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Help need from People who live in Cold Weather and or Higher Altitudes


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Validated User
*cue Hologram special effect*

VO: Help me people who live with snow and cold. You are my campaign's only hope.

*cut hologram f/x*

I live near the coast in California. Snow is something you drive to (for an hour or three), play in for a few hours, and drive home from. So while I am highly aquainted with gear for beaches and deserts, I am really lacking in knowledge of gear for snow and cold (umm. Snowboots and really warm coat, umm. ski pass... ummm...).

What I am looking for is mundane clothing and gear for operating outdoors and living around snow and ice for a fantasy setting. It is "wintery" for much of the year (5-6 months most years), so this is not just a seasonal addition. The terrain is often hilly, if not mountanous, but there are valley flatlands too. The setting has a tech level roughtly equal to that of the 1400s to 1600s. I want an emphasis on the historical, but modern analogs are okay. My simple list so far

Cloaks, variety of styles
Cold Weather clothing.
Scarves (in Clan Colors) are important
Boots with studs,
Boots with clip on studs, usually as part of the design.
Gloves with spikes

Skis (general, specialty)
Snow Shoes
Sleds, personal
Sleds, fun,
Sleds, Large
Sleds Carriage
Harnesses (for my Reindeer like beasts of burden) or Dogs (for sleds).

Cord (thin rope)
Cords with hook

Ice Axe
Ice saws
Shovel, folding usually.

Walking Staffs, which are really tall and and have flags on them. They have a hook as well. (Flag might have clan colors on them)

Glass Enclosed Lantern

This is what logic and my limited experience with snow and ice (mostly through television) leads me to think covers some of it.

Any Clarifications I need to add to any of these?

Any details I am blissfully glossing over?

Things I have missed?

PS: I am also wondering what people did for handwarmers in the 1400-1600s

Thank you folks


Registered User
Validated User
Under skis I'd put cross-country types, for travel purposes.
For clothing it's all about layers.
Furs would be important for warmth.
Sleeping furs or something similar.
Ice fishing rigs.
If it's really ice, crampons for boots.
Waterproof cloaks / gear. The only thing worse than being cold or wet is being cold AND wet.
Fire starting capability, dry tinder storage.
Lots of calories. Keeping warm burns energy.


Registered User
Validated User
Looks mostly fine. I might be inclined to add

* snow saw

* snow goggles to prevent snow blindness



Avenging Aerial Rodent
Validated User
Oil and/ or wax for waterproofing - particularly boots

Thick wool socks - doubled in very cold weather

Thick warm underwear - dress in layers!

Hats with earflaps!

Crampons for climbing - these are ancient! Apparently Hannibal's men used crampons to cross the Alps.

Tinder, flint, and steel.

Sweaters - pullover types.

Vests - layers again.

Slit goggles to prevent snow-blindness.



Active member
Validated User
How cold is "wintery"? Are you basically meaning that it's a place that gets a lot of snow? If so, that stuff makes sense for people who have to travel through the wilderness.

If you're talking about a place that gets really cold but doesn't have as much snow the spikes and whatnot seem largely unnecessary.

Also, some things to keep in mind that might be helpful with running things. In cold weather/fair amount of wind in the cold (thinking of windchills below -10 C here) exposed skin starts being an issue. You're going to want to cover up as much as possible. Once you get into the -20 to -30 C range (with windchill) it becomes very easy to get frostbite very fast. Below that and you're getting into crazy territory that I try to avoid when it happens here. This includes covering up things like most of the face. You also get fun things like ice forming on the eyelashes.

One other concern is being *too* warm. This can sound weird, but if you are exerting yourself, or moving into a warmer area then into a colder one you can get a real problem with sweat and whatnot. What this means is you should be taking off and putting on layers to prevent hypothermia when you enter into a colder environment/stop working.
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... nothing fits ...
Things that are backwards from what you might think:

Snow is actually pretty warm, if you bury yourself in it or dig a hole in a snowbank, as it will trap the heat.

Also, if it's snowing it means it's not that cold out. I believe this has something to do with the inability of cold air to hold moisture.

Also, if it's sunny it's actually colder than when cloudy: no greenhouse effect.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Validated User
To clarify from above... It is kind of wintery because this world's equator would be the temeprture equivalent of 48 degrees north of latitude on Earth. That is the Latitude of the American Canadian border, with weather to match (roughly). So the world has a narrower (human) lifeband than Earth. It has some Innuit equivalents in the higher latitudes, but we are focusing on the westernish civilization running 20ish degrees lat north/ south of the equator. (Strangely enough I can easily get information on Innuit gear -but not its uses-, but not normal ice/ cold stuff- go figure)

So it is cold and wet for a good amount of the year where most of the "civilized people" live.
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