Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > How does armour act during cold weather? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: How does armour act during cold weather?         Reply with quote

Has anyone worn armour in cold weather with historically-accurate under-garments? (ie. not ones that could double as artic gear.)
Does the metal get cold, or does it still get you toasty?
View user's profile Send private message
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DON'T LICK THE METAL!!


But in all seriousness, I don't know. I would imagine it's freezing cold. I've only worn my suit down to about 34 degrees, and it wasn't insanely uncomfortable. I would go give it a try if my armour wasn't in pieces on the floor right now.

www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom


Last edited by Michael B. on Wed 29 Dec, 2010 9:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
DON'T LINK THE METAL!!


But in all seriousness, I don't know. I would imagine it's freezing cold. I've only worn my suit down to about 34 degrees, and it wasn't insanely uncomfortable. I would go give it a try if my armour wasn't in pieces on the floor right now.


50 degrees F. is cold to me!
View user's profile Send private message
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was just notified by my beautiful wife to be that I have worn my armour down to around 20/25 degrees F. I was ok in this weather, little brisk in the voids, also, my soft kit is not wool, it's linen, however, the metal was very cold to other people touching it, and I would start to steam if I walked next to the fire some people had going.
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,110

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
Michael B. wrote:
DON'T LINK THE METAL!!


But in all seriousness, I don't know. I would imagine it's freezing cold. I've only worn my suit down to about 34 degrees, and it wasn't insanely uncomfortable. I would go give it a try if my armour wasn't in pieces on the floor right now.


50 degrees F. is cold to me!


It's only cold up here when it's below 0 degrees F, minus - 20 F is not unusual and with the wind chill it can fee like -40 F and rarely it actually is -40 F.

Now this is Montréal, go up top Baffin land if you want really cold. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

As for the actual question I haven't worn armour when it's very cold very often but I remember feeling too warm at a Halloween party and going outside on a balcony in winter: The then hot maille kept me hot for a good while but then got cold, after I when inside the maille kept me cold for a good long while. Wink

For extended wear in cold weather I think it all depends on how warm your arming clothes are and keeping the cold steel far from your skin. Having a cloak over the armour might help keep you warm by keeping the radiated heat from the armour inside the cloak ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmmm, I smell another mini doc brewing...
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 344

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found some artwork that depicts a knight in a cold weather environment. He seems to be ok. I'm having a hard time pegging the time period here, but perhaps some people more versed in art can zero in on the century, seems a bit transitional.


www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I spent a day wearing riveted maille and a bascinet in -15C just before christmas. As long as your arming clothes are warm and there is no steel to skin contact, armour or maille won't make much difference. If you're wearing a full suit of armour you might have condensation that freezes on the inside of the steel. I would anyways make sure I had a layer of wool under any arming clothes.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wore my armor (maille + plate arms and legs + bascinet) in around -5 C. Nothing bad as long as you move. Though probably if you get sweaty and then don't move for a while you will freeze. Two main problems are:

1) to put on enough clothing under armor (it is especially valid for plate armor which is fitted and thus will not allow too much clothing to go under it).
2) when wearing armor you generate a lot of heat so you are warm even if you have little clothing under the armor, but you also get sweaty quickljy. And after your clothes get damp, you freeze very quickly if you don't move.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Likes: 13 pages
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wore my full plate (milanese) over correct wool garments--padded arming cote, 14th c. shirt, braes, and wool hose with leather shoes. I've worn this in -20C and it is cold, but the plate completely cuts the wind. But steel gauntlets over heavy gloves are miserable in -25 but not at all bad in -10 when actually moving. The rest is absolutely fine.

I DID make a correct hood--a liripipe--to wear under my Bascinet and maille because the maile on my face was--REALLY COLD. With the hood buttoned to the chin, it's quite comfortable.

Also noted that when outside I really, really wanted a wool cap to wear when unhelmed. Sally Pointer made me a 14th c. cap--superb.

Hey--I live in Canada. If you couldn't wear armour int he cold, we wouldn't ever have any fun.

To sum up, just yesterday we had a long sparring session outside. We all agreed that plate is actually warming, and mail is freezing--extra wait and cold retention against yr under garments but wind goes right through it. I wonder if it would act as a great air barrier if you completely covered the maille in cloth?

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

www.hippeis.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Audun Refsahl




Location: Norway
Joined: 15 Feb 2006

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

every february we arrange a training weekend in norway, reenactment fighting outdoors. 130-150 men and women fight in lines in the snow in the forest, and there are roman soldiers, vikings, 15th c knights in full plate and everything in between.
the soft kits are more or less modern (think of the poor romans), but the plate harnesses dont seem to be a problem for anyone. they come back every year with the same, or more, metal to wear.

If anyone wants to try out their kit and wants an invitation just let me know.

just bacon...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interestring, I thought it would be warmer to wear then it seems to be!
On another forum I remember it being proclaimed that wearing a greathelm in cold weather would still result in excessive heat buildup.


Last edited by Jojo Zerach on Thu 30 Dec, 2010 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
I found some artwork that depicts a knight in a cold weather environment. He seems to be ok. I'm having a hard time pegging the time period here, but perhaps some people more versed in art can zero in on the century, seems a bit transitional.



mid-15th century, Italy.
View user's profile Send private message
David Clark





Joined: 10 Feb 2009

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is SCA fight practice that took place in snow that reached up to at least the belly:
http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewto...ctice+snow

They seemed to be ok. Big Grin
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Handy site for those of us who can't follow a conversation about degrees F (or C):
http://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/temperature.htm

Another point to consider: in cold temperatures, say -20C (-4F), which steel gets more brittle: the kind used in weapons or the kind used in armour? Of course both the steels used in weapons and those in armour vary greatly, but can we say something in general?
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,476

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
Interestring, I thought it would be warmer to wear then it seems to be!
On another forum I remember it being proclaimed that wearing a greathelm in cold weather would still result in excessive heat buildup.


People would wear this stuff in summer, in battle, and only a minority would die from overheating. So it can't be too bad. Wearing a great helm wouldn't be a problem, but running around and fighting while wearing a great helm is a potential problem. In warm weather, you just sweat profusely until everything is soaked. The problems with this (i.e., sweating a lot) in freezing weather have already been mentioned.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Reading list: 30 books

Posts: 630

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

steel is not a very good insulator. however, the cold can in my experience affect the leather used to articulate the plates and it can adversely effect any residual oils or grease that is on the steel to either prevent rust or help with articulation. i think that the effect of freezing temperatures on steel plate armour down to about -20C is quite minimal.

the comment about the plate cutting the effect of wind is one i haven't thought of or experienced directly. thats an interesting comment and makes some sense...........
View user's profile Send private message
Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as flexibility of the steel, you shouldn't have any worries until you approach -40F which conveniently is also -40C. At those temps and lower steel can get brittle very fast and instead of just yielding (bending) it will jump right to its ultimate load (snap-bang) point. Of course specialty alloys such as inconel and others are capable of large thermal swings without loss of strength or flex.

As far as comfort, most of the other posts are good and based on direct observations but I'd like to offer these general priciples based on my experience and knowledge as a mountaineer and dog musher (both cold weather prusuits indeed).

First, your base layer against your skin is the most important thing. Cotton kills. It holds water against your skin and does not easily evaporate so you spend your metabolism heating both the water and the skin and it will drag you into hypothermia faster than you can say Stonewall Jackson. If you're going to be exposed for a long period of time and or exerting yourself you must use a good wicking base layer made of polypropylene or some of the other hydrophobic synthetics on the market. If you insist on natural materials then silk is the best. The Samurai used it for their base layer and I've read that some arming jackets were lined with the stuff.

Second, the steel plate will act as a conductor of heat away from your body so you want a good amount of insulation between your pink bod and the steel. People's suggestion of wool is very good since it continues to insuilate pretty well even when it gets damp or wet, not as good as the synthetics such as Maulden's Polar Fleece, mind you, but it worked well enough for centuries.

A fur cloak would also help, and would look cool too.

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,380

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
DON'T LICK THE METAL!!


But in all seriousness, I don't know. I would imagine it's freezing cold. I've only worn my suit down to about 34 degrees, and it wasn't insanely uncomfortable. I would go give it a try if my armour wasn't in pieces on the floor right now.


So you're in Alaska.

You could try swimming in your amrour (hope that was you in the video)!

But you can't take it out in the cold...

...SLACKER!!! Razz Cool

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
View user's profile Send private message
Ed Toton




Location: Northern VA
Joined: 16 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I can tell you that my inaccurate aluminum mail kit is not a good thing to wear in the cold. Aluminum is a better heat conductor than steel, and even with padding under it, it tends to act as a heat sink and leach the warmth out of you. If it's a chilly day, I'll feel warmer as soon as I take it off.
-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
My armor photos on facebook
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > How does armour act during cold weather?
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2017 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum