Monthly Archives: February 2012

The importance of gloving up.

Gloves?  Only pansies wear gloves.

I beg to differ.  When your life depends on your ability to pull a trigger, swing an axe, pound a nail, or purify your water you better be sure that your hands will be up to the task.

The main purpose of gloves is to protect your hands from any number of dangers.  These dangers could include temperature (cold & hot), rocks, bodily fluids, penetration, cuts, and blunt damage.

First, we’ll look at thinner gloves that don’t impede too much of your tactile senses and are used mainly to protect your hands from heat and/or scraping and puncture damage.  My current favorite gloves are the SKD Tactical FDT-Alpha gloves.  They fit like a second skin and don’t take any of your feeling away.  They’re good for protecting your hands from the hot gas tube on an AK model rifle and will also keep your hands safe from scraping against doorjambs if you have to make entry into a room to find that last can of beans.  Another pair of gloves that I really like that are a little easier to find are the Petzl Cordex belay gloves.  They were originally designed to protect hands from the friction of a climbing rope – they also do well protecting your hands from the everyday dangers of collecting firewood.  If you’re worried specifically about dirty needles or cuts on your hands, you’d be well served to pick up a pair of kevlar or dyneema lined gloves such as the ones from Hatch.

Gloves that EVERYONE should carry in their first aid kit (you do carry a first aid/blowout kit, don’t you?) are nitrile exam gloves.  To quote from a friend of mine -”if it’s wet or squishy and it’s not yours, glove up.”  These kind of gloves are chemical resistant and water proof.  If you’re not wearing them when you’re attending to an active bleeder you’re asking to contract a nasty disease up to and including hepatitis or HIV.

The last type of gloves we’ll talk about today are the kind that people are most familiar with – cold weather gloves.  My go-to cold weather gloves right now are the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Gloves.  They are, unfortunately, quite expensive unless you can find them on sale.  Eddie Bauer OFTEN has sales so that shouldn’t be a problem.  These gloves keep my hands warm, are very durable, and enable me to still have feeling when I’m pulling a trigger.  They even have a nose wipe panel.

Another style of cold weather gloves are the tried and true mitten style.  Those are good for extreme cold conditions but the majority of them don’t allow for any trigger finger use.  They are exceptions but unless you’re buying military surplus options like the Outdoor Research Swoop Mitt are very expensive.

I prefer just to stick with my standard 5 finger gloves.

Please, if you have any questions or ideas drop me a line.


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