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Do I need to 'man up'?


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So the curse hit with full effect. After purchasing some fine astro equipment, the skies went dark; and are holding onto cloud relentlessly above my head. 

But... the forecast by me looks to be clear this Saturday.  Only snag is it's also forecasted to be -6. 

It's been so long since getting out, but I'm nervous. When is cold too cold? 

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Some fantastic advice; thanks folks. So it possibly boils down to this... Layers, pocket warmers and insoles. Order fur hat and wool gloves, dig out the dew heaters, charge all batteries, pu

In the words of the great philosopher (Billy Connolly!) 'There is no such thing as bad weather - just wrong clothes' !!! 😉 I work outside quite a bit (down to -19º) and handle large lumps of alloy

Is 'man up' a bit 'un-woke' these days? Just checking for the latest 'flavour*' for a friend! * other options are available.  

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9 minutes ago, Mr Jones said:

When is cold too cold? 

Depends more on wind and humidity then on actual temperature.

If everything is quiet and air is dry - with proper clothing couple degrees below zero can be quite comfortable.

Check out wind chill factor and "feels like" column in forecast.

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No point observing under clear skies if you get frostbite! Id suggest if you are keen, its safe to do so (ice could be a problem!) and can keep wrapped up warm then maybe if you fancy a short time out go for it :D

I had a session the other weekend in the cold where I was so focused on the scope I didn't notice my toes had gone numb till my music stopped (I have like an hour and half playlist I listen to to drown out the neighborhood noise :)) was painful when they warmed up!

Hot chocolate at the ready?

Edited by wibblefish
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Get one of those suits that folks who work in freezer warehouses wear, some good boots and gloves. Recently I tried some of those one time use heated insoles which I find work well. They rely on reacting with oxygen to produce heat and after a while because all the oxygen inside the boot has been used up stop working so I slip the boots off and on to introduce more oxygen. If you are moving about then you do not need to do this only if you are siting or standing still for a while.  A pair of insoles cost about 50 pence.

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Same thing as what vlaiv says above, check the humidity levels.  A dry cold (same with heat) is a lot more tolerable than if it has moisture with it.  -5ºC is easily doable for an hour or two in low humidity, plenty of thin layers to trap heat is good but in that temperature keep your feet moving as that's where it'll get you first if the ground is cold.

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23 minutes ago, Mr Jones said:

So the curse hit with full effect. After purchasing some fine astro equipment, the skies went dark; and are holding onto cloud relentlessly above my head. 

But... the forecast by me looks to be clear this Saturday.  Only snag is it's also forecasted to be -6. 

It's been so long since getting out, but I'm nervous. When is cold too cold?

-6°c isn't too cold if presumably you're observing from your home. If possible set up out of any breeze. I give up my western views up to approx 60° but the high fence keeps the wind off & blocks a street lamp.

Layer your clothes, eat a small snack, keep a flask of hot drink handy and take warming breaks inside.

 

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34 minutes ago, Mr Jones said:

 When is cold too cold? 

When you are under dressed.

Not much point in spending £££s on 'scopes etc and not using them because you didn't invest in a down jacket and insulated trousers .For less than the price of a premium eyepiece you could get a basic set of winter kit from somewhere like go outdoors, I love my alpkit down jacket (mens version, because as my dear departed mother once pointed out, I have arms the length of a gibbon's )  https://alpkit.com/products/fantom-mens-down-jacket

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Like everybody else said, wrap up warm, especially feet (I like double wooly socks), gloves and a hat. I was out a few weeks ago at -5 with frost all over my OTA but since it was not too humid I did not feel it much. I had regular tea breaks in the house (making tea in the dark is interesting) in the dark to protect night vision. Considering it might be your only decent clear skies for a while, I would go for it!

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1 minute ago, Tiny Clanger said:

When you are under dressed.

Not much point in spending £££s on 'scopes etc and not using them because you didn't invest in a down jacket and insulated trousers .For less than the price of a premium eyepiece you could get a basic set of winter kit from somewhere like go outdoors, I love my alpkit down jacket (mens version, because as my dear departed mother once pointed out, I have arms the length of a gibbon's )  https://alpkit.com/products/fantom-mens-down-jacket

I use 1piece wool long johns, 2 layer track pants,a thick hoodie then 1 piece snowmobile suit bibs followed by the snowmobile jacket. The one piecers help trap heat in. A very thin balaclava is a must and is surprising how well they work with a leather/fur bomber hat sitting there for use as needed. Good insulated boots-Baffins- with thick socks.

Its my hands that take a beating in the cold- those aluminum eyepieces will cause close to frostbite in a short time.

 

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I wouldn’t worry about it because when Saturday arrives the weather forecast will be entirely different. The best thing to do is wait until a few hours before you want to take your scope out then look at the forecast. 🙁

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15 minutes ago, jetstream said:

I use 1piece wool long johns, 2 layer track pants,a thick hoodie then 1 piece snowmobile suit bibs followed by the snowmobile jacket. The one piecers help trap heat in. A very thin balaclava is a must and is surprising how well they work with a leather/fur bomber hat sitting there for use as needed. Good insulated boots-Baffins- with thick socks.

Its my hands that take a beating in the cold- those aluminum eyepieces will cause close to frostbite in a short time.

 

Have you tried a turret so you don't have to fiddle around int he cold. Looks freezing and quiet snowy where you are (from you marbles test  pictures).

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I got one of these last year for £39.95. Toasty and squashes small. Nice if camping to keep the evening chill off.

https://www.regatta.com/men-s-whitehill-lightweight-down-fill-quilted-walking-jacket-black/

When it's proper cold, over that goes a padded jacket. Again, around £29.95.

https://www.regatta.com/mens-nevado-iii-hooded-baffle-jacket-prussian-blue-navy/

Cheap as chips for warm gear and more than adequate for British weather.

Add a t-shirt, shirt and jumper, beanie hat, fingerless gloves, thick tracky kecks and long johns underneath. Two pairs of socks and walking boots.

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-1 and a bit too warm for sissy gloves! 😆

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In the words of the great philosopher (Billy Connolly!) 'There is no such thing as bad weather - just wrong clothes' !!! 😉

I work outside quite a bit (down to -19º) and handle large lumps of alloy - yacht masts and rigging etc which pulls the heat out of your hands in an instant. Merino wool gloves and socks and thick soled boots are a big help as is a good hat - I wear a rabbit skin hat which may be not very politically correct but is very warm.

A big help is a bowl of hot steaming porridge before you go out. No alcohol - makes you colder quicker.

 

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18 minutes ago, Deadlake said:

Have you tried a turret so you don't have to fiddle around int he cold. Looks freezing and quiet snowy where you are (from you marbles test  pictures).

I thought about it but there are few things that work in these temps- my dobs no issue- the fracs stay in the house.A bunch of eyepieces are needed so that when eye moisture/heat frosts them up, you get the next one. I cherry pick the best cold weather eyepieces-only used the 21APM,17/14 Nikon HW and the 18mm ES 82 last night. The ES are perhaps the best in the cold. The Zeiss zoom for lunar/planetary gets the nod as well.

I tested the advertisings claim from years ago about water...so I took my 30mm ES 82, frosted up in sub -30c temps and threw it in warm water in the sink... That was many years ago and the eyepiece is like new. The ES just might be the toughest eyepieces out there IMHO.

Edited by jetstream
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TWO PAIRS OF BOOTS!!  One pair warming in the house  :)

Also go in to swap and warm up before you get cold.

4cast -11C (-14C windchill) here later in the week, gulp...

...have also cuddled hot water bottle  :)

Edited by clarkpm4242
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4 minutes ago, City9Town0 said:

Is 'man up' a bit 'un-woke' these days?

Just checking for the latest 'flavour*' for a friend!

* other options are available.

 

As a member of "people kind" maybe "people kind up?"😃

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3 hours ago, Mr Jones said:

So the curse hit with full effect. After purchasing some fine astro equipment, the skies went dark; and are holding onto cloud relentlessly above my head. 

But... the forecast by me looks to be clear this Saturday.  Only snag is it's also forecasted to be -6. 

It's been so long since getting out, but I'm nervous. When is cold too cold? 

Your feet will tell you.

And if they don't your hands will..........🥶

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Some fantastic advice; thanks folks.

So it possibly boils down to this...

Layers, pocket warmers and insoles. Order fur hat and wool gloves, dig out the dew heaters, charge all batteries, purchase Takahashi turret, buy second pair of wellies, realise I'm out of step with society and regret using the term 'man', check forecast and see Saturday evening is no longer set for clear skies, wonder why I even got excited.

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I have a full army softie set, that goes over multiple layers. It's a duvet in a suit. Plus it doesn't shed fibres which is ideal for keeping handy eyepieces in the pockets...I found walking boots ideal too, as the raised heel/sole insulates against the cold in the ground seeping up...

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Yep, you need to man up!  I've been out in Siberia observing in -45C before when I was working in Russian gas fields years ago.  So were others.  Wrap up well and it is fine.

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4 hours ago, Tomatobro said:

Get one of those suits that folks who work in freezer warehouses wear,

I've got one as occasionally have to go into an industrial freezer. Keep you nice and warm and good for -25 :) 

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