Centers for Disease Control

Today we got to try on all out Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear at the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC). I got to try on about 30 different pieces of clothing from socks to a fleece body suit to Big Red (the parka) to 8 different pairs of gloves. Half of the stuff inevitably doesn’t fit so you take it to a counter to get a new size from a warehouse filled with thousands of pieces of clothing of every conceivable size and shape (but not many different colors). The process was worlds easier than last year since I knew how each piece ought to fit. When I put on certain items I got all nostalgic, and when I had Big Red all cinched up I got really excited for the first time.

You never know what you are going to get with each piece of clothing – some items are brand new and some are ratty old things with broken zippers. I got a lot of really good items this year in the first round so I am happy. I think all of my gloves fit very well this year, whereas last year I was constantly struggling in the field to find the right gloves. I will definitely miss my neck gaiter (good ol’ greenie – I really should have kept that guy at the end of the season) and my liner gloves. The liner glove is very basic but the ones last year were a little nicer – more stretchy. Of course you never know which piece of clothing is going to come through and be your favorite later in the year.

I made sure to get extra long johns so I can change them out every few days and a bunch of extra socks. I also got the ‘field pants’ for casual wear around camp. Other than that, I don’t really need anything beyond the standard issue stuff. And this year I have a lot of great gear from home.

Our work at the CDC is done so it’s time to head back to town to get my last lamb kebab for 6 weeks. Cross your fingers that we actually fly tomorrow!

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