Monday, December 27, 2010

Dressing for Survival

It goes without saying that when we prepare to go out of doors to enjoy our favourite winter activity we rarely believe that we will become lost, injured, snowed in or suffer from severe hypothermia.

However, these are real possibilities when we venture off into the unpredictable Canadian wilderness.

Thus, it becomes all the more important to dress for survival. 

Dressing for survival is based on a 3 layer system.  The 3 layer system consists of a base layer, a mid layer, and the outer layer.  Each layer plays a role in ensuring your comfort as well as your safety.

The Base Layer

This layer is the clothing that sits closely to your body and has two very critical jobs.  This layer wicks moisture away from your body as well as insulate.

This layer's ability to wick moisture away from your body ensures that sweat does not freeze close to your skin and cool your body's core temperature.

If your base layer is wet and cools it will not matter how big your winter parka is, you will suffer.

The Mid Layer

This layer is worn over your base layer and is critical in insulating your body and creating that dead space that allows the moisture being wicked from your base layer to evaporate and not freeze against your skin.

The best materials for the mid layer are fleece and wool which provide great insulating values and can wick that moisture out towards the outer layer for evaporation.

The Outer Layer

This layer must be capability of a laundry list of tasks.  It must be able to insulate, be windproof, waterproof, repel other moisture and wick away internal moisture.

Dress for Survival

The three layer system is a proven method regardless of your winter activity.  It allows you to remove layers depending on your level of exertion to moderate your body's temperature.  Once you complete your task or finish your activity you can replace the layer and maintain warmth and comfort.

Next time you go out plan to dress for survival.  Hypothermia is a real danger and has taken the lives of many outdoor enthusiasts.  Be prepared - stay alive !.

No comments:

Post a Comment