ColdQuest: An Annual Trek to Overcome the Cold

ColdQuest 16

One year ago I launched Cold Outdoorsman to document my attempts to overcome the cold. Having suffered from Raynaud’s syndrome my entire life, the time had come to deal with it other than simply hiding inside to avoid getting cold. My kids needed someone to show them the beauty of nature, to demonstrate why it’s so important to protect the outdoors. That required getting outside and engaging in it. The past year I’ve tested clothes and gear to help me along that path. And now, with support from just a few of the companies who have been there along the way, I’m pleased to announce ColdQuest 16, my first-annual adventure to see what I’ve learned over the past 12 months.

In a way, ColdQuest is about slaying demons. I’ve been paralyzed by a fear of getting cold for decades. Any attempt to get out there is my way of facing that internal demon head-on. I’ve taken little outings during the past 12 months, largely with gear reviews in mind, but it was time to take the proverbial plunge. I conceived ColdQuest to be a multi-day adventure to demonstrate that even people who get cold can overcome challenges. It takes the right gear, the right strategies and the right attitude, but it’s doable.

I think.

That’s what these treks are about: documenting my progress and understanding how far I still have to go.

To be frank, these outings are designed to push me. ColdQuest is about slaying my internal cold-fearing beast. And beasts, by definition, are scary. For this inaugural trek, the folks at FLIR helped amp-up the intensity by coordinating a literal beast encounter. ColdQuest 16 is a camping adventure in a remote area of Mt. Hood National Forest with Cliff Barackman of Finding Bigfoot fame. Our mission: see if we can find a Sasquatch.

The ColdQuest 16 trip will begin in mid-October. Between now and then I’ll discuss how I’m planning, outline the products I’m taking (reviews will come afterward), and share my excitement and fear about what lies ahead. I invite you to engage with this year’s adventure at #ColdQuest16, and of course to follow along here on ColdOutdoorsman.

These annual trips should be a lot of fun, a little frightening, and a great way to put my past year of experiences to the test. I wanted the debut ColdQuest to be particularly special, and it’s shaping up to be that way. On a mountain. In the cold. Without a car. Chasing Bigfoot.

Thank you to all the brands who have helped me in the first 12 months of my “continuing mission” to stay warm. And a super-special thank you to all the brands supporting ColdQuest 16: FLIR, United By Blue, DownTek, Teton Sports, Outdoor Research, Big AgnesKEEN Footwear and Thermarest.

Jonas Allen

Jonas spent 17 years covering travel, technology and entertainment for regional and international media. He now writes about gear, clothes and tips to stay warm. He hopes his lessons will help other people who get cold (re)discover the great outdoors.

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