Mittens and gloves are so inexpensive that you can buy new ones every September. Why then should you consider spending three digits with me? Ordinary hand wear feels burly, but they don’t know how to ‘live’ on you hands. Their laminated fabrics, plastic inserts, and rubberized palms prove that they’re more afraid of being wet than getting cold. The moment you wiggle into them, they start trapping perspiration. Folks like us at the top of the map know that sweat is potentially lethal. It’s icky too.
If you like to wander on those pristine winter days, take some pointers from the professionals. Native cultures endured absurd cold because they made use of the local plants and animals. Game leather is flexible and breathable. Natural hair and plant fibers trap heat, but wick moisture away. When you shape them into supple coverings they’ll keep your fingers and toes happy well below 0ºF. I’m short on Caribou and moss, but creative enough with what’s here. I use Elk leather because it thrives on abuse. True North Mittens blend those hides with breathable canvas or ripstop to make feathery shells. I line them with just enough wool to be efficient, but not bulky. The Big Mitts are in a class by themselves, with a tough, breathable shell covering an absolute haven for your cold hands.
Does this sound old fashioned? Perhaps.
The difference between natural and synthetic isn’t apparent at first. But you’re sure to notice it after hours or days. I hope that you won’t pay attention to your clothing at all because your favorite lake has become a Perch dispenser, or your puppy team is cruising like seasoned racers. So, if you’re willing to endure a snicker or two from your techie friends at the trailhead, your reward will be a hearty laugh at their expense when the day is over