Crunkjuice wrote:I started playing heavily this summer in the Texas heat. Now that its starting to drop temperatures, i'm wondering how you guys (northerners especially) deal with cold hands for disc golf? Do you guys throw with gloves on, wear gloves in between throws, hand warmers NFL style?
There is much gear and many techniques in dealing with the cold, depending on the condition and the particular need of the player.
At a tournament last weekend I was in many layers and just a little cold the way I was dressed. I saw a player in blue jeans and a tee shirt standing around between rounds: no jacket, no hat, no gloves. I asked if he was immune to the cold. He said, "Pretty much". Of course it was only in the low 40's with a strong, biting wind and rain so it wasn't actually cold, just cold for Fall.
Everyone is different. Personally I spend little attention to my lower extremities, legs and feet. I don't even care if my feet get wet until it is below zero ( not below freezing at 32 degrees but below 0 degrees F). Until a few years ago I didn't wear a hat until it got bitter. Getting old diminishes cold tolerance.
What I find important is warmth for my throwing hand and warmth for the body's core. But being too warm is worse than being too cold, as that sweat is going to freeze on you. So the goal is to have enough stuff to hit the fine line between hot and cold, knowing that more warmth equals more bulk and bulk restricts movement. For maximum warmth and minimum bulk the key is thin layers and high tech fabrics. Most golfers rely on multiple tee shirts covered with a hoody (so all cotton) and if it works for them, so be it. Having tested darn near everything, I recommend a base layer of polyester (thin, lightweight, moisture wicking) followed by layers (as needed) of various fabrics and warmth, then topped with a lightweight, unlined shell of either nylon or polyester ( wind and water resistant).
A big, thick, bulky jacket is useless to me. Even in very cold temperatures how cold it feels varies from moment to moment and so do you. ( Wind is more important than temperature in terms of how cold it feels. Your activity changes your needs: standing around feels much colder than tromping through deep snow, which btw is a serious workout.). Thin layers can be added or subtracted and carried with you. Try stuffing a big winter coat in your golf bag!
A few of the essential items:
Oversized, polartech mittens. Mittens are superior to any glove. They are warmer and go on and off easier (your hand WILL get wet in snow or rain and make it very frustrating if you have tight gloves). Few players can throw effectively in gloves and gloves do not allow adequate dexterity for most tasks. Take off the mitten to do a task (throw, clean off a disc, tie a shoelace, etc) replace it to regain warmth. If it gets cold enough add handwarmers inside them.
Disposable handwarmers. These little packets are air activated and easy to use. I have tried the various fuel handwarmers ( dirty smelly fuel sticks and the butane heaters) and they are too much trouble and less effective. I buy handwarmers in bulk and a pack of 2 costs about 40 cents and lasts most of a full day ( 2 rounds).
Polartech (soft polyester weave) neckwarmer/neck cowl: Shockingly warm and effective. They hold your body heat in. They go on and off in a second and weigh near nothing. After a good mitten, the best single item you can add to your winter wardrobe.
Polartech Vest. This add warmth to the core without much weight and doesn't restrict movement like a full coat. Easy to pop on and off.
Sheet metal screws drilled into the bottom of boots: If you want traction in snow and ice, nothing else is as effective. You can play on a frozen lake in these.
Becoming acclimated to the cold is something to be embraced, not avoided. Early in the season go out in it and you make it easier on yourself for the rest of the winter.