Cold Weather Layers for a More Active Winter Outdoors

December 10, 2019
What do onions, cakes, and you this winter have in common? If you guessed layers, you’re correct! When temperatures drop, it’s important to bundle up to protect yourself from the cold. Improper dressing in the winter can cause frostbite and leave you vulnerable to illness. Outdoor activity is important for your health and well-being, so don’t give it up this winter; instead get prepared by dressing properly.

Base Layer

Staying dry starts from the inside out. Starting with a waterproof base sets you up for success on those icy days. In order to be warm this winter, select a fabric with the best benefits. Avoid cotton, which absorbs moisture, making you colder over time. Instead, pick a fabric that wicks moisture or is synthetic. This will keep your skin dry, and the snow out. Most exercise shirts have this quality, as well as many comfortable t-shirts. Starting at the base layer also means choosing undergarments that will keep you warm. 

Mid Layer

When your base layer is water resistant, you can focus the mid layer on being cozy. If you’re the kind of person who normally tosses on a coat and leaves, you might be setting yourself up for a chilly winter. This middle layer will insulate using the heat that your body naturally radiates. Thicker and puffier is usually the best rule. Throw a sweater or hoodie on top of your base for maximum comfort. Jackets and vests can also survive as a fashionable option for insulating your middle.

Outer Layer

Finally, we’re at the coat. Coats allow moisture to escape but keep out water and wind. Thanks coat! When choosing a coat for winter, consider down-insulated and waterproof options. Coats do not have to be expensive, but it is worth spending the money on a coat to last you all season. An outer layer doesn’t have to be limited to a coat. If you or your little ones are going to be outside playing in the snow, add waterproof snow pants or overalls for the best snow repellant.

Head, Hands, and Feet

The old adage—that you lose half of your body heat through your head—isn’t technically true. In fact, any uncovered skin is an avenue for heat loss. So cover your extremities—head, hands, and feet—during the winter. While beanies may be the most stylish choice, the best hats cover your ears. Or avoid hat hair entirely by choosing earmuffs instead. 

Hands and feet are the most susceptible to frostbite. In cold weather, don’t leave home without mittens or gloves. And keep those toes cozy with thick wool socks and properly fitting shoes or boots. If you’re going to be snow skiing or snowboarding this season, invest in a pair of snow boots. If snow boots aren’t in the cards this year, consider rainboots as a fix to repel moisture and keep your toes dry.

If you’re feeling like a marshmallow, you’re probably doing it right. Making your body cozy during the winter months prevents frostbite, and helps you stay active to stave off illness and seasonal blues. Now, who’s up for a little snow?

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