The most basic requirement in facing the harsh conditions of the outdoors, especially during winter, is proper clothing. Dressing up appropriately for all the expected conditions is your first line of defence when considering your safety. Have you heard of the “three layer system”? This is a popular term for people who are seriously into extreme outdoor activities like winter hiking and climbing. But even if you are not into these things, it is still best to be aware as to when or if ever a situation or an emergency arises, you will know how to be protected in the winter cold. As you go through the rest of this article, you will find out the types of clothes you need for your emergency winter survival gear.
The first of this three layer system is the base or inner layer which is the clothes directly in contact with your skin. This is actually not just to absorb body moisture. Primarily, this layer should wick the sweat away from your body and somehow send the moisture to the other layers of clothing so it can eventually evaporate. A secondary function is for additional insulation that is most needed in extremely cold weather condition. Examples of these clothes are capilene shirts, thin socks, thinsulate hats and full tights or leggings urban survival gear.
The second or mid layer is mainly for insulation. Examples are fleece jackets, wool hats, wool socks, wool mittens and wool pants. Notice that these are thicker fabrics than those you need to wear as the base layer. It is best to use garments that are made of polyester, wool and fleece. Down fabrics are good for insulation but is not really effective as an aid in the moisture wicking process, so try to do away with this as much as possible.
The third and outer most layers is referred to as the “shell” which aids in repelling water from snow, rain, fog and dew. These are also for protection against wind and act as a shield against scrapes, abrasion and chafing. This layer may include a hooded parka, nylon pants, rubber boots and leather over mittens.
The mixing and matching of the above garments will depend on both the amount of heat and cold needed by the body during winter survival. Bear in mind the basic rule, the mantra, in surviving such weather conditions, “cool and dry stay alive”. Too much sweating is not good so you have to limit the garments in such a way that you are also getting enough coolness to limit the sweating process.
Proper winter clothing gears are among the basics in winter survival but all of us know that there is more to just wearing good clothes in order to survive such conditions. You also have to be ready with other emergency winter survival gears like flashlight, whistles and a GPS handheld unit if possible. You can check stores that offer these things to be sure that you will be well protected in such explorations.