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Old Feb 13, 2010, 3:34 PM   #11
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I have been seriously considering taking a teaching position in the Canadian north for the 2010-2011 school year. I retired from 31 years of teaching just two years ago and now I am bored (and broke) so a new challenge is in order. Although this is dependent upon actually getting a job, if I do I will be asking for advice in dealing with cold weather and photography. The prospect of Aurora Borealis, new wildlife, a new culture and a new landscape makes this a photographic adventure.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Ira
I think you are pretty north already. What do you have in mind?
Places where regular antifree will not work at all?
Not for the faint of heart (like me)


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Old Feb 13, 2010, 3:42 PM   #12
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Can't give any advice here. But, wanted to wish you the best in getting this job you have your eyes on.

We went out earlier today and I was hesitant to switch lenses in the 30 degree weather. I hate to think of how cold it might be up where you're going.

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Old Feb 13, 2010, 4:02 PM   #13
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Welll LOL....you Americans all know we live in igloos and have only one season right???

Tell that to Vancouver right now +12...celcius (50 F)..we are trying to have the winter Olympics and you NYC and Dallasites stole all the snow

Seriously..it does depend and where you go....Canada is a pretty big country....you'll have to pan a google map to see it all.

I live in BC, the okanagan valley which is the north end of the Senora desert....we get HOT summers 100 plus..winters are around freezing with sometimes a few days of really cold to remind us its canada.(plus it kills a few bugs)

I've live in the north Grande Prairie Alberta where -40 is a winter temp. I've done surveying in the past and as long as the equip is cold we had no problems...when its that cold its also pretty dry. I only found condensation on the outside lens never on the inside. Cameras may behave differently. But I'd be more concerned in Vancouver like climates where its raining, or where the temps are above freezing by a little.

The prairies are usually dry, so much that static elec. is common. That may be a factor with cards. One thing tho is when its cold the sun shines, (high pressure) so the camera being black will actually warm up from solar gain.

If I was you....I'd ask folks where you are going to. When in Rome do as the romans do..
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 4:39 PM   #14
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I have been seriously considering taking a teaching position in the Canadian north for the 2010-2011 school year. I retired from 31 years of teaching just two years ago and now I am bored (and broke) so a new challenge is in order. Although this is dependent upon actually getting a job, if I do I will be asking for advice in dealing with cold weather and photography. The prospect of Aurora Borealis, new wildlife, a new culture and a new landscape makes this a photographic adventure.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Ira
Ira,

I live in Winterpeg, which as you, being a fellow Canadian, may know is the coldest large city (over 600,000 category) in the world.

In the winter I still go out in -25 to -30 degrees C . with my camera equipment.

I use either my Pentax K10D or KM (K2000), but mostly my K10D when it's winter.

The camera functions very well...so do the Pentax lenses. So far...no freeze ups of any system in the camera. When Pentax bills the K10D/K20D/K7 as the outdoors camera, I would say they're right.

I take the camera equipment from a warm house into a cold car...sometimes leave the equipment in a cold car for around an hour and a half, if I'm out having lunch somewhere. BTW, the camera equipment when I'm not in the car is always locked out of sight in the trunk. When I'm in the car, I always seat belt it in the interior.

I then take it out doors...when it gets this cold, I usually only stay out for an hour or so...the cold gets to me faster then my camera equipment.

It works fine. I realize my K10D is weather resistant, but I can't bring myself to taking it out when it's snowing and anyways, none of my lenses are weather resistant.

I dress for the cold:

  • I wear long john's and below zero socks which I get from Mark's Work Clothes...you would have in Newfoundland. The below zero socks are very good.
  • I wear Merrell winter hiking boots. They are advertised as good to 25-30 below, but they seem to do well, probably because I'm usually always moving on winter forest trails. I have a pair of Sorels, I used to use for ice fishing, but they are big and clumsy...although rated for 74 below.
  • I wear 15 oz. weight denim jeans, usually Carhartt or Carabela...then over that I wear an insulated coveralls that cover up a good chunk of my back and front and zip up.
  • I then wear a Carharrt work jacket that is arctic insulated.
  • I wear good quality T-shirts, then a plaid shirt...long so it covers my back and then a heavy polar fleece...all fits into jeans....then I put the insulated,high coveralls over the jeans and the polar fleece.
  • I wear a Mountie Style hat with ear flaps...sheeps skin from and made at a sheepskin store in the 'Peg.
  • For mitts...I wear what are called Garbage Mitts...in the Peg. They are made of horse hide, some.kind of leather and have sheep skin fur inside to trap the heat. They are made by Raber of Winnipeg (model I wear are called Arctic three) and they are the warmest mitts out there, in my long experience. Wear insulated mitts, not gloves...gloves separate the fingers and keep them individually cold...mitts keep all the fingers together.You'll probably note so far a lot of the cold weather gear is designed and made here...a Winnipegger also invented the automotive block heater to keep engines warm during the winter. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Neck dickie that is wool or cotton and fits around my neck...I also have the optional clip on hood for my Carhartt jacket and I clip the front across the neck, zip up my polar fleece to cover my complete neck...keeps it warm.
I go out most days in the winter out here and I'm warm. I do have a neoprene balaclava (Cdn. Tire $ 10) to cover my face, but I don't wear it that much as it fogs up my glasses.

Winnipeg is south of the far north of course, but when I check out the temps of northern areas and the Peg...usually they're not much different.

It does get to 35 to more then 40 below sometimes here, but with those temps I don't venture out taking pix...you will freeze exposed skin in minutes.

Hope this helps.

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Feb 14, 2010 at 12:05 AM.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 6:58 AM   #15
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Thanks Les, this is a great write up on preparing for low temperatures. Here is rarely goes below -20 so I needed to know how to prepare for real cold. I would be taking the K10D with me and a Lowepro bag so your experiences a very close to what I would expect.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 2:36 PM   #16
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Thanks Les, this is a great write up on preparing for low temperatures. Here is rarely goes below -20 so I needed to know how to prepare for real cold. I would be taking the K10D with me and a Lowepro bag so your experiences a very close to what I would expect.
You're welcome Ira. One more thing I forgot, till I was out today. Even though the temps here, right now are relatively mild (-10C or so) there was a wind. With winter clothes you want to make sure you have a layer that resists winds to cut down on the wind chill.

Les
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:05 PM   #17
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Long Johns for sure and it really depends on what part of Canada west, east or range middle I know its is colder in Washington that Wyoming but then again the water here makes it colder and Wyoming is a dryer state, but in both places long johns come in handy.
Batteries of course keep a charge when warm but then again why did my grandmother keep the 5vs in the fridge I wonder? Fog moister can damage the cam in many ways that for sure I was thinking of some kind of fur lined with heated plug to place any that may end up going to the extreme colds to keep them from becoming ice fossils.

Yea the thinner liners in gloves that the finger fold off are a great way to keep your self warm and from frost nips. Do not forget hot tea or Coffee or better yet cocoa in a big thermos.

One last thing do not go off trail alone or with out some kind of support system those weather can leave any one the worse for the wear even if they know survival techniques. Thank god for GPS systems now days...
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