We recommend getting outside even if -20C and colder, if you can. But make sure you dress properly:
- Layers – better to dress in 2-4 thin layers than a couple of thicker layers
- Make sure the last, outside, layer is wind resistant
- Protect the extremities:
- Cover hands with mitts, NOT gloves
- Use thin(ner) wool socks, not synthetic or cotton socks
- Cover the head and neck – toques and Buffs (neck tubes)
- Wool is best – wear wool blend underwear and socks
- Wool holds its heat even when wet – retains its insulative properties
- Avoid cotton underwear and socks – cotton when wet loses its “warmth” or insulating properties
- Use technical wear designed for skiing and being outdoors
- Wear a couple of sets of of underwear when -15C and colder
- Cover your neck with a Buff:
- 1 Buff when +5C and colder;
- 2 Buffs when -10C and colder
- 3 buffs when -15C and colder
- Wear a couple of thin toques when -15C or colder (Or a toque and a headband)
- Avoid thick, bulky clothing – this will make moving difficult and likely cause you to overheat
- Make sure exposed skin is at a minimum
- Typical areas are ear lobes, cheeks, and your nose
- Have buddy check for white spots (frostbite)
- Place and hold the palm of your mitt-less hand over the affected area.
- Get inside ASAP if affected.
- Wear booties over your ski boots – alternatively, use an old pair of wool socks and slip over your boots
- Use clear lens glasses in the dark to protect your eyes – Note: These may fog up
- Bring a set of dry clothes to change into afterwards – especially socks and top
- Wool sweater with a high neck is best!!
And finally, don’t go hard in the cold, but go at a Zone1 pace
Stay warm, dry, and keep moving!!