Winter is fast approaching and that means it's almost time for winter sports!

If you're a ski jumping fanatic or just overall winter sports fanatic, it's imperative that you know what to wear out in the freezing temperatures, piles of snow, and harsh sunlight.

Layering for winter needs to be done correctly to prevent cold weather medical emergencies like hypothermia.

If you're curious about how to layer for winter, look no further!

Inner Layer: Managing Moisture

The base layer of winter clothing is supposed to wick moisture from your skin. In addition to keeping you comfortable, this also keeps your body from cooling itself, preventing hypothermia.

A prime example of this layer is long underwear made of polyester or wool. You can choose a thickness that suits your needs. Thicker materials will keep you warmer, but thinner ones will allow you to move more freely while still performing their intended function of keeping you dry.

This layer is perfect for adding an article of UPF clothing, meaning that it will protect you from harmful UV radiation, specifically both the sun's UVA and UVB rays. It's easy to forget sun protection in winter, but you need layer clothes and wear sunscreen year-round to stay protected from the sun and avoid skin damage!

Middle Layer: Insulation

The main purpose of this mid layer is to act as your primary source of heat. It traps the body heat you radiate, regulating your temperature and keeping you warm against the cold weather. The thicker this layer, the more heat you will trap.

Fleece is a good choice for this layer because it dries quickly and stays warm even if it gets wet. If you choose fleece, remember to wear a shell layer that will protect you from the wind.

You could also choose an insulated down jacket that will keep you warm without weighing you down. Since down jackets come in shell materials, they offer protection from the wind and water.

Outer Layer: Protection From the Elements

The purpose of this layer is to protect you from the wind, rain, and snow that can make your time outdoors more challenging. A waterproof outer layer can lessen the impact of the elements, so you can focus on your winter sports!

A waterproof rain jacket and pair of pants treated with DWR (durable water repellent) will keep you protected from heavy snow without restricting your movement. The moisture will roll off your outer layer, preventing it from settling into your inner layers and possibly causing hypothermia.

Learning How to Layer for Winter

It's good practice to dress in more layers than you think you'll need. You can always remove a layer, but you can't always add one. Knowing how to layer for winter will go a long way when you're out cross country skiing or doing your winter sport of choice!

You'll also want to have a general idea of the weather before you choose what to wear. You'll want to protect yourself against the snow, but warmer temperatures may call for lighter upf rated layers.

Be sure to check back regularly for outdoor tips, sun protection clothing and new UPF clothing arrivals!

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell