All bundled up.
What is the benefit of layering when you are out in the backcountry during the winter? The simple fact that it allows you to add or remove layers depending on temperature and physical activity.
As most of you know we build our winter outfit using three separate layers. The base layer, the middle layer and the outer layer. There are a variety of ways to build these up but we are going to share our favourite setup.
Base layer: This is the time to bring out those He-Man long johns you’ve been waiting to sport forever. Your base layer consists of long johns/underwear. They come in all shapes and sizes.
We’ll talk about two types which we use frequently. The first is a sports lightweight wicking under layer made from synthetic material. Both top and bottom don’t do a ton to keep you warm but they assist in moving the moisture on your body out away from it. We use these when we are traveling. Pulling a large sled is gonna make you work up a sweat. We use lighter base layer so we don’t overheat.
The second is a heavy weight base layer made from merino wool. These are used once we have set up camp. The strenuous work is done and being inactive the chill will start to creep in. These heavier layers will keep you warm all evening and through the night.
Middle layer: Once again come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From a wool vest to your favorite Toronto Maple Leafs sweater ( let’s not kid it’s the only place we’d wear it for fear of ridicule). For the bottom half fleece or wool pants make excellent choices for your mid layer as they are great insulators. You want some bulk but also want to make sure your range of movement isn’t hindered.
Outer layer: finally we come to the outer layer. The last line of defence in our war against the elements. This layer will be made up of your coat and snow pants. Wind proof and water proof are pretty key for this layer. Keeping the snow from soaking you and blocking out that frigid northerly wind will go a long way to keeping you warm and dry. Making sure your outer layer is breathable will also help as this will allow the moisture to escape from the inside. Also when it comes to snow pants I’d recommend the strapped or bib variety. We’ve found them much easier the hike in then the standard pant.
Something to consider is that everyone is different you will warm up and cool down differently than others. For example we often make the comment that we “run hot”. We don’t get cold very easily so we often skimp on layers making them thinner so we don’t over heat. Only you truly know where your comfort zone is. Make sure to try all your layers on and go for a walk before you hit the backcountry. This will allow you to test your outfit out. Range of motion and how quickly you start to heat up. Then you can adjust it accordingly.
Tomorrows blog will be on travel and its ups and downs (literally) hope everyone is having a good week. If you have any questions feel free to ask us on any of our social media platforms.