The summer months provide the opportunity to get educated about heat exhaustion, where the cooler months make way with cool, damp and wet climates. When heading outback to hike, ski, snowshoe or camp, be sure to have these items readily available on hand.
Cold Weather Clothes Tips
The rule of cold weather clothing is simple, stay dry. Layers and clothing materials that dry quickly are vital to ensure warmth and to avoid life-threatening issues such as hypothermia. Search for quick-dry, waterproof and insulated materials to wear in layers, which is ideal for cooler outings.
The Truth about Layers
The base layer is the layer that is closet to the skin. It is similar to the “underwear” of layers. Avoid cotton and seek merino wool or synthetic fabrics, which is ideal to wick moisture and does not keep the body wet for long. The middle layer is known as the insulating layer. This is where the body retains heat. Wear pants, down jackets, and microfleece shirts.
Waterproof ski or hiking boots are the most appropriate kind of boots for backcountry outings. Choose high-ankle boots to avoid water or snow getting inside your shoes. When sleeping at night, keep boots and socks warm by keeping them in your sleeping bag. This ensures dampness and dew does not seep onto the boot overnight.
When heading out, carry extra socks to ensure your feet stay dry in case you end up traveling through deep water holes. If it is extra cold outside, wear a thin layer directly on the skin. Cover the first layer with a second layer made from synthetic or merino wool fibers.
Gaiters are important for those trekking through deep piles of snow. The gaiters reduce the amount, if any, of snow into the boot and aides in insulation. Breathable, waterproof gaiters are available for snowy expeditions.
Depending on the backcountry adventure, seek a hat that is windproof or waterproof. This ensures warmth stays atop of the head rather than escaping, which is the most prevalent spot to lose heat, besides the feet. Gloves and mittens are a must. If needing to use your hands, choose gloves with palm and finger grips. Avoid direct sunlight, dust particles and extreme winds with goggles or sunglasses.