The challenge of staying warm outside keeps a lot of nature enthusiasts indoors during the colder months, but it shouldn’t. If you wear the appropriate layers you can keep yourself nice and toasty in any weather. The key is to choose the right materials for each layer you dress in.
You should always wear a synthetic, wicking material against your skin. This will help remove any sweat you work up underneath the rest of your layers (because if your skin is wet it is much easier to become chilled). Depending on the weather, you may choose to wear a sleeveless, short-sleeved or long-sleeved layer. If the temperatures are much below your liking, put on a pair of synthetic leggings as well.
This layer will provide you with warmth. It really doesn’t need to be fleece but fleece is a great option for several reasons. First, fleece tends to pack a lot of punch. You get a ton of warmth from even a thin layer of fleece. Second, fleece still performs when wet. If you fall in a creek or spill hot chocolate on your sleeve, your arm won’t freeze because of it. Third, fleece is compressible so if you need to take it off you can easily bunch it into a ball and stow it in even the smallest of packs.
Wind and Water Resistant Layer
Your outer layer should always repel water and wind. In the warmer months you can achieve this with just a light raincoat, but when it’s colder outside you’ll want to choose an insulated jacket. Whether you choose a down jacket or a synthetic jacket really boils down to what characteristics are most important to you (washability vs lightweight vs cost). You’ll never regret another layer of insulation between you and the frigid winds and ice-rain.
In addition to layering, you’ll want to grab some winter accessories, like a hat and mittens. You can even add hot hands when you think you’ll need them. With the proper clothing you can be just as cozy in subzero temperatures as you are sitting in front of a fireplace. Well, almost just as cozy.
As the temperatures outside drop you’ll want to add more and more clothing to your attire to be sure you stay cozy any time you’re outdoors. While layers are a great way to be sure you won’t overheat, winter accessories are often just as effective at regulating your body temperature. They are easy to remove [...]
With the cold weather comes snow and ice, and with ice comes falls. Whether you’re outside shoveling a driveway or trekking through an ice-covered trail, a slip and a fall could stop you in your tracks. Beat the ice by adding another layer of traction to your feet with Yaktrax, microspikes or crampons.Yaktrax are a [...]
Buying the right sleeping bag is as simple as knowing what you need. There likely isn’t a bag that will serve you well both on hot summer nights and freezing winter nights, and you probably won’t use the same bag as someone who is a foot taller than you. Sleeping bags are classified by temperature [...]
Cold temperatures are fast-approaching and now is the time to make sure you’ve got everything you need to continue to enjoy the outdoors all year long. Staying warm while you’re moving is (relatively) easy; your body is doing all the work, making its own heat. But how do you stay warm once you’ve stopped exploring [...]
If you’re hiking along a narrow trail and a bicyclist is approaching you, what do you do? Who needs to yield when you’re facing another hiker on an incline? How do you handle one more person in a shelter? Hiking etiquette may seem like common sense, but there are a few “rules” to follow if [...]
Though you often venture into the outdoors to escape your busy life in civilization, if you’re out there long enough there will be chores you can’t avoid. Laundry is one of those chores. If you stay at a hostel or campground, your laundry routine might look very similar to your at-home routine, but if you’re [...]
Water treatment is one of the most important pieces of gear that an outdoorsperson carries. Whether you’re headed out on a quick day hike or a week-long kayaking adventure, at some point, you’re going to need to drink some water. If your trip is short enough, you can carry enough water with you, but the [...]
Gathering all of the gear that you need (and none that you don’t need) is a harrowing task. It will take months of in-field testing, ordering and returning items, to find out what works perfectly for you. But, a new fear may strike when you finally throw that last piece of gear onto the pile: [...]
Read: Every Little Bit CountsImagine trekking through the woods on a beautiful, sunny day only to stumble upon a massive, downed tree sprawled across the trail. There’s no way around it with all the untamed brush along the path, so you have to crawl your way through it, quite the challenge with a pack full [...]