64

Use a pencil. They do not freeze and can be easily sharpened. You might also use a grease pencil; they can write on metal, plastic, wet, oily, or waxy surfaces as well. These don't always afford the finest points, so if this is a concern, consider a fine-tipped sharpie, but, Sharpies are still susceptible to cold and wet weather. EDIT: Now that you've ...


43

I have previously used a tape recorder and nowadays, a smartphone or tiny handheld microphone. Then I simply speak my observations and findings in a way I know I will be able to easily tabulate when I am inside once again. If it is too windy to use an outer microphone, usually putting it below clothing layers will do fine. If it's muffled, I later boost the ...


40

To address the issues you're having with audio-based solutions, keep the phone inside your clothing and use a "hands-free" headset (wired). This will stop the phone dying due to a cold battery, which incidentally I've never had trouble with on a range of Android phones. With the right software you should be able to record when the microphone button on the ...


26

Some, not all, do indeed come in two sides, and which one you use depends on the reason you use it. One of the sides strongly reflects heat. A hypothermic person therefore wants to have that reflective side on the inside so that it helps keeping any warmth inside. A person suffering from heat stroke wants the reflective side outside so that heat is kept away ...


26

When I was hunting, I found that the best way to keep my fingers warm, while still allowing me to free them for delicate manipulation (loading a magazine, etc) was to wear "convertible gloves" - that is, fingerless gloves with a mitten pouch that could be slipped over your fingers when not writing. Additionally, adding a chemical hand-warmer to the mitten ...


23

It's probably worth pointing out that a lot of people reading this question may be thinking along the (commonly quoted) line that about 80% of body heat is lost through the head - which is much more of a myth than people realise (See here for details.) From what I remember, it was an experiment done with people fully kitted out apart from the fact that they ...


21

Your body heat is reflected back at you from the shiny silver side. One of the reasons some blankets have two colors is so people would realize there was a correct side to get the most benefit. The other is that the "wrong side" color choice can be an aid in some signaling situations. Even when they are silver on both sides, there is often one side ...


20

Prepare a form for the information you collect. Make the blanks big. Fill in the form by grasping your "pencil" in your gloved fist. Use an over-sized writing utensil (so your fist doesn't cramp). Revert to bare fingers when necessary. Blanks for numbers are easy. So are checkboxes. If there is text you need to write, try to create options ahead of ...


19

My original answer to this question sparked a surprisingly intense debate, so I'm rewriting it to clarify a few points and offer a more holistic answer. Let me start by saying that every square inch of skin on the human body is capable of allowing heat to escape. That is to say, if you wear a jacket with no pants, your legs will lose more heat than your ...


19

When I worked at a salebarn in the winter we had this problem and the solution was multiple pens inside your shirt pocket under your coat. Pens will work for a while then get too cold at which point you switch it out for a new warm one. You might also look into the mittens that have gloved fingers inside, you can pull just the top off to write while most ...


16

One time, during a winter research project, it was only after after a full-day ski to the study site that we realized that none of us had a pen or pencil. So we wrote the numbers in the snow with a twig and took a picture. I realize this doesn't directly answer your question, but it made for an entertaining story.


15

Heat loss can occur from anywhere on the body through a number of processes: Conduction e.g. when sitting on the ground. Convection e.g. due to wind chill. Radiation i.e. heat loss direct to the environment from exposed skin. Evaporation i.e. heat loss through perspiration. Other factors: Metabolism generates heat; conversely, without enough sustenance ...


15

The temperature within the cave is almost constant whatever the current surface temperature is. Once well away from surface influences, i.e., not near an entrance or another close connection to the surface, where air movements can influence the temperature, caves are usually at the same temperature (or very close) as the annual average temperature for the ...


15

Of course. You can (almost) always cool down a 4-season tent, but you can't very well protect a 2-season tent from a blizzard. The primary concern is weight, but if you're going to be camping near a glacier with -5°C winds, you'll want a sturdy tent, so that's going to come at a certain cost of weight. To keep a tent cooler, you can pitch it in the ...


15

Think of the basic triangle - you need warmth, dryness, and wind-free. OP's question does not mention being wet but does reference the cold AND the windchill. So limit the wind with some kind of windproof shield. Here's a generic "outdoor clipboard". So the plastic lid keeps rain off, but will also act as a wind shield. It will not really act to hold ...


13

Most answers seem to assume the writing implement is the problem, but the asker specifically states that his comfort is the problem. I can think of two solutions. If possible, figure out how to simplify your inventory. Consider writing in ways that don't require a large amount of dexterity -- I would consider tally marks. If you need more detailed notes, ...


13

-10C (14F) is not that cold. If you keep moving a thin "glove liner" or "running glove" should be warm enough for a while. The glove liners are thin enough where a regular #2 pencil will do fine. Then put on a pair of "Over Mitts" over the liners when you don't need to write. You're using a waterproof field notes book, right? You're using dot tally to ...


12

There is no such place. 40-60°F is a very narrow range. 20°F can be just from day and night variation, which leaves basically nothing for seasonal variation. Even if you meant daytime highs, I still don't think there is any place on earth that fits this description, let alone anywhere in the US. Let's flip this around and think of what would make ...


11

I think the answer is highly personal, as an avid coffee-drinker, hot is for me what scalding might be for someone else. But if I am to give some kind of benchmark, I would say 45°C is a pretty good temperature to aim for. Not as hot as to scald your mouth, but hot enough to give you some warmth if drank in sufficient quantities. But if you want to carry "...


11

a two layer winter hat to protect your ears a good winter jacket (long enough) supporting -40ºC (-40ºF) winter boots a two layer gloves a scarf For the intermediate layer: The key point is to not sweat. Depending on your body, you should choose the appropriate "heat level" intermediate layer. Some shops will have different categories from very cool to very ...


11

Well... a 4 season tent is a 4 season tent... You can use it during the whole year without any problems while a 2 season tent might not be as pleasant during the winter. I receive questions like this all the time. "What sort of boot should I get?", Packs, tents... My answer is kind of consistent for most of them... You buy gear for what you are going to use ...


11

There are some pens that are made for extreme conditions such as the uni-ball PowerTank Retractable Ballpoint pen. I've never personally used one of these but it has many positive reviews on Amazon. There is also a freezer test performed on this pen with the following results: Source: OfficeSupplyGeek


11

Pencils. Pencils are also approved by the Bundesmarine (German Navy). I remember how pencils just worked when we stood outside in the rain and in the snow at temperatures around 0°C, and us recruits practicing morse codes. Unfortunately I have no other quotation for this, except myself (Signalbetriebsdienst class of Winter/2004 at Bremerhaven). Paper was ...


11

I write software for a company that supplies an application for field engineers to use to collect field data with a hardened android tablet. I expect you could use a text editor in a hardened android tablet to take notes. The value of this is that the notes can then be exported to a desktop (our software transmits it to a cloud server) and you won't have to ...


9

Personally, I would use a wind chill chart, e.g this keyring compass includes a wind chill chart that would be easy to carry. It's still not going to be accurate, but it would provide a guide when you have nothing better. Take a look at the Wikipedia page on wind chill, the calculations look a bit "frightening" - not something I would like to do in my head.


9

The key to cold weather clothing is viewing it as a system. The base layer of the system wicks moisture from the body and provides a small amount of insulation. The middle layer(s) of the system provide warmth and wind protection. The outer layer provides protection from the elements. That being said, a proven system for the temperature range you're ...


9

TLDR: -148 °F including windchill has been survived inside of a snowcave. I went looking for cases of people surviving extremely low temperatures while inside a snow caves, and it looks like the record is held by the climbers who did the first winter ascent on Denali. On February 28, 1967, Dave Johnston, Art Davidson, and Ray Genet became the first ...


9

Depending on the complexity of the notes, you may not have to sightwrite them. So, wear a warm but roomy coat, pull in your arms, and take your paper and pencil notes that way.


8

Wind chill factors verge on being junk science, especially when interpreted uncritically. However, your physical intuition does make sense, and published formulas and tables do have a property very much like the one you have in mind: as the wind speed increases, the incremental effect of adding a given amount to the wind speed gets smaller and smaller. For ...


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