Dressing For Winter
You can keep yourself warm and protected from the harsh winter weather
by dressing in layers. Layering means wearing one layer of clothing over
another - this traps insulating air between the layers and prevents heat
loss from the body by resisting:
Conduction - heat loss by direct contact.
Convection - heat loss due to the surrounding cold air.
Evaporation - heat loss due to sweating and breathing.
- First layer: Underwear should be long and made of polyprolene, capilene,
coolmax, ZeO2 or any other nonabsorbing material (Thermaz, Hydrofil and
Drimax). Cotton is not good in winter.
- Second layer: This should be heavier than the first layer. This
should provide insulation and must retain its heat-insulating
properties even when wet. Use
polyester fleece (brand names are Polartec and Synchilla).
- Third layer: This is the protection layer - protects you
from wind, rain and snow. Preferred materials are Goretex,
Entrant, Versatech, Helly Tech and Ultrex.
The advantage of layering is that a layer of clothing can be easily
removed as the body warms.
- Do not overdress - heavy clothing can increase perspiration and may actually
increase body heat loss.
- Dirty clothes will not insulate warmth as well.
- Adding a hat or scarf will often increase the warmth. Remember,
almost 60% of the body's heat loss can occur from the head.
- Avoid cotton clothing, especially if the temperature falls
below 50 F. Cotton absorbs moisture and promotes heat
loss through conduction.
- Cover the extremities - the best choices for hats and
gloves are fleece, polypropylene and wool.
- Do not overcover your feet - heavy foot cover can make
your shoes tight and restrict circulation and too
much heat can
increase perspiration. Preferred
choices are wool or polypropylene socks of moderate thickness.
Wear shoes with thick soles if you are physically
active. Wear clothing
that allows ventilation
- this will allow the sweat to evaporate.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves - less area is exposed.
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