Once again, we are approaching that time of year when many birds that are migrating spend time in our region. I eagerly awaited this event last year, and was especially excited as I had just purchased the last few pieces of equipment that I wanted for my ideal BIF set-up. Unfortunately, I took ill with a tumor next to my kidney before I could even fire off one shot. It was bad enough having to undergo a number of months of chemotherapy, but I thought that I was mostly out of the woods when I was told that the tumors were in remission in May. Unfortunately, chemotherapy drugs are "the gift that keeps on giving", and as the cold weather approaches, I am now finding out that I have circulation problems in my hands in cold weather, a problem sometimes referred to as Raynaud's Syndrome.
I was out shooting a sunrise the other morning, and within a few minutes of setting up my tripod and camera, my fingers lost circulation and went numb. And this was while I was wearing thin gloves and borrowing some hand warmers from a friend! So, I spent some time at a variety of local outdoor stores looking at glove and mitten options, and I am even more confused with all of the options available.
I am assuming that when I go out shooting, that the temperature will be somewhere between 30-40 degrees, and that I will be standing around for much of the time. I am shooting a D300 on either a ballhead or a Wimberley Sidekick, and figure that the ability to feel a half-press of the shutter is an essential criteria when choosing some hand protection. I am also figuring that the ability to use my thumb to work the dials and control pad is important, but I am still not sure what the best arrangement would be.
I am assuming that the gloves do not need to be waterproof, as I most likely will not be shooting in winter rain. Windproof fabrics do seem important, since I will be standing around for a lot of the time, and I will not be generating much heat from activity.
I could find the heaviest liner glove that still allows me to operate the controls, or I could find a very thin liner and use it in conjunction with a heavier glove or fingerless mitten. I have also seen arm gaiters/warmers that might work in conjunction with a liner, and there are also some gloves that have small pockets which willhold a hand warmer.
My questions/concerns are weather a liner/outer shell will be too cumbersome to take on and off, and if my hands will mostly be without the shell, thereby leaving me without much protection. The fingerless mittens or fingerless gloves with retractable mitten tops also look good, but I am also worried about lack of protection.
Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated as this is new territory for me, and I would like to keep my glove/mitten expenses within reason.