So, that isn't what this entry is about. Tonight I went with my wife to Highland and on the way home, I had looked over the Cabella's website and I stopped to try to take advantage of their cold weather gear closeouts from the last year or earlier this year. Why would I want to do this and why go to a hunter/outdoor rec store? Well, first, I LOVE the winter sky. In my opinion there are wonders and objects in the winter sky that far surpass (or at least equal) any of the similar objects from the summer sky. Also, those cold fall and spring nights mean warm clothing usually if your going to observe. As my winter outfit finally wore out after 8 years of use on a regular basis (there is more cold weather in Utah than warm weather because we have the four seasons). So I watch Cabella's in the spring and summer to time my purchases. This time, I didn't want to have to wear as many layers in the field so I looked close for good winter field clothing to wear, and I scored!
I'll have to include the images from Cabela's since trying to take a picture of these items is difficult right now. The first item I purchased was a wonderful new winter parka that is insulated and water proof. It is the Cabela's Guidewear X300 Insulated Parka. Here is an image, the one I got is in Green and Black:
This image shows the color of the one I purchased.
The parka is discontinued now, though I think you'll see something like it down the road. Mine was in the clearance area, so no returns to me, but I checked it out throughly as did the worker there and nothing was wrong or missing. Most likely this was a return. It fit very loosely and has enough pockets on it to hold 4 eyepieces, and anything else you'd want. Oh, cost is what I hear. Well, it wasn't cheap at $140.00 but the regular price was $289.00. You can read the reviews on the various types of X300's here and see that people have had the coat out in -20 degree F weather and they remain snug and as a bug in it.
The next item goes with this parka and it is Cabela's Guidewear Core Tex Bibs for $119.00. Here is an image:
The bibs are black like these, and are nice and warm, I actually got quite warm in the store just trying them on. They would allow me to wear a pair of jeans (not the best for cold weather) but in reality they will allow me to wear my cold weather/winter thermals, a pair of wool pants and if needed another lay on top though I don't think I'll need that under these. I'll wear my same winter/cold weather thermal top, a tee shirt to absorb any sweat followed by a fleece shirt and then a wool sweater and a that should work with the parka. Here's a link to their information.
Now, I found one last item that I just couldn't pass up, and it was another pair of bibs, camo bibs. Why did I get them, because I got them for half off the sales price which was $104.00 and so these only cost $62.00. Here they are, Cabela's Fleece Dry Plus Insulated Bibs. These fit better than the ones up above and probably are the ones I'll wear in the field more. The are loose for a big guy like me, warm, I started to swear with this one in the store, and comfortable. I had shorts, my shirt and I still had room for layers while the movement was fluid. Yes, I can see me in the West Desert in the winter observing with these on.
I'll wear my new green and black parka with them, and though I won't be styling, I promise that with the parka and wearing one of the two bibs I'll be very warm.
Now, you may or may not find these at your local Cabella's and the clearance cost can vary. You'll have to go look for yourself. I set myself up for cold weather observing now for the next 5 years, perhaps longer. So though the heat of summer may bearing down on you, as you drink your favorite cold beverage, you need to start thinking about what to wear coming winter as you explore Orion, Canis Major, Eridanus (galaxies, some of the most beautiful are there) Auriga (some fine nebula there) Gemni (a SN remnant) Lepus, Taurus, Monoceros and many other wonderful objects and challenges. For the cost of a very good to premium eyepiece tonight, I am set for winter observing. The question is are you and if not, why not start planning for it and checking out some closeouts to save some money on good cold weather gear? More of cold weather observing in an upcoming post.