Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve, Lee Vining, CA
Dawn at 14 degree Fahrenheit ( -10 degree Celsius)If you have a scenery such as Mono Lake, yet the temperature is below freezing, would you stay outside for a long time to bring with you Mono Lake memories? Or would you just take a quick shot and leave? But then, getting to the lake needs a little bit of walking too, if you are not geared up for below freezing temperature, your bones may be frozen cold before you reach the lake. If you already have reached the lake, where you already have endured some cold, why not walk around the lake some more to find some interesting spot? After finding your favorite spot, why not wait for sunrise? After all, sunrise is just maybe 30 minutes away! After sunrise, you may want to stay 30 minutes more when the soft morning light hits the tufas ( tufa means calcium carbonate towers as you see from above and below picture) . Mono Lake looks like an alien kingdom,where the enchantment it brings you may keep you to stay longer.
Tufas at Dawn
How would you be able to endure at least one hour exposure to sub freezing temperature for some photography without suffering? One difference between hiking and photographing is that hiking warms you up and helps you fight the cold, whereas photographing freezes you because you stand still and wait for that moment! A few minutes in the cold won't hurt, but to stay out for more than an hour or a day would be terribly suffering for most.
Me, Surviving -10C temperature for more than an hour without suffering
What gears help me to enjoy being out for a long time in subfreezing temperature?
1. Warm Gloves and Ski Mask.
2. Layered Clothing. I wear hiking or running shirt over a thermal undershirt, a hoodie, fleece jacket, and light and breathable outside shell. For bottom layers, I wear thermal underpants and hiking pants.
3. Hiking boots and wool socks.
Mono Lake at dawn
Among all those gears, if you ask me, which one will you most likely wear the most? For me, the answer is: hoodie!
You can wear your hoodie as an inside layer like in the above situation, or wear it casually when the temperature is only chilly but not freezing cold. Because I wear hoodie a lot of the times, I always watch when there are good hoodie sale. I prefer zipped hoodie since it is easier for layering, and will not mess up my hair when I need to take it off when it feels warmer. For colors, I prefer blue or brown or black hoodie for street walking, however, I do have some brighter colors such as red, yellow and orange for hiking!
Yellow Aeropostale Hoodie For Hiking
Why that bright yellow color for hiking? We never know what will happen, it is best always if we wear something that we can easily be seen by our rescuers if we are lost. Thankfully, many brands such as Aeropostale hoodie carry really a wide selection of colors, and right now, at half the price!
Mono Lake, Sunrise
Will you give up on sights such as these just because of negative temperature?
Mono Lake, a few minutes after sunrise
Or, are you willing to gear up for the cold?