Cold Weather Layering

Cold weather shouldn’t be an excuse for not enjoying nature. Clothing manufacturers has dedicated years of work perfecting amazing clothes for cold weather activities. Take advantage of some overly priced products to enjoy your favorite outdoor activity.  For cold weather cycling, I try not to not go ape shit with the layers. Too much layers make you sweat profusely! normally wear long sleeve Under Armour as top base layer; I have two different long sleeves that varies in thickness. It’s a great luxury having different thickness of long sleeves to choose from depending on how much heat is absent that day. I do have a thin windproof rain jacket I will use for windy days. In fact, the other day I had on the thick Under Armour and the rain jacket for a 45 degree ride and I got SUPER HOT. My sleeve was soaking up my sweat!!! Windproof rain jacket makes an awesome layer to block wind, but make sure you’re able breath your inside to prevent moisture build up.  I only own one pair of tight pant with crotch padding to wear while mountain biking.(I need to get a new pair or two!) I’ll throw in a thick long wool sock to keep my toe and ankle warm. I have this: http://www.backcountry.com/backcountry-goat-sleeve for my head. It so thin it will fit comfortable between helmet and the head. It not very warm, but it does prevent cold air from chapping up my face. If it’s really cold, I have a fleece balaclava that keeps me warm and fits comfortably under the helmet. As for your hands, windproof gloves works really well and long as you can move your digits to shift, brakes, etc., you’re golden.

For backpacking/hiking, I use lot of same clothes I wear biking minus the pant with crotch padding. I have a blend of poly/wool for my leg and wear nylon pants over it. I always avoid cotton at all cost because it absorb moisture. Wool, polyester, and nylon are golden since they shed moisture well, and still keep you plenty warm. The reason I keep saying you need to be able shed moisture is because in the winter, if your body is covered in moisture the cold air+moisture on your body= potential hypothermic situation. I always carry two sets of warm clothes for winter backpacking trips. One to wear while hiking and the other for when I set up camp. I wear the thinner layers when hiking to prevent myself from getting hot but my jacket is always on a standby in my backpack if it gets cold and windy. When I setup camp I’ll shed  the thin layers off in exchange for thicker layers, and then put on my insulated jacket to keep all my heat trap in my body. After change of clothes I break my sleeping bag out and start puffing it up (it keeps you warm due to loft) and get the insulated pad blown up. After I do these activities, I’ll start building a fire, cook a hot meal, have a hot beverage, then enjoy the starlit skies if the weather cooperate. The bottom line is, cold weather activities can be enjoyable with proper clothes. I hope this post give you guys ideas on how to manage your body’s temperature during cold weather activities, and get outside to enjoy nature during her coldest season!

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