20 Feb Embracing the Suck: Training in Cold Weather
Training in Cold Weather
The basic tenant of Murphy’s Law is that if it’s going to happen, it will happen at the worst possible time. We cannot choose where and when a fight will occur so it would be therefore prudent to base our training, and more importantly practice, in environments that lend to overcoming weather or environmentally degraded situations. Our ability/inability to function in these environments will often determine the outcome of an armed encounter.
Preparation and Foresight.
When it gets cold out we put on all sorts of extra snivel gear to try to overcome the cold. Now for those of us who carry concealed firearms it is a win/lose situation. On the positive side we have the ability to carry more gun and associated EDC equipment. On the negative side we now have to contend with zippered up cold weather gear. Can you still meet your par time of two rounds in under two seconds from concealment? Does your garment allow for rapid access? Can you access your secondary equipment? How about returning your weapon to the holster?
The point is we have to be able to work around our kit in all conditions. It’s not going to be 85 and Sunny when the reaper comes knocking. You don’t choose the moment. The moment chooses you.
Practice getting your unloaded blaster out in your house while wearing your winter cover garment. Find the sticking points and develop your workaround. Doing so will pay dividends.
Fuel the Body, Win the Fight
By no means do I profess to be a fitness guru but I have learned a few things over the years of trudging through frigid temps doing patrol work. Your body will chew through calories just to stay warm during cold temps. Make sure that you stoke the fire well during your winter training sessions. And for the love of all things holy HYDRATE!
Raise your Bar
We don’t rise to the occasion. We fall to the level of our training. Working through problems on the flat range when the conditions suck will pay dividends in a stress situation. Why? You’ve done it before. You know what to expect. Hopefully you’ve developed your skills to the point of at least conscious competence. How many of you can type without looking at the keyboard? That’s pretty good. Now how many of you can carry on a conversation while typing something unrelated to the topic of conversation? It takes time and repetition to get to that point. Go practice.
As I write this much of New England is buried in nearly 8 feet of snow. So are many ranges. It’s also cold. Like arctic cold. Like hurts to be outside cold. As such getting range time is hard and we have a few obstacles to overcome.
Since we can’t very well sling a lot of lead at the moment we have to find out how to get around that issue. Thankfully we have dry fire. All it takes is ten minutes a day to keep your skills sharp.
My next post will be on dry fire drills and I’ll give you my personal dry fire workout to add to your repertoire.
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