November is generally cold and wet and the forecast for this year is no better, so layers and waterproofing are the key to survival. It's similar to dressing for winter sailing or hiking. To ensure that I don't leave any gaps for the wind to whistle through, there's an overlapping process that I employ...
I start with socks - normally knee high ski socks or similar. Over these go my thermal bottoms or regular leggings (leggings do the job well enough unless the weather is really awful). On the top goes my thermal top (invaluable!) and then over that (sporting a very attractive tucked-in look) go my trousers. These are usually jeans, but I have finally found a pair of Craighoppers that were made for ladies with long legs so I'm also experimenting with these.
At this point I throw in a non-essential layer: some sort of cheap t-shirt or old top. It has precisely one purpose - to make me look less stupid if I get super-warm and strip off the outer layers! (Genuinely nobody cares on a fireworks site, but I'm a girl underneath and it bothers me!)
|The thermal layers
The next layer is a fleece, followed by a jumper (usually my branded fireworks company hoodie). If the ground is very wet or it is raining then I also add waterproof trousers (with the fleece tucked in!!!). Next my body warmer, which does a superb job of keeping my core toasty warm, and then my big, yellow waterproof jacket.
Up until now, my footwear of choice has always been my very sturdy hiking boots, but this season I'm experimenting with insulating snow boots - warmer, lighter-weight and more flexible. And a total bargin in Decathlon!
Gloves are another essential. I tend towards sailing gloves, preferring to just have the index finger and glove exposed. Wiring in can be fiddly work so full gloves simply won't do. However, I do carry ski gloves in my firing box for when I'm waiting around and getting cold.
I have a cosy fleecy buff to protect my neck and an assortment of warm hats. I often wear two hats.
Also there's knee pads which are surprisingly useful because as we as providing padding for kneeling, they insulate the knees very well!
|Bits and pieces, including my new purple thermal cup (should be hard to lose in the grass and mud!) and the fantastic snow boots that I can't wait to wear :)
Everything's organised. Just need to pack it all and hope for nice weather!