Basics of Layering

There is an old saying “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” I’m not sure I totally agree with that, but yes, proper clothing and proper layering can have a huge impact on any outdoor adventure. Most outdoor enthusiast already know the importance of layering your clothing. Being able to do a quick change in the wilderness is not an easy task, you need to be able to remove or add clothing easily, based on weather conditions and your activity level.

There are three principle layers: Base, Insulation  and Outer. 

Base Layer (inner layer)

• worn next to skin
• must wick away sweat to keep skin dry
• helps maintain body temperature
• should not be cotton (cotton absorbs moisture easily but is slow to dry, which will impact core temperature)
• should be merino wool, polyester, silk or polypropylene

Insulation Layer (mid layer)

• should help retain heat
• must keep cool air out
• can be multiple items (based on weather conditions etc)
• fleece, down and wool are all great insulators
• wool can continue to insulate even when wet
• goose down must be kept dry to maintain its insulating ability

Outer Layer (the shell)

• must protect from wind, rain and snow
• obviously MUST be water-resistant
• should be roomy enough to fit over your other layers
• must not restrict movement.
• should be somewhat breathable

Sudden weather changes can not only cause discomfort if not properly attired, they can also be life threatening. Follow these simple yet effective guidelines to ensure a more pleasurable experience and avoid any cold injuries. For more on treating and preventing cold injuries, click HERE

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