I believe in layering.
There is the problem of keeping warm. Wearing many layers of clothing can keep you warm
probably better than one extremely warm winter coat,
and you can also wear fewer layers in warmer weather.
You can adjust your temperature by zipping or unzipping layers,
or by taking layers on or off if you have a way to carry them.
In the winter you really want to stay warm, and with the right clothing you can be
thoroughly wet and warm. Like when I go kayaking in the ice, in a dry suit
that keeps the wind out, and keeps the water inside it warm, and layers of
poly insulation that keep warm even when wet. But a dry suit is not practical
for most land activities, and it is really best to stay dry. You can do that by wearing
wicking layers next to your skin. These materials, mostly poly, move the prespiration
away from you skin so that it doesn't get cold and clammy. I tend to prefer to wear
cotton next to my skin, and keep it dry by adjusting my outer layers to keep
from getting warm. I tend to go around with several layers, all open in the front
enough to keep me at just the right temperature, and I tend to make constant
adjustments as I go along.
US Army M1965 Jacket
Austrian M65 Jacket
Swedish Civil Defense
Swedish M90 winter coat
Some surplus clothing was made recently and not used, and just has the usual new clothing
smell that any new clothing has. Some has been sitting in a musty warehouse since WWII
and really stinks.
Sometimes the material has gotten musty, or the coating used to waterproof and stiffen
the article has gotten musty. Sometimes it has just picked up the smell from
being next to something musty.
I often find myself washing the coats eight times in laundry
detergent with a lot of baking soda and borax powder. In one case I soaked a bag in a bucket of
white vinegar and water, about 50.50, for a day and then hung it in the sun for a week
and a lot of the smell went away. After you get the musty smell off there can be smells
from liniments and perfumes the former user wore, or the smell of the former user.
If you get an unused piece of clothing you don't have to worry about that.
If you wash your coat eight times it will get rather soft. This may be good, or bad.
If you use baking soda it may take off the waterfroofing from waxed fabric.
Getting Surplus Stuff
My nearest surplus store is 100 miles away, and may not have just what I am looking for.
So I use mail order a lot.
There are problems with mail order. One is that you really can't inspect the merchandise, so
you can't really tell if it fist, if it smells bad, if it is on good shape. I think surplus
dealers are not really as heavily into sizing as a regular clothing place like LL Bean.
Large means different things .. do they try it on and decide that it is large? Or do
they just guess? So you don't know if something wil fit until you get it.
Then there is shipping. Some dealers just use FedEx, which is expensive. Some will use
USPS Prioroty which can be cheaper. My guess is that they want tracking and delivery confirmation.
Some, the bigger ones, will use USPS parcel which is less expensive still.
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