How to Dress for Your Cold Winter Walks

A walk on a cold winter day, whether for fun or fitness, could be relaxing and invigorating. On the other hand, it could also be a direct path to hypothermia, frozen fingers or toes, or a nasty cold. To keep yourself snug and dry, follow this simple layering system when going out for a walk.

The Base Layer

This first layer is the one right next to your skin so it must be made of fabric that can pull sweat away from your skin. This will enable the sweat to evaporate and keep you warm instead of clammy and damp. Avoid cotton at all costs because it sucks up sweat and won’t allow it to dry.

Opt for a base layer made of silk or polypropylene. In fickle weather, it’s best to choose lightweight wool since it has moisture-wicking properties ideal for both warm and cold weather.

The Insulating Layer

Your insulating layer adds extra warmth. It could be a vest or shirt made of polyester fleece, wool, down, or pile. Take note though that you will feel warmer as you walk, even in freezing weather, so it’s best to save that extra fluffy down vest when it’s icy outside.

The Outer Layer

women wearing winter clothing

This third layer is the one that safeguards you from wind and rain. This should be a water-resistant and windproof jacket like that Obermeyer jacket you got on sale. If rain is a possibility, pick fabrics that will enable the skin to breathe.

While these may cost more than your average rain slicker, it would help make sure that you don’t drown in your own sweat. A jacket with breathable fabric, however, will protect you from the rain, while allowing perspiration to evaporate easily.

A Vital Note on Underwear

Under all these three layers is your underwear, and these should be synthetic fabrics instead of standard cotton blends or pure cotton. Regular polyester or nylon is best since these dry fast and won’t hold sweat. For the ladies, make sure your sports bra is made of a polypropylene or polyester fabric.

Tips for Wearing Layered Clothing on Your Walks

When you wear layered clothing, you’re guaranteed of having just the right amount of clothing when walking. You should start your walk while your body temperature is just right. If you feel warm instead of sufficiently cool, not cold, change your insulating layer or take off your outer layer first.

Wrap it around your waist for easy access. Once you begin to feel warmer, remove your insulating layer, but leave the jacket on to prevent you from feeling too cold. Expect to feel cool after urinating, resting or taking a water break. Do you see the importance of dressing in layers now?

You can now wear the insulating layer and the outer layer, and shed them again once you’re feeling warmer.

Excuses that are related to the weather, usually cold and rainy weather, are top reasons that people put off walking. However, with proper preparation and clothing, virtually any kind of weather could be ideal for walking.

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