There is no need to be cold in the outdoors this winter. Follow our 5 simple tips to layering and enjoy the outdoors in any condition.
1. DRESS IN LAYERS
Layering is the idea that you dress with multiple layers for your outdoor adventure. Add a layer if you are cold and take off a layer if you are hot. Below are the three key outdoor clothing layers:
- Base Layer – The next-to-skin layer. The importance of this layer is to efficiently remove sweat from your skin. The base layer can be made of merino wool (which we recommend) or synthetic. Please note: A cotton t-shirt should not be considered a base layer. When cotton is wet, it pulls heat from your body, making you feel cold.
- Mid Layer – Provides insulation and traps air.
- Outer Layer – Protects you from the elements.
2. WEARING A HARDER OUTER LAYER
We all know that crashing through undergrowth can be hard on gear, so make sure your outer layer is tough and durable. There are specially designed trousers for bushcraft, as well as, hard wearing outer wear jackets designed to crash though undergrowth, not your nice down jacket!
3. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?
- What is the season?
- What is the weather forecast?
- Is it summer or winter?
- Are you going into the mountains where the weather can change very quickly?
- Is it wet and windy?
The answers to all of these questions will help you to decide on the best clothes to wear for your outdoor adventure.
Summer vs. winter layering is quite different. Summer layering often includes a simple base layer to protect from the sun and a windproof layer if it is windy. The windproof layer can also double for bug protection! Winter layering depends on the conditions but will usually involve all three layers.
What is the weather forecast and is the weather changing? A little planning goes a long way. Check the weather forecast before you head out and make sure you carry extra clothes in case the weather decides to change for the worse.
Are you going into the mountains? If you are, then think about carrying an extra layer just in case, as mountain weather forecasts are notoriously bad, and mountain weather is also constantly changing. A perfect sunny day at breakfast can often end with cold rain or snow by lunch or evening. Be prepared!
Also, if you are in the mountains, are afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast? If so, you want to be off the tops before then. And be prepared if you are caught as the temperature can tumble in a matter of minutes. The combination of rain, wind, and colder temperatures become ideal conditions for hypothermia.
Is it wet, windy, or both? If it is wet, make sure you have a waterproof outer layer. If it is windy, make sure your outer layer is windproof. If it is both windy and wet, then be careful and be sure to have a good waterproof outer layer. In these conditions, you may also want to consider bringing extra layers as the wet wind can quickly reduce temperatures.
4. HOW LONG IS YOUR TRIP?
Is this a stroll in the park or a remote multiple day adventure? It is important to think about the duration of your trip, and if you are going for an extended period of time, be sure to plan for more variable conditions. Maybe take an extra layer just in case!
5. THINK OF YOUR EXTREMITIES
Nothing is more miserable than a cold head, hands, and toes. Also, if you head is cold, you lose a lot of heat and energy, as your body is trying to keep your brain warm! Bring gloves, wear wool socks, and take a hat with you.
- A small wool beanie weighs nothing and is a great investment in keeping warm when the conditions turn for the worse.
- Wool socks help to remove moisture from your feet. Wool socks also help to keep your feet warm if the weather starts to turn cold; and as an added bonus, they tend to reduce foot odour.
- Some lightweight wool liner gloves provide extra hand protection against the cold. If it really cold and wet, then you will need waterproof gloves; and maybe even insulating gloves. By always thinking in layers, you will be much more comfortable.
Halex Outdoor Gear offers a wide array of outdoor supplies and equipment to help prepare you for your next adventure, so please be sure to check us out at www.halexoutdoorgear.com.