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Winter in Siberia

We are headed to Lake Baikal, Siberia on 2/21 then going to Mongolia for some winter festivals. Temperatures should hover in the -30C range, a little colder some places, a little warmer in others. 
I own the correct Baffin boots rated -100F, and whacking ski socks. Some decent warm base layers. 
I need a suggestion for the rest of the gear. Snow suits should definitely be two piece, some of the toilets will be outhouses. 
trip organizer suggested ski pants we could fit a base layer and sweats under but if I get them that big they won’t be usable for just snowshoeing in the states ( I no longer ski)

I would really appreciate some suggestions, thanks

1 Reply

@PortieMom Thanks for reaching out, what an incredible trip!

We're in the throes of winter here in Fairbanks, Alaska so I've got some ideas for helping you on your adventure to Siberia. I've spent the last several years dialing in my layering system for all the different temperatures that a winter this far north can throw at you. It sounds like you've got a great start with base layers, socks, and boots. Your metabolism, body type, and activity level (for example: will you be snowshoeing and getting your heart rate up, or will you be standing still watching the northern lights?) will have a huge affect on how warm you are in those conditions, so you'll want to take that into consideration. Personally, I'm a bigger guy who tends to run pretty warm.

When I'm out in the extreme cold (-20F or lower) I wear a midweight baselayer, a fleece (or insulatedmidlayer, and an insulated outer layer. The links in these examples (except the insulated mid layer) are pants, however, the system for my shirts and jackets is pretty much the same. I find that the two factors that are most important for me staying warm is to make sure all of the layers fit over each other and are snug but not tight, even just a little too tight can restrict blood flow and make you cold. Too loose can also be problematic as your body has work to keep the extra air warm. The other factor is making sure I'm able to seal off the hem/waist of my jacket, wrists openings, and have a baffle around the neck (or a collar that is not integrated into the hood). It's amazing how much heat can seep out of even the smallest of openings!

I am able to fit the REI Co-op Teton Fleece Pants underneath my insulated pants without having to go up a size or worrying that my insulated pants would be too baggy without the fleece pants under them. The Teton Fleece Pants are cut a little bit like a jogger pant; tapered and snug without being 'tights' and loose enough to be comfortable without being 'baggy'. In my mind they're the perfect midlayer for cold conditions.

Lastly, I recommend insulated mittens with a lighter fleece glove as a liner. That way you can keep your fingers working together to say warm, but also have dexterity if you need to pull your hand out for a short moment (to take a picture, for example). Personally I use the combination of REI Co-op Power Wool Gloves and REI Co-op Gauntlet GTX mittens

I hope this helps, feel free to reach out with any other questions. I hope you have an awesome trip!


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