Proper preparation for the cold can greatly make for more comfort when you travel to cold places. Whether you are traveling for a winter vacation, business or any other reason clothes for cold weather can make a big difference. Here are some packing tips to get you started.
Think layers. You’ll want a layer that wicks moisture away from your body – this need not be a thick layer to be effective but should be able to move moisture from your skin. This is important because moisture leads to dampness leads to being cold and wet! It’s also important that these shirts be not too baggy but not too tight. A little bit of air helps you stay warmer.
On top of this is another insulated layer. If you are going in extreme cold long underwear and undershirt should also be part of the packing process. Natural fibers – cotton and wool – are a bonus. Remember with the bottom layer (or two) the wool won’t be against your skin, but still effectively protects from the cold.
Be prepared. The thing about layers is you can take a layer or two off if you end up inside for a while, such as an airport or stopping at a restaurant for a meal. As it gets colder put those layers back on.
Top layer for outdoor is a good quality coat. This need not be a fancy name brand but get something warm and water resistant. If your layers get wet then your planning and packing is for nothing.
Socks that are thick enough to protect your feet and keep them warm are also important. In colder weather also have a hat and scarf. An incredible amount of heat escapes via our head and neck – if we keep those covered we conserve heat.
Long pants are important. This means denim, or if you can’t wear that pick corduroy. Forget dresses, skirts and think slick lightweight pants. Along with it if there is likely to be ice or snow. Forget heels and shoes with slick bottoms – this is not just for fashion but for comfort and safety! Use good quality footwear – even hiking boots are better than dress shoes.
How many layers you’ll need depends on how cold it gets and what your comfort level is but be sure to choose clothing that is comfortable and layer it well. This need not be expensive clothing if chosen well.
Cabela’s has complete layering sets available with wool, fleece and Merino wool that allows you to look good and be warm. Although much of their line is designed for hunters (and therefore camouflage is prominent) there are many colors and styles available once you understand the principles of layering, and many of the selections you may have in your wardrobe now.
Cold weather clothing is also easily found online among stores that cater to people who need it – hunters, farmers, military, emergency workers and others. Your own comfort zone will help dictate choices.
Be comfortable and remember layers to maximize warmth. You don’t need a parka that makes you look like a snowman unless you are going in cold weather for a considerable amount of time. however, another thing to keep in mind in cold weather areas is being prepared. This can keep you alive if the unexpected happens.
Layers of comfortable clothing give you maximum warmth. Use that as your guide along with your own comfort (do you get cold easily?) and the temperature where you’re going or going through. Stay warm, stay comfortable, stay safe!
Did you know – A well known wildlife photographer once made the point that cold weather and poor preparation kills more people in Alaska than grizzly bears.