Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clothing Layers for Winter Sports

Clothing Layers for Winter Sports

-Aurora LaJambre

Rating: ****

It may seem hard to believe considering the incredible weather we have been fortunate enough to have had lately, but winter is just around the corner. That being said, it is time to start thinking about the winter precautions that we as Canadians have to take every year; this means changing the tires on our cars as well as the cloths on our backs. Over the course of the next few months as we venture outside for various activities, such as cross country skiing, we will need to be conscious of what clothing we are wearing in order to stay warm.

According to the article “Clothing Layers for Winter Sports”, it is ideal to wear many different layers, rather than one thing coat or sweater. Wearing multiple layers will aide your attempt to stay dry and control your body temperature. As a general rule whenever you are going outside in the cold for a sport you should be carrying three layers: an outer layer, a mid-layer and an inner layer. The outer layer should be on the light side, thin as well as weather and wind resistant. The mid-layer is the one that is responsible for keeping you warm: fleeces as well as thermals of mid thickness are often used as mid-layers. Finally we have the inner layer which serves the purpose of keeping your body dry by absorbing sweat and all other moister. This is a critical part of layer for it keeps you from getting chilled during a down time; which is important because if your body temperature is constantly fluctuating you are more likely to develop hypothermia. The inner layer should be soft and fitted, in addition to covering you from neck to toes. Long sleeves, long johns and gloves are perfect examples of an inner layer. The materials from which you clothing are made is also very important; it needs to wick moister away without retaining it. This is important especially if you are to be out for an extended period of time for sanitary purposes as well as to avoid stenches. Cotton is not a very good choice while polypropylene and polyester are synthetic materials that work well as bases to your layers, as do silk and merino wool as natural options. Lastly, while shopping for base layers it is important that you try to avoid buying articles that have zippers or anything else that could easily cause discomfort.

This article taught me a lot about how to dress for success in the outdoors during cold Canadian winters. I am looking forward to applying my new knowledge of the concept of layering come cross country ski season. After all, the clothing you wear will determine how comfortable you feel while outdoors and it is incredibly difficult to enjoy yourself while being constantly nagged by your body.

LaJambre, Aurora. “Clothing Layers for Winter Sports”. Catalogs.com. 2007. http://www.catalogs.com/info/outdoor/layers-for-winter-sports.html (November 7, 2011)

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