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Layering on excursions

Midwest
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Layering on excursions

Numerous times, it has been explained here that the weather is unpredictable, which is understandable. A post that I just read said it was once 55 degrees F in the Shetland Islands!

You want to be prepared in case a storm kicks up, and you want to be ready in case it's hot (55 is very hot to me for winter weather).

So, you wear your outer waterproof pants and probably a base layer of wool and then a mid-layer of perhaps fleece. When it becomes warm on an excursion, do you then remove the waterproof pants and then mid-layer while you're on land? (Then, obviously, put the waterproof pants back on). That seems like a lot of hassle.

I'm just trying to figure out logistics of layering and shedding.

Michigan
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1. Re: Layering on excursions

I never "de-layered" upon reaching land. There were times I opened zippers to vent and later closed them to bundle up, Everyone seemed to have a feel for how heavily to dress. There weren't any mornings, afternoons, or evenings, where temperatures changed drastically. Wind was the primary variable, sometimes going from flat to gusty (particularly with increased altitude and leaving the shelter of terrain), and no one went out unprepared for it.

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Layering on excursions

We have recently returned from a 23 day voyage which included Falklands, South Georgia and Crossing the Circle. We had a range of weather during this time, but I never once removed snow pants in order to shed a mid layer and never saw anyone else do this either. The logistics are too awkward because you'd probably have to remove your boots in order to get your trousers off!

I only ever wore base layer thermals under the snow pants. Never needed a mid layer on the bottom half...

However for the top half, I would have base layer thermals then a fleece layer of some sort and then the provided jacket. Like Chipshot, opening the zips to vent was usually sufficient but on at least one occasion I took outer jacket off in order to remove mid layer as I was too hot.

If you plan to do any sort of hiking you soon get warm, conversely, if you're sitting in a zodiac just cruising around, it's probably the only time you may feel cold.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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3. Re: Layering on excursions

Like Camini I have always just worn long johns under my waterproof pants - no need for a middle layer. And have never felt the desire to strip down upon landing on shore. Walking in snow in just your long johns would be damp and cold.

On top I wear a long sleeve thermal top, then a lightweight fleece vest, then the parka. Unzipping the parka for venting is generally all that is needed.

Boston...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando, Antarctic Adventures
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4. Re: Layering on excursions

Taking off my outer layer coat was all I ever needed. I only stripped down for the polar plunge.

Asia
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5. Re: Layering on excursions

Hi modgirl_jazz, you could always buy waterproof hiking over pants that have full length zips up both sides, which allow for quick putting on over muddy boots without taking your boots off, which is what we had, but not because of the zip feature, but because I already owned these pants for hiking. As everyone else says I doubt you will want to do this as a base layer, with optional mid layer under your overpants will be enough.

I wore a wool base layer, mid layer fleece and wind/waterproof overpants and really could have done without the mid fleece layer if I wanted to, as it is not really that cold (assuming you come from a place with regular sub zero temperatures), unless the wind picks up. Windstopper everything for me was the way to go and is what i would recommend, particularly for the times you are standing outside on the bow or flying bridge where the wind cools things down very fast.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Layering on excursions

Like others above, for bottoms, I only wore a 150gm merino base layer pant under my waterproof pants. BUT my waterproof pants were insulated ski pants so that may have been why I didn't need a middle layer for bottoms.

For top half, I wore short or long sleeve 150gm merino base layer top depending on temps, then a mid layer depending again on the temps maybe just a shirt or a merino 200gms long sleeved top.

The Quark parka is waterproof and windproof and includes a zipped in fleece jacket which I never removed. So that was always my final combined layer.

If I got over-heated - say on walks - I would unzip the parka/fleece and that would be enough. Or I would take off a neck gaiter or bandana or similar. It was amazing how quickly you could add or remove heat by adding or removing layers around your head and neck.

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Layering on excursions

I've enjoyed reading this thread, it has made getting dressed on the expedition so much more clear. Thanks to everyone who posted!

-DB

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Layering on excursions

I will say I found wearing a fleece layer between the waterproof pants and thermals useful in one situation: zodiac cruising! When you're on land you're walking around and generating some warmth that way, but sitting on that cold rubber for a long time starts to sap the heat from your backside.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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9. Re: Layering on excursions

Yes agree that the zodiac cruising could make for a chilly bootie. I tended to pop on a second pair of long johns or just normal leggings over existing long johns for the whale watching cruising.

10. Re: Layering on excursions

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