather. Too, I hadda follow suit and bought a playmate for the all steel Smith. Tonight, that plastic gun is going to sleep outside and in the morning when I wake, I'm going to see how strong that plastic is. I wonder if I'll be able to get a new one. Honestly, I do expect something to happen soon as it goes BANG!- and I hope I'm not eating a slide when it does.
Tonight, though- gonna be a long one. "Three dog night," as the old-timers say. The single ones, anyway. I doubt any wife would let three dogs into the bed...
Okay: bad joke. Sorry (shakin' head as I write it).
Sleep well tonight, Folks- it may be the last good night sleep for a long time.