A quote from Lawrence Clark of Bushcraft Ventures Ltd shown in the picture wearing on of our Cotton Analogy jackets
‘I’ve been using Ventile jackets for a little over 20 years and have never been let-down by their performance. In fact I have a mountaineering Ventile jacket that is 20 years old and still going strong. Earlier this year I took my new Cotton Anology jacket along on my regular annual trip to Arctic Sweden, to see how it would cope with 2 months of teaching bushcraft and reindeer herding.
I normally use a cotton Swedish army skiing jacket, which is not waterproof, when in the Arctic but with the winters getting warmer in this region I felt that I needed a jacket that could cope with temperatures ranging from zero to minus 40C. I was very impressed with the performance of the combination of the Ventile and Nikwax Anology materials and stayed dry and comfortable whilst building snow shelters, ice fish, snow-shoeing in nearly 2 metres of snow and trying to catch reindeer.
For those of you that have lived and worked outside in extreme low temperatures, which may be most us after the recent winters we’ve had in Scotland, you will realise that moisture is a big NO NO. Although the body temperature can be controlled, by correct preparation before activities, having clothing that breathes well and that can be ‘vented’ is highly important. I can honestly say that, despite some hard physical work, I never experienced moisture or any ‘clamminess’ that I have experienced with many jackets solely made from man-made materials.
When working with reindeer and building snow shelter one can often be covered from head to toe in snow and with the temperature at the start of my trip being just below Zero (I believe is was around -24c in Aboyne at the same time) this meant the snow was ‘wetter’ than normal for this time of year. Therefore waterproof protection is vital and if your mid or base become wet and the temperature drops you could be in big trouble. The options when this happen is to dry your clothes by a fire or to let the water freeze and knock off the ice, both of these options can mean a very cold and dangerous situation if you don’t have spare clothing.
Fortunately, as I expected, I did not experience any leakage and despite the hard-work I put the jacket through I remained dry and cosy. I put this down to not only the combination of the materials but also down to the workmanship (or maybe that should be workwomanship) of the highly experienced seamstresses that manufacture a high quality product at Hilltrek’s workshop in Aboyne.
I was able to ask for larger and more pockets, to accommodate gloves and mitten, when I first purchased my jacket but I require some more alterations so I’m taking the jacket back to Hilltrek. This is not due to a problem with manufacture or materials but I have decided to make some personal design changes. I discussed the alterations with the Hilltrek seamstress and got some excellent advice and the jacket shall be ready soon.
In summary I’m very pleased with the materials and workmanship and I’m looking forward to using my jacket over the Scottish winter and autumn and shall be taking it with to Sweden, Norway and possible Canada early next.
Bushcraft Ventures Ltd