Mountain Education Resources
The Most Common Fear
The most often heard snow fear is, “I’m going to get wet and cold!”
First of all, layering solves much of this. Daily thermal management, controlling your temperature while you hike or have lunch, for example, prevents excessive sweating which will, also, get you wet. Of course, wet skin in cold air makes you cold quick, so you don’t want to have wet skin. A good wicking layer next to the skin prevents this. A good outer layer that repells water will solve the getting-wet-from-the-outside issue. If you’re prone to sitting in the snow, you might consider a Gore-tex shell. Also, make sure your shells have adequate ventilating zippers to help you manage your heat levels before layering-off.
Just because the air temperatures are cold, doesn’t mean that you will be, too. Remember the layers and put them on before you feel the cold. For example, when you stop to eat lunch, immediately layer up with a shell in the Spring sun or a down jacket in the Winter shade. If you’re getting cold, nevertheless, add a good Windstopper fleece hat and fingerless gloves. Still feeling the cold wind? Add your fleece pants and wind shells, too. It doesn’t matter that you look like the “Michelin Man” out there, your layering system works, you’re nice and warm, and can enjoy where you are, how much fun you had getting there, and the great meal you’re eating!