View topic - Question for Anorak Users

It is currently January 21st, 2020, 12:38 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: November 16th, 2005, 9:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 422
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Since there are still a few months before DF06 I was thinking of making an anorak for this year's trip.

I wasn't very observant on previous trips where both Richard and Dave sported anoraks. Could you tell me if the anorak was the only exterior layer you had with you on the trip? If yes, was it sufficient to maintain a comfortable temperature .?

thanks and have a great day


moe


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 16th, 2005, 11:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Hi Moe,

I have some experience to share, but am not an expert. I have been using a cotton anorak for 3 years now. Last winter was my best test where I did a one-week hot tent trip where it never got warmer than -30, and it was often colder. I was fine. But it was a hot tent trip so when just sitting around and not working in the morning and evening, I was in the tent in the heat. During the day we were constantly working, either hauling sled by skis and snowshoes, cutting and hauling wood, or day-tripping unloaded on snowshoes. The challenge when working is actually to stay cool and not sweat too much. The wicked cold temps required special face gear to protect our noses (e.g. neoprene face masks), ski goggles, and wearing thick toques over balaclavas.

The secret (I think because I am just starting in this new style), is to size it extremely big, super loose and baggy, and ensure that there are sort of “butterfly” type underarms so that the anorak works like a bellows to pump air with moisture, and that it is always comfy with no binding, no matter how many layers you have underneath. I cinch it around the waist with a voyageur sash which is infinitely adjustable. But amazingly I find I don’t need many layers since most of the time I am working and very warm. We don’t stop for lunch anymore. We nibble on 2-5 minute breaks, and keep our lunch warm by wearing it around the belly under fleece, in a fanny or neck bag.

The anorak cuts the wind, sheds snow, and protects your insulation from abrasion, burrs, pesky Velcro black spruce twigs, and from being caked with dirt that comes from the bark and bark lichen on the trees that you will be working with for firewood. Insulation and your wicking system ultimately keeps you warm.

If you are cold camping, you will be working hard doing camp chores in the morning, but sitting around in the evening you need to ensure it is sized big enough to stuff layers under. Me, I seem to retain my heat pump that I generated during the day, so I have never been cold in the body (just feet and fingers occasionally).

It will get wet with sweat, get frosty and freeze. But that’s OK and your body heat will keep it pliable and pumping the moisture. I bring a water repellant/waterproof pit-zipped jacket for rain or very wet snow.

I did a one week solo cold camp trip last year in March where it was -5 during the day (where I wear just one thin fleece layer underneath), and down to about -20 at night around the fire, and it was very comfy with one extra 300 weight fleece layer underneath, maybe with an additional fleece vest. I don't seem to use an insulated parka any more except for sitting still ice fishing, or when on a snowmobile. My winter camping style is always to be working, except in the late evening. If cold camping and I get cold around the fire, I get up and saw some wood (poles stashed nearby). Sawing and splitting wood always warms me up. I camp on crown land Boreal where wood is usually abundant. If camping down south in a park or hardwood forest with little standing dead wood to use, you may not be able to cut wood, in which case you may need more insulation layers to stay warm. If you sized your anorak big enough, I think you will be OK.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 16th, 2005, 11:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Having fun at -30 last year:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 12:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 18th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1648
Location: Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada
Hi Moe:

Yes, the anorak was the only outer layer I brought along, and it proved adequate. Mind you, although the last day waiting for the train was a bit chilly, it could hardly be classed as really cold.

As Hoop has suggested, it's mainly a wear layer and a windbreak. I wore fleece under it to provide the insulation.

I made my anorak out of the famous cotton-canvas drop cloths from Candadian Tire. Washed the fabric a couple of times in hot water and dried it in the dryer to preshrink it before we cut anything out. The fabric seemed fairly windproof. The pattern I used called for a double layer, but mine is only a single layer.

Wish I had taken a few more pics during the sewing process, but here are a few, including the final product "out in the field."

Here's the big front pocket cut out and put together
Image

Here's the front pocket completely finished with small front pockets, snow flaps on the main pockets and trim attached
Image

Here's the anorak after it was all put together - just missing a few odds and ends like the velcro straps that tighten around the wrists.
Image

This is the anorak with the hood down. The big triangular gusset in the front of the neck really opens it up and aids in quick ventilation if you get hot.
Image

Here it is with the hood up - the hood is very deep, which isn't great for peripheral vision, but it sure cuts the wind well.
Image

The anorak in action out on a trip
Image

Another one of the anorak in use at Deep Freeze on Nitro Creek in '05
Image

Wish I could say that we followed a pattern exactly and it worked just fine, but there was a bit of improvising done. Took a pattern, modified it, changed the size a bit and cut out a rough model from cheap cotton ticking to check the size. Modified it again, and cut out the real thing from the cotton canvas.

Also worked from a couple of photos I found on the web. Pocket designs were kind of made up as we went along, based on what I wanted.

The hood took a few layers of fabric complete with iron-on interfacing between to make it stiff enough. Also sewed about 10 or 12 lines of stitching around the perimeter of the hood.

I agree with Hoop that it's not a fashion statement - it's huge and loose. There are ties at the sides of the waist to cinch it in if it gets cold, but when working or walking, it just stays loose and the air flows through it nicely to help cool you.

Don't know what else I can tell you - fire away if you have specific questions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 8:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1777
Location: London, Ontario CANADA
Richard or Hoop,

Where did you get the plans for making the Anorak?


I'd need all the help I can get considering my sewing skills and to start making clothing.

Luckily Ctc tarps are not too expensive!

_________________

[color=green]For love of the wilderness, A journey begins...[/color] [color=brown][b][Nature's Calling...] So get OFF(!) THAT(!!) THUNDERBOX !!![/b][/color]




Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 8:42 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 18th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1648
Location: Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada
The pattern I used was from Garrett Conover's "ASnow Walker's Companion," although I used a bit of creative license when I made it. After reading the instructions that came with the pattern about fifty times, I still had not a clue of what they were talking about. Perhaps it might make more sense to a seamstress.

In any event, I basically used the main pattern pieces drawn there as my template. As I stated before, I cut out a front, back and a sleeve based on the pattern out of cheap cotton and tried it on before I did the real thing. Based on that trial fitting, I modified the pattern a bit - don't exactly remember what I changed, but whatever it took to make it fit better.

I ignored much of the stuff in the pattern about finishing details. I made my own design for the front pocket, putting a big pleat in the front so that it had lots of room, and adding the two little pockets you see above.

The pattern for the hood was perfect as far as the size went, but we kind of winged it with the finishing details, drawstring and velcro tabs.

And most importantly, lest you all think that I'm a talented sewer, I do have to give credit to my wife Debbie, who spent the better part of two days in our own personal textile sweatshop putting it together. I was in charge of design, but she had to do all of the sewing.

It helps to look for some photos of Anoraks on the Internet, although they're few and far between. They make a very nice looking anorak at Empire Canvas Works, which I spent much time studying. As you can tell, I used their anorak as a model for the appearance. Hoop, that must be where yours is from, since ours look pretty close in appearance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 9:56 am 
Offline

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 422
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Hoop, Richard, thanks very much for taking the time to respond with so much detail.

Much appreciated, have a great day.


moe.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 5:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 22nd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1268
Really nice anorak Richard. But having spent 30 years in the painting trade it looks vacant. Needs some drips, dibs and dabs of color!

_________________
Solo canoes and single blades, with a sail for those windy days...

...........O
......(___|/____)
.........../


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 17th, 2005, 8:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Unfortunately I have no sewing skills.

Mine in the photo was bought from Empire Canvas. They have a beautifully lightweight tight 6-8 oz cotton fabric. The wolf fur trim is a custom after market job I had done here with a furrier.

I also have a custom made-to-measure anorak made by Sundog Outfitters that fits me beautifully. I like their fit better, although I recommended that they make their hood somewhat larger to accommodate more hat volume and side wind protection. Their fabric (bought three years ago), was heavier than Empire's. However I like their cut better. Empire's has less room under the arms and their hood is huge but it is not as comfortably merged with the shoulder part, so the anorak sort of hangs from the hood when up, instead of from the shoulders. However I adapt to both makes. It helps to have the anorak supported around the wasit with the sash, and it keeps the heat in and drafts out.

I am only 5'4" but I needed a size large Empire Canvas anorak, so if buying from them, keep in mind the need to size up one or two sizes. The anorak cannot be too big.

I recommend making a zipper under the front pocket to access inside to chest pockets and get to your lunch or energy bar warming inside a fleece, and to get at lighter, matches, etc. So I plan to have a pro seamstress add that under pocket zipper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 18th, 2005, 8:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: November 24th, 2003, 7:42 am
Posts: 150
Location: Mississauga
Hoop, you have good info on anoraks!

I purchased a medium from Empire last year and have yet to use it. You mentioned that you got the large size . I'm 5' 7" myself and actually I was thinking about washing it to shrink it a bit. So my 2 questions are:

1. Have you ever washed the Empire?
2. If you did, did it shrink?

Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 18th, 2005, 12:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: November 25th, 2004, 8:36 am
Posts: 167
Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario
Hi Hoop and Richard. Are your anoraks two layers of cotton i.e. an outside layer and an inside lining, or just a one layer shell? I'm thinking of making one and wasn't sure which way to go. In the Connover book, it mentions a double front and back.

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 18th, 2005, 7:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1879
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Hi DKS,
Yes I wash my anorak a couple times or so per season, in the washing machine, and hang to dry (no fabric softener). Towels don't do well in winter so I wipe my hands on my anorak alot to after washing dishes and stuff. It gets majorly dirty and smoky. The custom fur trim I added is attached by velcro so I can take the fur off before washing. (Unless the fur gets slimed, I don't intend to wash it, or only gently hand wash it.).

Hi Hack,
Both my Empire and Sundog anoraks are single layer, except the Sundog has a thin cotton ticking liner in the hood section. Sundog's fabric (three years ago), is not as tight so the second thin layer in the hood cuts down windchill. The Empire fabric is so tight it does not need an extra layer in my opinion.

Thinner and lighter is better. The tighter the fabric, the thinner you can go and save weight. Thinner also dries faster and carries less frost load.

A wind tightness test is to hold it up to your mouth and try and blow through the fabric. If lots of breath comes through then so will the wind and the heat will escape easier. If that's your fabric you may want a thin cotton liner. But I think you could add a liner later, so I don't recommend starting with a liner. Try and find a tight fabric and try a single layer first. The front of the anorak traditionally has a big pocket like Richard showed, so there is a double layer there.

In the fabric store I was looking at the cotton fabrics and there is a very light, high thread count cotton ticking that looks strong enough to stand alone as one layer, maybe. It does well with the breath test. I am a fabric and sewing idiot, but the sales lady said that this tight thread count ticking is used for feather pillows and is fairly feather and down proof. So that is a good indication of its possible use for an anorak. I just don't know how well it would stand up to abrasion and sharp sticks. It might rip to shreds in the real world of winter camping? When cutting, collecting and hauling lots of firewood, the anorak takes a beating.

The Empire folks said they use a special order lightweight cotton fabric made on a US military spec. That's as much as they told me, and obviously they enjoy a market share on that fabric that they don't want to give away secrets on. So if you can sleuth out that fabric, you would have a great single layer material.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 18th, 2005, 8:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 10th, 2005, 4:55 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Hamilton, ON
Hoop said it: thinner and lighter is best.

I tried the Empire anorak and found it just to heavy, bulky and stiff. Maybe when its washed a few times, it softens up. As well I found it was too long on the thighs and having it wrap around the legs was annoying. But I've not tried their new lightweight cotton product.

My prefered winter anorak is a converted bug jacket. The fabric is windproof and incredibly light weight. Have worn it for 3 winters in the bush - 4 weeks hot camping plus numerous day trips. Not a tear in it yet. A few modifications of course! my favourite thing is the colour - it's now bright canary yellow - makes for great photos...

the sleeves are too short and the waist is too high (I'm tall) but since the fleece I wear underneath has long sleeves and body which hang down it seems to work fine. When the wind blows I tighten the waist cord, pull up the hood, snug it shut.

an imperfect fit on the body is Ok but a too small hood is a real nusiance! it has to be deep enough for cheek protection on those windy days...as well, if you can get one, a fur ruff is a real luxury - often I have the anorak zipper opening undone and the hood up, the waist loose and am very comfortable while pulling a loaded sled between -30C to -8C.

One of the people in my group had a jacket made either by or of 'Ventile'...very tight light weight cotton, double lined. I found it too hot and wouldn't recommend the double lined unless you want to wear only a t-shirt underneath. Expensive to boot.

Of course as an insulater, the wind anorak is useless. Why not just wear a down jacket/vest underneath?

One tried making wind pants? I think they'd be useful for the same reasons as anorak...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 19th, 2005, 10:41 am 
Offline

Joined: November 25th, 2004, 8:36 am
Posts: 167
Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario
Thanks for the information, Hoop and Kate. I'm not much of a sewer either, but I'm hoping that if I get it done I won't run into too many critical people on the trail. In any case, I've invested in a lot of wool for this winter and think it is at lease worth a try to make the anorak to save a few bucks.

Thanks again!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: November 19th, 2005, 10:51 am 
Offline

Joined: April 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1148
Location: Barrie, Ontario Canada
The Anorak is my much-preferred winter trail garment.

Hoop covered everything pretty thoroughly, but let me re-hash:

1] Single layer only. The thing has to breathe. It's whole purpose is to protect you from branches and break the main force of the wind. That's it. It's not a parka. You control temperature by adding/subtracting layers underneath. Air must circulate through it to take off your moisture, which, as you know Moe, you produce a lot of when towing a sled.

2} When working hard, I take mine off. Even the single layer gets too hot. Then I have to put it somewhere. So I hold it outstretchedby the cuffs, twirl it to wrap the body of it up, and tie the thing around my waist. Don't need a pack. Don't need a sled. The thing is right with me all the time. If you made it of 2 layers, it would be too bulky to do this.

3] Very big and loose. This pumps air around your sweaty sweater. Also, you can put your towing harness on underneath, if it's loose. This helps. The towline holds the back of the thing up and open, increasing ventilation, while you still have the windbreak you need for walking into a headwind. If you do it the other way around, harness over all, you get too hot.

4] Ventilation. Robin sewed mine. She put pit-zips that go all the way from the waist hem to the cuffs. Also a deep neck-zip. This is a great feature.

5] A deep hood. Mine isn't like Richard's. It is a far deeper hood, with no side cutaways. The deeper the hood, the more "dead air" you have around your face. In essence, you want to be looking out of a long tunnel. You don't need side vision -- the cutaways are for looking for car traffic, more than anything. Mine even has a 3" extender that buttons on, with a fur ruff. This allows me to walk into a headwind without having to wear goggles and/or a balaclava. You want the neck zip to go up and extend right to the end of a deep, deep cowl. The cowl should also be loose enough so that it doesn't shift your touque around. You can use wire stiffener around the rim of the cowl.

6] A zip pocket. This should be just under the neck zip. It's a leak-proof place for a compass, a match safe, and a couple of snickers bars. Maybe a tightly-folded map.

7] A big, hand-warmer pocket. This a place to stuff your overmitts. The openings on each side should not extend to the bottom of the pocket. If they do, your gloves will fall out. The bottom of the opening should be about 2" above the bottom of the pocket. Both pockets should be lines with mesh, not canvas, so that ventilation is not compromised.

8] Don't coat it. Don't spray it. It has to breathe. It doesn't matter if it gets dirty. You can clean it when it gets home.

9] White is best. That way it stays cooler on a sunny day so that when tree-branch-snow falls on you, it melts less. Also, in the bush, if you stand still, you disappear. I have stood beside snow-machine trails many times and remained unseen.

Due to these odd requirements, you can't buy this unit. You have to have it made. And once it is made, it provides great satisfaction!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group