Monday, December 13, 2010

Get Outside!

What?!?  Is she kidding?  Its winter out there!  
No, I'm not kidding. 
Some of my most enjoyable times in the woods are during winter. 
Yes, I know its cold, but I once had a wise friend tell me, 
"There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing."
And she was right.
You can have an enjoyable & comfortable time outside,
if you dress appropriately.

First off, wear a hat.
You can lose a lot of heat through a bare head.

My Mother-in-law knitted these and they are perfect.
But any hat that covers your head & ears will work.
Ear muffs or a winter head band is fine on warmer days.

Next, remember to layer.
Start with a base layer, such as thermal underwear, ideally 
made of a  moisture wicking fabric, wool or silk.
Avoid cotton. When it gets wet, it stays wet.
The base layer's role is to move moisture away from your body.

I personally like a turtleneck because I don't like my neck getting cold.
And don't forget your legs.

Next, wear an insulating layer.
Or better yet, several thinner layers instead of one bulky one.
You want to trap the heat between those layers.

 Fleece is wonderfully warm and comes in lighter
 and heavier weights.
And I've worn sweatshirts too.
Usually over a light fleece layer.
And I wear my jeans, sometimes flannel lined.
You don't have to buy a new wardrobe just to walk in the woods.

Over your insulating layer, wear a good quality coat or parka.
Or a wind proof jacket.
A nice heavy coat will break the wind.
But here's what I wear.
Warm and stylish (not)!
Ok, just warm. 

Don't forget your feet.
 Dry is important.
Insulated is good.

I love Smartwool socks.
I've found Smartwool knockoffs at Costco at 3 pr/$10.
Good synthetic "fleece" socks can be quite good too.
Again, no cotton, unless you want icicle toes!

And wear a good insulated boot.
I won't wear any boot that isn't waterproof.
Personally, I love Muck Boots.

Of course, that may have to do with my lifestyle.
But they are the warmest boots I've ever worn.
However, you can wear any winter boot  that strikes your fancy.
But please, no tennis shoes!

Lastly, cover your hands and fingers.
Warm fingers are happy fingers.
I usually buy a cheap pair of knit gloves
and wear them under a pair of deerskin, thinsulate lined gloves.
Please ignore the dinginess. 
These are actual working gloves.
And don't squeeze your hand into a too tight glove.
You'll defeat the purpose if you cut off the circulation.
(That goes for feet too.)

That's it!

Here's my completed ensemble.
Hey its not fashionable, but I'm warm.
And smiling!

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