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-   -   Parkas and Mukluks (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/477168-parkas-mukluks.html)

FJJP 14th Feb 2012 08:21

Parkas and Mukluks
I remember in the seventies being issued with Parka anoraks and Mukluk boots prior to deployment to Goose Bay and Offut AFB in the depths of the vicious N American winter.

The parka was a heavyweight anorak with a full hood trimmed with wolverine fur.

Mukluks were lace-up canvas boots with a felt inner boot and thick felt insole.

Both perfect for recent weather. Anyone know a source for these?


Fox3WheresMyBanana 14th Feb 2012 09:18

No idea where you'll get them in the UK. Can recommend sources/makes for genuine article or cheaper modern stuff in Canada.

-19 yesterday, -32 with the windchill, and I was out in my yard then went for a walk. Lovely with the right gear.

Estonian Proverb "There is no such as 'bad weather', only 'the wrong clothing'."

PM me if you/anyone wants details

Fareastdriver 14th Feb 2012 09:28

Parkas men military parka | eBay

Mukluks manitobah mukluks | eBay

Milo Minderbinder 14th Feb 2012 09:33

Google mukluk and plenty of online shops appear in Canada. Some of those could surely supply

Pontius Navigator 14th Feb 2012 09:35

None of those on eBay was the real deal. I sold one that was as new last year. A new one was as rare as you know what. One my last sqn we had a 'stack' and they were much loved by the resident mouse population as well.

The mukluks I think were part of the Arctic warfare kit I think and not standard RAF issue.

To go with the parka and boots you really needed the glove assembly too. We had silk inners, white wool gloves and then white leather mittens. The mittens had a short lambswool pile on the back for rubbing frozen skin.

Fox3WheresMyBanana 14th Feb 2012 10:11

Layers is the key, but how can you tell if you have enough?

Pat yourself down. If you can still tell what gender you are, then you need more layers.;)

barnstormer1968 14th Feb 2012 10:14


You are showing your age now.......Or the age of your kit :E.

The glove assembly you describe is long gone, and has been replaced with superior gear (minus the lambswool pile).

Do you remember the training film with David Jason showing how to wear the kit you mention?

Pontius Navigator 14th Feb 2012 10:30

BS, no, this was before David Jason was a name. He had just started on crossroads.:} The kit we used was all white - mukluks, flying suit and gloves. The flying suit was the same pattern as the later mk 3 c/w flying suits but with an RAF Royal Blue lining. We didn't have the whie acrylan pile until later that year. I sold my acrylan pile suit on eBay as well; it was only 45 years old!

I do remember some training films however.

One always puzzled me. It was a crash landed aircraft and the crew dragged all their arctic kit out of the fuselage and proceeded to make a nylon igloo under a wing. I could understand that an opened fuselage could be pretty cool but why not build the shelter inside the fuselage. They may have gone on to light a fire but that could have been just a dodgy under a wing.

The next film was truely frightening. Out intrepid survivor took the hunting rifle out of his survival pack and shot a caribou. Hunting rifle! He then proceeded to skin and butcher the carcass. Next he made a frame and stretched the skin over the frame tying it tautly with the paracord inner. He then took a sharp stone and scraped the skin before rubbing it with the brains to soften it. Just how long did he expect to be surviving for?

The final film was good. Again our intrepid survivor gathered his kit and burrowed into the bowl under a fir tree. It was nice and dry, out of the wind. Then he lit a fire. The heat from the fire rose through the fir tree; the snow melted; a large lump fell down his neck :)

Fox3WheresMyBanana 14th Feb 2012 10:52

Rescue times are getting better. Single engine transatlantic used (1994) to require a hefty axe to build a shelter and 10,000 calories of food. I was told I could expect rescue by...Spring. Now it's a snow saw and 500 calories.
Mind you, just last week it took 72 hours before the military could launch to look for a lost snowmobiler from one of the Northern Labrador communities. They found him, but too late.
Still, at least there's no black or grizzly bears in the deep midwinter!

Al R 14th Feb 2012 12:26

My Lundhags got an airing last week. Great boots - thanks 33. :ok:


Pontius Navigator 14th Feb 2012 13:21

Fox3, I don't doubt it. The films were back in the 60s. What worried use was we had flouroscene dye markers, 2-star reds and a dinghy knife. If you needed a sleeping bag, rifle and axe we were rather under-equipped floating around Labrador at 500 feet -25 C or more.

For a bailout the order was Radar, AEO, Plotter, Copilot, Captain. The drill was for the plotter to stay put and the others to walk in. The plan was to fly with more survival gear than the others in the crew and to set off in the other direction :}

barnstormer1968 14th Feb 2012 15:18


Here is a very young David Jason (the date is missing from the film, but it looks '60s)
Demonstrating the lambswool pad on the very mitts you describe. He plays a soldier called Norm in this film and sports a Scottish accent. The film is for an army audience and is called 'Health in cold climates'.

Sorry about the 'noise bars' but I only have these films on VHS.


Pontius Navigator 14th Feb 2012 15:24

Those are the gloves.

Fareastdriver 14th Feb 2012 16:43

I can remember the performance, a couple of hours short of Goose Bay of having to climb down into the main cabin, full of sweaty navigators, and don a parka before climbing back into my ejector seat. Just in case I had to bang out so I would not get cold in the Arctic.

50+Ray 15th Feb 2012 08:26

Donning a Parka 2 hours out?
It would have been a rare slimline pilot who could get back up between the seats when dressed like that

Motleycallsign 15th Feb 2012 10:27

In answer to the OP's question. The canvas mukluks are only good for Arctic wear, ie 'dry snow'. They are useless when they get wet. I found the shorter 'Canadian Parka' better than the knee length RAF issue one.

Pontius Navigator 15th Feb 2012 12:27

Motley, I think the parka as used by the RAF was never used as intended. I think it was actualy the top half of a sleeping bag assembly. Rather than a full length sleeping bag which could actually be quite difficult to get in - bum shuffle and all that - it was one that would just cover the lower body perhaps up to the thighs. It wasn't intended as a working coat.

I was at Goose once with the temp in the 'high' 20s (near -30) and was quite warm in the standard Mk 3, acrylan pile etc, provided I kept turning to pick up gammas from a weak sun. As soon as part of my body was in the shade it soon became a little cool when standing around.

AR1 15th Feb 2012 12:38

The Parkas were Issued at RAF Machrihanish, very briefly in the early 80's, but were withdrawn when the CO did his nut as everybody adopted them for the walk to work. Back to the useless raincoat it was.

FJJP 15th Feb 2012 18:06

Thanks for all the info, chaps. Pity I didn't see Pontius' ad on ebay last year - would love to have a new pair of issue mukluks, never mind the old parka....


richh 15th Feb 2012 18:14

Parkas and Mukluks
Take a look at UsedOttawa.com.He has what appears to be Army Mukluks as I remember them from the late 50's and also Extreme Cold Weather Parkas of a slightly different Pattern.

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