Tip Guide: Got some advice for thriving in Winter Warfare, and not just surviving?
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Dress down as much as you can before stepping off for a patrol. You should be cold when you start moving, and you will warm up on the move. You really don't wanna be wearing a coat on a march just to avoid the cold for a few minutes longer
Buy the little cheapo liner gloves from the dollar store. Use those anytime you actually have to do something with your hands. Once they get wet, just throw them out. They're a dollar
If you are the guy on the handle bars of the toboggan, don't actively push so much. Your main job is to steer, but you can push a little by just leaning into it and using your body weight
If you are in the trace of the toboggan, make sure to place the cross strap as high up as you can. Ideally right across your chest, this will allow you to pull by just leaning forward. It's a little easier with a ruck too
Sow small cushions into the inside knee part of your Winter Whites. This will save you if you have to take a knee for a few minutes.
Dress in several thinner layers instead of a few thick layers, you'll be able to regulate your body temperature much better.
If your unit allows it (ask first), invest in NEOS. They are an over boot, so you can still wear whatever boots you want underneath. Much warmer and more comfortable than the mukluks
If you are going to the Arctic, get winter NEOS. Otherwise, the regular all season NEOS are good enough for most scenarios
Strip down as much as you can when you get inside a 10 man tent. This will regulate your body temperature, so putting a jacket on when you step outside will feel a lot warmer than if you had never taken it off
TAKE A SHIT! It's never really comfortable going to the bathroom in sub-zero temperatures. But holding it in makes you colder and sluggish. By holding it in, your body is now keeping your crap warm when you can just get rid of it
Keep drinking water! The last thing most people feel like doing when its -20 is drinking some cold water. But either heat it up with a Jet Boil, or drink it on the march to cool you down. Dehydration injuries are VERY common in the winter
If you ever start sweating, strip down. No matter what you are doing. You are overdressed, and being soaked in sweat is going to freeze you when it dries up
Do not top up your water bottle or canteen. Make sure you leave space at the top so that the water can swish around as you walk. This will help prevent the mouth part from freezing solid.
Keeping your hands in a fist inside your gloves goes a long way to keeping your finger tips warm
If you are going to use Mukluks, use the whole system with the felt insole, mesh insole, and the big sock.
Hang any wet kit at night, and when it's your turn for stove watch spend the entire time focusing on drying your kit
Leave your jacket outside over your rucksack. This will prevent condensation from forming!
Before buying kit, make sure your unit allows it. Even though it's the military, different units have different standards
You WILL get the urge to go to the bathroom at 3am while in a 10 man tent. Just go. If you try and convince yourself you can hold it until the morning, you will just be miserable the entire time!
Keep a lighter close to your chest with tape, like a necklace. It's important to readily have access to it, especially when you are lighting the lantern or the stove
Jet Boils are extremely convenient during Winter training. They allow you to eat and hydrate at your own pace, without having to wait for the group pot in the tent!
Cover the ground inside of a 10 man tent with pine boughs. It adds another layer and acts like a carpet
A proper warm up is important in general, but crucial in Winter. Chores such as shoveling snow are not a bad warmup at all!