Hey! Can You Feel Your Fingers?
Dressing for cold temperatures may seem a bit intimidating, but fear not adventurers, with a little preparation, you can make your trip enjoyable (and warm).
The key to keeping warm on the trails is movement and staying as dry as possible. Whatever clothing you choose, layering helps regulate body temperatures and keeps clothing dry. When choosing your base (core) layer, think thin and lightweight (wool/poly). Your next layer could be a lightweight fleece/poly shirt or jacket. Next, add a lightweight vest or jacket. Top everything off with a waterproof or water/wind resistant layer. This system makes it easy to peel and adjust layers as you go.
When getting ready to make your way to the hut, you may feel a bit chilled at the trailhead. Resist starting out wearing too many layers. Start out cold. Once you begin snowshoeing, skiing or biking, your bodies engine will heat you up quick. If you begin to sweat too much, then it is time to peel off another layer. Layering also applies to your hands, face, and feet. Keeping you and your layers as dry as possible is always a top priority.
If adventuring in the cold is new for you, taking time to practice your layering system is valuable. Everyone tolerates temperatures differently. For instance, women tend to have colder fingers and toes. Figuring out what works ahead of time to keep your digits toasty can make all the difference.
Other key ingredients when temps dip low:
Hand or Toe Warmers: These single-use packs activate when exposed to air. They slip into your gloves or boots and last for hours. (gear nerd alert - here is a great article on how these little guys work)
Extra clothes: Having a backup base-layer or mid-layer can help if you get too sweaty. Changing into dry clothes can mean the difference between staying comfortable in the elements or becoming hypothermic.
Cover your face: Face masks, Balaklava or a scarf. If the wind is blowing hard, covering all exposed skin is important. Frost-nip or frostbite can happen when skin is exposed to cold wind. Luckily, an easy remedy is making sure skin stays covered.
Water: Staying hydrated keeps your body warmer - promise. Water freezes, but gear companies have thought of everything. Insulated water bottle holders or Insulated water bladders & hoses will help to keep water from freezing. A cool tip- keep your water bottle turned upside down. This helps keep the cap from freezing so it can still open to take a sip.
Huts are heated: Warm wood stoves, radiant floor heat, gear drying rooms and hot chocolate. Once you arrive at the hut, you are able to quickly warm up and reflect on what you have accomplished.
Enjoy the winter & we will see you on the trails.
For more information on what items you will need at the huts, be sure to check the packing list.