For those frigid temperatures in cold places, every soldier needs cold gear to wear under his uniform. Staying warm is important for a clear mind and a steadiness when aiming a gun on the battlefield. But it’s not just soldiers who need to stay warm. Anyone can use cold gear for a variety of activities.
Cold gear undergarments have changed a bit in the past couple hundred years. In the past, they would just be long johns and shirts worn under military uniforms, perhaps made of wool or some other material. Undergarments were not made as efficient and custom as they are today.
There are are few different materials to choose from when selecting cold gear undergarments. The most common is probably cotton. This is going to be the cheapest choice, but also is of lesser quality. Polypropylene is another material used, due to its moisture-wicking feature. Cold gear made from polyester is also a good choice. The undergarments used by the U.S. military’s Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) are either made from polypropylene or polyester (or both). The ECWCS includes a polypropylene undershirt and drawers (it also include nylon/cotton trousers). Polypropylene is not very flammable, which is good news for soldiers caught in firefights. The downside is it retains heat very well (which is what it’s designed to do), which can cause burns when exposed to extreme heat for any reason. Also available are polypropylene balaclavas and socks.
This cold gear is great for all kinds of outdoor activities. Some of the most common activities include skiing and snowboarding, hunting, camping, hiking, or just taking a walk in the cold.
All right: now that you’ve heard our take on cold gear, it’s up to you to choose what kind you want. It comes in all sizes and colors, including camouflage. You may not have to go on a super secret mission in the plains of Serbia, or be ordered by your captain to climb the mountains of Tibet, but you can still use the cold gear that our soldiers use to ensure your warmth in the cold conditions you do face.
Here’s a great selection of cold gear to choose from.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.