Even those who tend to get very cold in winter can stay comfortable outdoors with the right clothes. Here are some tips to keep warm whatever the weather.
The three-layer system
This strategy prevents you from getting too hot or too cold while you’re being active. The idea is to wear three layers of clothing to protect you from the winter chill. If you get too hot, you can simply peel off a layer!
- The base layer keeps you dry by wicking away sweat. Tight-fitting clothing made of merino wool or polar fleece is best. Avoid wearing cotton because it takes a long time to dry.
- The middle layer insulates your body. Depending on the temperature outside and the intensity of your activity, put on a warm synthetic sweater, a down jacket, or both. This is the layer you’ll most likely take off if you get too hot.
- The outer layer protects you from the weather. A wind- and waterproof jacket is ideal.
Your legs will warm up pretty quickly once you’re moving, so you won’t need as many layers on the bottom. Wind- and waterproof jogging pants or lined leggings are fine to wear if it’s not too cold. Otherwise, good old-fashioned snow pants with or without long johns will do the trick.
Don’t forget the extremities!
Protecting your extremities (head, hands, and feet) helps you retain body heat. Here are a few suggestions to complete your outfit:
- A polar fleece headband, toque, or hood
- Warm, waterproof gloves or mittens
- Wool or synthetic socks that will keep your feet warm and dry
- Waterproof boots with cleats for added grip on icy ground
Lastly, bring a pair of ski goggles to protect your face and eyes from the sun, freezing wind, and snow. Don’t be afraid to wear them even if you aren’t going skiing!
Feeling extra chilly?
Single-use or reusable hand and foot warmers can save the day when you’re struggling to stay warm during winter outings. You can also buy heated socks, mittens, and gloves, but they are more expensive.