This week’s survival tip will look at proper clothing for exploring during the winter months. It is the final in a series of tips discussing winter preparedness.
The clothes on your back can mean the difference between being warm and toasty or dead of hypothermia.
The key to staying warm during the winter months is layers. A good base layer is essential for staying warm. In addition to keeping you warm, a good base layer should also manage moisture.
Sweating is one of the most dangerous things you can encounter in the winter wilderness. It greatly increases your chances for developing hypothermia if not dealt with properly. When looking for a base layer, look for one that will hold heat against your body while wicking away sweat.
The second layer should be an insulating one. Just like the furnace in a house, your body can produce a lot of heat but if there isn’t insulation to keep that heat in, the task is futile. A good insulation layer should do exactly what the name implies: it should insulate your body and keep the cold at bay.
There are many options for insulating layers, but one that remains relatively thin while providing the greatest insulation value is best. It will keep you warm while still letting you move freely.
The third layer is a shell. A shell is designed to keep wind, rain, snow, sleet and whatever else mother nature throws at you away from your other layers. A shell is, in my opinion, the most important layer. Unless your other layers are made of wool, they will lose all of their insulative properties when they become wet, making you die even faster.
In addition to layers keeping you dry and warm, a good pair of waterproof boots, waterproof insulated gloves and a nice hat can go a long way in keeping warm, dry and alive this winter season.