Stay Warm This Season

November 24, 2015

The dawning of Winter moving across Canada has sent some people reaching for their wool socks and a bowl of soup, while others bundle up and strap on a pair of snowshoes. Whether the snow and cold air is your friend or foe, Great Escape Outfitters Operations Manager Greg Boyle recommends these five tips for staying warm and enjoying the Canadian winter.

Dress for the activity

If you’re watching the kids skate, or heading down the trail for a hike, the key to staying warm is all about choosing clothes that suit your level of activity. Overheating can be as bad as not being warm enough. Instead, find the right combination of layered clothing that suits you. Standing around outside means you’re creating less blood flow and are probably best to wear heavier clothing. Outdoor enthusiasts, however, should wear layered clothing that regulates body temperature until they eventually heat up.

Adjust layers for your temperatures

Walking lots? Hiking? Skiing? That giant parka may be doing you a disservice. Instead, we recommend a layered approach so you can always adjust your temperature, whether inside or outside. Start with a base, such as long underwear, and then add a few mid-layers topped with a water-proof or wind-proof shell jacket. The moisture management will keep you well insulated, and your temperature consistent. It keeps the elements out and you can adjust accordingly, the beauty of all this stuff is that it's functional but you can get the style. You don't want to look like you're dressed to go hiking in the Yukon, while in the middle of the city.

Avoid cotton

We all probably have memories of laying out a drenched pair of cotton socks to dry after a long day of playing in the snow. If possible,  avoid the material because it doesn't dry fast and can actually pull heat away from you. A lot of wool hats are being sewn with a fleece liner, so the wind won't cut through it as much and adds a bit of a barrier, keeping the wool off of your head. Companies like Icebreaker are making very soft Merino Wool options to pull over your noggin that feel like cotton. Obviously if you need to dress nice, even a pair of merino wool long underwear under a pair of jeans will make a huge difference.

Never forget your extremities

A plan for staying warm should start with your extremities: head, hands, ears, and feet. There are some fabulous looking shoes and boots out there that don't do anything in terms of insulation. We recommends asking our sales staff for advice, and not depending too much on a product's temperature rating because it can be subjective. (for example, I can wear a T-shirt until it's -10, but you wouldn't want to see a -10 rating on a Tshirt! One of the main things your want to look for in boots is that they're waterproof. Everything in our store that is a winter boot is waterproof, we don't like to see things that can leak go on your feet! A pair of ear muffs is also a good start, and all other things being equal, mitts are always going to be warmer than gloves.

Make sure you're well fed

Eat breakfast in the morning, but especially when it's cold outside. If you're eating, it helps get your metabolism going, and it helps keep your heat going, Starving yourself just doesn't help. Not eating enough if you're feeling under the weather can also make your condition worse and even more susceptible to the cold.

People always talk about putting on the winter weight, and yes you can definitely overeat in the winter, but it makes a huge difference! Don't take it too far, but a good plate of potatoes and stew will keep you warm and toasty as much as a good hat!

Until Next Time!

Greg - Great Escape Outfitters

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