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Outdoor Games -- What to wear?


stackem30
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So my team's joined a new league where the games are all played outdoors. I live in Boston, so we're talking your typical New England winter (though it's showing a low of 39 degrees F for my first game on Thursday). I've somehow never played outdoors, so I'm really not sure what to expect, or how to dress under my gear. I was hoping you all might offer some advice on how I can prepare for outdoor hockey. 

I could see it being not very different from playing indoors, once I get a sweat going... or I could be totally wrong. Am I going to be just fine? Freezing? Do I need (thin) wool socks? Do I want to play in a turtleneck, as opposed to my usual t-shirt? Do I need to worry about my ears freezing off?

Any and all help would be much appreciated!

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I don't always feel comfortable playing outdoor, I'd feel even less comfortable playing in a skate with no cowling. A frozen puck combined with cold feet and cold skates, a direct shot at your skates hurt like a sunnuvabitch.

Anyway I'd recommend a long-sleeve shirt, a thin balaclava like the football players use. Otherwise anything else is at your discretion. Also, get your skates sharpened after every outing. Outdoor ice can be very hard on your steel with bare spots, dirt, debris etc.

jose-theodore-tuque.jpg

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I play at an outdoor rink that has a roof and buildings on three sides. I’m in the Hartford area of Connecticut. The rink is in Simsbury which is in the hills. It’s slightly cooler there than in my town probably because of the elevation.

I’ve found I can wear exactly what I normally wear indoors if the temperature stays above 20F. The roof and surrounding buildings help with dampening the wind. Toe warmers with the adhesive on one side are helpful when it gets cold. Make sure your gloves dry out entirely before you wear them outdoors. A wet glove will make your hand cold real fast. Also blocker palms that have holes will be a problem. If you can get thin gloves to wear under your goalie gloves, that will help when it gets cold. I have cotton gloves I only wear if it’s really cold. Don’t take your blocker off to put in the pegs, the cold metal against your bare hand will start your hand off cold and it won’t get better. If it’s real cold, you’ll want to wear underclothing that isn’t designed to let air in. I have UA cold gear that I’ll wear once we get into January and February.

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1 hour ago, WillyGrips13 said:

I’ve found I can wear exactly what I normally wear indoors if the temperature stays above 20F. 

 

1 hour ago, Mike24 said:

I played once outdoors.  I put an extra layer under my gear.  About 15 minutes in I was dying way too hot.  It was a rather cold night too maybe low 20s

Yep, if its expected to be 39F like OP says, I don't think I'd really do anything different. Perhaps use water that isn't chilled, but that's about the extent of it. 

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4 hours ago, Mike24 said:

I played once outdoors.  I put an extra layer under my gear.  About 15 minutes in I was dying way too hot.  It was a rather cold night too maybe low 20s

Agreed on @Mike24's note here. I've played outdoors on occasion and I don't change what I wear at all really.

@stackem30 What you really need to ask yourself is are you usually on the less talented team? If the puck barely leaves your zone, you'll probably be kept busy enough and be working up a good sweat. That's coming from my own experience.  

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12 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

Yep, if its expected to be 39F like OP says, I don't think I'd really do anything different. Perhaps use water that isn't chilled, but that's about the extent of it. 

To be honest, you should always use room temperature water for your in game drink.  Your body absorbs warm water faster so you will rehydrate sooner.  

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5 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

To be honest, you should always use room temperature water for your in game drink.  Your body absorbs warm water faster so you will rehydrate sooner.  

Also not a problem for me -- I pack my bag the night before, including the water bottle (which is pretty much the only thing I can/do forget from time to time). Besides, when the water's too cold my stomach can cramp up a bit. I'm all for room-temperature water.

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Yea, as long as it stays above about -5C°/+20°F you should be fine, dress normally. Me and my kids play outside all the time, half the ice rinks in Switzerland are outdoors

 hockey1.thumb.jpg.8ec76d0efee22cf101d7571b8e793c2c.jpg

Playing in Estonia in the 90's, the temps would drop to -20°C/-10°F, and that would be brutal. My hands were so numb I couldn't hold the stick, and my water bottle was frozen by the end of the 1st period....good times :D

talleks.jpg.cbcea319628efe9405d7ddf709ac8d4a.jpg

 

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  • 1 year later...

You guys!!

Growing up in Louisiana and then just circumstances since playing ice hockey in cold places since I was age 20 I have never played outdoors, ever.  I have skated outdoors in Montana, but never played hockey.

That will change in November and again and January where I get to play for several days in a row each time, complete with stays in a cabin walking distance to the rink.  I. Am. So. Excited.  

I thought I would revive this thread and ask a couple of questions.  Do you all (looking at you Canadians) take any extra precautions playing outdoors with socks or undershirts?  Do you actually wear a touque on your mask?  Use the football eye stuff?

I typically run pretty warm, especially during hockey.  I wear a short sleeve under armor shirt and just regular calf high Bauer foot socks.  I just went through all my knit hats and this is the only one big enough to fit on my mask, ha.  Here are a few pics of the rink, too.  I. Can't. Wait!

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Ice_Rink.jpg

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I would look at amazon for micro fleece lined compression leggings and long sleeve shirts as well as a micro fleece lined hat thing (worn usually under snowmobile helmets and such). Can find this stuff pretty cheap if  you don't mind not using non-name brand stuff. Should be able to get a full set for under $40. That's what I wore when I did rug and uniform delivery in Michigan. Had some -18 degree mornings in a truck with no heat. If needed I can find the links for things I used. Just let me know.

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Played a game last season where is was -25 Celsius inside the rink. I had toe warmers on top of my toes (lots of room In the toe box of my skate) and hand warmers. On my glove the warmer was between the interior finger channels and outside padding on the blocker it was in the palm of my hand. It kept me warm all game. Body temp control helped a lot too, have a slight sweat going all game and I didn’t dump water on myself like I do in a normal game. 

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thanks for the links and suggestions guys. 

I think my plan will be to get some long sleeve and long leg compression gear and maybe up my game on foot socks in terms of thickness. I don't want to be cold but I really don't want to overdo it and be too warm, either. 

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My suggestions from earlier in the thread are still appropriate. I would stress that you won’t have to do anything different from your indoor hockey so long as the “feels like” temperature stays above 15-20* F. Be aware of the wind, that’s what is going to be a problem for you, probably when the knit hat and gloves will come into play. I highly recommend the toe warmers with the adhesive. 

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Of all the things you want to ensure stay warm, your toes are first and foremost. They're the part of your body that is most likely to suffer frostbite, and that you're least likely to notice becoming frostbitten, when you're playing an outdoor game. (Fingers are the second thing, but because you're using them more actively than your toes you're more likely to notice them becoming frostbitten).

I played with a goaltender who is an actor, and played a part as one of the goalies (red jersey) in this Canadian dairy farmers ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4ddTx3vyUo). The shoot day was long and cold, some of the players didn't layer up properly, and a few of them ended up with seriously frostbitten toes. One guy actually had a few amputated.

Don't take chances. Make sure your feet are well insulated, and keep some heat packets on the bench that you can throw into your gear if you need to. Couldn't hurt to keep a pair of microfleece base gloves handy, that you can wear under your catcher and blocker. Make sure all those little piggies get home in one piece.

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Man now I'm sorta scared.  I appreciate the tips very much, but man, this seems so complicated.  

I'm worried if I wear wool socks I won't fit in my skates.  I can try tomorrow at home to see how they fit with my nice, warmest socks.

I'll be playing in early November and here's what the temps were last year.

Screenshot_20191002-224637_Chrome.jpg

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53 minutes ago, seagoal said:

Man now I'm sorta scared.  I appreciate the tips very much, but man, this seems so complicated.  

I'm worried if I wear wool socks I won't fit in my skates.  I can try tomorrow at home to see how they fit with my nice, warmest socks.

I'll be playing in early November and here's what the temps were last year.

Screenshot_20191002-224637_Chrome.jpg

Honestly just wear what you normally wear. I played a tournament game outdoors in Buffalo in the middle of winter (it was probably in the low teens) and didn't feel too much of a difference. Especially once you start sweating you'll be fine.

Edited by Peter36
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There is rumor that I will get to have two outdoor tournaments this year. One in Illinois for my travel team and the other in the Cotton Bowl (yes the winter classic one) for my high school team. I don’t expect I’ll need any extra gear for the cotton bowl but I might wear a second pair of base layer pants for Illinois. @seagoal how did you secure the toque to your helmet

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