When I was lucky enough to be selected for season 9 of “Alone” on the History channnel, I knew my clothing choices would be critical to both my safety and success.
I have long been a proponent of wool layers. As both a professional shearer and an outdoorsman, I have a lot experience with both the warmth and strength of natural wool products, and I strongly believe that this natural material is the best choice for cold and wet weather environments.
Season 9 found us on the coast of Labrador, Canada, one of the coldest and wettest locations that the show has ever filmed, and the perfect outer layer needed to wick moisture, block the wind, and provide a strong insulating layer against snow and ice.
I had long desired a set of Micklagaard trousers and anorak, and this wilderness experience was the perfect excuse. Once I actually got them on and was able to spend sometime outside, I was blown away by the quality of the product. This is clothing that will truly last a lifetime.
I have done a lot of work with wool processing and tailoring myself, so I understand what proper felt is supposed to look and feel like. It should be of consistent thickness. Good quality felt will not “pill” or shed hairs. It shouldn’t itch and should be able to shed water and snow.
This was my first time owning Wadmal fabric, the material used to make Micklagaard clothing, and I was thoroughly impressed with how it exceeded all of my strict criteria for what good wool should do. The finish work is also fantastic. The reindeer leather trim both looks good and does its job of protecting and reinforcing the seams and pockets.
On the Anorak, the large kangaroo pocket becomes a catch-all for so many useful items that you want to carry with you. At various times during my 52 days in Labrador, I used it as a berry and mushroom collecting pouch, a place to hold my mittens when not needed, and as a place to store my spare GoPro and batteries. The pile lined pockets are an additional detail that was greatly appreciated. Sliding your hands into those pockets was like sliding them into warm pillows! The hood, when pulled tight, 2 can block wind and even driving snow. It traps the warmth so well that I often wore my hood without even a hat. Huge zippers along the sides make layering with this anorak so easy, and also help to control your temperature when you are moving through the forest.
The trousers also have so many small and well thought-out touches that I have never found in other outer layers I own. The adjustable waist strap on the back of the trousers came in very handy, as during my stay I lost over 25 kilos. The zippered vents on the thighs were very useful on those days that start cold, but warm up, as when you’re walking through the forest you can quickly vent without having to take the time to remove layers. The fit is very stylish. They are more of a European cut, and have a tailored fit without being too baggy. I am a man that prefers suspenders, and having the suspender buttons was a big benefit for me. The cargo pockets on the thigh are both spacious and secure, and come in handy for storing a pair of glove liners or spare ammo. The buttons and zippers all feel sturdy and are very well stitched to the clothing.
One thing that I really appreciate about wool outer layers such as this, is how effective they are for hunting. Synthetic outers have an annoying tendency to rustle and make noise while walking that is unnatural.
The Micklagard anorak and trousers are whisper quiet, and make moving through the brush quietly that much easier. Overall, I have been thoroughly impressed with Micklagaard products and their customer service. These are clothes you buy once and keep for a lifetime. If you are planning on being out in true wilderness this winter, then get yourself a pair of trousers or anorak, you won’t regret it.
The gear Adam Riley chose: