Winterovers: Get ALL your ECW

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    Just a reminder from a toasty winter ECW resupply guy to all winterovers. Please make sure you get ALL your gear at the CDC and don’t expect to find it on the Ice. The stuff we have here is limited.

    The gear bags you will be set up with at the CDC will have your basic kit, usually two of everything and it seems like a lot. But it isn’t for a full year and for some, not even nine months. For Polies, (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT), the reason you get two of everything is because half of your stuff will go into the emergency cache and will be untouchable unless the station burns down. You will likely need to get three of some things to compensate for worn out gear such as gloves and carhartts.

    Everybody (at any station, I would think) will need at least one more pair of gloves than you get and many will need even more gear. If you’re a winterover FNG, make sure you ask the people who have wintered before for help. And take your time. There’s no need to rush. The CDC people are very cool and usually can get you everything you want.

    If you want more gloves, an extra hat or whatever, go up and ask for it (take your sheet of paper with you so you don’t have to run back and get it). If you want a wind coat and didn’t get one. Ask for it. Doublecheck your gear … if you came down as a cook last year and this year you are a seal scientist, return the cookware and get rubber rain/wet gear. If you are an insulator or work in trades, get an extra set of carhartts and five extra pairs of gloves. Get a dozen of those blue liners or as many as they’ll give you.

    Remember, hitting the CDC is like your last trip to Wal-Mart before the Bomb drops. Get what you need, cuz we ain’t got it here.

    Have fun Winfly … see you in October.



    Even if you are a summer only person, make sure you have enough warm clothing. The photo’s of people in short sleeves are deceiving. It’s likely to be well below zero when you get there in October. It will warm up to above freezing by new years, but will rapidly turn cold by Feb. If you find yourselve working night shift for ship offload, prepare to be cold.


    For all you fingee summer folks. One thing you might want to do at the clothing issue is ask for the windbreaker. It will get warm enough in summer to wear that and a fleece. It’s not something they automatically give out. When you get to the CDC all the available clothing is on a wall display. It is the lightweight red Columbia Sportwear jacket.
    I also like to get the field trousers. They have a fine weave and block the wind.
    If you are wintering, you want the blue FDX boots like Brien has in the photo. They are more way more comfortable to work in than the white bunny boots. They have a lug sole, but are heavy and hard to hike in. They have no support and your feet slide into the toe of the shoe each time you step downhill. The bunny boots arent’ much better for hiking and the hard rubber can rub the skin on your legs raw if you don’t have on heavy socks.
    If you work outdoors, the thinsulate gloves aren’t that good. Get the heavy black ones and put handwarmers in them.
    Make sure everything fits and make sure the zippers on everything work.They don’t have time in the CDC to check them all.


    Hey Brien, that’s *my* bench you’re sitting on!

    Just kidding…

    Do they give out duplicate sets for summer polies as well?



    They should give you most anything you ask for, you just need to know what to ask for 🙂 And it has to fit within your weight limit of course…

    When I showed up the Carhartts weren’t in my bags, maybe they figured I wouldn’t have to go outside or something. Anyway, I got that corrected.

    [Historical note, Carhartt stuff was being issued to Palmerites in the late 80s, long before it showed up in CDC]

    What I’d forgotten from my first winter was that Polie w/o’s need to stash a set of gear in an emergency bag that is stored away from the station….anyway, that is why they give winterovers 2 parkas. That won’t affect you of course, but winterovers should take notice. The old manual (which I found after I got to Pole) had complete lists of the summer and winter clothing issue for all stations, but the current one only talks about summer McMurdo clothing issue.

    I brought my own insulated leather boots which were OK for spring/fall outdoor temperatures. And they fit me. I wear size 15, and despite my pleas beforehand, I guess they don’t have any FDX boots that large in CDC. What I got was OK just barely, if I had to do a lot of heavy outside work my feet would not have survived.

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