To this point, the mods on the Windproof Smock are going well. The objective is to make the smock more durable for whatever may come in the field and to prep it for deep winter use. Yes, it’s going way ‘old school.’ It wasn’t until the early 80’s that field clothing was starting to be available with ‘hook & loop’ for use, and it didn’t take long for us to find out that it filled quickly with thread fragments, dirt, and other debris, making it useless. When it was new, undoing it was a noisy venture. I like my clothing quiet. I also like to know once it’s buttoned, it will stay secure until I unbutton it (basically, that’s what sold me on changing out from modern ‘hook & loop’ or snap field clothing to the Brit Windproof – everything is secured by buttons or zippers.
Here’s my objectives to make my smock really field worthy:
- Replace Storm Flap and Sleeve Closure ‘Hook & Loop’ closures with buttons.
- Enhance Water Resistance by treating with, ‘Cotton Proof’ (it’s worked superbly on other items that are cotton/poly mix)
- Add camouflage attachment points on the upper front and back.
- Add a ‘Wiggy’s’ liner (his stuff REALLY is great; it’s just spendy, but to me, worth it) – layering is the way to go to really stay warm and/or regulate the amount of heat retention you get during periods of activity or stillness.
So far, I’ve removed all the storm flap ‘hook & loop’, the rank tab, it’s retention button and the two spare buttons inside the smock.
The one piece of hook and loop I left is the neck level storm strip for now; I’ve been wrestling with replacing it with one of the harvested buttons, but with as strong as the button laces are, I don’t think they’ll rip easily if I wanted out of the smock NOW, so we’ll see what I think as we go. Update: Decided to go with the neck level button – will use a weaker thread than the standard smock button fasteners.
I’ve been working it slowly as to ensure I don’t inadvertently rip other seams. These things are built like tanks!
Next up is the sleeve closures, and then to site all the buttons and take to the tailor for execution.
More to follow!