Sunday proved my hands, or rather, the Raynaud’s Syndrome I suffer from and the effect it has on my extremities and the rest of me at times, can be a little problematic. I have suffered from the cold on both of my previous Challenges, but not suffered a Raynaud’s attack like that one. (Apart from when Laura and I arrived at St Drostan’s in Tarfside, happily I didn’t do the shock thing though) This is fortunate and I hope I never do however it would be silly not to take precautions. Obviously I always wear gloves. Even during the summer months I will have a pair of gloves about my person should they become necessary as it doesn’t even have to be particularly cold for my hands to react.
So, I’ve been doing some thinking and over the last few months, I’ve been making plans and finding solutions. Here they are.
A selection of handwear
Christmas 2011 David bought me a pair of Extremities Tuff Bag mitts. I wore them on last years Challenge and often over the year, usually with my merino flip flap mitts and they are absolutely brilliant. It’s not so much the waterproof qualities that impress me, but the windproofing is excellent.
At Cally Rally in October (a Scout/Guide camp weekend by the Loch Ness Canal when it is cold. Very, Very Cold) my pal Janet donned a rather nifty looking pair of gloves to protect her nails whilst pitching and striking camp. I tried them on and they were indeed a nifty bit of kit, a thin knitted glove with rubberised palm and fingers, leant to her by her husband who uses them whilst he is backpacking. Aha! They’d be neat if they fitted over my mitts.
In November I bought a couple of lucky bags from Terra Nova, one for David as a stocking filler and one for me because I’m greedy and I don’t like to miss out. One of the things I got was a pair of Polartec gloves. They are really comfy, cosy and fit inside my Tuff Bags. In summer, these would do a good job and as I’ve often been concerned that my mitts get damaged when I get them inadvertently velcroed to other bits of my kit, or wear holes in them whilst using my walking poles, these would be a good alternative. They also fit in side the gloves with the rubberised palms, so I can keep my hands warm and protected whilst pitching and striking camp.
Another problem I have on the Challenge is collecting water or washing my pots. Obviously I can’t wear cosy gloves when I’m doing these chores, or can I? A pair of Marigolds struck me as a mite heavy, but a tough pair of latex gloves would be just the job and blue ones are harder to lose.
All the protection I require for *161g, as opposed to the 130g two glove combination I carried previously, this arrangement will have everything covered, so to speak.
*Edited: Can’t count!