It’s a fresh start for me, having defeated Lyme Disease after a several year battle. My plan is to re-invigorate Viam Fec and bring the Opus Magnum of my life to fruition.

Today has been cold in the Great North Woods. I just got back from a short scout with my trusted rifle “Thump”. We visited an old stone cellar hole and collapsed building off an abandoned road.

Being one of the coldest days so far in this unusually warm Winter season, it was a good opportunity to test the bolt action of the rifle to make sure it isn’t sticking due to the lubricating oil or contraction the metal of the rifle as the temperature drops.

My Position Temperature: 5° F Wind: 25 MPH Windchill -16° F
Nearby Mt. Washington Temperature: -17° F Wind: 74 MPH Windchill -60° F
I’ve been using Mobile 1 5W-20 weight engine oil to lubricate Thump and all my firearms. The optimum engine oil weights for firearm lubrication will the be the focus of another Viam Fec post, but for now I’ve posted a temperature chart that is a useful start.

Engine Oil Temperature Chart
Engine Oil Temperature Chart

As you can see from the chart the recommended temperature range of the engine oil I am using is about -25°F to +68°F. Typically, winters in the Great North Woods valleys drop regularly to -25°F with an occasional -30°F to -35°F before wind chill is factored in. I don’t believe the wind chill factor effects metal, only living things. During the summer months the temperature maxes out at about 100°F.

That’s quite a range, -40°F to +100°F throughout the year. Factor in windspeed in the winter and 100% humidity in the summer and the climate of the Great North Woods is the most variable in the world.

The typical valley elevation in the Great North Woods is in the order of 400 feet to 1,200 feet above sea level. Usually the higher the elevation the colder the temperature (sometimes there is a temperature inversion but that is relatively rare), with many small hills and mountains that scouts are common on going to 2000 and 3000 feet where the temperature is significantly colder and the wind usually much faster.

Old cellar hole, -16° F wind chill
Old cellar hole, -16° F wind chill. The wind was often whipping the snow into whiteout conditions, which I couldn’t easily capture using a camera timer and tripod. Note the frozen moisture from breathing into the scarf.

Above about 3,000 feet of elevation, which is common here, the environment changes rapidly to colder, windier, and less favorable to life. Four thousand feet and arctic conditions are being approached and at about 4800 feet of elevation it is, essentially, like the arctic. Mount Washington, just a few miles from my home, culminates at 6288 feet above sea level and is often known as “The Worst Weather in the World” – people often train here before tackling Mount Everest.