Hmmm… are we looking at Manward’s first-ever endorsement opportunity?
After digging through the mailbag this week, we’re seeing the same company and its unique products mentioned throughout.
While we’ll remain fiercely independent, we will share some of the tips and tricks readers have sent us over the last few days… including a couple of links to a company with some unique and very helpful products.
With the weather turning cold throughout the country, it’s a good time to follow up – once again – on our recent (highly popular) essay on the immense qualities of wool.
But this time we’re not looking at only the natural fiber. Once again proving the value of our Connections, readers have clued us in on a synthetic product that just may give Ma Nature a run for her money.
Here’s what your fellow readers had to say.
I have spent several years working off Adak Island and then some more time out of Haines, Kenai and north of Wasilla. My job required that I spend almost all my time outside hiking long distances and climbing up and down the sides of volcanos. Adak Island is known as the “Home of the Winds,” and a sign up there says it’s not the “End of the World,” but you can see it from there.
I used wool a lot. When we first went up there we had our military expedition weight long johns and Gore-Tex. My first time over the mountain in those long johns with that pack on my back made me think I was going to die of heatstroke. The Gore-Tex was great to stop wind, but when that rain came sideways, it went straight through the stuff.
I replaced the synthetic long johns and polar fleece with Wiggy’s Fishnet Long Underwear and I was amazed. Like the wool, the fishnet uses trapped air to insulate and you could ventilate it with all the zippers on the Gore-Tex. I used the wool for layering so my clothes would breathe and stay dryer. When the rains hit, I kept a good Helly Hansen rubber rain slicker with me, as rubber was the ONLY true block to that wind driven rain. If your clothes got soaked, that wind would put you in hypothermia quickly.
We also operated and lived out of a 143-foot landing craft and operated in RIBS (inflatable boats) for beach landings and retrievals. (Sometimes we were next to such high cliffs that we had to be extracted by sea.) No rescue was coming for us, so we had to take care of ourselves and not allow ourselves to fall into a needed rescue situation that would take hours to days to get to us. The fishnet underwear, wool clothing, Gore-Tex, rubber rain gear and balaclavas were our survival gear and were never far from hand. – Stephen P.
Good stuff, Stephen. I’m not sure what job you had, but it sounds like a fun one. Nothing will make a man appreciate good, warm clothing like a windy, rainy day in Alaska. Once that rain gets through, it’s trouble.
I’ve never heard of Wiggy’s products before. In fact, I would have been worried if somebody at our camp wanted to show me their fishnet underwear. But as luck would have it, I’ve found the stuff online and, with such a strong endorsement, I’ll surely order a pair.
And here’s a similar note from the mailbag.
In respect to the info on wool, an arguable deterrent for some adventures is weight. I had the opportunity to explore the interior of Alaska by dog sled following the Iditarod Trail route 15 years ago – nine days, about 400 miles, eight dogs each, 50 pounds and 50 below were the guide’s criteria.
I experimented in my backyard with various materials and name brand items that wouldn’t work. Then I discovered Lamilite (also from Wiggy’s). It’s lightweight, compact, efficient with warmth retention qualities and lets moisture pass through.
I broke through ice one morning, getting soaked up to my waist until dogs pulled me over an embankment. Managed terror crept in. Frostbite? Hypothermia? I was traveling last in the group with no fire materials, and it was 60 miles to the next rendezvous camp. I had a parka, jacket and bibs with Lamilite fill. Through the day, the boots bore a crusted glaze, which insulated me from the minus 15 sunshine.
Remarkably, the soaked garments retained their promised insulating features as they dried while mushing. I never worked up a sweat as body heat equilibrium was accomplished. No frostbite! No hypothermia! Nor discolored feet!… and yes, my feet traveled soaked that day for 60 miles adorned in wicking wool socks. – Gary S.
Once again, I’m jealous.
I’ve spent some time in dog sledding camps but never did anything nearly as grueling as the Iditarod. What a great story and testimony for having the right gear. Thanks for sharing.
Here’s a link to more info about Lamilite. Again, we’re not getting a penny from the folks at Wiggy’s. In fact, they don’t even know we’re talking about them.
Next, we wouldn’t think it possible, but let’s move on to a topic that’s even chillier… divorce.
After our column last week, the mailbox was flooded with comments, tips and advice.
You forgot to mention that the system is somehow biased towards the wife, despite being ruled by male judges. Still have not figured that one out. Alimony is the norm. Palimony is rare. Obviously the male/female divide accounts for some of that in terms of job and pay.
Having said that, you refer to “He” and the assumption of a male judge in your writings. My judge when going through my divorce was a woman. Ha!
The good news… after two years and over $100K, I decided to reconcile. That reason was multifaceted. – James Y.
We received several notes like this one… not about female judges but of slow, deliberate moves. It took one reader over a decade to end his marriage. In James’ case, slow moves led to good news.
It’s clear that the more emotions can be removed from the process, the better. If you’re going through the hell of divorce, take it slow, and make sure every move is calculated.
Your lawyer (who wants to make his next boat payment) may want to have it otherwise… but it’s your life.
I totally agree that all types of litigation have become a huge industry and are so evident in divorce cases. I was divorced 30 years ago. It was painful, but I determined I would not be the bitter ex. My advice is take the higher road. Also, learn to lean on God who is our strength and companion no matter what we face. – Linda S.
Ah, the high road… a lonely, desolate trail these days. We don’t see too many fellow travelers up here, but we’re glad to have you.
Andy, great comments on divorce. There are no winners in divorce, and the children pay the highest price. However, there is an alternative to all this. It is mediation. Mediation is cost effective, private (avoid litigation in an open court) and saves time and hurt. Take it from me, I’ve done hundreds of divorces since 1999, as a registered mediator with the State of Georgia, handling domestic relation cases. – Jim S.
Again, let me remind folks that our commentary on divorce is far from an endorsement of the idea. Very far from it.
Instead, we’re talking about it because 1) the system is broken and somebody needs to have the guts to discuss it, and 2) as painful and divisive as the process is, it’s something we know many readers have had to (and, unfortunately, will have to) endure.
Keep the comments, tips and ideas coming. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Several readers have written me this week asking about Trump’s nomination for the Fed, Jay Powell. They want to know what it means for the big event we’ll be watching on December 13.
Sadly, the news doesn’t improve a thing. In fact, it could make it even worse. That’s why I’m urging every one of my subscribers to get the facts and protect themselves today. Those who heed my advice stand to profit handsomely as this event unfolds. Those who don’t will find themselves at the mercy of a more powerful than ever Washington…