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Cold Hard Tips for Warm Winter Dressing

Baby, it's cold outside. And while hibernating inside by a warm fireplace or hot stove may sound like the perfect way to avoid the cold, it's simply not practical. The reality is we all have to venture out at some point. Rest assured, though, that with some winter wardrobe basics, you can stay warm and toasty, and even enjoy the many outdoor activities of the season.

  1. Dress in layers. Layers help seal in your body's heat. In general, you should have three layers of protection: a base level, middle layer, and outer layer. Your base level is your underwear or the clothing that touches your skin first. Long johns and thermal make good base level apparel. Your middle layer is for insulation, and your outer layer is your clothing that is in direct contact with the elements.
  2. Dress by activity. The way you dress for outdoors will depend on your activity. For example, you will not need to dress as heavy for a busy activity, such as skiing as you would for a sedentary one such as ice fishing. It's critical that you not overdress as it can result in sweating, which can be dangerous.
  3. Protect your hands. Wear gloves if you are performing activities that require use of your hands. Note that mittens keep your hands warmer over a longer period of time, as your fingers are warmer when they are together. Always bring extra gloves or mittens with you in the event that yours get wet.
  4. Wear insulated boots. Your feet will be constantly in touch with the cold ground, so it's important to wear insulated, waterproof boots. Boots lined with wool or synthetic materials are best.
  5. Protect your head and neck. Your head and neck are big sources of heat loss, so always ensure they are covered up.
  6. Go out with goggles or sunglasses. These are essential for protecting your eyes from the sun and powerful winds.
  7. Wear warm socks. Experts recommend that you wear a tight-fitting, thinner sock as a first layer and then wear a warm second layer, such as wool socks. The key is to ensure that your socks don't make your boots too tight. It's also not a bad idea to have extra socks available.
  8. Wear a facemask. You may look like a burglar, but you'll keep your face protected from the elements.
  9. Protect your legs. Many people dress in warm layers up top, but neglect to protect their legs. While your jeans might look great with your ski jacket, they won't help keep you warm. Be sure to wear ski pants as well as a layer underneath, such as long johns.

So what are you waiting for? Start suiting up.

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