How to dress appropriately for these cold-weather activities

February 22, 2016

Even though the worst part of the winter seems to be over, cold snaps could still hit, but there's no need to stay inside in fear of the cold; all it takes is some knowledge about how to dress for comfort.

How to dress appropriately for these cold-weather activities

1. Walking

You'll be moving and generating some body heat, but not as much as more intense workouts, so versatility and protection from the elements are key.

  • Start with a mid-weight layer of long underwear on the top and bottom.
  • Then, add a lightweight insulating layer of wool or polyester, then top it off with a breathable jacket.

2. Running and cross-country skiing

Dress in relatively light layers; a lightweight base layer and lightweight-to-middleweight insulating layer are ideal.

  • The general rule is that if you feel a bit chilly when you first step out the door, you'll be comfortable once you've warmed up from running or skiing.
  • You might want to ditch your regular weatherproof jacket in favour of a featherlight, packable jacket that you can carry in a pack or tied around your waist. That way you can keep warm even if you have to stop mid-run.

3. Sledding

You're probably going to end up rolling around in the snow, so quality outer layers on both top and bottom are key — and don't forget the warm hat and gloves.

  • If you're going to be making a lot of runs, dress in light layers underneath so you don't overheat every time you hike back up the hill.
  • If you prefer watching and only making the occasional sled run, dress in warmer layers so you don't get cold while observing the fun.

4. Skiing and snowboarding

If you're backcountry skiing or snowboarding, you have to strike the perfect balance between warmth on the way down and ventilation on the way up; otherwise you'll end up soaked in sweat.

  • Try a light base layer and a mid-to-heavyweight insulating layer, and invest in a high-quality outer layer with ventilation zips to help keep you from overheating.

Remember, as long as you skip the cotton and wear a good, weatherproof outer layer, all you need to be comfortable during any winter outing is a little practice choosing your other layers.

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