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[at-l] Re: [AT-L]Hiking fog-blind

>Two suggestions from a fellow glasses wearer:
>(1) Get a "light weight"  balaclava made of the same sort of stuff they
>make long underwear out of.  I got mine at EMS, and I think that it is made
>of Polartec 100 or something similar.  Mine is light enough that I can
>breath through it with a little practice.  The trick is to wear the heavy
>balaclava (or watch cap) on your head, and the light one over your face.
>(2) Get a balaclava made of stretch fabric and pull the hole in the
>balaclava down below your mouth or nose (if your nose is less stuffy than
>(3) I've seen, but never tried, balaclavas with a mesh insert over the
>mouth.  OR has one, I believe.  If it works for you, please tell me!
>Actually, carrying a light weight balaclava and a mid weight hat is a good
>system.  Think of it as layering for the head!  I usually find that the
>light weight balaclava is as much as I want to wear while walking, and that
>it is great in a sleeping bag (even in warmer weather it keeps the grease
>off the fabric).  The mid weight hat or balaclava is nice and warm in camp,
>or for walking if it is really cold.
>- -- Jim Mayer
>At 03:00 AM 1/13/97 PST, kahlena wrote:
>>Yesterday's outing was great..cheap gear worked great!  Temp 11 to 15.
>>One problem.  I had to choose to either expose my nose or fog my
>>sunglasses.  The turtle fur balaclava is a toasty thing but it channeled
>>my breath vapor up to my glasses and they fogged.  The sun came on
>>strong by 11:00 and I had to use the sun glasses against the snow glare.
>>So....I could keep my nose warm and hike blind or see well and freeze my
>>nose.    Any suggestions?              Kahley

I'll add a few things to the great advice from Jim.  Since I am a prescription 
glasses wearer, I have to deal with this all the time.  If you only need
sunglasses, a solution that usually works is to use ski goggles instead, or
glacier glasses (sunglasses with extra side-protection cups) or something
similiar that will prevent your warm breathe from coming straight up into your
glasses.  Regardless of what you use, their are anti-fog solutions which you
can buy at outdoor shops and some optometrists that have varying success
levels; generally, they are sprayed onto the inside of the lens, wiped off and
need to be renewed occasionally.  I use a silk balaclava as a first layer but
pull the part that should cover my nose or mouth down under my chin.  My second
layer depends on conditions and what I am doing.  If cross-country skiing, I
use the hood on my windbreaker or a cap, down to about -10 then I use all 3
layers (balaclava, cap & windbreaker hood) together.  If on a snowmachine
(please don't give me grieve about this - I am a practical person and sometimes
a snowmachine is the most practical form of transportation there is), I use a
sheepskin cap over my balaclava, down to about 0 degrees, then add a neoprene
facemask and ski goggles to avoid frostbite caused by the windchill.  Over New
Year's holiday, I was skiing, snowshoeing and snowmachining in the foothills of
the Alaska Range with the temp down to about -15 and thus I was fully armored
on the snowmachine (bringing in supplies and kids to the cabin which is located
off the road system) and I was continually fogged (iced is a better
description) over, but it beat a frozen nose.  In a nutshell, there are no
great solutions (hard-core snowmachiners with bucks just buy a heated helmet
with windvisor), just solutions that work sometimes.  I used to wear contacts
but got tired of the hassle so I suffer in other ways instead.  Only the
neoprene facemask causes a problem so I avoid using it whenever possible.

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