Fabrics & Layers
Layering clothes helps you to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. Having the ability to add or remove layers as you warm up or cool down helps you stay safe and comfortable. Carry a backpack so that you can add or remove layers as you go.
The type of fabric is an important consideration when dressing for outdoor recreation. Cotton does a poor job of wicking away moisture, and loses its ability to retain heat when damp. Synthetic fabrics and performance wool blends do a better job of managing moisture and retaining heat when cold and/or wet.
This is the layer closest to your skin. Think long underwear, leggings, and skintight clothing.
This layer should be moisture wicking; it keeps your skin dry, which helps keep you warm.
The base layer includes socks. Thicker, wool-blend socks are recommended for their ability to reatin heat even if they get wet.
This layer provides insulation - a barrier of warm body heat between you and the cold.
This is the layer that has the most variability. Fleeces, puffy jackets or vest, sweatshirts, pullovers, sweaters, and thicker long-sleeve shirts can all serve as insulating layers, depending on weather conditions.
This layer should be a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Keeping the elements from penetrating your layers keeps you warm, dry, and safe.
It is important to make sure that this jacket is large enough to fit over your other layers.